Samsung released a fairly powerful entry in the mid-range Android segment together with the watertight 2017 A-series trio, and now we’ve got the largest of them all Samsung Galaxy A7 to check out on. It shares specs with the A5, which we already reviewed 14nm Exynos chipset and two 16 MP cameras but has a half an inch longer display diagonal and a 20% larger battery. Will this justify the price difference between the two for big screen aficionados? Let’s find out.
The premium midrange segment is a hotly disputed section of the market now dominated by the OnePlus 3T, which offers high-end specification and features at an incredibly competitive cost.
Samsung has just now given the Galaxy A7 a complete makeover, with a stunning new layout and better specifications. The 2017 A7 is quite a massive jump when compared to its predecessor and comes with a feature new to Samsung’s A string line-up – IP68 dust and water resistance. Can the new Galaxy A7 lay down the gauntlet and challenge the formidable contest? Does it do enough to warrant the Rs 32,999 price tag? Let us find out.
So what’s great?
Galaxy A7 for 2017 sports a slightly larger 5.7-inch screen, but with the same Full HD resolution, and this is an SAMOLED one. This really is one place where Samsungs supremacy stays unbeaten, and the Galaxy A7 doesn’t falter at all.
On the operation front, Galaxy A7 (2017) sports the Samsungs own Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9 GHz coupled with 3GB RAM and a total of 32GB onboard storage. Galaxy A7 can manage multi-tasking rather readily, heavy duty images games aren’t an issue on this. It doesn’t quite establish the standard evaluations on fire, but it doesn’t mean the general performance suffers.
If you asked me for guidance about purchasing a new Android smartphone now, I would let you know that the $600-800 price range is where you must begin searching. At this budget, phones like the OnePlus 3T and Xiaomi Mi 5, offer the very best bang for your buck, with powerful chips, Complete High Definition screens, superior builds, and high quality back and front cameras. But with this much competition in this closely packed section, what sets one mobile besides the rest?
Samsung believes it’s the answer to it’s 2017 A series smartphones that it found in January. Available in two sizes: A7 (5.7-inch) and A5 (5.2-inch) and retailing now for S$648 and S$548 respectively, the freshly upgraded A range builds on last year’s versions, with premium metal and glass constructs, and octa-core Samsung Exynos processors, but also adds some exceptional features chosen directly from Samsung’s main ‘S’ series: an always-on AMOLED display, and an IP68 water resistant build, making these mobiles the only ones in this cost range to boast these characteristics.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) SM-A720F specs:
5.7-inch Superb AMOLED screen @ 1920 x 1080 pixels
1.9GHz Exynos 7880 Octa CPU
32GB internal storage
Expandable via microSD card, up to 256GB
16-megapixel f/1.9 autofocus rear camera w/ LED flash
16-megapixel f/1.9 front-facing camera
4G LTE Cat.6
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth v 4.2
IP68 water resistant
3600mAh battery w/ fast charging
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9 mm
Black Sky, Golden Sand, Blue Mist
When the Galaxy A show debuted in 2015 it was the first complete-metal group of smartphones Samsung had built, and arguably it is best looking at that time. A couple of years after and the latest A collection smartphones continue that heritage with a stunning combination of metal and glass that look and feel just as superior as Samsung’s top of the line cell phones. In fact, the thin bezels, alloy framework, and curved glass back make the A5 and A7 look much the same to Samsung’s Galaxy S7. And just such as the S7, both the A5 and A7 are IP68 dust and water resistant, meaning they can live underwater for 30 minutes at depths of up to 1.5m.
Transfer on, folks, nothing to see here, just your run of the mill 5.7 Super AMOLED display with 1080×1920 pixels. We can not scoff at the resolution as it’s perfectly enough and allows for longer battery life, but we can whine about the viewing angles. The color shifts to exceedingly chilly and blueish with the smallest tilt of the phone, which, if you’re coming from an LCD panel, can be quite irritating.
Other than-than that, should you operate the Galaxy A7’s screen in Fundamental manner, it’ll show credible colors with tamed saturation levels. In the default Adaptive manner, but the mobile is becoming your typical loud AMOLED with flamboyant, overzealous colors. The display is bright enough, and with low reflectance ratio, so it’s comfortable to view outside.
The Galaxy A7 is a surprisingly well-rounded program from Samsung. It features IP68 dust and water resistance, micro-SD card support, 32GB of internal storage and a substantial 3,600mAh battery. Samsung’s trademark package of Made for India attributes – S Bike mode, Ultra data saving and S Power Planning are also thrown in for good measure.
The Galaxy A7 on runs on Samsung’s TouchWiz UI running atop Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The lack of Nougat out of the carton in 2017 is incredibly disappointing, to put it slightly.
While the iteration of TouchWiz on the A7 – which borrows features from the ill-fated Note 7’s Grace UX – is a significant improvement over previous versions and is substantially lighter and quicker, it still looks and feels quite different to inventory
TouchWiz is still fairly hefty and full of bloat. What’s pretty unsatisfactory is the fact the applications feels laggy and a little slow. This can be pinned to the multitude of cartoons Samsung has stuffed in TouchWiz, whose allure fades away after a while and they simply become a fairly unneeded source of delay.
The Galaxy A7 comes with a 3,600mAh battery which is somewhat bigger than that of its main challenger – the OnePlus 3T, which has a 3,400mAh battery.
While not dramatic at all, the battery life of the Galaxy A7 is pretty decent. It will last you get through the day and nothing more. Considering the very fact that there are many smartphones out there which give up the ghost by around 6 PM in the evening, a full day’s battery life isn’t bad whatsoever.
The Galaxy A7 includes a 16MP back camera with an aperture of f/1.9, autofocus and a LED flash. On the front, there is a 16MP camera as well with an aperture of f/1.9.
The camera is quite a competent performer in well-lit situations. Pictures produced are crisp and vibrant with natural colors and also a surprising amount of detail. When it comes to low light, the operation dips quite a bit. While the pictures are pretty adequate and usable, there’s a good bit of graininess and noise that creeps in.