Samsung this year introduced quite high-quality devices on Android in the middle price category, releasing three A-series smartphones with water protection. In this review we look at the largest of them, the Galaxy A7. Its specifications are in many ways similar to the Galaxy A5 smartphone, including a 14 nm processor and a 16 megapixel camera, but it became half an inch longer on the diagonal of the screen and the battery capacity increased by 20%.
Contents of delivery
- Smartphone Samsung Galaxy A7
- User Manual and Warranty
- SIM extraction tool
- USB-A cable> USB-C
- White Samsung OEM EHS64 headphones
- 15 W charger
On the table, the Galaxy A7 2017 looks like a standard black bar, but if you take it in hand, you immediately feel the premium device. The smartphone is available in several colors, including a pleasant blue. Samsung began to produce smartphones made of metal and glass not only in the upper price category, with the result that the Galaxy A7 has a dark metal frame between the two glass plates. This is not Gorilla Glass 5, it is better not to exert much pressure on the glass so that it does not crack.
Galaxy A7 is a rather large smartphone, the screen size is 5.7 inches, so you need to get used to it and try not to drop from your hands at this time. The main disadvantage of the device stems precisely from its large screen, since working with it with one hand is not very convenient, especially if you also put a cover on it.
The sides of the case are denser than usual with various elements. Samsung moved the speaker from the bottom to the right side above the Home button. Here it will be harder to accidentally close your hand, for example, if you watch a video and keep your smartphone in landscape mode. The power button is located on the right side, the volume button is on the left and it is rather thin, but it is made of strong metal and does not vibrate, it is easy to find and press without looking.
The smartphone has two compartments for SIM cards, at least in the tested version. These slots are not hybrid, so two SIM cards and a microSD memory card can be used simultaneously. In addition, SIM-cards can be changed on the go, without having to turn off the smartphone. It is not recommended to do this with the second slot at the top, because there is a microSD located there, if something is recorded on it at that moment, information may be lost.
Used panel Super AMOLED size of 5.7 inches with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. This resolution is enough to get a high-quality image without unnecessary energy consumption, but you can complain about the viewing angles. At the slightest tilt of the apparatus, the colors become too cold and bluish, which can be annoying.
Apart from this, when working with a smartphone in basic mode, it produces fairly accurate colors. By default, the adaptive screen mode is used, here the colors are too juicy. The screen brightness is quite high, the reflection coefficient is small, so it is convenient to work with it outdoors.
There is also Always On Display mode, which shows the time, date and notifications when the screen is off. Good text contrast makes it easy to see, but this mode reduces battery life.
Interface and functionality
The Galaxy A7 runs on the Android Marshmallow operating system, on top of which Samsung has been installed, replacing the TouchWiz. The interface has become more clean and spacious, more connected and thoughtful. It resembles the updated interface Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge on Android Nougat, which in turn borrowed elements of the Grace interface from Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung did a great job on the user interface. It not only looks good, but also easy to use. The company polished the main applications that it became much more pleasant to use: the Samsung calendar is now faster, shows weather information, the mail has become better looking and easier to set up Gmail, the Weather app is just great, the list goes on and on.
The new drop-down notification panel looks elegant and offers several additional settings. Among the new features, it became possible to search for applications in the list of applications, two new shortcuts allow you to enter a search in the Play Store or in the Samsung application store. On the smartphone of this manufacturer, the settings have always been confusing, now they have become more understandable and organized. The new manager detects malicious and energy-consuming applications and helps solve problems associated with them.
The first secure folders appeared in Galaxy Note 7. Here you can send important applications for work so that only you can access them. Here you can even have a separate Google account.
Galaxy A7 2017 has a high quality keyboard. The Samsung keyboard is one of the most accurate and fast on Android, it’s nice to type text on it, including because the buttons are clearly separated.
The only drawback of the Samsung interface is the lack of support for some useful gestures. For example, on most smartphones, the notification panel opens with the familiar finger movement. On the big screen of this smartphone, such a movement would be very convenient. It also does not support double-tap, swipe and other movements on the screen to unlock it, you have to use a physical button. Rumors say that Android 8.0 will bring support for such gestures to all Android shells, like Android Nougat has brought a split screen.
Processor, Performance and Memory
Galaxy A7 2017 uses a new mid-level processor, which is 36% more efficient than its predecessor. This is an 8-core Exynos 7880 with Cortex-A53 cores, built on a modern 14nm FinFET process. To say nothing special about it, its clock speeds are lower compared to the best Snapdragon processors, a simpler Mali graphics chip is used. The architecture tries to distribute workflows in a balanced manner.
Despite periodic slowdowns and lags, the work of the smartphone is rather smooth, especially considering its functional interface. A device with a clean version of Android would work even faster, but it would have limited interface and graphics functionality. I wanted to see 4 GB of RAM, as this would make the process of switching between applications and the speed of their launch faster.
The amount of built-in flash memory is 32 GB, 24 GB available to the user. In the Duo version there is a slot for a microSD memory card.
The LTE 4G communication standard is supported, there is NFC, which allows you to work with the Samsung Pay payment system. There is also a two-way Wi-Fi, which is useful in crowded cities. Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, Glonass, BeiDou and USB type C are available.
Galaxy A7 front and rear cameras have a resolution of 16 megapixels. There is one LED flash at the back, lenses with a f / 1.9 aperture, but there is no stabilization and 4K video recording is not supported.
The smartphone has a great updated camera application. Quick start is supported: double clicking on the Home button launches the camera. The application has become much cleaner, Samsung has removed all unnecessary. The rarely used settings are removed from the main screen, here you can see only the shutter button, start video recording, link to the gallery, flash control, settings and the front camera button.
If you need a white balance or ISO, you need to perform a gesture with your finger to the left and select the Pro mode, where manual controls are available. Moving your finger to the right opens the HDR modes, Panorama and others. Also available here are different filters to change the color and style of photos.
The quality of the received images is at a high level. Vivid colors and good dynamic range of photos in daylight are especially impressive. The camera works quite quickly and quickly focuses automatically. Unfortunately, the photos are soft, sometimes blurry, because there is no optical stabilization.
In low light, blur and lack of stabilization are noticeable even more, as a result of which the photos are fuzzy, so it’s better to keep the camera as confident as possible when shooting. As for the front camera, 16 megapixel seems more like a marketing statement, since the detail does not look particularly high. Photos turn out to be quite good with sufficient lighting, but often there are difficulties in complex dynamic scenes.
Galaxy A7 can shoot video with a maximum resolution of 1080p, because there is not the best processor. At the same time, the quality of the video, even at this resolution, is not very high. Although the colors are not bad, as is the dynamic range, each barely noticeable movement of the hand leads to a shaking of the video. It looks as if there is not only optical, but also software image stabilization, so you need to hold the smartphone in your hands very firmly. Continuous autofocus works fast, although not as well as Samsung Dual Pixel technology.
As mentioned above, the location of the speaker has been changed. It is located on the right side of the case, next to the power button. It was the right decision, since it is now difficult to block the speaker with your hand in any orientation of the smartphone. The sound quality of this small speaker is good, the volume is higher than expected, the sound is full, although it may lack depth.
The top speaker on the Galaxy A7 2017 is also quite high quality, the volume is at a high level. The sound is clear, without any noise or distortion. Voices are easy to recognize, they do not sound muffled, like on Sony’s waterproof smartphones, although there is also a waterproof seal around the auricle.
Two microphones do an excellent job with their work and convey your voice clearly and loudly, it sounds natural and understandable. There are two noise-canceling microphones that eliminate unnecessary sounds.
Samsung galaxy A7
- Battery life
- Call quality
- Good interface
- Much features
- Waterproof case
- Blurred photos
- Shaking videos
- No, 4k video recording
- Big fragile glass case
As you can see from all the above, the Galaxy A7 2017 has turned out quite successful. If it were not for the camera’s flaws in the form of vague photos and shaking video, it could be called excellent in all directions.
However, the device perfectly manifests itself in one of the main indicators, in the duration of battery life. It is one of the highest among smartphones of the medium-high price category.
You can also note the high quality of calls, premium quality of the case, a sophisticated interface with extensive functionality. The cherry on the cake is to protect the case from water.
Based on the above, the user will decide whether such a smartphone is worth $ 450. By paying not too much, you can buy a Galaxy S7 with a Dual Pixel camera. Apart from the larger screen, the Galaxy A7 works almost twice as long, which for many is the main thing in a smartphone.