When it comes to the camera department, Samsung was always seen as ahead of the competition, keeping Apple on its toes. Then Pixel and Huawei’s P20 Pro came along, and Samsung’s offering does not seem as exciting in comparison to the competition.
With its Galaxy A7, Samsung is jumping on the triple camera trend and hoping to change some of that perception, at least in the mid-range segment where it has acceded space to Xiaomi, OnePlus and others. Not to be outdone, Samsung has already announced a quad-camera in the Galaxy A9, which is yet to launch in India.
The Galaxy A7 offers an ultra-wide angle mode and is priced moderately at Rs 23,990. Here’s our review of the Galaxy A7.
Galaxy A7 specifications: 6-inch SAMOLED display | Samsung Experience UI over Android 8.1 Oreo | Exynos 7885 processor | 24MP+8MP+5MP rear cameras | 24MP front camera | 4GB/6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage | 3300mAh battery | Corning Gorilla Glass protection
Galaxy A7 price in India: Rs 23,990
Galaxy A7 review: Camera
Since camera is the highlight of this phone, let’s start with this. Galaxy A7 sports a triple camera set up with a 24MP+8MP+5MP configuration. The 8MP lens is the ultra-wide angle, which has a 120-degree point of view when taking photos. Not a lot of mid-range phones offer this kind of wide-angle option though, which gives Galaxy A7 an advantage.
For the asking price this is a good camera when it comes to details, colour reproduction in photos, especially those taken in proper lighting. Pictures taken outdoors are vivid and will appeal to most users.
The ultra-wide mode is useful, though it gives a fisheye lens effect in some photos which is very noticeable and does look odd at times. Still it does help to capture more in your photos, which is useful when you taking pictures of a big group or say a tall building.
The camera UI could be simpler, especially when it comes to figuring out which is the wide-angle mode. Unless they have used a digital point and shoot camera, not all users can be expected to understand that the option with more trees is the one for wide-angle.
I also liked the Portrait mode’s performance with objects like flowers, etc. Samsung Galaxy A7 managed to take some excellent shots in a few scenarios, and felt like an improvement over other Samsung phones in the similar price range.
However, in low-light, some photos have details missing which is disappointing. In some photos it looks like the noise reduction is ensuring that the details are lost. The colour also look dull in some of these low-light shots.
Another problem with the phone’s camera performance was lag when some of the images are processed and it does get annoying. The main compromise on this camera is the low-light images, which is disappointing. With selfies, the camera has a tendency to really go overboard with skin smoothing. Even with smart beauty off, the skin looks a little too pristine and unnatural.
Samsung Galaxy A7 review: What’s good?
The Samsung Galaxy A7 sports a glass design and a 6-inch SAMOLED Infinity Display. For those who hate phones with notch, Samsung Galaxy A7 might just be what you were looking for. There’s no notch and the video viewing experience on this phone is excellent. Samsung knows how to create an excellent AMOLED display, and the Galaxy A7 is another good example of this. For media consumption this is an excellent phone thanks to the display.
I also liked the better placement of the speaker, which is at the bottom, instead of being on the side of the phone as I have experienced on other Samsung phones. This ensured a better multimedia viewing experience because one does not accidentally cover the speaker with their hands.
On the performance side, Galaxy A7 runs Samsung’s own Exynos 7885 processor. Overall, the device is more than capable for daily tasks, running multiple tabs on Chrome, or even keeping multiple apps open. Games like Asphalt 8, Nova Legacy and others run without any issues on this phone.
The Face Unlock feature has also improved compared to my earlier experience on mid-range Samsung phones. It worked fine for me, even in the dark, unlocking the phone quickly. Still in some cases the phone would not unlock. The fingerprint sensor is now part of the power button, which also works accurately.
The phone’s UI also has some features for India. For instance, if you get WhatsApp messages while watching a movie, the notification floats on top and you can reply while continuing to watch the video, which can be very useful. However, the interface for this feature could be better and perhaps Samsung can polish it further.
The Galaxy A7 has a 3,300mAh battery that lasts a day with heavy-duty to moderate usage. But Samsung is still sticking a micro-USB port with this phone, which is disappointing. The phone scored around 7 hours 14 minutes on PC Mark which is respectable.
Samsung Galaxy A7: What is not so good?
Galaxy A7 looks like a polished phone, but the glossy design and finish is prone to smudges. This also makes the phone slippery, all over. A little too slippery, I would say. Get a sturdy case for this one to make sure you don’t break it so easily.
I did notice a lag in touch response in some cases. There’s a noticeable lag in the camera app as well. One persistent problem I had was with internet connectivity. The phone would claim no internet connectivity on YouTube, even though all other apps were working fine. There were no WiFi problems either on my network. Even on mobile data, YouTube gave trouble when it came to this issue. I’m not sure why this problem would keep occuring.
Samsung Galaxy A7 verdict
Galaxy A7’s asking price is not too high for the 4GB RAM variant at Rs 23,990. It comes with a good performance and feature packed camera, which should keep most users happy. Other features like the face unlock, performance and overall battery life tick the right boxes as well.
But I do feel the camera could have been better, especially in the low-light department. I expected a bit more wow considering this is Samsung’s first triple camera phone. Those looking for a good camera phone in Rs 25,000 price range can certainly consider the Galaxy A7. But those who want more power in their phones, the A7 might not always fulfil that consideration.
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