Samsung introduced two new mid-range devices earlier in the year: the Galaxy A51 and the Galaxy A71 . If they do not lack strengths on paper, we can still wonder if the Korean giant is keeping all its promises. The answer right away.
Samsung has quite a few different ranges in its catalog. If the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note are the best known, they are far from the only ones.
In the lot, we also have to reckon with the Galaxy A, smartphones that are positioned more on a mid-range segment.
As with its flagships, Samsung has made a habit of renewing this range every year. The Galaxy A71 and Galaxy A51 are the most recent and it was impossible for me to ignore them. Especially not when we know that the Galaxy A range is among those that sell the best at Samsung.
Design & Ergonomics
The Galaxy A71 takes up the fundamentals of the range. The device therefore inherits a case composed of a metal frame and a glass plate on the front, the back being for its part made of plastic.
Be careful however, because despite the presence of a plastic back, the touch remains very comfortable and it is also very easy to confuse the back plate with glass.
Good point also, Samsung did not opt for a plain back like on its flagships and it took care to engrave patterns in the different layers of the plate, for a very convincing 3D effect.
The screen is a very pleasant surprise too. We will come back to its many virtues a little later, but know in any case that it occupies a good part of the facade of the terminal.
The thickest border must indeed reach four millimeters, which remains very reasonable for a phone offered in this price range. Better yet, the front camera is not placed in an unsightly notch, but directly integrated into the screen by means of a punch centered in the upper part of the panel.
Once again, we can welcome the initiative, especially since this punch is small enough to be forgotten once in game or in front of a video.
The ergonomics are fairly conventional, but it still holds some good surprises.
If all the physical buttons are placed on the right edge, the Galaxy A71 has the good idea of offering a fingerprint reader directly integrated into the panel. The latter is quite sensitive, but it works pretty well as long as you place your finger in the right place.
It should also be noted that the Galaxy A71 also offers a facial recognition function, but be careful, because the latter is based only on the front camera. It is therefore not as secure as what an iPhone or Pixel 4 offers.
Another good surprise, the headphone jack is not missing. It is present, integrated into the lower edge, alongside the USB Type-C connector. If you're still one of those people who still use wired headphones or earphones, then it's your lucky day.
Samsung has also gone pretty far when it comes to slots. The Galaxy A71 has a single hatch, but the latter gives access to no less than three slots: two for Nano SIM cards and one for a micro SD card. You will therefore be able to have two telephone lines coexist without having to sit on the micro SD.
The photo module will probably not be unanimous. Without being as imposing as that of the Galaxy S20, it is indeed not very discreet. Placed in the upper left corner, it is even quite imposing and it has the added misfortune of sticking out a few millimeters from the back plate. In return, it includes no less than four optics and four sensors.
Screen, Processor & Autonomy
The screen, for starters, reaches 6.7 inches diagonally in 20: 9 aspect ratio. A format very close to that of the Galaxy S20 +, in short. But that's not all, because Samsung has also opted for a Super AMOLED Plus panel with a definition in FHD +, and therefore a resolution reaching 2400 x 1800.
As always, Samsung will let us control the colorimetry. Two profiles are available in the options: lively or natural. In the first case, it will be possible to take control of the white balance and modify it to our liking. We can even modify the red, green and blue if the need arises.
And frankly, it works well. Samsung once again proves its know-how in the field of slabs and this screen is a real feast for the eyes, with marked contrasts, a punchy brightness and a colo with small onions.
If you consume a lot of media, if you sometimes even chain a few episodes of series or even movies on your phone, then know that the Galaxy A71 lends itself beautifully to this use.
Best of all, the tactile layer is very responsive, which is sure to interest those who tend to play a lot on their phone.
But now, if you are gamers at heart, you should also know that the Galaxy A71 is powered by a Snapdragon 730, a Snapdragon 730 coupled with 6 or 8 GB of RAM depending on the model chosen. The storage space reaches 128 GB and we are in UFS 2.1.
As far as I'm concerned, it is the model equipped with 6 GB of RAM that was lent to me.
Basically, the configuration is quite honest, but be careful not to be too greedy. If you're the type who only plays big titles and puts all the details in full, then the Galaxy A71 will quickly show its limits.
In fact, if you really have this type of use, then it will be better to move towards a slightly more powerful smartphone. Even if it means turning to an older generation for great savings.
More generally, I noticed some slowdowns in certain very specific cases, and in particular in multitasking. However, here I think the problem is more with the software optimization since the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 ( tested here ) was quite capable of running this type of tool without any latency.
Autonomy level, the Galaxy A71 can last the day without too much difficulty, or even go up to a day and a half.
After that, of course, everything will depend on your use. If you play a lot, it won't last that long.
So just to get it right, I ran PC Mark on the phone as usual. Or rather its benchmark devoted to autonomy.
If you do not know it yet, know that it simulates mixed use on the phone. Basically, once launched, it will open web pages, browse them, launch videos, simulate complex calculations, and all that until the battery drops below 20% of autonomy.
Yes, and the Galaxy A71 held up to 11:40 a.m. with the screen on at this bench, which is pretty respectable.
Photo, Video & Sound
The Galaxy A71 is rather generous in terms of photos and you just have to turn it over to realize it since it has no less than four sensors, all grouped in the same module.
The main module reaches 64 million pixels and is accompanied by a very bright optics opening at f1.8. Then there is a 12 million pixel sensor accompanied by an ultra wide angle opening at f / 2.2.
As for the last two sensors, they reach 5 million pixels and they are devoted to macro and depth of field.
As you will have understood, the Galaxy A71 skips the telephoto lens and it will therefore be unable to offer an optical zoom. We will therefore have to be content with a digital zoom, which will result in a drop in the quality of our photos when they are enlarged.
In the middle of the day, the Galaxy A71 is quite convincing. Admittedly, it won't reach the level of a Pixel 4, but it will still be able to take good quality shots.
If the focus sometimes tends to fall off, the sharpness remains correct and we even have a good dynamic which makes it possible to compensate for the most difficult light situations, and in particular the shots against the light.
The colorimetry is quite natural, at least as long as you turn off the AI. The latter has the unfortunate tendency to saturate colors, especially in green tints. Once the option is removed, the images will be a little duller, which will be an advantage for retouching.
Smartphones are never very comfortable indoors or after dark, and the Galaxy A71 is no exception.
While the situation is far from catastrophic, it is also not ideal, and artifacts will appear quickly as the terminal climbs into ISOs. Good point on the other hand, the white balance did not disappoint me and it does not pull in the browns as it is the case on many smartphones.
Samsung, like many of its competitors, however, had the intelligence to set up a night mode which will partially resolve the situation. If the latter is quite effective, it will be better to mount the phone on a tripod before shooting.
The Galaxy A71 is therefore limited to two focal lengths: the wide angle and the ultra wide angle. While it will still be possible to zoom digitally, the enlargements thus generated will be of little use.
Now the wide angle and the ultra wide angle are very effective. Relatively close in terms of sharpness and colorimetry, they allow you to have a little more room to compose your photos and they therefore make the terminal more flexible.
So of course, photos shot with the ultra wide angle will always be a bit prone to distortion, but I don't think that's really a fault. In reality, these deformations will give an effect of speed to our images, which can be very interesting on certain shots.
I'll be honest, I had little hope for the macro. Fortunately, the Galaxy A71 pleasantly surprised me in this area.
So of course, this mode will not be able to compete with the specialized optics of our cameras, but it will still allow us to obtain very correct results as long as the scene is sufficiently bright. Focusing is both fast and precise and I didn't notice any particular pumping effect. Not as long as we respect the rules decreed by Samsung and that we stay at a distance of between 3 and 5 cm.
On the video side, the Galaxy A71 limits us to 4K at 30 frames per second. It therefore skips 4K at 60 fps and this is not surprising given its positioning.
The result is correct, without being crazy either. The images are quite sharp, with good dynamics and colorimetry.
Regarding stabilization, the Galaxy A71 offers a special mode that allows you to use ultra wide angle and AI to achieve smooth shots and it works extremely well. Be careful however, because suddenly we will lose a little field of vision and we will find ourselves on a focal length closer to the wide angle. If you want to shoot with the larger focal length, you will have to deactivate this function and the result will be much less convincing.
Videographers and other vloggers will therefore remain a little on their hunger and they will undoubtedly have more interest in switching to the Galaxy S20 which is more suitable for this type of exercise.
On the sound side, Samsung has finally been quite generous.
The Galaxy A71 is thus equipped with a headphone jack, which is rare enough to be mentioned. This connector is in fact tending more and more to disappear, in favor of wireless. Samsung has therefore decided not to cut the cord this time around and this is of course good news for wired fans.
On the other hand, the terminal is satisfied with a single speaker and it must be admitted that this is a bit of a shame. At least on paper. In fact, this speaker is very efficient and it is capable of reproducing deep and powerful sound. So much so that I repeatedly felt like I was facing a double speaker.
I did not mention the platform in this test and it is completely intended. OneUI makes few changes to the Galaxy A71 and I had already mentioned this in my Galaxy S20 Ultra review.
Now, know all the same that this platform is very convincing. Samsung has put a lot of effort into the latest version to make it as intuitive and accessible as possible and it works really well. The interface is a feast for the eyes and there are a lot of very useful functions, such as the Game Booster which starts when playing a game and which smooths the performance of the phone while disabling all the little things. which can be fatal to our efficiency.
More generally, the Galaxy A71 made a strong impression on me. I find it very successful in terms of design, and I admit having been seduced by the patterns encrusted in the layers composing its back plate. I even wish I had the same on the Galaxy S20s.
On the technical side, if the processor is not crazy, it is still sufficient for most uses and the screen is clearly beautiful.
In the photo, the results are not bad, but you really have to pay attention to the light conditions to take full advantage of the phone's photo module. And it's obviously the same for video.
So after, the price. The Galaxy A71 is currently available from € 479. It's not the cheapest on the market and you can find OnePlus 7Ts on the gray market for the same price, but I think we are still on the correct price position. So if you're a Samsung fan, but can't afford a Galaxy S20, then the Galaxy A71 is a great alternative.