- The Super AMOLED Super Screen is ideal for a device in this range
- Triple cameras are disappointing in terms of quality
The middle class smartphone is a very competitive place nowadays, such as Asus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Honor, who are fighting for the top spot. Imagine my surprise when I learned that Samsung threw its proverbial hat into the ring in the form of the Galaxy A7 (2018).
However, does the A7 really have what it takes to grow above the rest?
To stand out in the mid-range game, Samsung knows that it needs a lethal but virtual design. She has chosen a glossy glass back that is stunning to see but unfortunately is quite slippery. On several occasions, the phone also dropped from the table, so you definitely need to wrap it in a case if you want to stay in one piece.
The A7 comes in three different colors: black, gold and blue, which we received as a model for review. Blue is definitely the most impressive of the lot and it is a very pleasant color that I honestly see.
You can not talk about the A7 without talking about the huge Super AMOLED 6 inch screen. Simply put, the analysis looks great and the colors are simply gorgeous. If there is some criticism, it is that large wreaths around the side alter the appearance of the phone.
Another point of controversy is the plastic sides. Although it looks like polished metal, it does not really have the high-quality feel you would expect.
This is the first time that Samsung has incorporated the fingerprint reader with the power button. It's definitely unusual, as the only other phone that did this was the Sony Xperia line. While the reader is fast enough, he feels curious to unlock him with his right thumb and left index.
But fingerprint reader is not the only way to unlock A7 using biometric data. It has a person unlock feature that is not dissimilar to the one found on higher quality Samsung phones. It is granted, it's not as responsive or as accurate as I want it to be, but it is practical to have it nonetheless.
The glossy glass back and the fingerprint reader on the side are not the only defining features of the A7. The back features the renowned array of triple cameras, another one for Samsung.
However, the biggest disappointment in the A7 is the fact that it uses a dated micro USB port. Built in between a loudspeaker and a 3.5mm headphone socket, the micro USB port really has to be turned off at the most modern and faster C type door.
Besides, the other disadvantage for A7 is the lack of tightness. Unlike the higher class cousins such as the Galaxy S9, the A7 is vulnerable to water, so be careful not to sink it.
Taking a look under the hood, the A7 is powered by a Samsung Exynos 7 Octa 7885 chipset. Now, this is a perfect mid-range chip for a phone in this range and is on the same level as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 series.
My A7 control unit came with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. While this 64GB of RAM does not sound much, it is lucky that there is a microSD card slot extension that supports storage expansion.
By making the A7 through his footsteps at the benchmarks, the phone has earned a very respectable range of ratings that are at least a capable phone for everyday use. In fact, you could say it has a better performance than Qualcomm's Snapdragon 636 chip.
All these numbers next, I had no problem using A7 under real-world conditions with all applications running smoothly without delay or slowdown. By browsing Chrome by checking offers for Lazada or Shopee to watch videos on YouTube, the A7 worked well.
Now Gaming is not the best for A7 and you may need to break the graphics settings for demanding games to moderate or low if you want to have the best experience. That being said, the screen is great for content consumption and playing games, so it's a consolation.
The unique A7 speaker at the bottom proved to be unprofitable in terms of sound performance. The lack of a second front speaker means it does not sound so good and just sounds full.
Packaging a 3.300mAh battery, I did not think the A7 would perform extremely well. Really, I could get about a day of full use of about 9 to 10 hours on a charge. However, since the sportive older micro USB port, it has lost much of the ability to quickly charge the phone.
Coming to the most discussed feature of A7: the triple camera array. It consists of a main 24-Megapixel camera with f / 1.8 diaphragm along with a 5-Megapixel secondary camera that is basically a depth camera to help shoot "bokeh" of the A7 shooting.
Last but not least, the 8 Megapixel wide aperture f / 2.4 camera is useful for shooting panoramic scenes or when you need to capture more in a scene.
In terms of quality, the main camera takes decent pictures in daylight, but sharpness and detail suffer significantly in less optimal lighting conditions.
In addition to the usual Auto mode, you can also switch between features such as Pro mode and Scene Optimiser, a new drag mode from the Galaxy Note 9. Disappointingly Pro does not really have manual controls and offers only basic settings such as ISO, white balance. I suppose this should not be surprising given its budgetary size, but it would be nice.
Scene Optimiser should take advantage of the camera's ability to recognize the landscape and suggest the right settings for its best download. However, this does not work in wide-angle mode.
From my experience using the wide-angle function, I found it works best when recording scenes under intense sunny conditions. However, the smallest opening, lower megapixels and lack of optical image stabilization (OIS) have led to many muddy shots indoors or in low light conditions.
As far as video quality is concerned, I would say that you should not expect much from the A7. It is not surprising that the mid-range mode was limited to recording Full HD video. The absence of OIS even plagues A7 video performance, resulting in many videos that were not good.
While I have to applaud Samsung for trying to break the mid-market, the fact is that at $ 310 (RM1,299) the A7 is not very competitive. Perhaps the strongest reason to choose the A7 is if you absolutely love Samsung's Super Super AMOLED display and its value above everything else. It looks great and you will not regret it if you want to watch many videos or browse your phone.
But besides, the A7 mid range processor is surpassed at this price point. Though it is not awesome for everyday use, I have to keep in mind that there are similar brands selling flagship processors in their mid-range bids.
It does not help the fact that the much-touted triple audio camera better on paper than it does in actual use. Choosing a wide-angle camera opens up several possibilities, but the lack of OIS makes the performance of the photo and video more difficult.
So if you are in the market for a phone with a great display and decent performance the A7 is for you. But otherwise, you might want to see the many other deals on the market.