I spring from my bed to cut the internet connection distance between a Safaricom Home Fibre router to my Samsung Galaxy A71. Of course,  the reason here is that the A71 has an average Wi-Fi chip that keeps it from being hooked up to a wireless connection (the expensive S10 does not have such problems) – so I can’t bang Lorde’s Royals in peace (pun is so obvious I can’t tell if it is intended or otherwise), meaning I have to move from time to time. I also have this problem with OPPO Reno3. Of course, it is not a misstep you would expect from a 40K phone, but is that the whole story? Obviously not, so I am glad you are here because I’m to share some thoughts about the aforementioned A71 and the Reno3. Both share a sticker price but bring a ton of differences to the table.

And for the most part, they are mostly the same phone if you are a basic user (snap pics, visit the world of Instagrams, catch Jason Derulo on Tiktok and engage your loved ones with a ton of chat apps out there). If you use your phone heavily, then this is a safe space where I will point out those differences, and I will, as expected, tell you that the A71 is the better phone. For the most part.

A71 v Reno3 Selfies BottomWith that out of the way, let’s jump right into it.


Galaxy A71 Specs

Display and chipset6.7" Super AMOLED 1080 x 2400 pixels
Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730 (8 nm)
RAM6/8 GB
Storage128 GB
Main cameras64 MP, f/1.8, (wide),
12 MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide),
5 MP, f/2.4, (wide), dedicated macro camera
5 MP, f/2.2, depth sensor
Selfie32 MP
Battery4500 mAh, 25W fast-charging
SoftwareOne UI 2 on top of Android 10
3.5 mm socketYes
FeaturesIn-display fingerprint reader, NFC
Weight179 g
ColoursPrism, Crush Black, Silver, Blue, Pink
PriceKES 40000

Reno3 Specs

SpecsOPPO Reno3
ScreenAMOLED
6.4"
1080 x 2400 pixels
OSAndroid 10, ColorOS 7
ChipMediatek MT6779 Helio P90 (12 nm)
GPUPowerVR GM9446
RAM8 GB
Storage128 GB
Battery4025 mAh
Fast Charging at 30W aka VOOC 3.0
Headphone jackYes!
FeaturesUnder the display fingerprint reader
CamerasSelfie
44 MP

Main: Quad
48 MP, f/1.8, (wide)
13 MP, f/2.4, (telephoto)
8 MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide)
2 MP B/W
ColoursMidnight Black, Aurora Blue
PriceKES 40,000

Screen

Both come with AMOLED displays, but the A71’s is the Super AMOLED kind.

The Reno3 measures 6.4 inches, whereas the A71 takes it 0.3” further to 6.7”.

This makes the Samsung a bigger phone with a massive display, and if that is your thing for media consumption, then it is a clear win for th A71.

Both are interrupted with a notch for the selfie snapper. The A71 has a hole punch 32 MP selfie at the centre of the top part of the screen. The Reno3 has the good ol’ notch for the 44 MP selfie, which is becoming stale day by day. Therefore, we prefer the A71 approach because it is so much cleaner.

A71 v Reno3 SelfiesBoth screens are based on a 20:9 aspect ratio, meaning they are taller than your average phone.

Now, let’s talk about brightness. If you are going to use both phones outside, then you will notice the Samsung gets so much brighter. The Reno3 isn’t just bright enough and will frustrate you in direct sunlight. It also has a yellow tint (something some of our colleagues noted) that makes whites look brownish. In contrast, the whites on the A71 are just that and will appeal to many people. It is a minor annoyance that the majority of people will not notice, but it is there in case it matters to you.

Winner: Galaxy A71. The screen is brighter, bigger and looks very good with the centrally placed hole-punch selfie snapper.

Battery

This is another interesting aspect of the two phones.

The A71 is a bigger phone by size and houses a 4500 mAh cell. The Reno3 has an equally capable 4025 mAh juicer.

In terms of day to day usage, the A71 lasts long because the battery is simply bigger. You can easily get two days, whereas the Reno3 can do a full day before giving up on the following daybreak.

Both support fast charging. Whereas Huawei supports ridiculously fast 40W charging even on its mid-range devices such as the nova 7i, the A71 and Reno3 keep things modest at 25W and 30W (VOOC 3.0) respectively.

What do these numbers mean?

Well, the Reno3 fills half-way through by half an hour, which is impressive, to say the least.

The A71 isn’t that far behind and achieves the same metrics in the same period.

Winner: Galaxy A71 because it has a bigger battery. That is all.

In the box, hardware, and design

Let’s agree that these are big phones, and we have come to understand them so because that is how manufacturers roll nowadays.

At 6.4” inches, the Reno3 is big and tall. The A71 is taller at 6.7”.

Both have all the necessary features you would ask for at KES 40K. The headphone socket is here, you get four primary cameras that have different focal lengths, the displays use AMOLED technology, and they come equipped with large batteries.

The A71 has volume and power buttons on one side. They are placed higher on the right edge, which can be an ergonomic nightmare for people with small hands, but let’s admit you are not going to use the Galaxy with one hand.

A71 v Reno3 Selfies
The A71 is much taller

Reno3 nails button placement that is in the middle section of the handheld.

Our A71 did not come with a retail box, but we believe it comes with a case, and so is the Reno3.

Both ship with a pair of earphones. OPPO’s earphone’s leak sound too much, and may not fit into your ears. We advise you to get another pair.

The back of both devices is plastic. Plastic is not the most premium material around, but it is not expensive and makes the two phones quite light for their sizes.

A71 v Reno3 Selfies Bottom SizeAlso, which camera arrangement do you like? The L-shape on the A71 or the vertical strip on the Reno3? I’m okay with any, and so should you.

On the whole, both phones are pretty and will appeal to any hand. Yes, they are a tad slippery and on the big side.

Winner: Solid tie.

Software

Both devices run Android 10 right off the box. The A71’s software is supplemented by OneUI 2. The Reno3 has Color0S 7.

Both are filled with useful features to the brim. Want to use navigation buttons or gestures? You can.

Want to secure your phone with face unlock or an in-display fingerprint reader? Easy.

How about fiddling with themes? Of course, you can do that.

Full disclosure, I have been using a Samsung device for a very long time now. The software is mature, and it meets my needs satisfactorily.

On the other hand, I never felt I needed to do something on the Reno3, and the software stopped me. Heck, the Reno3 has so many settings they will keep you busy for an entire weekend.

Unfortunately, the A71 settings are a mess at best, and you have to know what you are looking for and memorize where it is tucked away. There is a search feature at the top to address this issue.

Also, the A71 tries to make it easier for you to use the device one-handedly. OneUI shrinks menus to the bottom half of the display so you can hit controls without stretching your fingers too much.

The Reno3 has better dark mode implementation, not the grey replacement in OneUI.

Winner: Tie. Both have very good software experience that is not stingy with useful features like vanilla Android.

Camera

I saved this comparison for the last part.

A71 v Reno3

You can refer to the attached spec sheet above and see if the numbers appeal to you.

Now, a few differences on the hardware:

  • The A71 has a 64 MP sensor. The Reno3 caps the main shooter at 48 MP.
  • The Reno3 has a 44 MP selfie shooter. The A71 drops the number to 32 MP.

On paper, both have their highs and lows, what does that in real-life performance?

Well, both are equipped with scene-recognition software, so the sensors will see what you are shooting, and adjust settings for you for a better image.

You can capture wide-angle shots, and the results are admirable from both phones.

If you want to move close to a subject for a macro shot, then these phones are capable of that.

Moreover, both ship with a depth sensor for those portrait shots that every other phone does.

So, how do these images look like?

Well, check out for yourself.

Reno3 Samples 

 

Samsung Galaxy A71 Samples 

Winner: Tie, but I like looking at samples from the A71 display, which is brighter, and far more colour-accurate.

Summary


You can buy either of the two devices from many shops, online or otherwise for KES 40000. Regardless of your choice, you will get good performance (I skipped the part because upper midrange to high-end lines have capable chips that perform admirably, and it is challenging to quantify that trend based on day to day use cases. Just know that they are fast), good battery life, and excellent software features.

The differences, however, are obvious when you go deeper. The screen on the A71 is better and its battery lasts a little bit longer. Deal breakers? Absolutely not, but the A71 has an obvious advantage over the Reno3.

 


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