Samsung is not doing well in China. Its market share in the country is so inconsequential at this time that it could stop doing business in China altogether and no one would care. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but Samsung's prospects in China have been pretty bleak for a long time now, even forcing the company to stop manufacturing smartphones there just a month ago.
But, the Korean giant isn't giving up yet, and it recently revealed that it's hoping to drive growth in China's 5G market. The Galaxy Fold 5G will soon make its way to the country as the Samsung W20 5G, but an expensive foldable phone is not going to be of much help in the grand scheme of things. Samsung will have to offer 5G smartphones that the masses can afford, and it looks like the company is going to do just that and is working on a Galaxy A series phone with 5G connectivity for China.
Samsung working on an SM-A7160 with 128GB of storage
We have learned that a Galaxy device with model number SM-A7160 and 128GB of storage is in the works. Now, we know the Galaxy A71 for global markets is the SM-A715F, and going by Samsung's usual scheme for assigning model numbers to 5G variants of its smartphones, an SM-A716B would be the Galaxy A71 5G. And, considering the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G carries model number SM-N976B for global markets and SM-N9760 for China, the SM-A7160 could technically be the Galaxy A71 5G for the Chinese market.
In fact, the Galaxy A90 5G, which was launched earlier this year and is one of two 5G Galaxy phones available in China, is more or less a Galaxy A70 with faster connectivity (and more power), so there certainly is some precedent here. However, while there is no LTE variant of the Galaxy A90 anywhere in the world, Samsung might change that for the Galaxy A71. We cannot find signs of an SM-A716x in the making, so it's possible the A71 5G — or whatever the SM-A7160 may ultimately be called – might just be for China.
A71 5G/SM-A7160 could be the first Exynos 980-powered Samsung phone
Whether or not it launches outside China, the SM-A7160 could be the first phone from Samsung to be powered by its mid-range 5G-equipped Exynos 980 chipset. Samsung currently uses the Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9825 chipsets for its 5G smartphones, but it will have to switch to mid-tier SoCs for 5G-enabled mid-range phones to keep the costs down. And that's exactly where the Exynos 980 would come in.
The 980 will first be seen on a Vivo device and is an 8nm octa-core chip with two Cortex-A77 cores, six Cortex-A55 cores, and the Mali-G76 GPU. It has an integrated 5G modem that should help reduce power consumption compared to the Exynos 9825, which requires a separate 5G modem. The 980 also supports the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, which is currently exclusive to Samsung's flagship smartphones, along with other impressive features like HDR10+ video decoding and support for 108MP camera sensors.