Samsung Galaxy A71 vs. Galaxy A51: Which should you buy?


The Galaxy A71 has an attractive design and updated internals, making it one of the best mid-range phones Samsung has to offer in 2020. One of the defining features of the phone is the battery life, with the 4,500mAh battery easily delivering over a day’s worth of use. You also get a 64MP camera at the back, 25W wired charging, and a massive 6.7-inch AMOLED display.

$600 at Amazon

Pros

  • Vibrant AMOLED panel
  • Robust internals with 5G
  • Modern design
  • Outstanding battery life
  • 25W fast charging

Cons

  • 60Hz panel
  • No wireless charging
  • Costly for what you get

The Galaxy A51 has the same design as the A71 in a smaller chassis. You get a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen, 48MP camera, 4,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging, and One UI 2.0 out of the box. The Exynos 9611 chipset isn’t quite as powerful as the Snapdragon 730 that you get on the A71, but it is still usable. If you’re looking for a good budget option, the Galaxy A51 has a lot to offer.

$389 at Amazon

Pros

  • Modern design
  • Large AMOLED screen
  • Excellent battery life
  • 32MP front camera

Cons

  • Laggy in everyday use
  • Poor macro lens

When talking about the Galaxy A71 vs. A51, the one thing to keep in mind is that both devices share a lot of similar parts. They have a design aesthetic featuring vibrant colors and design flourishes, which you don’t get from the Galaxy S20 series. There are also exciting camera upgrades on offer, with the A71 featuring a 64MP camera and the A51 offering a 48MP primary camera at the back. So let’s take a look at what you’re getting with the 2020 Galaxy A series, and which phone you should pick up.

The Galaxy A71 and A51 bring fresh designs to the mid-range segment

Samsung Galaxy A71 hands-on preview

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Samsung makes a lot of phones across various price points, and in recent years the Galaxy A series has gained momentum for offering features from the flagship Galaxy S and Note lineups at more affordable price points. The Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 continue that heritage, with both phones featuring fresh new designs and hardware upgrades for 2020.

Both the Galaxy A71 and A51 have attractive new designs and vibrant color options.

Let’s start with the Galaxy A71. The phone has a plastic back with a laminated finish and a criss-cross pattern with a subtle gradient finish that accentuates the design at the back. The phone has the same rectangular camera housing as the Galaxy S20 series and upfront, you’ll find a centered cutout that’s identical to Samsung’s 2020 flagships.

While Samsung got rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack on the Galaxy S20 series, both the A71 and the A51 still feature it. Both phones also sport thin bezels, allowing Samsung to fit large AMOLED displays. In fact, with a 6.7-inch display, the Galaxy A71 is one of the largest phones in Samsung’s portfolio — only the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a bigger screen. The A51 has a slightly smaller 6.5-inch panel, and both phones offer FHD+ resolution (2400×1080) and a layer of Gorilla Glass 3.

Samsung Galaxy A71 hands-on preview

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The fact that both phones are made out of plastic actually works in their favor. You don’t have to worry about the back panel shattering should either phone taking a tumble, and it makes the devices lighter. Going with a plastic back also allowed Samsung to fit larger batteries on both phones, with the A51 featuring a 4,000mAh battery and the A71 coming with a 4,500mAh unit. You’ll easily get over a day’s worth of use from a full charge on the latter, and the A71 also has 25W fast charging.

Both the Galaxy A71 and A51 are available in 5G variants in the U.S.

Things get interesting on the hardware side of things. The regular 4G version of the Galaxy A51 retails for $400 and features Samsung’s Exynos 9611 chipset, but there’s now a 5G model that is available for $500.

The Galaxy A71 is available in a single 5G option. and both the A71 5G and A51 5G feature the beefier Exynos 980 chipset. With the Galaxy A71 5G available for $600, you’re better off picking it up over the A51 5G, with the regular 4G-only A52 serving as a great entry-level option. Regardless of whatever variant you pick up, you’ll get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard.

Samsung Galaxy A51 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

When it comes to the camera side of things, the Galaxy A71 with its 64MP f/1.8 lens fares better in most shooting conditions over the A51’s 48MP f/2.0 shooter.

Both phones have quad cameras, but the Galaxy A71 is in the lead here with its 64MP lens.

Both phones have quad cameras, and the rest of the sensors are identical across both devices: you get a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 5MP macro shooter, and a 5MP portrait lens. Honestly, aside from the wide-angle lens, there isn’t a lot of value here. The 5MP macro lens takes muddled shots and has issues focusing on subjects, and the 5MP portrait lens does a poor job with edge detection.

There’s little to differentiate between the two phones when it comes to the software side of things. Both devices come with Samsung’s One UI 2.0 out of the box, and they run Android 10. That’s a key distinction here because Samsung often rolled out mid-range phones with outdated software in the past. That isn’t the case on the 2020 Galaxy A phones, and for the most part, the software on offer is identical to what you’d find on the Galaxy S20 series.

Category Samsung Galaxy A71 Samsung Galaxy A51
Operating system Android 10
One UI 2.0
Android 10
One UI 2.0
Display 6.7-inch Super AMOLED+
2400×1080 (20:9)
Gorilla Glass 3
6.5-inch Super AMOLED
2400×1080 (20:9)
Gorilla Glass 3
Chipset Exynos 980
2 x 2.22GHz Cotex A77
6 x 1.80GHz Cortex A55
Mali-G76 MP5
8nm
Exynos 9611
4 x 2.30GHz Cortex A73
4 x 1.70GHz Cortex A53
Mali-G72 MP3
10nm
RAM 6GB/8GB 6GB
Storage 128GB 128GB
MicroSD slot Yes Yes
Rear camera 1 64MP, f/1.8
4K at 30fps
48MP, f/2.0
4K at 30fps
Rear camera 2 12MP, f/2.2
Wide-angle lens
12MP, f/2.2
Wide-angle lens
Rear camera 3 5MP, f/2.4
Macro lens
5MP, f/2.4
Macro lens
Rear camera 4 5MP, f/2.2
Portrait lens
5MP, f/2.2
Portrait lens
Front camera 32MP, f/2.2 32MP, f/2.2
Connectivity Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, A-GPS
Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, A-GPS
Audio USB-C USB-C
Battery 4500mAh
Non-removable
4000mAh
Non-removable
Charging USB-C 2.0
25W
USB-C 2.0
15W
Water resistance No No
Security In-display fingerprint (optical) In-display fingerprint (optical)
Dimensions 163.6 x 76 x 7.7mm
179g
158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 mm
172g
Colors Crush Black, Prism, Silver, Blue, Pink Crush Black, Prism, Silver, Blue, Pink

Samsung Galaxy A71 vs. Galaxy A51 Two great phones, one big dilemma

Samsung Galaxy A71 hands-on preview

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Galaxy A71 and A51 both feature fresh designs and much-needed hardware upgrades. That’s particularly the case with the A71, which offers robust hardware, an exciting 64MP shooter, and excellent battery life with 25W wired charging. Sure, they’re missing out on 90Hz panels and don’t have wireless charging or water resistance, but they deliver when it comes to the basics.

The Galaxy A71 is a great phone in 2020, and an ideal way to get started with 5G.

Both phones are launching in the U.S., but there’s a problem. With the Galaxy A51 retailing for $400 and the Galaxy A71 available in 5G trim for $600, these are not the most affordable options. If you’re willing to shell out over $600 for a 5G phone, you may as well get the OnePlus 8 and get the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset, a 90Hz display, decent cameras, clean software, and 30W fast charging. Of course, there’s also the Pixel 4a if you want a great camera with reliable internals for under $400.

However, if you’re upgrading from a Samsung phone and don’t want to switch to another brand, there is a lot to like here. You’re getting a vibrant screen, great new design, reliable cameras, and excellent battery life with both phones. The Galaxy A51 is the better deal if you’re looking for value, but if you want 5G connectivity, get the Galaxy A71.

Super-sized



Samsung Galaxy A71

Big screen, excellent battery

The Galaxy A71 has a massive 6.7-inch AMOLED panel backed by excellent battery life, decent internals in the form of an Exynos 980 chipset, and a 64MP camera that takes good photos in most lighting conditions. The phone has a lot to offer in the mid-range segment, and while it may lack a high refresh rate and other extras, it does a great job delivering the basics.

Best on a budget



Samsung Galaxy A51

Modern exterior, ageing internals

With the Galaxy A51, Samsung did a great job porting the design from its premium devices to a much more affordable price point. The AMOLED panel is vibrant and offers rich colors, the camera is decent enough for most lighting conditions, and you get One UI 2.0 out of the box. The aging hardware is an issue though, and while you’ll see the occasional slowdown, the A51 is decent value.

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