Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) Full Review - The cheaper Galaxy S7
Great DisplayGreat Battery LifeGreat Build Quality Water and dust resistant - must have feature in every smartphone
No LED notification light on the frontAdding OIS to the camera could be as equal as the S7
9.4Overall Score
Design9.2
Camera9
Performance8.8
Features10
Battery Life10
Reader Rating 0 Votes
0.0

What’s in the box?

1x Earphones (In-ear type)

1x SIM Ejector Pin

1x 3-pin Charging wall adapter (fast charging enabled)

1x USB Type C Charging Cable

1x USB Type C to Micro USB connector

1 x User Guide

1 x Warranty Card

1 x Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) – Gold Sand

Introduction

We have tested in our lab the all new Samsung Galaxy A7, 2017 edition and we would like to start with the best statement regarding the smartphone. It is definitely the cheaper version of the legendary flagship smartphone Samsung Galaxy S7. We got very comfortable with it within a very short period despite getting used to Samsung’s UI again after a long break. How well did the Galaxy A7(2017) performed in our review? Find out by reading the entire review and please do take note that we only perform day to day based on real time happenings as a customer’s point of view. This is our full review of the Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) that we have used as a daily driver for two weeks.

Design & Display

When price gets cheaper, our first impression will be “Surely they gonna make the design ugly and use cheaper materials”. But wait, you would have guessed it wrong as it looks exactly like, perhaps the Note 5. Front and back is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, with the front being 2.5D while the back has the exact same curved glass edges like the Note 5. There is a 5.7-inch Full HD display with Super AMOLED technology made available on the Samsung Galaxy A7(2017). The display quality is definitely gorgeous as we all know how good are Samsung smartphones when it comes to AMOLED based displays.

The frame is made out of high quality aluminium unibody. The positioning of slots could be slightly new for some people. There’s one SIM slot on the top of the phone while the speaker is placed on the right side of the A7,on top of the power button. Not to forget, the buttons are exteremely tactile and we love just how responsive they are. The speaker positioning is good in our opinion as it’s definitely a better position than having it at back of a smartphone and even at the bottom, because we tend to hold the phone on landscape orientation with hand placed on the top and bottom. Great thinking, Samsung.

Uniform all around

“Design that is a delight to hold. Sitting perfectly level with the rear casing, the absence of any camera protrusion allows for uniformly smooth and symmetrical design from all angles.”

The volume rockers are placed on the left side while the charging port which is USB Type-C is placed at the bottom of the phone accompanied with the 3.5mm jack. (Yes, we still have it for now, at least on the A series). The fingerprint scanner is placed on the front home button which is click-able while the usual capacitive backlit buttons of “recent applications” and “back” are still present.

Lastly, on the front top there’s the front facing camera, ear-piece and proximity sensor while on the back there’s the main camera placed at the middle top paired with single LED flash. The camera is placed really nice without bulging out at all. This ensures that you can place it on a flat top and still use the smartphone firmly.

 

Water and Dust Resistant (IP68)

Again as we would love to see the features coming straight from Samsung Galaxy S7 series, there’s also IP68 certification given to the Samsung Galaxy A7(2017). This smartphone is now dust and water resistant for a really decent level.

To have an easier understanding on how what these ratings stand for, kindly refer the following:-

Dust Resistant level 6

6 Dust Tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact.

 

Water Resistant level 8

8 Immersion beyond 1m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.

We have tested it just right especially during a daily usage of cleaning the phone up after going through a day full of fingerprints and dirt. We got rid of it as simple as washing it up and dry it later with a towel. Believe us, it is much cleaner than you wiping it off without involving any liquid. Going through harsh environment such as you have to take out your phone while it is raining is surely possible with the all new Galaxy A7.

Of course we have not tried going to a place where it is extremely dusty or rather full of sand such as the desert itself, but the A7 is still capable of handling such environment. So, we do hope we have explained enough on the IP68 rating. Oh, yes you can surely swim and take photos with it. Screen will be definitely not possible to press while you’re underwater, but you can use the volume rockers instead to snap sharp images even when you’re in the water!

How good is the camera?

The Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) features great hardware when it comes to camera department. Both front and back camera comes with a 16MP sensor alongside an aperture of f1.9 which allows a great amount of light to enter. This results in a clearer image especially during low-light situations.

The camera is obviously not as good as the one comes on Galaxy S7, however it does produce unbelievable images on Auto mode.  There is also the Pro mode where you can tweak around the White Balance and the ISO levels. There is no manual focus available on the Pro mode which could have given an added advantage though many are not actually a fan of having it. Most end-users are the ones prefer to have a camera in a smartphone which can capture great images on Auto mode.

Both front and back cameras are great performers while the front camera has “Screen Flash” rather than having a physical front facing LED flash. It works by flashing a bright white screen while you actually capture the image. This results in a brighter and actually better image than some with front facing flash. It might sound like a gimmick, but it serves its point and works flawlessly.

Check out our mini preview of the camera features that comes along with the Samsung Galaxy A7. Do take note that the video recording is up to Full HD and there is no 4K recording available in this model. The “Food” mode is our favorite because it really takes photo of food in a whole new level.

Samsung Pay

This is a feature that we are yet to try as there feature is still under “coming soon”. However, we have tested this during the launch event where you just have to swipe up on the screen, the card will pop out virtually on the display.

In order to authenticate, simply place your fingerprint on the fingerprint scanner. Lastly, you just have to tap your back of the phone on the terminal for the payment to be successful. This is only possible with Samsung smartphones that comes with NFC technology. Please do take note on why the Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) might cost you a little bit more than the previous version. There are a lot of upgrades and value-added features for the consumers to enjoy rather than paying above RM2000 for it.

Dual separate SIM slot + MicroSD card slot

A dream come true for those who want a dual SIM supported device with a dedicated slot for the micro SD card. The Samsung Galaxy A7 allows you to expand the memory up to 256GB without having to sacrifice a SIM slot as it comes with a standalone slot. You can now enjoy two SIM cards as well as one micro SD card in a single device.

Both the slots support 4G LTE connectivity and you can definitely use YES 4G’s VOLTE technology on this Samsung smartphone. We tested our device on Digi’s network as well and it worked flawlessly. The network did not fluctuate much during our usage and the call quality can be rated as excellent.

Always On Display and USB Type-C

Fancy the famous Always On Display on the Samsung Galaxy S7? You have it on the A7 now! This is one of our favorite feature as it is really handy. You can customize it to show the Clock, Calendar or even any preferred image that you want to display. The notifications will be shown by default on the Always On Display which you can also turn it off if you dislike it. Obviously we all would love to keep that on as that is the main catch of why we should have Always On Display on a smartphone.

We have something new that even the Samsung Galaxy S7 lacks. What is that? It is the USB Type-C! Well, we love having the latest connection port available on mobile smartphone to present on the A7. It is of course reversible, meaning you can use either sides that you slot it into the phone.

Processor & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) comes with Samsung’s very own Exynos 7880 Octa core processor clocked at 1.9GHz. Of course, its a flagship grade as well since its based on 14nm process. In terms of stability, it is pretty good and we are yet to see any sluggishness or any force close issues as well.

The 3GB of RAM certainly helps the phone to run buttery smooth. The Touchwiz has gone through massive upgrades and is considered one of the recently favored Skin On by local consumers. There are bloatwares within the smartphone which you can disable if you decide to find it annoying at some point.

Gaming on the A7 is pretty decent and of course we don’t really game on mobile phones. However, to satisfy your cravings, we have made Benchmark test via Antutu.

ANTUTU Benchmark

Software & Multitasking

For usage such as web browsing, multitasking and social networking, this is definitely the phone to consider. You can use Multiwindow feature for real time multitasking where you can use two applications simultaneously. You can also minimize a Youtube video to your preferred size and continue replying your email if you want to.

Just a reminder, there are still smartphones out there that are not capable of offering these features yet. Not to forget, you can use up to 5 apps simultaneously. having “chat head” concept of Facebook Messenger. This is the real meaning of multitasking and you can barely sense any lag while using 5 apps in one shot. You can only get these feature on Samsung’s Touchwiz powered by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

Battery at it’s best

The battery life on the Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) is extremely good. It comes with a non-removable 3600mAh battery which is powered for serious users. We managed to get around 8 hours of Screen-On-Time! with it lasting for two days. Of course, we did not play any games during this test. It was solely about replying emails, social network all the way and web browsing via Chrome.

 

In order to satisfy the end user’s cravings, Samsung have included Adaptive Fast Charging adapter which can produce up to 15W!. Having a Type-C enabled smartphone with fast charging is what we want. Future proof at its best. Also, if you are in trouble of having to charge while you’re outside, your friends could still offer their Powerbank with regular microUSB cable.

This is because Samsung has bundled along microUSB connector which you can carry along, just in case of emergency. Thank you for that Samsung!

Final Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) is a great smartphone to consider for the year 2017. There’s not many phone out there that are water and dust resistant. You might have to pay RM1899 for this beast, you won’t really disagree with the price tag if you have read what we mentioned above in our review.  If you find the 5.7-inch display is too big for you, might as well consider the Samsung Galaxy A5(2017) which is slightly smaller sized at 5.2-inches. But if you want a greater battery life, do consider the A7 instead as the A5 comes only with 3000mAh battery capacity.

Price, Color & Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A7(2017) is priced at RM1899 inclusive of GST. It is widely available nationwide and Malaysia is the first country to have the new A series launched. The A7 is available in 4 colors, Black Sky, Gold Sand (the one we reviewed), Blue Mist and Peach Cloud. Get one for yourself by visiting Samsung’s official store in Lazada ===> LINK