Launched in the 3rd quarter of the year 2015, the Galaxy J7 is one of the two models introduced, that experts say aim to compete with Motorola’s range of upcoming handsets. The launch included introduction of Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7 smartphones in Samsung’s line, with the latter being the larger, more expensive and finer alternative of the two. Build quality is an aspect which is usually ignored in these price ranges, however, this is where the Samsung Galaxy J7 gains an upper hand. Another addition is the implementation of the TouchWiz interface which has only been introduced in the company’s flagship devices until now.
The phone also allows the user to have a total 4G experience, with a feature known as Ultra Data Saving. This primarily works to reduce data transmission, thus restricting apps from sending and receiving data without user knowledge.
Design: Both the devices launched have a similar style. The J7, in line with its smaller counterpart, has a plastic back (which is also removable), and a faux metal frame to offer support. Notably, this is also the most distinguishing feature which alienates this series from the more priced Galaxy A series, and the not-so-popular E series.
Ergonomically great and beautifully designed, the phone features a 5.5 inches screen, which also makes it similar in size to the iPhone 6 Plus, or the previously launched Note. The Galaxy J7, however, is broader, and carved in the contemporary Galaxy style. The phone features a home button on the front panel, and capacitive buttons on either side. Both cameras have flash associated, and the rear camera sports a speaker beside it. The volume rocker is placed on the right, while the left houses the power button.
Display: The display unit is a 5.5 inches Super AMOLED screen, and does perfectly well what it is supposed to. While certainly not the best one when it comes to pixel-dense displays, the J7 will not allow you to notice that unless you explicitly go observing. A pixel density of 267 PPI and with resolution of 1280×720 pixels, the screen offers comfortable viewing angles as well as vibrant color output. The sunlight visibility is also not uncomforting, but one has to adjust the screen brightness manually (because of the lack of an ambient sensor).
The display seems to be slightly underrated, and instead of a 1080p, Samsung Galaxy J7 has a 720p resolution. Moreover, the display also does not have corning glass, so it lacks considerable smoothness. One will have to ensure that it is kept safely, since the screen apparently can get smudged easily, owing to the fact that it is glossy.
Software: The device runs on Android 5.1.1 straight out of the box, and the OS includes the company’s proprietary TouchWiz interface. In contrast to Samsung’s UI offered on phones running on KitKat, this one seems to be set on a lighter mode. The lock screen displays weather information, and also allows the user to access the camera as well as the phone’s default dialer. As is with other phones in this segment, the notification bar includes several customization options for the device.
The phone totally includes three themes, but you can also download additional free ones, or choose to purchase them.
System Performance: In terms of system as well as gaming performance, the device seems to stand out from the competition. Although not quite in the highest rating category, the Samsung Galaxy J7 boasts of a 37965 AnTuTu score, which is considered pretty decent, falling just below the Xiaomi Mi 4i. The phone houses Samsung’s Exynos 7580, a 64-bit octa core processor which includes eight ARM CPUs (Cortex A53), with each being clocked at 1.5GHz. Needless to say, the performance is seamless, regardless of whether you switch to a game from an app, or from one game to the other. The phone, however, has only one and a half gigs of RAM, which kind of sobers the show. As we realize, 2GB RAM would have done justice to the hardware specs.
The Galaxy J7 also employs Mali-T720 as its graphic processing unit, making it an immensely comfortable gaming device. An easy advantage over other phones within the same price range, this GPU easily measures 60fps in a reputable benchmarking test, which is an excellent in this category.
Camera: The Galaxy J7 sports similar camera features as in J5, as well as in most other smartphones released nowadays. A 13MP rear unit and a 5MP front camera is what the phone features. Both units offer better color reproduction, and noise is considerably less in bright surroundings. The shutter seems good too, but the autofocus is a slight disappointment. On the plus side, both cameras support flash.
Connectivity: Location technologies in the phone include GPS and Glonass, and USB version 2.0, plus Bluetooth v4.1. The phone supports a variety of profiles. In addition to these, wireless connections include Wi-Fi Direct, and connecting channels including 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz. There is, however, no NFC and MHL.
Battery: An excellent aspect in this phone is its battery. Packed with a 3000mAh removable battery, the device tested to last for a complete day with moderate to heavy use. This includes using 4G for data connectivity enabled both SIM cards, more than a couple of hours of music playback, light gaming and a few snapshots. It must be added here though, that the device lasts for more than a day if used minimally. The phone also features a power saving mode as well as an ultra-power saving mode that allows you to even extend the battery life further.
Conclusion: An affordably priced smartphone from Samsung, it seems to perform similar to its flagship devices in some aspects. It features a good battery life, no heating issues, and a decent performance experience. Both cameras feature flash, and the front camera seems simple enough, making the device a good fit in all circumstances.