Samsung has been in the playing field for a long time, and there were hardly any brands that would give it a tough competition let alone gun for their market share in every smartphone segment. But it has been changed since the manufacturers like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Honor and LeEco came to India. So, to speak the South Korean giant has to change a lot of things in their handsets. While it had launched several new series over the past couple of years when Chinese smartphone makers invaded the country’s smartphone market, the new Galaxy J Series handsets are the follow-up to that.
The company recently introduced J5 2016 and J7 2016 models completing their J Series for this year, which started with J3 2016 introduced earlier in March. We have reviewed the first two handsets in the Series; J3 & J5, while in this article you’ll be seeing the review of the J7 2016. So, let’s dive in.
The Galaxy J7 2016 model is certainly a good upgrade in terms of the design quality and feel, as it sports curvy edges and a frame that is stronger than any handset we have seen in this price range. It may not be a full-blown metal handset, but you will certainly get the good feel once you start using this handset. It is plastic on the back, but it doesn’t feel bad, what I’m saying. And bit on a heavy side as well. Sturdy design with good build quality is what Samsung is known for, and that’s what you get on this handset.
Though, you can notice if you’ve been seeing the Samsung handsets for the past couple of years, the design language seems to be quite similar to older handsets. Apart from placing the audio jack on the bottom edge, there is nothing unusual and different on this new handset. It might be a good thing, as many users like what they see on the Samsung handset, a consistent design language.
If a display of a handset is stunning, then count me in even if there are some qualities that I won’t like on the device. But unfortunately, that is not the case here. The 5.5-inch real estate on this handset has a resolution of only 720p, which amounts for a pixel density of a 267 PPI (Pixel Per Inch), which isn’t exactly a good amount if you’re particular about how should displays look like on your handset. Moreover, the current standard of the mid range has been increased up to 1080p.
This puts Galaxy J7 lower in a list of mid-range handsets, in terms of the display resolution, currently available in the country. Despite sporting a Super AMOLED technology, which can be argued as the best display technology as it offers stunning color reproduction, good white balance and brightness levels. The screen is not a fingerprint-prone, which is a good thing as there won’t be smudges.
The software experience on Samsung handsets has been a consistent ride since quite a long time while in the recent times it has been evolved for good. You might have read our review of the Galaxy J5 2016, well, if you have then you don’t need to read this one as it is quite similar. But if you haven’t let me briefly tell you that it packs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow under that custom interface that Samsung calls TouchWiz UI.
Now I would say that it has been a good time using this handset for the software experience at least. I’m quite familiar with TouchWiz UI since my primary device is the Galaxy S7. Overall, what I gather about the software is that it offers a pretty good experience that users can rely on it to get them through the day with less probability of crashing it.
Hardware & Performance
When you think a processor will offer great performance but end up being another mediocre handset. That is when you realize the handset should have sported a better processor, or maybe offers a higher clock speed at least. While some mid-range handsets such as Redmi Note 3 and Le 1S Eco can compete with some premium flagships in terms of performance, the Galaxy J7 processor can only seem to out pass only one mid-range handset, i.e. Meizu M3 Note.
The Samsung handset is powered by an Exynos 7890, which is company’s in-house chipset developed at 14nm process. By clocking it at 1.6GHz Company will manage better power efficiency but can’t get much performance out of it. So, that’s why we didn’t expect much in terms of the gaming. Moreover, the display only supports 720p on a 5.5-inch real estate; now just imagine how any game would look on a 267 PPI screen. For the record, it wouldn’t look great, as it should be.
The camera package on the biggest sibling in the J Series, J7 sports the similar module (13MP) that can be seen on the J5 2016 handset. Despite that I think, the bigger sibling handles camera pretty well, at least better than what little sibling does. There seem to be no focusing issues present on this when compared with smaller J5 2016 smartphone. While it was a big issue on that handset. Talking about the color reproduction, well, it is fine, but on a heavy side, moreover, you can also notice the pictures are quite brighter than the real conditions, without even increasing the exposure level manually. That means auto mode isn’t good in identifying the surrounding conditions.
Enough about the rear module, let’s talk about the front module, which comes with a Flashlight. The front snapper is of 5-megapixel resolution, which is on par with most of the mid-range handsets, but the output isn’t what we expected. It’s decent, but not that great, which will make you, take selfies all the time. The camera experience is good, and you can see a good number of modes to play around with.
Battery & Connectivity
The battery capacity of this handset is at 3300mAh, which is decent enough considering that many handsets in this price range are now coming up with more than the 4000mAh capacity battery. The first step towards offering good battery life is a higher battery capacity, with high-density battery packs being available, thanks to the innovation in technology. Talking about the battery life in real time usage, it was quite well; the device lasted a full day on more than average usage. Now moving on to connectivity talk, the device offers various connectivity features such as Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, Dual SIM, GPS, microUSB port and NFC support.
The Galaxy J7 is a handset that feels like one of the toughest handsets priced under Rs 20K, now I won’t really categorize it as an affordable mid-range handset, but a quite costly handset that is out of balance in terms of the specifications it offers for the price, such as camera package, display resolution and chipset performance. Now there are many alternatives to this including the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le 1S Eco, Meizu M3 Note and much more. You consider the Galaxy J7 2016 only if you want a Samsung handset. Otherwise, there are lots of handsets that offer better specifications and performance. So, the choice is yours!