The distinction between a mid-range and few flagships is marginal these days. Most of the mid-range phones are getting the flagship treatment with unibody metal construct, great display, and other well-curated features. Today we have the Galaxy J7 Pro which by its looks and feel, is no less than a flagship. In this review, we’ll see how the J7 Pro stacks up against a flagship as a midrange device.
Specifications of Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
- 5.5-inch full HD (1080p) Super AMOLED 2.5D curved glass display with 401ppi
- Exynos 7870 System on a chip
- 1.6 GHz Octa-core CPU (14nm, Cortex A53)
- 3GB RAM, 64GB Internal memory, expandable memory up to 128GB with micro SD
- Android 7.0 (Nougat) with Samsung’s custom UI on top
- Dual SIM
- 13MP rear camera with LED flash, f/1.9 aperture, and 1080p video recording capability
- 13MP front-facing camera with LED flash, f/1.9 aperture.
- Augmented Reality (AR), Social Camera, Samsung Pay
- Metal unibody
- 4G Cat 6 connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
- 3600mAh battery
- Color variants: Black and Gold
- Latest Price: Rs. 25,900 [Last updated on: December 6, 2018]
Build and Design:
Samsung has left no room to spare when it comes to build and design of the phone. J7 Pro comes with a metal clad unibody which has a minimalist approach. The back of the phone is kept clean with unique antenna lines which gives an alienating vibe to the phone.
With a curved body and metal finish, it sure is slippery on the hand but the feel is nothing short from a flagship. The curved rounded edges also contribute to better handling of the device.
The attempt to carry the flagship specs continues with its 5.5inch full HD super AMOLED display. For me, the best thing about the phone is the display itself. The display stretches from side to side almost making it bezel-less which also contributes to its handy form factor. As an AMOLED display, there are deep blacks and the icons look as if they’re floating when you apply a dark wallpaper. In addition to that, utilizing the AMOLED panel is the always on display which I wish every phone had. It is so much easier to check the time and basic notifications without unlocking the device.
In general, the screen is bright and vibrant, contents are presented with high details and sharpness. Viewing angles from almost anywhere is good and the sunlight visibility is on point. Watching movies and playing games is a joy on this display. For a mid-range phone, the display experience of the J7 Pro is exceptional.
Continuing the trend of awkward speaker placement, the J7 Pro comes with a loudspeaker on the right side along with the power button. The volume rocker rests on the left side. This side also comprises of Hybrid SIM tray (SIM 2+Micro SD card) and a single SIM tray (SIM 1). Samsung still hasn’t opted for USB Type C port, the J7 Pro comes with micro USB 2.0 port for charging and data syncing.
Talking about sensors, the phone comes with fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, and compass. Up front, the phone holds a fingerprint sensor which acts as a home button. It is really fast to set up and unlocks the device in no time. With a sharp display and gyro sensor, you can use the device for VR experience.
Galaxy J7 Pro is running on Android 7.1 with Experience UI 8.0 on top. Unlike in the past, Samsung’s UI has evolved and now takes a more functional and minimal approach. I like how swift and smooth the UI is. ON the surface, it might look pretty basic but once you dig deep enough, there are a plethora of functionalities. To start with, we have the standard double tap on the home button to launch the camera app, which I found myself using the most. For someone who spends a lot of time looking at a display, the inbuilt blue light filter is a bliss. And if you are an audiophile, the inbuilt equalizer does justice to your ears. For privacy, you can lock and mask apps and along with that, there’s secure folder, where all your private photos, videos, and other information gets securely locked. For customization, there’s theme store for a variety of themes, icon packs, and wallpaper. You’ve also got device maintenance, which shows a complete overview of how the device is functioning. It provides options to optimize phone by cleaning cache, freeing up storage and lets you choose power saving modes.
To start with, we have the standard double tap on the home button to launch the camera app, which I found myself using the most. For someone who spends a lot of time looking at a display, the inbuilt blue light filter is a bliss. And if you are an audiophile, the inbuilt equalizer does justice to your ears. For privacy, you can lock and mask apps and along with that, there’s secure folder, where all your private photos, videos, and other information gets securely locked. For customization, there’s theme store for a variety of themes, icon packs, and wallpaper. You’ve also got device maintenance, which shows a complete overview of how the device is functioning. It provides options to optimize phone by cleaning cache, freeing up storage and lets you choose power saving modes.
And Samsung still walks on the trail of default apps conflict, you’ve got two apps for email, cloud storage, browser and so on. But fortunately, the ones you don’t need can be disabled.
Galaxy J7 Pro hasn’t upgraded much in terms of performance power. Powering the device is the 14nm based Exynos 7870 octa-core chipset clocked at 1.6Ghz which we saw on last year’s J7 Prime. As most of the devices at similar price range still haven’t boarded the 14nm wagon, the last year’s chipset still has an upper hand this year. The performance is similar to that of the J7 Prime. General navigation around the UI, the opening of apps, scrolling and everything is effortless.
When it comes to gaming, the processor can handle high-end games at medium settings and there is little to no frame drops while gaming for hours. Sporting a metal body, the device obviously heats to some extent, but it is bearable and won’t bother you much. The J7 Pro comes with 3GB of RAM and is good enough to cycle between few apps with ease. The performance overall is not that bad, but I wished for a more upgraded and powerful chipset that could go head to head with Snapdragon 625 chipset.
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Samsung phones mark the standard when it comes to mobile cameras and it is true even for the mid-range series. The Galaxy J7 Pro comes with the 13MP camera both on the front and the back.
Let’s talk about the primary camera first. It comes with a larger f/1.7 aperture which takes in more light into its sensors capturing images with higher details. Photos come out sharp and colors are finely saturated which is typical of Samsung. The dynamic range is adequately met. The camera is snappy and offers a manual mode for exposure, white balance, and ISO control.
On extreme low light conditions, the image quality suffers a lot but with enough light, the camera can do wonders with its wider aperture. The full HD video recording at 30fps is also good. Videos maintain the sharpness and colors like in the photos and there are no constant exposure shifts.
Now coming onto the front camera, the selfie flash remains in the J7 series. Images from selfie camera are well lit, colors are close to natural and the details are fine. This camera will be a good companion for those who adore taking selfie except for in the low light conditions as its front-facing flash doesn’t contribute well in those situations.
Overall, the camera experience on this phone is really amazing.
Connectivity and Storage:
J7 Pro is a dual SIM phone and comes with a dedicated microSD card slot. Phone calls and internet connectivity is great on the device. It supports dual-band ac Wi-Fi so the stability and performance of wireless networks are fast and reliable. J7 also makes use of the NFC with Samsung Pay which to our disadvantage cannot be utilized.
For storage, the phone comes with 64GB memory which I managed to utilize up to 21 GB till the time of this review and there’s still much more room left. If it’s inadequate you can slide in a microSD card up to 256GB.
J7 Pro comes with a 3600mAh battery which gives around 6 hours of screen on time. For my day to day usage, the battery would last easily for a day and sometimes even till midday the day after. With different power saving modes, the battery life can be further elongated. J7 Pro, on the contrary, doesn’t offer any fast charging, so you have to stick your charger up to 2 and a half hours to fully get it charged.
Galaxy J7 Pro is one of the few phones in the market which holds the premium standard as a midrange device. The device looks and feels up class and has left no room to spare when it comes to its build.
What do I like about the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro?
- The Super AMOLED display makes the consuming contents more enjoyable.
- The camera obviously is a great joy to play around with, which delivers awesome quality.
What I disliked about the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro?
- The 14nm chipset delivers good performance and ensures great battery life but other phones at similar price range have better performance.
- It takes 2 and a half hour to fully charge the device.
Galaxy J7 Pro and the competition
|Galaxy J7 Pro||Coolpad Cool1 Dual||Xiaomi Redmi Note 4|
|5.5 inch FHD Super AMOLED (401ppi)||5.5 inches Full HD IPS LCD Display (401ppi)||5.5 inches Full HD IPS LCD Display (401ppi)|
|1.6Ghz Octacore Exynos 7870 (Cortex A53, 14nm)||4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex A72 Octacore SD652 (20nm)||2.0Ghz Octacore|
SD625 (Cortex A53, 14nm)
|3GB RAM, 64GB ROM;; microSD upto 256GB||4GB RAM, 64GB ROM||4GB RAM, 64GB ROM; microSD upto 256GB|
|13MP f/1.7 Camera||Dual 13MP f/2.0 PDAF Camera||13MP F/2.0 PDAF camera|
|13MP f/1.9 Selfie Camera||8MP f/2.2 Selfie Camera||5MP f/2.0 Selfie Camera|
|3600 mAh battery||4060 mAh battery||4100 mAh battery|
|Android 7.1 (Nougat)||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)||Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), upgradable to 7.0 (Nougat)|