Samsung has yet again released another budget class smartphone, the new and improved Galaxy J7 Prime. Previously, we had the Galaxy J7 (2016) which was a budget class smartphone accompanied with a large screen. Users have generally moved from sub 5 inch screens to larger sized ones. The J7 Prime boasts a 5.5 inch panel and is set to replace the 2016 iteration. Budget being the keyword with the J series, Samsung has tried to provide the best experience possible while retaining the series’ philosophy. Putting the phone through its paces, has Samsung nailed it with the J7 Prime?
Let us remind you first that most phones in this price bracket rarely come with machined aluminium let alone a fingerprint sensor that actually works. The J7 Prime shines where it really matters with its uni-body design and a fingerprint sensor that forced us to compare it with the Galaxy S7 — placed quite above with a few jumps in price. Expand-ability is great with the phone as it carries Dual-SIM capability along with expandable storage up-to 256GB.
We will list the technical specifications right here and discuss our opinion on the Galaxy J7 Prime afterwards.
Galaxy J7 Prime: Technical Specifications
- Dimensions 151.7 x 75 x 8 mm (5.97 x 2.95 x 0.31 in)
- Weight 162 g
- Battery 3300 mAh
- Memory 16GB or 32GB built-in, 3GB RAM, microSD card
- Processor Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 (Octa Core)
- Display Size 5.5 Inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
- Display: PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, proximity
- Operating System: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
- Colors Black, Gold
- Camera 13 MP, f/1.9, 28mm, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR
- Video 1080p@30fps
- Secondary 8 MP, f/1.9
Galaxy J7 Prime: Design and Hardware
Samsung has experimented with Android phones for quite some time. It has made its name after releasing dozens of smartphones each year. It is very logical to say the brand has extensive experience in designing and developing smartphones. It knows what matters and what sticks. The J7 Prime is a direct result of that experience. Samsung has resorted to a machined aluminium body for the exterior which is very satisfiying to hold and use.
The shape is rounded off at the edges and the whole phone forms one singular block. It has no removable battery cover, rather it utilizes seperate trays for insertion of cards. Display is sized at a generous 5.5 inch. Sadly, thats where the positives of the display end. The technology running it is TFT which is a big step down from Super AMOLED or IPS for that matter. The color reproduction isn’t that good neither is the sharpness. The resolution it offers is 1920×1080. Regardless, speaking just for TFT screen technology we think the Galaxy J7 Prime carries the best implementation.
Moving further, the processor is a Octa-core Exynos chipset clocked at 1.6 GHz coupled with 3GB RAM. The combination is quite powerful as we didn’t experience any slow-downs or laggy apps. The storage on our unit was 16GB but you can buy it with 32GB. Keep in mind, the phone already ships with a microSD card slot which doesn’t take any SIM slot and works independently.
Physically, the ports are all locked at the bottom, microUSB and — thankfully — 3.5mm heapdhone jack. What I immediately noticed that there weren’t any speaker vents. After briefly examining top and bottom, I soon questioned whether the phone even has them? After playing some music, the volume rised from the top. No, the call speaker isn’t boosted for music rather there is a stealthy vent on the right side of the phone. Quite unusual but a welcome change. Speaker itself was adequately loud but lacked quality. This is a problem in all smartphones these days so I wouldn’t hold it to the J7 Prime.
Following the traditional Samsung style, the phone has three buttons placed at the bottom. The center serves as a physical button while the others flanking on each side are touch. The first cut of features we have noticed is here, the touch buttons don’t have any back lit. Okay, I don’t use the button backligh myself and most wont, I agree but is it enough to cut it altogether? I don’t think so. The volume buttons are separated and placed on the left. As for sensors, here is another obvious cut in features, the phone has no brightness sensor. Yes, that means you don’t have access to the auto-brightness feature that is built in most “smart” phones. Talking of sensors, the Gyro sensor is also missing. Unfortunately, again yes, you can’t view 360 degree photos by manipulating your phone rather you have to manually swipe.
The hardware on the Galaxy J7 Prime is very competent but some of the cuts that Samsung has made seem illogical at first. However, within the time I had this phone, I can overlook them and adjust to them easily. But is it worth to adjust to less features?
Galaxy J7 Prime: Camera
The camera is something which works for the J7 Prime strongly. The 13 megapixel count isn’t obvioulsy high but we have been reminded time and again that doesn’t stand for any absolute measure of quality. The aperture is at f/1.9 which is arguably good for low-light photography. All in all, coupled with the software, I found the camera more than adequate and would give props for Samsung on providing such a experience on a budget-centric smartphone.
Also, Samsung has listened to consumers and us reviewers over the unnecessary camera bumps on smartphones. I am very happy to say that the Galaxy J7 Prime has no camera bump rather the camera is inversed into the body to protect the lens glass. Another major factor that users look for these days.
Galaxy J7 Prime: Connectivity, Memory and Battery
The battery on this phone is downright the key highlight. After shifting to a Note series smartphone from the Samsung, I thought this was the best — in terms of battery life — I can get but the J7 Prime has proved that clearly isn’t the case. 3300mAh capacity is very high and thanks to the efficient Exynos processor, the phone sips power even under load. I ran a 7 hour loop of 480p video from YouTube over WiFi, continuously. That directly means, it had 7 hrs of on screen time but the story doesn’t end there. The phone was charged only to 90 percent with only 30mins of SOT, at the start, and at the end of the loop, it had 7 percent remaining. Yes, it can go longer than that. I reran the same test just to confirm and fortunately, again around 8 hrs of SOT was provided by the phone. The battery is phenomenal to say the least and in this budget, I don’t think anything comes close. Let alone, some high end smartphones fail miserably in comparison.
Galaxy J7 Prime: Software
As with all Samsung phones and Samsung’s own philosophy in providing the same key experience, the Galaxy J7 Prime comes with TouchWiz UX. The interface has grown quite a lot and serves good purpose on the J7 Prime. You have options to install Themes and have access to proprietary apps such as Samsung Notes and more.
With the J7 Prime, Samsung is marketing a new mode called “S Bike mode”. It is targeted towards users who ride bikes for daily commutes. The mode allows for disctraction free riding and helps you focus on the road. The mode also measures distances, time spent and more to log your ride for consultation afterwards.