This year’s J7’s successor is a successful and acceptable revision of the 2015’s J7. Samsung’s kept hold of all the necessary and likeable features from their old device and brought it to their new device while adding new and better features to the mix like the much awaited NFC chip. Here’s what we have to say about this device:
The first and perhaps the most note-worthy modification in the new J7 2016 is an obvious increase in the active part of the phone’s screen. The glass front, though still limited by the 5.5 inch screen size has a bigger AMOLED Capacitive touchscreen which makes this device all the more likeable. Its dimensions are 151.7 × 76 × 7.8mm and weighs around 170g. There’s a matte finish metallic frame that runs along the boundary of this device with antenna bands at the top of the device, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a charging port at the bottom along with more antenna bands, a power button to the right of the device and separated volume buttons on the left. We found these separated volume buttons a big improvement and one we expect Samsung to soon turn into a signature. They are extremely tactile and add a handsome feel to your device. The back panel comes with a matte finish matching the metallic frame. The camera protrudes slightly out of the back and is accompanied on the right side with a dual LED flash and on the left side with a speaker. Samsung has kept the looks of its new device similar to its ancestor, embracing the general look but introducing all the necessary alterations in design at the same time. It is currently available in black, white and gold colors.
We’ve seen that Samsung has been magnanimous in giving its J series humongous batteries. They’ve lived up to the trend this year to by giving it’s J7 2016 a whopping 3300 mAh removable Li-Ion battery which is a welcome 300 mAh upgrade from its past year’s J7. It is expected to provide 23 hours of talk time on 3G and 96 hours of music play time. Samsung has added a handy ultra-battery saving mode to the mix to up the battery life for J7. For those of our viewers who are shifting to this device from Huawei phones, this would seem familiar. Huawei’s been using it in their phones for a long time now. It limits the background data and restricts users to a few essential applications like dialer and messaging apps. This significantly improves battery. This feature was hailed globally and it is high time other cell phone companies followed Huawei’s suit. Samsung has done right by its users by not only limiting itself to hardware modifications but providing its consumers with software tuning as well. Moreover the Android 6.0.1 marshmallow that comes with this device is a piece of cake for the rustiest of hardware to handle. Couple this with the fact that this device has done well in alienating itself from all the major sensors out there, and you get a praise-worthy battery life. On normal usage an average user should expect 2 straight days out of it. Legend has it that if you turn on the ultra-battery saving mode on this beast, it never runs out of juice!
This phone comes running an Exynos 7580 chipset in some variants and a 7870 Exynos in others. Accompanying this beast are 8 cores with a clock frequency of 1.6 GHz. To deal with graphics, it has a Mali T-830 GPU which is just what we expected in this price range. Samsung has finally added NFC chip with this year’s upgrade to their galaxy J7 2016. While we won’t call these features extra-ordinary, but they sure add up to give a handsome lag-free experience when they play together. We’ve subjected this device to heavy usage during our time with this device and found it to take all the strain like a champ.
Like all the J series, camera is where this phone owns all other phones in the same price tag. It comes with the same 13 MP back snapper as in its ancestor with a slight upgrade as it now gets the new f/1.9 lens that is present in S6 and S6 edge devices. The back cam is accompanied with a dual LED flash like we mentioned earlier. Samsung has equipped J7’s camera with all the usual perks like geo-tagging, touch focus, panorama, face detection and HDR. The front shooter is 5 MP with a similar f/1.9 lens and a single LED flash as one of the key features of the J line is being selfie phones. Though these shooters resemble the ones in the new J5, they had better results for unexplainable reasons and that too on a lower PPI. J7’s cameras allow 1080p shooting at 30fps which makes sense because in a price cut this short it is only natural to exclude the chipsets that support 4k video recording.
There are two versions of this device, one that has a single micro sim slot and another that has dual sim functionality. J7 supports 4G connectivity and that too at bands present in Asia which makes perfect sense as this line of Samsung’s budget devices was the most successful in South-East Asia. It comes with Wifi 802.11 b/g/n and a Bluetooth version 4.1.
This is where we get to see some drastic improvements. The android version 6.0.1 works like a breeze and the addition of newer Touch wiz skin serves as icing on the cake. With gimmicks like ultra-battery saving mode and the power to disable the app drawer at will, Samsung is surely going to attract a lot of buyers.
In a struggle to pack the best of the best in a limited budget, Samsung sure has left out some necessities. They’ve left out the ambient light sensor which means there is no auto-brightness mode in this device. We get just the accelerometer sensor, presumably to help with gaming. We are guessing that as soon as the experts at Samsung find a way to make them work without the accelerometer, that’ll be when we say goodbye to this sensor as well. Also included in this price range is a worthless proximity sensor that only serves the purpose to shut your screen down when you receive calls. We sure believe that this is the part that deserves critique by the consumers who are developers. If you are an average user, however, then this won’t hurt you much.
We won’t praise the display on this device. They’ve left out the much needed Corning Gorilla Glass protection, a price that had to be paid if budget had to be slimmed. The 267 PPI screen comes with a resolution of 720 × 1280 pixels. Though not bad, we feel that this could have been made better. But then again, we should consider that this a budget phablet before subjecting it to critique. All the shortcomings are sure forgivable due to the low price tag.
All variants that are available under the name of J7 have a low memory of 16 GBs. This comes with an expandable storage that allows SD cards up to 128GBs. The RAM has been upgraded to 2GBs which would prove sufficient for an average user.
With a price of 250 USD, we’d say that this is just the right phone for an average user. Sure it has some short comings but its price should be considered strictly when comparing it with other phones. Phones from rival companies that lie in the same price range with a margin of a thousand or two PKR like LG G3, G Flex 2 or some Xperia phones by Sony may appear to be better but in a thorough comparison of all the specs, the J7 wins. We highly recommend it to our viewers if it’s a budget phone they’re looking for. There’s a reason this phone is such a huge success in Asia… get this phone and discover it yourself.