Honestly, my not-so-high expectations for anything in the Galaxy A series was blown out of the water when it came to the Galaxy A71. It turned out that the Galaxy A71 was able to hold itself well by bringing great features to the table, such as a big ‘n gorgeous display to a huge 4500mAh battery.
Just Looking at it
The Galaxy A71’s design is basically a tweaked version of last year’s A70 but with a more futuristic prism style cutout that reflects a cool hue under any direct lighting. Even with just a plastic back, the glossy finish tries to feel like glass when held but without the weight of it. It’s a mere 179 grams that makes the device feel like it’s not a cheap plastic phone. Instead you’re getting a durable feeling device that’s of decent weight and a design that tries to impress you with a bouncing prism light effect.
The bezels in front are real thin, with the cutout for the selfie-camera top center of the device. There you’ll see 6.7-inches of Super AMOLED real estate with a FHD+ resolution. It’s vibrant colors are eye-catching at most common viewing angles, even under direct sunlight. There’s an on-screen fingerprint scanner to keep things clean for the unlocking process, but it can be a little slow at times. Let’s hope an update or something can clear that out.
Let’s Get to Work
Specs here are impressive. The chosen Snapdragon 730 is a very balanced chip. It’s able to work for good battery life and deliver performance, and that was exactly what I got. There were no slowdowns in whatever I was doing on the device, whether I was scrolling Facebook endlessly or having a go at Cookie Run : Ovenbreak. The starting 128GB of internal memory is unsurprising at this price-point, but there’s no room to complain since I could always fit up to 1TB extra in MicroSD. The 8GB of RAM though, is rather serious business, as at this price point there are some brands out there that are still giving out just 6GB, and that shows how serious Samsung is with this mid-ranger.
There’s a rather decent set of shooters that the Galaxy A71 has. The main 64MP shooter works with 3 of his co-workers, a 12MP Wide-angle, 5MP macro and 5MP Portrait lens. They’re lined up in a straight line array, much like the Galaxy S20. Capturing your mug shots is a 32MP selfie cam with the expected beauty filters automatically turned on to lure you into a sense that you’re prettier than you think.
Rear camera photos pan out the way you’d expect a Samsung device would. A consistent, saturated image with great colors and reasonably good dynamic range. Auto HDR does all the heavy work making sure your highlights don’t go all over the place and keep photos as well lit as possible without crushing everything else in the process.
Live Focus mode works great during the day, creating a realistic faux bokeh that doesn’t run out of line. Low-light however poses a challenge on the Galaxy A71, with a lot of background noise, whether your image has a main subject or not. Using Night Mode does factually help, but only ever so slightly in terms of having a bit more dynamic range and final detail in the output. The 5MP Macro sensor is a hit and miss. You’ll need to have a bit of patience when it comes to getting your shot on focus, but I’m sure that’s something that will be fixed later on.
I’m Getting Soft
With One UI 2.0 out of the box, I knew I was going to enjoy Samsung’s software goodness that used to be reserved for just the flagship family. Just take about 30 minutes after booting to set things up to your liking and you’re good to go.
I appreciate the screen-recorder and the Link to Windows support, as I actually use it when I want to record some on-screen work and explain it to clients with a supporting voice note. It’s great that I no longer had to break the bank to access these features. Dark mode is present too, which is a pretty nice deal, and with 4500mAh of battery, you’ll make every percent drop count through these little quality of life adjustments.
Within my initial expectations, Samsung Pay is on-board as well, one of the few things that constantly pulls me back to Samsung every time, and you won’t be getting anything watered down here. You’re getting the full samsung Pay package, complete with NFC and backwards compatibility to older reader-types as well.
Also, as versatile as I am with either gesture or fixed button navigation, you’ll now get to choose between the two on the Galaxy A71. Neat!