Samsung Galaxy A7 is yet another Samsung phone that is firmly placed in the middle class, and even more so than others taking into account the price. Before we jump into more details, let’s see what Samsung placed inside the box of the Galaxy A7. We have the phone itself, a charging brick, USB-A to micro USB cable, a SIM tray tool, user manuals and Samsung branded in-ear headphones. We must say that this has left us somewhat disappointed, especially the micro USB port on the bottom in 2018, but it is what it is.
Galaxy A7 that we have here came in black color, but also available are blue, gold and pink. Right of the bat, we must say that the phone looks and feels nice, and as it’s built of glass with only a plastic frame, it feels quite sturdy. Let’s now, as usual, look at each section and see what exactly this phone is about.
Samsung Galaxy A7 is, as we’ve said, a mid range device, and as such it doesn’t have premium features that we can find in the higher end S and Note series. However, Samsung went above and beyond in terms of the display. Implemented into the A7 we have the Samsung signature Super AMOLED panel. This is a 6” 1080 x 2220 pixel display with the aspect ratio on 18.5:9, screen to body ratio of 74.4% and pixel density of 411 PPI. All in all, decent numbers. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, however, the manufacturer didn’t specify what generation of the protection is there.
Now that we have the facts out of the way, we have to be honest. The display is just OK. We have got used to Samsung displays being great, and this one sadly didn’t impress us. The colors are fine, although a bit too bright and too inaccurate, and the brightness is good. Change of viewing angles distorts colors, but only when the angles are drastically changed, so during your normal day-to-day use you won’t even notice it.
Hardware and OS
The chipset built into the Samsung Galaxy A7 is Samsung’s Exynos 7885. This is a relatively new octa core chipset built on a 14nm process. The CPU’s maximum clock speed goes up to 2.2 GHz. When it comes to graphic performance, here we have the Mali-G71 GPU. All around, this is a powerful, capable chipset that will do its job quite well, and you won’t feel any problems with it.
In the memory department, this phone comes in several configurations. We’ve got the version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, but also available are the versions with 128GB of internal memory and either 4 or 6GB of RAM. Memory-wise, this phone is a true representative of the 2018 middle class. One more welcome addition is a dedicated microSD card slot that supports expansions of up to 512GB.
An interesting thing about the Galaxy A7 is its fingerprint scanner. Of course, it has one, but it’s not located where we’re used to having it. This time around, Samsung chose to duplicate the use of the power button on the right side of the phone, and now it doubles as a fingerprint scanner as well. We believe that Samsung expects users to be right handed and use the scanner with the right thumb as it somehow naturally sits there, however, not everybody is right handed and we can clearly see how this placement might be an issue for the lefties.
When it comes to software, this phone comes with Android 8.0 Oreo, and Samsung Experience version 9.0 on top of it. The system is fine, it’s not buggy and all, it’s perfectly smooth and everything works. It’s your typical Samsung phone, to be honest.
Samsung has made the camera of the Galaxy A7 one of its most important points. On the back of the phone we have a triple camera setup. We have a 24 megapixel f/1.7 wide sensor, an 8 megapixel f/2.4 ultra wide sensor, and finally a 5 megapixel depth of field sensor. The numbers look promising, but that’s pretty much it, they only look promising.
Photos made by the main camera are only OK. They are fine when taken in daytime, with good details and barely noticeable noise. The main camera takes photos in maximum 24 megapixel resolution which is more than good. In night shots however, the camera is sub par. There’s too much digital noise, and the camera just doesn’t capture that good shots.
A nice addition implemented into the main camera is the ultra wide angle shot. It does an amazing job capturing a lot more into an image. Another great thing is the portrait mode which does a good job, however, it’s not really perfect. Edges are nicely separated but there is some noise is some areas.
When it comes to the video, the main camera is capable of recording maximum FullHD videos at 30fps. Videos are also quite ok, they are electronically stabilized and they look just fine.
The front facing camera packs a sensor of 24 megapixel resolution and aperture of f/2.0. It too does a fair job when making selfies. The photos look nice, but the beautify option sometimes overdoes its job. Overall the photos are ok.
The front facing camera is also capable of capturing 1080p videos at 30 fps. Just as the main camera, the videos are fine, however here we don’t have stabilization, so we wouldn’t really recommend taking any kind of elaborate videos with it.
When it comes to connectivity options, we must say that this phone has left us disappointed. This is a mid range phone, and as such we expected it to be fully compliant with 2018 standards, however, it, for example, lacks USB-C port, and instead the phone uses the obsolete micro USB port. Other than this you have the standard WiFi 802.11 (dual-band, WiFi Direct, HotSpot), Bluetooth 5.0, A-GPS and even NFC, albeit market dependent.
A good thing is that the phone is dual SIM capable, and it can use two nano SIM cards together with a microSD card for storage expansions. We’re also very glad that Samsung has chosen to stick with a 3.5mm audio port, so you can use your favorite headphones if you don’t like the ones Samsung shipped with the phone.
The battery built into the Galaxy A7 has the capacity of 3300 mAh. It is sufficiently large, and paired with a 14nm chipset it provides quite good autonomy. The phone can easily last up to two days of medium use.
There is however one thing here that has especially left a bitter taste in out mouth. This phone takes ages to charge up! This is obviously a consequence of the micro USB port, and in 2018, this phone takes barely less than 3 hours to fully charge up. While the competition packs different versions of fast charging, the Galaxy A7 definitely takes its sweet time.
The Galaxy A7 is an OK phone. When we say OK, we really mean it. It doesn’t shine in any area, and in terms of charging it is completely sub par, but that’s the only thing where it’s actually bad. The build quality is good, the cameras are fine, display is fine, and all around the phone will do its job well. We must say that we’re glad to see a decently priced A series phone for a change! The A9 was way too expensive for what it brought, and the A7 with the price tag of around 250 euros is a decent value for the money.
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