Packing a punchSamsung has of late updated its J-series with quite a few promising devices, with the like of J7 Max, J7 Pro, and J7 Plus.
Samsung has of late updated its J-series with quite a few promising devices, with the like of J7 Max, J7 Pro, and J7 Plus. Today, we are taking a look at the newest addition to the series, Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, which carries a price tag of Rs 32,900 and might as well be one of the best mid-range phones available in the Nepali market. Has Samsung finally hit a home run with this device? Let’s find out.
Over the years, Samsung’s design modules for mid-range smartphones, including the models in the J-series, have been hit-and-miss at best. Until a few years ago, smartphones from this series came in a plastic encasing. In 2015, the updated smartphones began being manufactured with a metallic rim, while retaining a plastic back. A year later, Samsung finally opted for an aluminum body but was again criticised for not making the device feel premium enough. This year, however, it looks like Samsung has finally hit the mark with the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro. The device looks premium; one could even say that it can go up against the likes of the Korean giant’s flagship—the Galaxy S7. With curved metallic edges, the device is comfortable to hold and feels premium in your hands.
The back of the smartphone comes with an entirely new design. The antennae bands are lined up uniquely, giving it a design we have never seen on any Samsung smartphones. However, due to the metallic back, the phone is extremely slippery.
I have always criticised Samsung’s choice of placing a smartphone’s speaker right above its power button. Since last year, the company has stuck with this placement on some of its smartphone models. The Galaxy J7 Pro is no exception. This causes the speaker to become muffled easily. This is possibly the worst place for a speaker to be in. Yes, the sound output is loud but it does become frustrating when the speakers get so easily muffled while held in a landscape orientation.
On the front of the device are near bezel-less sides which make the display seem like it is floating. Other than this, the Galaxy J7 Pro has a typical Samsung smartphone design, nothing new to report there.
The previous iteration of the J-series usually featured PLS display. This time though, Samsung has stuck with its super AMOLED panel on the Galaxy J7 Pro. This panel is 5.5-inch long and comes with a full HD resolution. I applied a dark wallpaper on this display, and the deep blacks undoubtedly are satisfying to look at. It also saves battery as AMOLED displays don’t have to power up dark sides of its screen. This is why Samsung has equipped the phone with a perpetual display which shows time and date. This feature in an AMOLED screen, however, won’t deplete the battery life that much.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro has a vibrant and well-saturated display and the colours sure pop on it. However, right out of the box, this display had a warmer feel to it. I later discovered that this can be calibrated as per a user’s liking.
While reviewing a device, I always try to nitpick on its shortcomings. The Samsung Galaxy J7 is among a few select devices which have no issue, atleast when the display is considered.
Let’s talk specifications first. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro has the same Exynos 7870 Octa Core SoC and the same Mali-T830MP2 GPU which last year’s Galaxy J7 Prime came with. While the 7870 matches Snapdragon 625’s performance on paper, we can’t really expect it to shine like the latter one in real life.
So, performance wise, the J7 Pro is on par with the J7 Prime. Under heavy usage, there are little stutters and lags here and there. Under normal usage, however, the device handles multitasking, web browsing and gaming quite well.
The 1.6 GHz processor is coupled with 3 GB of RAM which can help cycle between several apps. But don’t expect this processor to run on par with high-end devices. I wish Samsung had gone with a newer 14 nm processor in this phone.
Regarding its software, the Galaxy J7 Pro runs on Android 7.1 Nougat with Samsung’s Experience UI 8.0. Samsung has sure come a long way since the laggy TouchWiz UI. The Experience UI is clean, well-managed and lag free. It also comes with plenty of features on the inside which has made the device customisable to some extent.
Hardware and connectivity
The Galaxy J7 Pro has 64 GB of internal storage which is expandable up to 128 GB via a dedicated microSD card slot. Gone are the days when Samsung smartphones came with just 8 GB of ROM. There is ample space to store audio files, pictures, and movies. However, the J7 Pro has a microUSB for connectivity and charging. You would have thought Samsung would have opted for Type-C connector on the device.
Call quality too is good on this device and the phone comes with dual SIM card slots. Also, it supports dual band ac connection for Wi-Fi, so wireless networks are fast and the device has NFC and gyro sensor as well. Fingerprint on the device is one of the fastest fingerprints I have seen in a Samsung smartphone. It can certainly give flagship devices a run for their money.
Smartphones manufactured by Samsung usually shine in the camera department, and the Galaxy J7 Pro is no different. Under ample lighting, the 13-megapixel rear-facing shooter with its wide f/1.7 aperture captures sharp and vivid pictures. The images I took were fully saturated with a great dynamic range. It is in low-lit environments, however, that I got inconsistent pictures. If my subject was touched with light, the camera did wonders. However, in a highly low-lit setting, the pictures I took were noisy.
The front-facing camera of the J7 Pro is also 13-megapixel and is accompanied by a front-facing flash, and has an f/1.9 aperture. It is commendable that Samsung has added a selfie flash on the device, but at least for me it wasn’t of very much use. In dark surrounding, this flash doesn’t help that much, but if you are in a well-lit place, the camera can capture social media ready pictures instantly—a plus undoubtedly for many.
The battery of the Galaxy J7 Pro measures 3,600 mAh and can easily last for a day and a half under normal usage. Under heavy usage, the battery gave me around 6 hours of screen-on-time. The lack of fast charging means a long 2 hours and 30 minutes wait just to get the battery fully charged though.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
comes with a price tag of Rs 32,900. You can surely find other devices on the market with similar specifications at a lower price point. But the J7 Pro offers so much more at its price —premium design and display, an excellent camera and a good battery life. There are of course some shortcomings like its speaker, the fact that it packs last year’s processor, its camera performance in low light and the lack of USB Type-C port. However, if you can get past these issues, then I am sure you will love the Galaxy J7 Pro!
• 5.5-inch full HD Super AMOLED Display
• 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Exynos 7870 Processor
• 3 GB RAM
• 64 GB ROM (expandable up to 128GB)
• 13 MP rear camera
• 13 MP front camera
• 4G LTE supported Dual SIM
• Front-mounted fingerprint sensor
• 3,600mAh Li-Ion Battery
• Price: Rs. 32,900