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

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

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.

$389 at Amazon


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


  • 60Hz panel
  • No wireless charging

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.

$278 at Amazon


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


  • Laggy in everyday use
  • Poor macro lens

The Galaxy A71 and A51 bring iterative updates and fresh designs to Samsung’s mid-range portfolio in 2020. The highlight is the new aesthetic, with the phones offering vibrant colors and design flourishes 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 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 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.

With a Snapdragon 730 under the hood, the A71 is better suited for gaming.

The Galaxy A71 has an edge when it comes to the internals as well. With a Snapdragon 730 under the hood, it handles day-to-day tasks without any slowdowns and is also great for extended gaming sessions. The phone also comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard.

The Galaxy A51, meanwhile, is powered by the Exynos 9611, a minor refresh over the 2018 Exynos 9610. It is fine for everyday use, but the chipset is clearly showing its age in 2020, and you will see slowdowns during routine tasks like browsing and scrolling through social media posts. The 10nm chipset is running four Cortex A73 cores and four A53 cores, and for some context, the Snapdragon 730 features a combination of Cortex A76 and A55 cores. The A51 also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and if you’re at all interested in gaming, you should get the Galaxy A71.

Samsung Galaxy A51 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

It’s the same story 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 Snapdragon 730

2 x 2.20GHz Kryo 470

6 x 1.80GHz Kryo 470

Adreno 618

Exynos 9611

4 x 2.30GHz Cortex A73

4 x 1.70GHz Cortex A53

Mali-G72 MP3

Storage 128GB 64GB/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

Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0

Battery 4500mAh


Charging USB-C 2.0

USB-C 2.0

Water resistance No No
Security In-display fingerprint (optical) In-display fingerprint (optical)
Dimensions 163.6 x 76 x 7.7mm

158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 mm

Colors Crush Black, Prism, Silver, Blue, Pink Crush Black, Prism, Silver, Blue, Pink

Two great phones, one big dilemma

Samsung Galaxy A71 hands-on preview

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Galaxy A71 and A51 feature fresh designs and much-needed hardware upgrades. That’s particularly the case with the A71, with the phone offering 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 — provided you get it for under $400.

Both phones are launching in the U.S., but there’s a problem. The Galaxy A51 is retailing for $400, and the Galaxy A71 will be available in 5G trim for $600. That’s a lot for what’s on offer here, and 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.

To sum it up, the Galaxy A71 and A51 are decent options — provided you find them at a bargain price. The A51, for instance, is good value for under $300, and the same goes for the A71 for under $400. You’ll find the global variants of both phones on Amazon right now at these prices, and they work on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. If you’re looking for a phone that works over Verizon, you’re better off with the Pixel 3a.


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 a Snapdragon 730 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 — if you get it for under $300.

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Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is the Regional Editor at Android Central. A reformed hardware modder, he now spends his time writing about India’s burgeoning handset market. Previously, he used to ponder the meaning of life at IBM. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

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