Huawei Nova 7 SE vs Samsung Galaxy A71: Battle of premium mid-rangers
As our budgets increase and we approach the premium mid-range category, the battle between two devices become much more nuanced. Here, companies have the budget to add better quality components, more capable cameras, 5G-capable chipsets, and additional quality of life features.
With a budget of around PHP20,000, we found it fitting to compare Huawei’s latest 5G capable Nova-series device with Samsung’s highest-end A-series smartphone to see which phone you should get.
Design and Build
Starting with the design, both devices look elegant, with the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G coming in the Space Silver colorway, and the Samsung Galaxy A71 comes in the Prism colorway. While both devices have a glossy finish, only the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G has a mirror-like effect as the Samsung Galaxy A71 refracts light like a prism.
In terms of feel, both devices are very comfortable to hold and operate. The button placement of both devices is also great, with the power button located where my thumb naturally sits when gripping the device.
Where the devices differ, is in its construction. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy A71’s glasstic back, the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G’s rear cover is made of glass, which adds to the luxurious feel.
While the Samsung Galaxy A71 does feel great in hand, we’re giving the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G a slight win thanks to its glass construction.
Display and Multimedia
The Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G comes with a 6.5-inch Full HD+ LTPS IPS display, with HDR 10 support. The Samsung Galaxy A71, on the other hand, has a larger 6.7-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display. While I usually favor AMOLED displays in my comparisons, especially on the lower end models, the LTPS IPS panel Huawei used is actually of good quality, able to keep up with the Super AMOLED panel on the Samsung Galaxy A71. Viewing content on both phones was an enjoyable experience.
The devices also use a punch-hole cutout for the front camera, the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G’s placement is better, located in the upper left corner of the display. The Samsung Galaxy A71’s shooter, on the other hand, is located in the middle of the display.
As for audio, both devices are also neck and neck, able to output clear and detailed sounds, for a smartphone, when listening to Childish Gambino’s Redbone. Loudness is also relatively equal, and both can fill up a small room.
We’re giving both devices a tie in this category, for the first time in all our Huawei vs. Samsung comparisons.
Both devices come with quad rear cameras. The Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G is equipped with a 64MP primary, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth, while the Samsung Galaxy A71 comes with a 64MP primary, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, and 5MP depth sensors.
The photos produced by the Samsung Galaxy A71’s cameras had more natural colors, while the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G produced slightly oversaturated photos. Clarity, detail, and sharpness were relatively comparable between the two devices.
Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G Sample Shots:
Samsung Galaxy A71 Sample Shots:
The trend continues with the selfie cameras, as both were able to produce photos of equal clarity and detail. When comparing the primary and selfie shooters, we prefer shots taken by the Samsung Galaxy A71 due to its natural colors. However, some users may gravitate towards the more vibrant photos taken by the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G.
When zooming in, the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G was able to capture more detail.
When comparing the ultra-wide shots, however, the Samsung Galaxy A71 was able to produce shots with a wider dynamic range, higher POV, and slightly more detail.
Lastly, shots taken with the night feature is better on the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G, as it was able to better focus on the subject and provide more detail compared to the Samsung Galaxy A71. That being said, night shots from both phones introduced a lot of noise and blur.
Overall, the camera performance of the two devices are comparable and comes down to which color profile the users prefer more.
Under the hood, the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G is equipped with a Kirin 820 chipset, while the Samsung Galaxy A71 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset. Based on our results, the Kirin 820 is over 50% more powerful than the Snapdragon 730G in AnTuTu, beating it in all four categories tested. Check out the benchmark scores below:
|AnTuTu v8||Huawei Nova 7 SE||Samsung Galaxy A71|
Another factor that affects performance is RAM. Thankfully, both devices come with 8GB, which is enough to have multiple apps running simultaneously. We’re giving both devices a tie here since they have equal amounts.
As for the storage, both devices also come with 128GB, with the option to expand via Huawei’s NM Card or a MicroSD Card. Again, we’re giving both devices a tie since both devices come with the same amount of storage to store a lot of apps, photos, videos, and files on the device.
The Huawei Nova 7 SE is one of the most affordable 5G capable devices in the market. This allows users to take advantage of the faster, higher bandwidth connection, granted their area is covered by the 5G signal. It also supports WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.1, and several location services, including GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, and QZSS. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is limited to 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth 5.0, and several location services, including GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS.
While you may not appreciate 5G connectivity today, you may want to have the functionality before your next upgrade cycle. In this case, you’ll be saving more money down the road by spending on 5G today.
Powering the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G is a 4,000mAh battery with 40W SuperCharge support, while the Samsung Galaxy A71 is powered by a 4,500mAh battery with 25W Super Fast Charging support.
When testing with our standard video loop test, where we play 1080p videos with the headphones plugged in, airplane mode on, with 50% brightness and 50% volume, we got these results:
- Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G – 16 hours and 1 minute
- Samsung Galaxy A71 – 21 hours and 22 minutes
Even though the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G charges faster, the Samsung Galaxy A71 was able to last longer in our standard video loop test.
Both devices run on Android 10, with their own respective skins on top: EMUI 10.1 for the Huawei Nova 7 SE5G, and One UI 2 for the Samsung Galaxy A71. Like other Huawei devices released this year, the Nova 7 SE 5G does not support Google Mobile Services and instead uses Huawei’s own AppGallery. It’s the third-largest App Store in the world and supports over 90% of the apps in the market. It has several of my essential apps, including the BPI Mobile app, GCash, Lazada, and Viber.
Huawei is also introducing their new Petal Search Widget, which helps users to reach millions of apps in the App Store. Users may add the Petal Search Widget directly on their home screen, or on the browser’s speed-dial shortcut.
That being said, a lot of people may still want to opt for phones with Google’s Mobile Service for convenience. We’ll be leaving this to the consumer to decide, as people use their phones differently.
Here are the prices of each smartphone:
- Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G – PHP 19,990
- Samsung Galaxy A71 – PHP 22,990
Now for the recap:
- Design and Build – Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G
- Display and Multimedia – Tie
- Camera – Tie
- Processor – Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G
- Ram – Tie
- Storage – Tie
- Connectivity – Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G
- Battery Life – Samsung Galaxy A71
- OS – Tie
- Price – Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G
The Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G gives users a higher value proposition, winning the Design and Build, Processor, Connectivity, and price categories. The main selling point of the device is its 5G capabilities. While you may not be able to enjoy its benefits today, you wouldn’t need to upgrade to a newer device down the line.
The Samsung Galaxy A71, on the other hand, is still an excellent device. It’s tied with the Huawei Nova 7 SE 5G in multiple categories, while only marginally losing in others. You also a larger battery and all the benefits of using AMOLED displays.