Samsung Galaxy A71 Review; 1 Is Way Better Than 0s - TeknoGadyet

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Samsung Galaxy A71 Review; 1 Is Way Better Than 0s


INTRODUCTION:

There is no doubt that Samsung is still one of the most popular mobile brands in the Philippines based on the top smartphone vendors in the Q4 2019 report of Canalys. And we believe that the Galaxy A series is one significant contributor to that success. This is why the first device that the Korean manufacturing giant launched in the local market this 2020 is the Samsung Galaxy A71.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Review; 1 Is Way Better Than 0s
Samsung Galaxy A71 Review; 1 Is Way Better Than 0s

The Samsung Galaxy A71 is the successor of the Galaxy A70 and A70s that were released last year. If we base our judgment on the specs sheet alone, we can say that A71 is way better than A70 and A70s. But of course, we know that real-life performance is the true benchmark, and that is something we will find out in this review.


PHYSICAL:

The Samsung Galaxy A71 has the same Super AMOLED screen size, which is 6.7 inches, and resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels as the A70 and A70s. But, it feels more compact and lighter, that is because it indeed has a smaller footprint - 163.6mm x 76mm x 7.7mm, and weighs lesser at 179 grams. This also means that it has a higher screen-to-body ratio, which is 87.2% versus 86% of its brothers.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Front
Front
If you look at the Samsung website, there is no info saying that the display has an additional layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection, while some tech sites reported it has. But, one thing is certain, there is a pre-installed plastic film to protect it at least for the scratches. Moreover, the package includes a free clear case, which is always a plus point for us.

It also has a punch-hole, or as Samsung calls it Infinity-O display, wherein the selfie camera is placed at the upper-center, as opposed to the Infinity-U display of its predecessors. With that change, it now looks more similar to Samsung Note10 Lite and even with the Samsung Galaxy S20 series.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Back
Back

In fact, it is not only the facade that looks common with the A71 and S20 devices. When you flip them over, you will find the rectangular arrangement of the rear cameras located at the upper left corner. That said, it is quite hard to tell which is which in the distance, making it a plus point for the A71 for having a flagship-like design. Yes, people lurking around will mistakenly identify it as one of the S20 phones.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Display Settings
Display Settings

Going back to display, Super AMOLED panel always offers great viewing angles with deep blacks and vibrant colors, and the one used in Galaxy A71 is no exemption. In addition, it has extensive display settings that users can tweak based on their likings, and there is dark more too!

Just like last year's A-series devices, its fingerprint is embedded underneath the screen. Surprisingly, it unlocks the phone faster than before, even if it still uses similar, if not the same optical sensor found in the A30, A50, and A70. However, its response is slightly slower than those phones with ultrasonic ones. If you want a faster option, face unlock is the way to go.


 Samsung Galaxy A71 Unboxing and Hands-on

The retail package contains the unit itself, paper documents, SIM ejector tool, clear case, 25W charger, USB cable, and wired earphones. The charger has a Type-C port, which means that both ends of the USB cable are also Type-C.

See Also: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Shakes Flagship Market with 120Hz Screen, 12GB RAM, and 108MP Quad Cam


SOFTWARE:

The Galaxy A71 runs on Samsung One UI version 2.0 that is based on Android 10, and our unit received the latest software update on February 17. As per Samsung, the One UI helps users to focus on what really matters, and we can say this is somewhat true.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Interface
Interface

One thing a bit tricky at first is the power button. Out of the box, it is mapped to turn on the device and to wake up Bixby. To turn off the phone, you need to press then hold the down volume key and power button at the same time. You can also turn off the phone via the quick panel or by saying "turn off the phone" o Bixby. But, if in case you won't use Samsung's digital assistant, you can change the press and hold function to open the power off menu.

Below are some of the key features of Samsung One UI 2.0 that we like:

  • Enhanced Visibility/Legibility - the software can detect the dark or light areas of the phone's display, and adjust the text font's color and background accordingly, which ensures items on the screen is visible at any given time. 
  • Native Screen Recorder - there are tons of third-party apps that can do it, but the ability to do it without downloading a new app is a plus point for us. Not only that it can record what's happening in the screen, but also the system audio, the ability to write/note in the screen while recording, and can even include the front camera as input.
  • Dark More - yes, OneUI 1.0 already had this feature, but it was only for Samsung apps and very limited third-party applications. This time it is system-wide and lots of other apps, such as Gmail, Instagram, and YouTube. Moreover, you can also schedule when to activate dark mode!
  • The Phone App - in my line of work wherein I usually receive lots of calls every day, I like the new One UI 2.0's ways of displaying calls. There are 3 to be exact - full screen, pop-up, and mini pop-up. The latter is my favorite because it is like an FB chat head, and since it is quite small, people around you won't easily see who is calling you.
  • Samsung Members App - provides freebies from Jollibee such as Jolly Hotdog and Chicken Joy, free regular drink from Chatime, and lots of discounts from different brands, establishments, and services.

Yes, we know that One UI is not everyone's cup of tea, but as we always say, the proprietary interface gives brands a clear separation to other Android smartphone makers.

To learn more about OneUI 2.0, you can visit https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/apps/one-ui/


PERFORMANCE:

The Galaxy A family of devices generally offer great hardware, and it remains true with the A71. Under the hood, there is a significant improvement in processing power. It is now powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset, which is based on an 8nm FinFET process and composed of 2.2GHz octa-core Kryo 470 CPU paired with Adreno 618 GPU. In comparison, its predecessors use 11nm Qualcomm SDM675 chip with Kryo 460 CPU and Adreno 612 GPU.

For those who are wondering, the Snapdragon 730G is nearly identical with the SDM730, save for the slightly overclocked Adreno GPU.

In some countries, the model being sold is the one with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, but the one that we have for review and the one released in the Philippine market is with 8-gigabytes of RAM and 128-gigabytes of storage. Upon first boot, there is about 106-gigabytes memory available to the users. If in case it is not enough, you can install a MicroSD card up to 512GB in the phone's dedicated storage expansion slot.

Below are the scores of A71 in our favorite benchmarking tools. For reference, we also include the scores of OPPO A9 2020 and Realme 5 that have SDM665 chipset.

Benchmark OPPO A9 2020 Realme 5 Samsung Galaxy A71
Antutu 133,922 167,623 250,834
Geekbench 5 (Single-Core) 314 314 546
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core) 1,287 1,365 1,735
Geekbench 5 (RenderScript) 373 377 915
PC Mark 6,809 7,789 7,694
3D Mark Sling Shot 1,748 1,760 2,979
3D Mark Sling Shot (Vulcan) 1,040 1,050 1,860
3D Mark Sling Shot (OpenGL) 1,109 1,150 2,468

Samsung Galaxy A71 Benchmark Scores
Samsung Galaxy A71 Benchmark Scores

In real life, there is nothing much to complain about the performance of the Galaxy A71. The implementation of the One UI 2.0 is very optimized, resulting in smooth navigation of the interface, switching between apps, and joggling with several applications at the same time.

We have reviewed the Samsung Galaxy A50 before, and its gaming performance is quite impressive even if it only has 6GB of RAM and uses Exynos 7904 chipset. That said, the Galaxy A71 performs as expected, giving us smooth gameplay all in all. We tested Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Asphalt 9, Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and NBA 2K20. Yes, it heats up a bit when playing for a long time, but there is nothing to be concerned about.

In terms of multimedia capability, the A71 supports up to UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) video playback of different file formats, including FLV, MKV, and WEBM. For audio, it can play tons of formats from the usual MP3 to FLAC files. Moreover, we are happy to report that it still has a 3.5mm audio port, and the included wired earphones deliver crisp sound outputs.

Also Read: Samsung Unveils Galaxy S20+


CAMERA:

Moving on to the camera department, it now has a total of 4 rear cameras as compared to only 3 of its old brothers. It has a 64MP f/1.8 primary sensor, which is similar, if not the same with the A70s, that has phase-detection autofocus. The ultrawide module has a 12MP resolution, which is an upgrade from the 8MP before. The depth sensor remains at 5MP resolution with f/2.2 aperture. Moreover, it now has a dedicated 5MP f/2.2 25mm macro lens. Meanwhile, the front camera still has a 32MP snapper, but for some reason, the aperture is f/2.2, which is smaller than the f/2.0 opening found in the A70s.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Rear Quad Cameras
Rear Quad Cameras

The updated camera UI brings several changes and gives a better user experience. Aside from the different looks of the icons, the camera modes are now limited on the screen to three - Live Focus, Photo, and Video. If you need to use other modes as well as Bixby Vision and AR Emoji, you need to click MORE to access them. It is still equipped with artificial intelligence in the form of Scene Optimizer, wherein it automatically detects the subject you are about to capture and adjust some settings accordingly.

Camera Samples:

Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Close-up Using Macro Lens
Close-up Using Macro Lens
Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Low Light, Food, Wagyu Prawn
Low Light, Food, Wagyu Prawn
Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Indoor, Low Light, Giant Chessboard
Indoor, Low Light, Giant Chessboard
Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Outdoor, Noon, Empty Road
Outdoor, Noon, Empty Road
Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Outdoor, Afternoon, Pasig River (Normal)
Outdoor, Afternoon, Pasig River (Normal)
Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Outdoor, Afternoon, Pasig River (Ultra-Wide)
Outdoor, Afternoon, Pasig River (Ultra-Wide)
Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Outdoor, Afternoon, Selfie (Normal)
Outdoor, Afternoon, Selfie (Normal)
Samsung Galaxy A71 Camera Sample - Outdoor, Afternoon, Selfie (Wide)
Outdoor, Afternoon, Selfie (Wide)

As expected, the Galaxy A71 offers fully-featured camera experience with lots of versatility. The main 64MP sensor produces crisp images with lots of details and near-accurate vibrant colors. The 12MP ultra-wide lens is indeed very wide as it can fit a whole lot more into the frame, albeit the fish-eye effect tends to happen. The 5MP depth sensor really helps in producing blur effects, especially when Live Focus mode is selected. Lastly, the 5MP macro lens can focus at a very close range and still give very much usable output.

Both the main and ultra-wide modules have no optical image stabilization, unlike those found in Note10 Lite wherein the main and telephone lenses have it. Speaking of telephoto, that is something we wish it has, we will be happy to exchange the dedicated macro lens anytime as the main sensor can perform great macro shots too. For the front camera, it still gives well-lit images even if the f-stop is now f/2.2 and has a fixed focus lens.

As for the video recording capability, it can record up to 4K (3840 x2160) resolution at 30fps, however, when this option is selected, there is no stabilization of any kind. The gyro-EIS is only active when shooting in FHD or HD, and based on our experience, videos are indeed stabilized well, especially when Super Steady is turned on.


CONNECTIVITY:

The Galaxy A71 is a true dual-SIM handset, meaning it has 3 slots in total - two for Nano-SIM cards and one for MicroSD card. It supports multiple band 4G FDD LTE, including band 28 or the 700MHz frequency, and triple-band 4G TDD LTE. Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi is also dual-band - 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Both the mobile data and WiFi offer stable connection, whether indoors or outdoors.

Other connectivity options include Bluetooth v5.0 with LE up to 2Mbps, old school FM radio receiver, NFC, USB Type-C with on-the-go function, and 3.5mm stereo jack. It also has Smart Switch for syncing with PC but does not come with Samsung DeX. As for location technology, it has GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, and Galileo.

BATTERY:

The power source inside this phone is made of lithium-polymer with a typical capacity of 4500mAh. It is the same battery size as the Galaxy A70s and the new Galaxy Note10 Lite. As per Samsung, whether it is connected to LTE or WiFi, it can last up to 16 hours of internet usage, the video playback time of up to 24 hours, and the audio playback up to 107 hours.

Based on our test, it scored 16 hours and 25 minutes in PC Mark Work 2.0 Battery Life, which is 1 hour and 32 minutes longer than the Samsung Galaxy A50 that has 4000mAh battery. For comparison purposes, its score is 9 hours and 15 minutes shorter than the OPPO A9 2020, and 5 hours and 10 minutes shorter than the Realme 5, both of which have 5000mAh batteries.

The A71 supports a fast-charging capability of up to 25 watts, and the retail box includes a desktop charge that can do that with 2.77A x 9V output. It takes 1 hour to reach the charge to 90% from 0%, while users need an additional 20 minutes to have it fully charged. Which simply means it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes (or 80 minutes) to charge it from 0 to 100%.


FINAL WORDS:

Samsung has another winner on its arsenal with the Galaxy A71! A classy smartphone with more than enough firepower to run the most demanding games and applications, has great sets of cameras, and offers long-lasting battery life.

Samsung Galaxy A71 Philippines
Samsung Galaxy A71

Samsung Galaxy A71 Specs (Philippines):

  • Dual SIM, dual standby, supports LTE connectivity
  • 6.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ (2400 x 1080) Infinity-O display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Dimensions: 163.6mm x 76.0mm x 7.7mm
  • Weight: 179 grams
  • OneUI 2.0 based on Android 10
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Kryo CPU, Adreno 618 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable up to 512GB via MicroSD, uses dedicated slot
  • 64MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide + 5MP f/2.4 macro + 5MP f/2.2 depth quad rear cameras
  • 32MP f/2.2 hole-punch front camera
  • Multimedia Player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • WiFi 802.11
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • NFC
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo
  • USB Type-C port with OTG function
  • Sensors: light, proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope, hall, magnetic
  • Others: In-display fingerprint scanner, face recognition
  • Battery: 4,500mAh non-removable with 25W super-fast charging
  • Colors: Prism Crush Black, Silver, Blue, Pink
  • Price: Php22,990

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