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    Reviewed: Samsung Galaxy A71

    Samsung has always been known for its flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S-Series. However, it started to revive its midrange models in the local market last year with devices boasting rotating triple cameras. The Korean smartphone brand consistently offers more as it launches its first mid-ranger with quad cameras, in the form of Samsung Galaxy A71. Does it tick off the right boxes on our checklist? Let’s find out.

    Samsung A71

    Design: 4/5

    Arriving with a new back design and fresh colorways, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is a stylish phone that can easily match neutral and pastel color schemes. This is made possible with the Prism effect on its back panel featuring thin, linear patterns. It combines the glossy feel of plastic and the premium look of metal. We got our model unit in Prism Crush Black.

    Replacing the triple camera sensors on its rear are a rectangular camera module with LED flash that is slightly raised off the surface. A grey version of the Samsung logo is placed at the bottom. The control buttons, like the volume rockers and power button are on the right, opposite to the dual SIM tray and micro-SD slot. Below are a single grille speaker, noise-canceling microphone, USB-C port, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

    Hardware: 4/5

    Samsung has managed to keep their smartphones lightweight despite large screen sizes. As an upgrade from its predecessors, the A71 features a massive 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED display that comes with very slim side bezels. This is good news for both gamers and cinephiles who look for something immersive. Instead of a chunky top notch, the phone only has a hole-punch 32MP front camera. Its quad camera setup includes 64MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP depth, and 5MP macro sensors. Enough to power through your day, the Samsung Galaxy A71 boasts a massive 4500mAh battery equipped with 25W fast charging capabilities. It lets you do more, delivering seamless and efficient performance powered by its octa-core Snapdragon 730G processor. This is mated with a large internal storage of 128GB that’s expandable up to 512GB via microSD slot, and 8GB RAM. Moving forward from its predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy A71 upped the ante of security with its on-screen fingerprint scanner.

    User Experience: 4.5/5

    As a multimedia daily driver, the latest addition to the A-series ticks off some of the things that consumers want to find in a smartphone. With its larger screen size and Super AMOLED Plus technology, it delivers games and digital content with great vibrance. Also, we didn’t encounter any trouble using the smartphone under direct sunlight. Placing just a camera on the top middle part of the screen provided more control for games, especially while playing FPS and MOBA titles. To improve audio quality when using wired and wireless earphones, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is Dolby Atmos enabled. It delivers crystal-clear audio despite having a single downward speaker. However, it can be a bit distorted when you max out the volume. Both rear and front cameras are exemplary in natural lighting, capturing every detail brilliantly. The story is different during night time. I brought the phone to the UP Fair and the camera performance was a bit underwhelming. Subjects can be blurry and noise is evident when you take photos in environments with bad lighting. The camera app has a number of new features including live focus, ar emoji, food, macro, and super slow-mo. Thanks to its super steady video mode, it can shoot less stabilized videos up to 1080p. It can, however, capture ultra high definition videos in 4K without video stabilization and effects.

    Built for busy bees, the smartphone runs Samsung’s latest user interface, the One UI 2.0, based on Android 10. It gets Google and Samsung apps out of the box, including Samsung Knox for multi-layered security from receiving the latest security updates to defending your most sensitive information. This year, Samsung also brings another flagship phone feature, the on-screen fingerprint scanner, to the A-series.

    Value: 4/5

    Spending over PHP 20,000 for a mid-ranger phone can a bit of a difficult proposition. Certainly, there are a lot of things that Samsung should work on. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy A71 proves that you can bring top-notch specs in simple yet elegant packaging. So if you have a few bucks to spare in your bank account, this smartphone is worth spending on.

    Specifications:

    • Display: 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O
    • Cameras: 64MP f/1.8 (main), 12MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide), 5MP f/2.2 (depth), and 5MP f/2.4 (macro) rear quad camera, 32MP front camera
    • Processor: Snapdragon 730G 2.2GHz, octa-core
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Internal memory: 128GB, expandable up to 512GB via microSD slot
    • OS: One UI 2.0, based on Android 10
    • Battery: 4500mAh, 25W Super Fast Charging
    • Other features: Game Booster, Dolby Atmos, Bixby, Samsung Knox, On-Screen Fingerprint Scanner

    What’s Hot:

    • Exceptional battery life
    • Good for multitasking
    • Larger display for an immersive experience

    What’s Not:

    • Cameras are lackluster on environments with bad lighting
    • Facial unlock is quite slow
    • Lacks wireless charging and IP rating

    Bottomline:

    It’s an A-lister in its price range.

    Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE March 2020 Issue
    Reviewed by Jewel Sta. Ana

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