Samsung has now launched a special edition Galaxy A71 5G 'UW' for Verizon customers and pre-orders are reportedly open. The new device variant all but confirms rumors that began surfacing back in May, pointing to a Verizon-specific variant.
Predictably, based on those rumors, there isn't a whole lot different between the new and the old either. But the small change that is present makes a big real-world difference. That's because, for this Samsung Galaxy A71 5G, the UW stands for 'Ultra Wideband'. That's Verizon's branding for its next-gen mmWave 5G network technology.
So, unlike other Galaxy A71 5G mid-rangers from Samsung, this one will support Verizon's fastest networking speeds. That's performed at up to 800Mbps in real-world tests but theoretically can go above 1Gbps. So it's more than a few hundred-percent faster than Verizon's 4G LTE. Although it's currently limited to just a couple handfuls of cities.
How can this Galaxy A71 5G use mmWave but not the others?
Verizon's Samsung Galaxy A71 5G UW gains access to mmWave via a chip swap. Samsung's other, similarly-branded handsets, feature an in-house Exynos 980 chipset. That supports lower bands of 5G, which operates at just slightly higher speeds than the maximum on offer from 4G. But the company packed this new Verizon exclusive with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G chipset.
And 5G isn't the only difference to be found here. While benchmarks aren't the most accurate measuring stick around, phones using the Qualcomm chip consistently score at right around three percent higher than the Exynos chip. That's because although the Exynos chip has a higher GPU clock, the Qualcomm chip has a higher clock speed for its fastest primary cores.
Comparatively speaking, the Exynos chipset in question packs two ARM Cortex-A77 cores at 2.2GHz. It couples those with six ARM Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz.
The Snapdragon 765G utilizes ARM Cortex-A76 cores instead of A77 cores. But those are comprised of a dual-arrangement as is often the case with Qualcomm's Kryo setup. Qualcomm clocks one at 2.4GHz and the other at 2.2GHz. The six remaining cores are all but identical to those in Samsung's chip.
A three-percent difference won't matter much to most users. But it's a nice bonus to go along with the addition of better 5G band support for higher data speeds.
There are other differences here to entice users over
The new chipset is also backed up by better specs elsewhere too. And those aren't going to be quite so small as the chip swap.
While the standard Samsung Galaxy A71 5G ships with 6GB RAM, the UW variant has more. The figure is bumped up to 8GB to go with the standard expandable 128GB storage, up to 1TB.
Everything else has stayed the same except for the price.
This phone comes with an identical 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display, 25W fast charging for its 4,500mAh battery, and the same camera arrangement as the original. For clarity, that's a 64-megapixel array, backed by a 12-megapixel ultra-wide snapper, 5-megapixel macro lens, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. A 32-megapixel selfie shooter can be found around the front, embedded in a punch-hole under the display.
Pricing for the new gadget starts out at $15 a month for 24 months on an Unlimited plan. At least for pre-orders. That's around $360 overall, compared to the current sale price of $430 for the standard 5G Galaxy A71 direct from Samsung. That price is going to go up to be much more expensive after the promotional period though, reportedly equating to around $650.
The standard device launched at $50 cheaper.
For those signing up for a Premium Unlimited plan with Verizon, up to $250 can be knocked off the price. That only requires customers to trade-in another Android phone. The promotional pre-sale will run until July 16.