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Samsung Galaxy A71 Review: S20 Alternative?

A for Alternative to their Flagships

The Samsung Galaxy A71 finally arrived on our shores a little less than a week before the company officially outs the new S series. The device gives us a glimpse of what’s to come for their new flagship phones — in terms of their approach to design — but how does it hold up with actual use? I’ve spent a fair amount of time with the A71 so if you’ve been thinking about picking up this Php 22,990 smartphone from Sammy, hopefully, this will help you decide if it’s worth the money.

Pros

  • A Great Set of Cameras
  • Samsung’s Sweet Display

Cons

  • It’s “Glasstic”
  • Telephoto Cam > Macro

It’s a Looker But…

The Samsung Galaxy A71 is a good looking device. We got one in the Prism Crush Blue color variant and that plus the geometric patterns almost made me want to use it without a case. You don’t want to do that though.

The reason for that is because it’s made out of polycarbonate plastic. While the argument can be made that plastic or “glasstic” is more forgiving than glass when it comes to drops, it does make the phone feel a little less premium; a bummer given how much the device is.

Other than that, the ergonomics are great; even for a device that’s pretty big. It’ll definitely be a two-hander for some but that can be said of most devices nowadays.

Infinity-O Is Polarizing

One of the best things about Samsung devices are their displays. The A71 has a 6.7-inch Full HD+ with their tried and tested Super AMOLED panels. They’ve never disappointed in the past so you can expect the same awesome colors and contrast ratios here.

One thing that might turn some people off is the punch hole. We’ve seen it on the Note 10 and it’s something that you’ll either get used to seeing or absolutely can’t stand. You can sort of disguise with the right wallpaper since you do have pretty deep blacks on that display.

To pair with the display, you’ve got a single speaker on the bottom that produces a good amount of volume and decent sound quality but you still have a headphone jack on this one, which is always a good thing.

 

The SD730G is Plenty Capable 

At the heart of the Samsung Galaxy A71 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. On the software side, it’s running on Android 10 with One UI 2.0 on top of it and I really like the pared-down version of the overlay.

The A71 handled day-to-day tasks like a champ and handles some of the most popular games on the Play Store quite well. Fans of MOBAs will be happy to know that there’s nary a frame rate dip in major team battles. For Battle Royale enthusiasts out there, you might want to turn down the settings to make sure you get the best performance possible.

Keeping the lights on for this device is a 4500mAh battery that easily lasted an entire day with the way I use smartphones. Battery benchmarks have it clocking in at over 11 hours, which usually indicates that you can get around 2 days of juice on this phone with moderate use.

The phone also supports 25W fast charging so topping it up takes a little over an hour and a half.

Upping the Megapixel Count

New to the A71 is a 64MP main camera, which doubles up from the 32 on the A70 that we saw last year. Yes, higher megapixel counts don’t automatically mean better photos but the results do look good though we did notice some weird post-processing happening in some of the photos.

You also get a wide-angle shooter on this device at 12-megapixel that gives good output as well plus two 5-megapixel cameras — a depth sensor and a macro camera. I would have honestly preferred a telephoto cam for a bit more versatility. For selfies, you’ve got a 32MP shooter in that punch hole. The output is great when you have loads of light but you really have to stick to well-lit areas to get decent photos at night.

Verdict: If the Price Were Right…

The Galaxy A71 is an excellent overall smartphone with touches of what makes Samsung flagships great. It’s a gorgeous device with some of the best mid-range hardware plus a set of decent shooters to boot.

From what you guys have been saying in the comment section of our Facebook page and YouTube channel, the main deterrent here is the rather steep price. For what you’re expected to pay for the A71, there are definitely other alternatives that you can consider if raw processing power is more of what you’re looking for.

If you’re a fan of the Korean brand, however, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is currently the best smartphone you can get at this bracket. If you can’t swing the A71 and its Php 22,990 sticker price, you might want to wait out the A51 that hopefully shows up in shops in the Philippines soon.

 

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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