While for many of us the Pixel 4a spoils other cheap camera phones, for the most part, it’s still an enthusiast phone. Samsung’s trusty Galaxy Mid-Rangers, on the other hand, enjoy the much greater appeal of the mainstream and have a better chance of selling themselves like hot cakes – something we loved about last year’s Galaxy A71. The well-rounded package made this phone a breeze for almost anyone looking for a decent phone on a budget. But does the annual Galaxy A71 in 2021, with newer Galaxy A models, still look like a wise choice?
A mid-tier phone has to strike the right balance between flagship features and price, and the Galaxy A71 was pretty good at its approach. Samsung gave the phone what it needed from top to bottom to appeal to a large number of customers. This type of implementation can easily make the A71 an all-rounder, but the fact is that it can handle some specific aspects as well, especially in its class of phones.
An Unmatched Big-Screen
An excellent screen is one of the great things about a Samsung phone and the Galaxy A71’s AMOLED screen was one of the best we’ve seen on a phone priced around $ 500. It’s big, stretches almost out from edge to edge, just a hole punch blocking your view, and it’s colorful, making it an ideal candidate for those who watch a lot of videos on their phone. The big-screen experience was unparalleled, even by competitors like the Pixel 4a and iPhone SE.
Low Refresh Rate But Long Battery Life
While the lack of a high refresh rate may be a pain point for some, it certainly helped the A71 provide long battery life. The decent 4500 mAh cell could also run pretty fast with the Samsung 25W universal charger that comes with the box. We even liked the images that came out of the quad-camera setup, even if they contain some arguably useless sensors. The image quality may not have been at the pixel level, but it was good enough to include these photos in your family collection and upload them to social media.
The Galaxy A71 isn’t without its issues, however. For starters, the plastic used by Samsung didn’t match in quality to some of its more expensive models with a polycarbonate back. Needless to say, it got scratched pretty easily which actually no one wants to see, especially if you want to keep the phone for years to come. Then there was this mono speaker, which was basically junk, to say the least. We’re just thankful that the 3.5mm headphone jack was still there to save the day.
However, these shortcomings weren’t significant enough to deter us from giving our approval to the Galaxy A71. But that was last year. At the moment the Galaxy A52 and A72 (international) are already available, and these are specifically aimed at some of the reservations we originally had with the A71. Samsung has upgraded these phones, along with suitable stereo speakers, to high refresh rate panels. In addition, the 2021 models have an IP67 rating and a beautiful matte finish in a range of colors, making them a lot more fun to use than their predecessor.
The A71 is a great phone on its own, but when you count the 2021 Galaxy A phones, it makes a lot less sense.
Only the Galaxy A52 5G is currently available in the US. While Samsung has also launched the 4G-only A72 internationally, there are no details on when (and if) this 5G variant will make it to the US. While not a direct successor, the A52 5G can easily give the A71 a run for its money, especially considering that it comes at a fairly reasonable price of $ 425. The A71 is a great phone on its own, but when you count the 2021 Galaxy A phones, it makes a lot less sense.
The only scenario where you should really consider buying a Galaxy A71 right now is when you can’t push your budget beyond $ 350 and find a refurbished unit around that baseball figure. The chances of finding a new device at this price are slim, but that shouldn’t stop you from looking for good deals that pop up now and then. Regardless, you should know that you have at least a few more years of software coverage under Samsung’s unmatched Android update policy.