Making up for the scarcity of its smartphones in the budget segment, Samsung started by launching the Galaxy J1, followed it up by the Galaxy J5 and J7, and then launched the Galaxy On5 (review) and On7 (review) as well. Availability of a top tier brand at an affordable price tag is something a large number of consumers still enjoy. To serve the same share of consumers, Samsung came up with 2016 editions of the Galaxy J5 and J7, which offer better designs and specs than their predecessors. While a full-fledged review of the J5 is already up on the blog, here's a bite-sized review of the bigger of the duo...the Samsung Galaxy J7 2016.
Design: Better Than The J7 2015
Display: AMOLED equals better
Camera App: Clean Yet Loaded
Camera Performance: Should Satisfy Most Users
Performance: An Average Affair
Battery: Star Of The Show
Specs At A Glance
The Galaxy J7 2016 is an upgraded version of last year's J7, and brings better specs to the table. Browse through the slides to see how it fares as a daily driver. Our review...
The Samsung Galaxy J7 2015 did try to gel with the competition back then by incorporating a metal rim. However, its textured plastic back panel looked hideous. Learning from the mistake, Samsung included a plastic back panel in a brushed finish this time which somewhat looked like metal, thus going well with the metal edges, and offering more premium looks. The gold variant of the phone definitely looks better, but we like the black variant almost just as much. The smartphone feels slightly heavy, but is still comfortable to use with one hand. The J7 2016 comes with standard port and button placement, and a removable back panel. The overall build quality is good, too.
The Galaxy J7 sports a 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display. While the screen does not look stunningly sharp, it does look pleasing to the eyes due to bright and vivid colours, all thanks to Samsung's Super AMOLED tech. If the colours are not as per your liking you can choose from four screen modes, including Adaptive Display, AMOLED Cinema, AMOLED Photo, and Basic. The viewing angles are simply amazing on the J7, and the screen brightness is more than sufficient for you to operate the phone under the bright sunlight easily.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 uses a 13MP primary camera, and a 5-meg front shooter, and both the sensors come assisted by LED flash modules.The default camera app shouldn't come as a surprise if you've used a Samsung phone before. The UI on the app is pretty clean, and yet it offers a bunch of features for you to be able to create good imagery. The app offers four real-time filters, as many as nine shooting modes including Pro, Panorama, HDR, Sound & Shot, and Beauty Face. Apart from that you will also find the usual camera settings.
The primary camera on the Samsung Galaxy Note7 captures good details, and the images look nice on the phone's screen. However, they do pixelate when viewed in their full sizes. The colour reproduction was slightly warm. While the camera struggles in low light conditions, the LED flash works well enough to light up the subject and its surrounding evenly. Night photography on the J7 is rather good despite the slight grain that creeps into the images. The J7 clicks reasonably good selfies as well, and the front facing LED flash ensures you don't struggle much in low lighting.
There's nothing outright fascinating about the software interface on the Samsung Galaxy J7. It runs Android Marshmallow, with the brand's Touchwiz UI on top. You get pretty much the same old features like a dedicated news homescreen on the extreme left, powered by Flipboard. Some first party preloaded apps on the phone include S Health, Smart Manager, and S Planner, while you won't find much besides Microsoft's Office suite in terms of third party apps. The J7 2016 also offers a Themes app to help you customise the look of the phone.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 uses an Exynos chip for the grunt that uses eight cores clocked at 1.6GHz. The processor works with 2GB of RAM. While we did not encounter any stutters during the heavy gameplay, exiting the game, switching to another app took a significant amount of time. We also felt the phone lagging and hanging at times, while regular usage.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 comes backed by a 3,300mAh battery. On our standard battery test, which includes running an HD video on loop, with the brightness and volume set to 50 percent, till the battery drains from a 100 percent to zero, the J7 lasted for a whopping 16 and a half hours. On top of it, you get Samsung's Ultra Power Saving mode, and a regular battery saving mode. Unless you are really reckless about charging your phones, the J7 won't die on you in the middle of the day.
Have a quick look at everything the Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 offers.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 seems to be a decent budget offering from the brand, and it should suffice as a good daily driver for most users. However, why settle for 'just enough', when you can get so much more for almost the same price. The Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 is priced at Rs 15,990, and for a similar price, or even lesser, you can grab the Moto G4 Plus (review), and the Lenovo ZUK Z1 (review). While the former offers a great camera, the latter delivers better performance. We would recommend the J7 2016 if you're after a tier 1 brand.