“The new models are the slightly upgraded versions of the On5 and On7 launched in 2015”
Samsung has launched a fair number of budget smartphones now, and it's time for us to forget its initial negligence in this segment. Cutting right to the chase, one of the latest additions to the Korean giant's budget catalogue is the Galaxy On Pro duo. While the name gives it away, we'd still like to mention that the new devices are slightly upgraded variants of the Samsung Galaxy On5 (review) and On7 (review). The specs have seen a bump, and so have the prices. While the smaller of the duo, the On5 Pro has been priced at Rs 9,190, the On7 Pro will set you back by Rs 11,190. Since the budget segment hasn't really settled since it first picked up steam, the new Samsung duo stands up against a whole army of compelling smartphones. Whether or not they match up to the rivals... find out in this quick read.
Both the Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro and On7 Pro look exactly like their predecessors. Metal frames, faux leather back panels, and two colour variants - black and gold. The On7 Pro is bigger with its 5.5-inch screen while the On5 Pro is more compact at 5 inches.
The port and button placement on both the phones is the same, and standard. The back covers can be removed and so can the batteries. The On5 Pro and the On7 Pro are dual-SIM devices, and sport microSD card slots as well. These are not the slimmest smartphones out there but they don't feel uncomfortable to hold. The textured back panels add to the grip, and the build quality is solid.
While you will be able to operate the On5 Pro with a single hand pretty easily, it could be difficult to reach the corners on the On7 Pro. In terms of design, the phones do not bring anything we've never seen before. That said, they’re not bad-looking devices either. The overall look is understated yet stylish. Considering that the company follows pretty much the same design language across all its devices save the flagships, people could take your phone for either a budget, lower mid-range or an upper mid-range device, depending on which one they know about.
Both the phones sport HD displays, and while the pixel density differs, you won't find much difference in the sharpness (which is average) with a naked eye. Samsung's Super AMOLED tech makes the screens look good with bright and vivid colours. Viewing angles on both the phones are only average. Brightness and sunlight legibility are where the screens simply ace. There still isn’t any ambient light sensor, just like the On5 and On7, which is a little disappointing. The touch response on both the screens wasn’t impressive either.
Both the On5 Pro and On7 Pro run Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box, with latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top.
You might see a small firmware update as well, which the company rolled out a few weeks after the launch of the products. The update does not bring any major enhancements, and mostly includes bug fixes. There’s nothing much to the UI on the On5 Pro and On7 Pro.
You’ll find the same old TouchWiz icons, the Briefing app, some first party applications like S Planner, S Health, Galaxy Apps, My Galaxy; third party apps like Opera Max, and Microsoft app suite; and some software features like S Bike mode, Ultra Data Saving Mode, and Smart Manager. The phones provide the option to apply various themes to customise the look of the UI. The On5 and On7 had 8GB of built-storage each, but the new variants ship with 16 gigs of inbuilt memory, offering almost 11 gigabytes for personal use. Storage on both the phones can be expanded up to 128GB, and there’s USB OTG support as well.
While the On5 Pro uses a 1.3GHz quad-core Exynos 3475 chip from Samsung, the On7 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC, with four cores ticking at 1.2GHz. This is the same processor configuration we saw on the On5 and On7 as well. However, both the new devices get 2GB of RAM, which is one of the upgrades they’ve seen over their predecessors. With exactly the same usage on both the devices, the On5 Pro felt smoother during everyday tasks, while the On7 Pro took heavy gaming better. Both the phones, however, felt a little slow and lagged sometimes, after a couple of weeks of use. There’s no major heating issue in either of the two smartphones, but you will feel them warming up a bit after long sessions of gaming, browsing the internet, or using the GPS.
The front camera on both the On5 Pro and the On7 pro is rated at 5 megapixels, but the former utilises an 8MP primary shooter, while a latter boasts a 13MP one. Primary cameras on both phones come complimented by LED flash modules.
Since the UI is same as the one on the devices’ predecessors, so is the default camera app, with four live filters, a few shooting modes like Pro, Panorama, Continuous Shot, and Beauty Face, and the usual camera settings.
In terms of camera performance, the long shots clicked by both the primary shooters turned out similar, with the images clicked by the On7 Pro being more detailed. Both the phones captured decent images, and the colour reproduction was close to natural. In the case of macro photography, you’d find that the On7 Pro does a little better than the On5 Pro. Low light imaging on the On7 Pro was better again, with the subject being visible, and colours being captured nicely. You’ll see a significant amount of noise in the ones clicked by On5 Pro. The LED flash modules on both the phones light up the scene uniformly, but the flash on the On5 Pro made the image look a bit warm, while the colours in the On7 Pro one were natural. Night photography on both the phones are similar. The images turn out somewhat grainy, but workable. Below are a couple of pictures clicked with the primary shooters on both the On7 Pro and the On5 Pro, for you to compare the results.
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro sample 1 (left), Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro sample 1 (right)
Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro sample 2 (left), Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro sample 2 (right)
The Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro and On7 Pro still sport the same battery modules as their older siblings...2,600mAh and 3,000mAh respectively.
With the same screen sizes and resolution, and same battery capacity, we got pretty much the same results for our standard battery test, with the On5 Pro lasting for almost 12 hours, and the On7 Pro delivering a little over 13 hours. With already impressive battery lives, and Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving mode, we’ll just close it by saying that you won’t run into a battery crisis with either of the two phones and get a day's worth of use.
In terms of connectivity, while rest of the options remain same as the older models, the On5 Pro and On7 Pro are VoLTE enabled.
For the price difference of Rs 200, the On5 Pro and the On7 Pro offers better RAM, double the storage, Android Marshmallow, and VoLTE support, when compared to their predecessors, which obviously makes the new duo the better pick.
Unfortunately, the new On Pro duo stands against some fierce contenders. The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime (review) with its loaded innards, a fingerprint reader and full metal body, and the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus with its impressive all round specifications overshadow the Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro. The On7 Pro on the other hand, stands against the likes of widely popular Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (review), the loaded LeEco Le 2 (review), and the Lenovo VIBE K5 Note (camera review | FAQs), all of which bring powerful processors, better cameras, fingerprint readers, and full metal bodies to the table. The Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro and On7 Pro are capable daily drivers for basic usage, and can be considered if you have a soft spot for the brand.
Photos by Raj Rout
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