It’s easy to forget that Samsung produces flagship phones for more than $1,000+. After all, when the company announced that it was snapping up a stealth product like the $2,000 Galaxy Z Fold 2, phones like the $599.99 Galaxy A71 5G tend to be overshadowed. But you shouldn’t discount these more affordable models just because they are less flashy. If you use Galaxy A71, you will get a lot of benefits, including 5G connectivity, stable performance, excellent cameras, and long battery life. It is currently one of the better phones to get 5G in this price range, despite increasing competition.
Design, display and durability
The front of the Galaxy A71 5G is flat with a curved plastic back panel. It measures 6.3 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.5 ounces. We tested a black unlock model with a subtle monochrome pattern, but the Verizon version has a more distinctive prismatic design.
The front of the phone is a 6.7-inch, 2,400 x 1,080 pixel AMOLED display with a camera notch. The screen looks beautiful, colorful, jet black, and bright enough to see the outside. Even the fingerprint sensor on the display is good, although it is not as fast or accurate as the iPhone SE or Pixel 4a.
There is a hybrid SIM card slot on the top of the phone, speakers, USB-C charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom. The left side is bare, opposite the volume rocker and the multifunction power/Bixby button on the right. The touch button provides a satisfying click, but it is difficult to reach with small hands.
The back of the phone has a large rectangular camera in the upper left corner with a Samsung logo in the middle. The back panel is made of plastic, but it is easy to mistake it for glass if it is not for the muffled noise when tapped. The high-gloss appearance looks good, but it will quickly attract fingerprints.
The plastic case of this phone should be able to handle some bumps without problems, but the performance of the display is unlikely to be as if it was made of the older Gorilla Glass 3. In addition, it does not yet have an IP rating, and once you cross it, you cannot accept the $500 threshold.
Connectivity and audio
Galaxy A71 5G can be unlocked by every major operator. The unlocked versions of AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular and mobile phones all support 5G below 6GHz. Verizon provides an ultra-wideband version that now supports millimeter waves and will support low-bandwidth 5G when it launches later this year.
It is worth mentioning that 5G is a completely different beast from LTE, and you should do your homework before buying. For example, the bandwidth of the X52 modem (400MHz) in the Galaxy A71 is half of the X55 (800Mhz) in the more expensive Samsung Galaxy 20+.
We tested the phone on T-Mobile’s 5G network in Philadelphia. The average download speed is 146.8Mbps, while the upload speed is about 38.6Mbps.
The call quality is very good. The noise of the headphones is 85dB, which is enough to hear in almost any setting. Our test phone is always clearly visible at both ends, and the noise cancellation effect is very good.
On the other hand, the audio quality is disappointing. The phone has a bottom emitting speaker, and the maximum output speaker is 90dB. You can make video calls, but it sounds terrible for all other features. From the front, wired or Bluetooth headsets support Dolby Atmos.
The phone also supports Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and dual-band Wi-Fi.
On the back, the Galaxy A71 5G is equipped with a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, a 5MP macro lens and a 5MP depth sensor. The clock frequency of the front camera is 32MP.
The 64MP four-pixel lens performs well in all lighting conditions. The photos are clear, the depth of field is excellent, the colors are slightly saturated, but they look great. In low light, we noticed little noise and a slight loss of detail, but in some cases, the phone managed to surpass the Pixel 4a. The ultra-wide-angle lens has similar outstanding performance.
The 5MP macro sensor is ok. With stable hands and good light, you can take good photos, but it can’t be compared with a real macro lens. This is not surprising, because we have yet to see a spectacular macro lens in this price range.
The front camera will glow under all lighting conditions. In good light, the test lens is clear and sharp with excellent details. Low-light photos are almost as good, although some of our images have slight noise at the edges.
Portrait mode works well on both front and rear cameras. There is depth mapping in almost all of our test photos, which is no small feat, because most phones in this price range are struggling to correctly capture hair, objects with a monochrome background and accurately draw hats and glasses Work in the surrounding area.
Hardware and performance
Galaxy A715G comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chipset and 6GB RAM. A total of 128GB of storage space, of which about 108GB is available. You can use a microSD card to add up to 1TB of storage space.
Value-for-money performance. A71 5G can easily handle multitasking. We opened nearly 20 applications and 30 browser tabs at the same time without any speed drop.
We tested the phone for more than an hour while playing Alto’s Odyssey, and there was no lag or frame skipping. The game loads quickly and has no significant impact on battery life.
The benchmark emphasizes our experience. On the Geekbech 5, which measures the performance of the original processor, the A71 5G scored 609 single-core (SC) and 1,879 multi-core (MC), leading the Pixel 4a with 402 SC and 1,618 MC.
This phone is powered by a 4,500mAh battery, which can be used by even the most demanding users of the day. In our battery drain test, the phone streamed HD video at full brightness via Wi-Fi, and the phone lasted 10 hours and 33 minutes. When you find that the juice of the A71 5G runs out, it supports Samsung’s fast charging protocol, and a 25W adapter is included in the box. However, wireless charging is not supported.
Galaxy A71 5G is provided with Android 10 and Samsung’s One UI 2. Although many manufacturers have tended to use more stock Android models in the past few years, Samsung’s UI still provides a very customized user experience.
In a UI 2, navigation buttons are inverted, application icons are changed, and the settings menu looks different from normal Android. In any case, this is not bad, but if you are used to using Android on non-Samsung phones, be prepared to take a few minutes to get used to it.
The unlocked version of the A71 5G has Samsung’s productivity application suite. In most cases, they are the Samsung app versions that have been introduced to Android. Over the years, we have considered them redundant, but we started to reconsider our position. This year, Samsung integrated many of its applications with Microsoft Office and significantly improved its cloud platform. A71 5G is also tightly integrated with many other smart devices from Samsung to provide a more seamless user experience.
Moreover, the Galaxy A71 5G is one of Samsung’s first mobile phones to receive three-year operating system upgrade confirmation. Although there is no timetable to determine when Samsung will release these updates, it is good to know that you are not at a deadlock.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 is an excellent phone with a (relatively) budget suitable for 5G and stable performance. Compared with Moto Edge that supports 5G, its price is 100 dollars lower, and the camera is much better. In other words, we hope to get better durability at a price of $600, unless you buy a phone on Verizon, you will not get a future-oriented 5G experience. With the $500 Moto One 5G being launched on AT&T and Verizon, competition is indeed intensifying. Therefore, although the Galaxy A71 can handle most things correctly, you may need to sit down and observe how things get rid of before picking it up.