Up until last year, Chinese competition was primarily restricted to the under 20K price bracket and Samsung’s A-series was one of the rare few branded options for mid-range buyers. That’s not the case anymore. (Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)
Brands like Oppo and Vivo are pushing competent alternatives in the mid-range segment and, on the other hand, the likes of Xiaomi (Poco), Nokia, and Asus are pushing very lucrative devices online. Samsung is naturally stepping up its game and the Galaxy A7 (2018) launched today perhaps is the lowest price ‘A7’ at the launch and also packs in some new innovations. We have been testing the new triple camera phone and have summed up our findings in the Galaxy A7 (2018) review that follows:
- Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Specification
- Review: Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Design and Build
- Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review: Display
- Review: Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Performance, Software, and Battery
- Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Camera Review
- Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review Verdict, Pros, and Cons
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Specifications
|Model||Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)|
|Display||6-inch (1080 × 2222 pixels) Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9|
|Processor||2.2 GHz Exynos 7885 Octa-Core processor|
|Internal Storage||64GB/128GB, expandable to 512GB|
|Software||Android 8 Oreo|
|Primary Camera||24MP f/1.7 autofocus sensor, 8MP f/2.4 ultra wide sensor, 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor|
|Secondary Camera||24MP f/2.0, LED flash, Selfie focus and Pro Lighting mode|
|Dimensions and Weight||159.8 x 76.8 x 7.5mm; Weight: 168g|
|Others||Dual-SIM, 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5, GPS, side mounted fingerprint sensor, Samsung Pay, GLONASS, 3.5 mm jack|
|Price in India||4GB + 64GB – Rs. 23,990
6GB + 128GB – Rs. 28,990
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Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review: Design and Build
Unlike the A6-series that launched earlier in the year, the Galaxy A7 (2018) has a glass back and color-matched
metal polycarbonate side frame. Samsung has managed to restrict the overall thickness to 7.5mm, even while housing triple rear cameras.
Staying true to its design pedigree, Samsung has managed to avoid both – the camera hump and the notch. While restricting camera bulge is laudable from a design perspective, (and something Samsung practices even in its high-end phones like Galaxy S9 and Note 9) it also restricts the size of the camera sensor.
Samsung sticking to its no-notch philosophy, on the other hand, is certainly commendable and warmly welcome. After cycling through myriad different size notches through the year, the regular uninterrupted fascia on Samsung phones still feels natural and dignified.
Another significant talking point here is the fingerprint sensor position. The Galaxy A7 (2018) houses the biometric sensor in the slight indentation on the right edge, clubbed with the power button.
The power button is still clickable, but you don’t need to press it for the fingerprint sensor to work. It’s the ‘Always-active’ type and all you need to do is place your thumb or any registered digit in the groove to unlock. We quite liked the side mounted fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy A7 (2018).
- The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) is slim, premium and very comfortable to handle.
- The regular, uninhibited, notch-less status bar still feels refreshing.
- Thankfully the speaker grill is present at the bottom and not on the top-right edge.
- We quite like the side mounted fingerprint sensor. The sensor is always on, and you need not press the power button to unlock. You can only register three fingerprints, though.
- The regular micro USB port at the bottom doesn’t feel right. Samsung should have opted for the Type-C port.
- Samsung doesn’t bundle a protective case in the box. You will have to buy one separately.
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Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review: Display
The Galaxy A7 (2018) comes with a 6.0-inch display with Full HD+ (1080 X 2220) AMOLED display. Samsung makes some of the best AMOLED screens and the one on the Galaxy A7 (2018) felt fine for its price. The display is also protected by Gorilla Glass (version unspecified).
- The 6.0-inch AMOLED display counts as one of the strengths of the Galaxy A7 (2018).
- You can choose between different color profiles under display settings.
- Outdoor visibility is decent.
- The Always on display further adds value. Samsung also adds an Always on home button that you can double tap to wake the phone.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review: Performance, Software, and battery
The Galaxy A7 (2018) is powered by Exynos 7885 processor which is a 14nm process based chip with two 2.2GHz Cortex-A73 CPU cores and six 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 CPU cores. We have earlier experienced the same chipset on Galaxy A8+ and the performance as well.
The chipset powering Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) also supports Dual SIM Dual VoLTE. The handset comes in two variants – 4GB RAM + 64GB storage and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage.
Both variants accept up to 512GB storage. Interestingly, you can transfer Apps and social media data to SD card as well. Micro SD storage is inherently slower than the SD card storage but this should still make external storage a lot more useful, especially in the long run.
The Experience UI 9.5 running on the phone is based on Android 8.0 Oreo. Samsung’s skin is mature and efficient, if not light. We have ample experience with the UI by now and find it quite agreeable. Also, Samsung will be bringing some additional features including gesture navigation in the Experience UI 10.0 next year.
Speaking of features, the Galaxy A7 (2018) has Samsung Pay Mini. This is kind of disappointing considering the 2017 A7 variant had full-fledged Samsung Pay. In the mini variant, you don’t get MST for swiping your phone instead of cards at PoS terminals.
The handset includes a 3300mAh battery and we are getting a comfortable one-day mileage with moderate to heavy usage. Fast charging is not supported.
- Performance on Galaxy A7 (2018) is smooth. We could run heavy games without any trouble.
- The handset supports Dual SIM Dual VoLTE. So, you can use two Jio SIM cards or use a Jio SIM and a 4G SIM simultaneously.
- The handset has Widevine DRM L1 certificate b
ut does not support HD streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Samsung has fixed the issue. The Galaxy A7 (2018) now supports HD streaming on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
- The Experience UI software on the phone is based on Android 8.0 Oreo.
- The 3300mAh battery can last for one day of moderate to heavy usage. Fast charging is not supported. The inbox charger is rated 5V, 1.5A.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Camera Review
The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) includes three cameras on the rear and one on the front (are we finally moving away from the selfie marketing pitch?). The primary 24MP sensor (f/1.7, PDAF) relies on pixel binning (Interpolating data gathered by 4 pixels as 1 for better details), the 5MP sensor is used as a depth sensor to fuel portrait mode or Live Focus as Samsung puts it, and the 8MP sensor (f/2.4, 13mm) for shooting in wide angle mode.
Now let’s talk about camera performance.
The primary 24MP rear camera is a very good performer for its price. The shots that we clicked outdoors show a wide dynamic range and sharp details.
Indoor camera performance (for the primary camera) is great too.
The portrait mode (Live FOCUS), that uses the 5MP depth sensor, can be a hit or a miss. The background blur is adjustable and looks awesome when things click. Edge detection needs to get better, though.
The software-based live focus works for selfie camera works decently in proper outdoor lighting.
You can switch to the third 8MP sensor from the camera app to capture wide-angle shots. Since this is a wide-angle lens, the barrel distortion at the edges is expected and if, like me, you are not familiar with how to use the wide-angle lens properly, you won’t be using it very often.
Besides, the low resolution (8MP) for wide-angle shots could be a problem, and the wide-angle lens is also fixed focus.
For selfies, there is a 24MP sensor up front. The portrait mode is available for both rear and front cameras.
The ‘scene optimizer’ in the camera app can also recognize scenes and adjust camera settings accordingly. We don’t remember Samsung using the word ‘AI’ which is actually refreshing. The optimization is, thankfully, not as aggressive.
Note: These camera samples have been resized for web. You can check the full resolution samples in this flickr album.
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Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review – Should you buy it?
Samsung Galaxy A7 starts at Rs. 24K, which is lesser than what the Galaxy A6+ cost at launch. We can see that Samsung is finally pushing itself to pass on more aggressive hardware, at least in the mid-range segment.
The Galaxy A7 (2018) is better looking and more comfortable to handle compared to the other better-specced competitors that it challenges. It also benefits from a well-calibrated AMOLED display, a slick side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and mature software.
We are quite happy with the overall rear camera performance, but that’s not because Samsung is using three sensors instead of two. Or, even one.
- AMOLED Display
- Ample RAM and Storage
- Dual SIM Dual VoLTE support
- Indoor camera performance
- An accessible side-mounted Fingerprint sensor
- Only mini version of Samsung Pay
- No fast charging
- Case cover not bundled in the box