Samsung Galaxy A series is all about offering a premium experience, but at a mid-range pricing. But, lately, the competition has gotten really tough in this price band. OnePlus 3T, in particular, has set the benchmark for what consumers have come to expect in a smartphone priced under Rs 35,000. Then, of course, there’s the parade of selfie smartphones taking over the Indian market.
So can Samsung’s Galaxy A7 (2017) series stand up to the competition? Here’s what we thought after our review.
Specifications: 5.7-inch FHD sAMOLED | Exynos 7880 64bit octa-core processor at 1.9Ghz | 3 GB + 32 GB microSD Slot (expandable to 256GB) | 16MP rear camera with f/1.9 aperture + 16MP front camera | 3600 mAh battery with Type-C USB | Android 6.0.1 | Samsung Galaxy A7 2017 full specs
Price: Rs 33,490
Galaxy A phones sport a metal, glass body like the more premium S series. I’ve reviewed the Galaxy A7 phone in the past, and it was a phone I liked. The Galaxy A (2017) gold version we got sports a premium, all-glass and metal body design. It has 3D curved glass all around with a metal frame, and there’s a Type-C USB port at the bottom with the headphone jack next to it.
The volume rockers are on the left side of the device with a single nano-SIM slot. The power button is on the right. The second SIM slot along with a separate microSD slot is placed on top of the device. The rear camera doesn’t jut out at all on the Galaxy A7 (2017). Samsung could have made this phone a bit sleeker, but it’s not such a big problem.
In terms of design, Galaxy A7 stands out from the competition in the market. All glass on the front and back ensures that this phone looks beautiful. The only fallout is the body is prone to scratches and smudges. You will need a cover or tempered glass to protect it. Also, the phone can be a bit slippery.
So what’s good?
Galaxy A7 for 2017 sports a slightly bigger 5.7-inch display, but with the same Full HD resolution, and this is a SAMOLED one. This is one area where Samsung’s supremacy remains unbeaten, and the Galaxy A7 doesn’t falter at all.
The screen is crisp, the colours are vivid, and overall this is the best display you can get at this price point. I used this phone to consume a lot of videos on YouTube primarily, and the overall experience was great.
On the performance front, Galaxy A7 (2017) sports the Samsung’s own Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9 Ghz coupled with 3GB RAM and a total of 32GB onboard storage. Galaxy A7 can handle multi-tasking quite easily, heavy duty graphics games are not a problem on this. It doesn’t quite set the benchmark tests on fire, but that doesn’t mean the general performance suffers.
On the UI front, the Galaxy A7 has some of Samsung’s own features like the split-screen, the ability to take much longer screenshots, customising them, etc.
Camera is where the Galaxy A series has consistently performed better than some of the rivals. Just like the previous phone, Galaxy A7 delivers some exceptional shots. I quite liked how it captured a street in Bangkok, and even some of the shots inside my house at night. The colour reproduction is great, and the pictures have enough details. The front camera should likewise appeal to most folks.
On the battery side, Galaxy A7 scored 8 hours plus in the PC Mark test for us. The phone can easily last a day with heavy duty usage. There were days when I used this device to listen to music all day, and I still had some battery left by the time I got home.
The other positive for the Galaxy A7 will be the IP68 water and dust resistant rating, which you are unlikely to get on any other phone in this price segment.
What’s not so good?
The glass back is beautiful, but it is prone to scratches, and I’ve noticed two deep scratches already. Then I would say the low-light performance of the Galaxy A7 is nothing outstanding.
I expected a drastic improvement from the last generation, and when I’m comparing photos, 2017 doesn’t seem like a gigantic leap. Details are missing in low-light shots, which is disappointing, to say the least. Plus the lack of 4K recording, slow motion at this price point is not good enough.
Samsung could have loaded this one with more powerful speakers. Also, 2017 is here, but no Android Nougat from Samsung. Finally, the 32GB storage will disappoint most users.
Yes, you can add this to your buy list, if you’re okay with the old version of Android. The highlight of this phone is the camera and the display, which is still unmatched by other players. The water and dust resistant capabilities are extra positives, something the other phones don’t offer.
However, the competition is tough for the Galaxy A7, especially if you consider OnePlus 3T, which has set the bar in this category, thanks to the premium performance and specifications. Which one you pick will boil down on how comfortable you are trying out a newer brand.