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Samsung A71 5G long-term reveiw

Hello, this is TheTechBoy with a long-term review of the Samsung A71 5G. For the device specs and a more in-depth article visit this page


A71 5G THE GOOD  

The Price: 
    The A71 5G is a decent midrange phone. It was released in 2020 and is a little over a year old now. Therefore deals can be found with prices under 400 dollars and could be seen as a competitor to some of the new budget/midrange phones coming out. It can also be a decent competitor to the discounted iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE.  

The Basics:
    This phone covers the basics such as calling and texting well. The call volume sometimes needs to be turned up, but the speakerphone works well. Texting works well and comes pre-loaded with Samsung Messages. However, I find the user experience of Google Messages to be nice and use that instead. The application can work in WiFi and uses some iMessage-like features such as typing notifications and being able to text from a computer. The default dialing and application work well and have some nifty features such as being able to call businesses just by looking them up and integration with Google Duo. The GPS also looks pretty accurate, but I have not been able to test that yet. TheTechBoy community, if you have tested the accuracy please post about it.

Special Features:
    The phone has a number of special features such as Bixby and Microsoft App integration. Bixby Routines is a great feature that I use daily for its location features and could be a good IFTTT replacement. The location routines could use some work but the customization/and automation features are excellent. If I got many calls and texts I would use Edge lighting to alert me which contact is calling and there is so much more to be explored with Routines. Microsoft integration is nice because Teams, Outlook, and Onedrive are already pre-installed. These are pretty useful apps, and if you are buying this phone for business use, this will be a welcome feature.

Storage:
    This phone has 128GB of expandable storage, and although I do not have a Micro-SD card in it right now, it is a welcome feature if you have plenty of music, videos, pictures, and files The Micro-SD card would surely be needed if I took high-resolution pictures in 64 MP mode or downloaded podcasts and audio drama. The file manager is decent and allows files to be copied and moved to a new location. 

Software:
    The phone has great software and One UI looks great. It has plenty of features like Secure Folder and Tabbed browsing in Samsung Internet. It will receive up to three years of Android updates, but unfortunately, it gets them a couple of months after the flagship phones do. 

Security:
    I use Secure Folder a lot. This is where I log into TheTechBoy email and run (mostly) business applications. This app basically makes a new account that is "sandboxed" from the main phone. You cannot install APK's in this mode, and you get to set up a separate Google account for this mode. Because I do stay logged in to personal email for fear the phone could be stolen and (somehow) hacked or remotely wiped, this gives me an extra layer of security for my business email and applications. This phone also features an optical fingerprint scanner that works on well dry fingers and insecure (but quick) face unlock. 

Battery
    I use my phone is power-saving mode because I do not need to use full power most of the time and I like to conserve as much battery as possible. However, I almost always charge the phone at night and it makes it through the day. Because my phone battery rarely falls past 50%, and I do not use my phone much, the battery seems like it falls quickly, but it probably has a screen on time of 3-5 hours which is decent.  However, this okay battery life could be because I use Chrome and it could drain the battery. Happily, this phone features a large 4,500 mAh battery and fast USB-C charging. Update: after seeing how my phone fared without being charged for a day with light use, I am saying that the battery is good.  



A71 5G THE Okay

Camera:
    This phone is not a phone for professional photographers and "Instagrammers" (if that is a word.) The phone captures decent photos, but it does not have optical zoom and the camera is laggy. The camera will take a picture a few moments (1/4-1/2 sec)  after clicking the shutter button, often resulting in a blurry picture. This can be remedied with "Motion Photo" being turned on, but this would take up a lot of storage as it takes a video a few seconds before you took the picture. 

"Glasstic":
    This phone is slippery and basically needs a case. The phone can easily slip out of one's hand. This phone is extremely slippery and hard to use one-handed without a case on.  Buy a good case for your A71 5G and it should be fine. 

Software:
    The phone has great software and but loses some features such as Dex mode and getting software updates when the flagships get them. The mobile data button was also lost, but that is probably a T-Mobile adjustment.  Also, separate user accounts cannot be put on Samsung phones like other Android phones.  In all the software skin is great and lacks little but Dex mode would be nice. 




How Does This Phone Compare:

This phone compares to other phones quite well, but if you can spend 500-600 dollars you could get a better deal in terms of specs and features. The Pixel 6 has a better camera and gets software updates faster and could get Android 15 because is newer than the Samsung handset. 
However, you lose out on the Micro-SD card slot, special Samsung features, and get a slightly smaller screen. (6.7 inches v.s 6.4 inches) 

    The A52 5G is also newer and has most of the same features as this phone and should get an extra software update. The A51 5G is also water-resistant but also has a slightly smaller screen  (6.7 inches v.s 6.5 inches). The phone is also 100 dollars more (without a trade-in)

    The S20 FE is also a good buy that has flagship features such as a better camera and Dex mode. However, you lose the headphone jack and screen size (6.7 inches v.s 6.5 inches). The price is also in the 600 dollar range. 

    The Pixel 5a with 5G may be the best buy with a good camera and special Pixel exclusive features. However, you lose the Micro SD card slot and you get a smaller screen. (6.7 inches v.s 6.1 inches)

    If you are an iOS fan the iPhone SE(2020) may be a good buy but you lose a lot of screen size, get big bezels and lose the headphone jack and Micro SD card slot. You only get 64 Gigabytes of storage in the base model.

    However, the iPhone 11 may be a better buy than the iPhone SE as you get a better camera and get secure Face ID. However, you lose the headphone jack and Micro SD card slot. Also, the base model only gets you 64 GB of storage.  

Pixel 6

S20 FE

Pixel 5a 5G

iPhone 11

iPhone SE

A52 5G

$599

$624

$399

$499/549

$399/449

$499 without trade in

Better Camera

Better Camera

Better Camera

Better Camera

Good Camera

Good Camera

Loss of Micro SD

Loss of Headphone Jack

Special Features

Only 64 GB of storage in the base model

Big Bezels Way smaller Screen

Micro SD card Slot

Loss of Headphone Jack

High Price

Loss of Micro SD

Loss of Headphone Jack and Loss of Micro SD

Only 64 GB of storage in the base model

Water-Resistant but higher price

Smaller Screen

Smaller Screen

Smaller Screen

Smaller Screen

Loss of Headphone Jack

Smaller Screen

Better Software support.

Better Software support.

Better Software support.

Better Software support.

Better Software support.

Maybe better Software support.




Should You Buy?

    If you can find this phone for a good deal, (under $399) this is a decent phone to buy. The software support should continue for about two years, and this phone handles the basics very well. The phone is quick and responsive and the large screen is excellent. However, some of these other phones may be a better deal and would make great gifts.  This phone is also hard to find new on Amazon which would make it hard to recommend 6 months later. Happy New Year and Tech Talk To You Later!!

Would you buy this phone?  


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