Samsung Galaxy A series is the middle range of smartphones, which takes the life from previous A-series and essence from last year’s flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge+. The blend of glass and metal gives a very premium look, and the upgrade from the previous phones provides a performance boost at the same time. From the price point of view, particularly talking about A7 2016, the smartphone meets the expectation, both regarding looks and performance.
The series could be a game changer for the Korean company in the middle price range where competition is growing, and various Chinese brands of the likes of Huawei and Lenovo are coming up with some excellent alternatives.
The latest Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 that we also see in the hands of Fawad Khan is a metal and glass combination which looks perfect and decent for the people who like to remain in style. It comes with the bunch of useful and exciting features and is ideal for viewing emails, text messages, and other daily stuff on a large 5.5inch display which is brighter and sharper.
Let’s have a look at few important areas of the phone.
Samsung Galaxy A7 boasts a luxurious design, and a stunning 5.5 inch Super AMOLED display gives a very premium look that is not usually the case with middle range phones.
Apart from all the other conventional design aspects, the interesting part about the A7 (2016) is that it doesn’t deprive you of dual SIM functionality because of microSD card.
Samsung has allocated a separate slot for each SIM and the SD card, unlike the usual practice where combo tray can either hold an external memory card or a SIM.
You can put a nano-SIM and memory card in the tray placed on the right-hand side underneath the power key whereas the top houses a tray for your second SIM card. Volume and power keys are metallic, smooth and well protrude for easy handling with one hand.
Bottom of the A7 2016 holds Micro-USB port, headset jack, speaker grill and the microphone.
Front and back of the phone boast Gorilla Glass 4 which are slightly curved at the edges. Despite all glass, the phone doesn’t catch smudges the way we usually experience on glassy surfaces.
The metal ring surrounding the phone not only ensures a firm grip while you are holding the phone but also is an attention grabber.
The front houses two capacitive soft keys (one for back and other for multitasking operation) and the big “Home” button which also has the sensitive fingerprint scanner in it. You need to register you finger from all the possible angles to avoid a hassle of not getting into your phone at a later stage. In any such case, you have the option of a backup password that you must note down somewhere.
5.5 inches screen of Galaxy A7 (2016) offers a Super AMOLED display and 1080×1920 resolution.
It packs a distinctive feature to adjust brightness according to the image being displayed for saving the battery power. The display of A7 2016 is brighter, and the color accuracy is remarkably well which is usually the case with Samsung’s displays.
A7 (2016) has a couple of built-in modes to play with including Adaptive Display, AMOLED Cinema, AMOLED Photo, and Basic. The last one gives you a closer to the real view of what is on the display, but you can try to add some artificiality (or enhancement in other words) to your content by selecting different modes that make things more vibrant and sharper. To us, the Basic one just did fine.
Although not the brightest on the market A7 2016 screen performs well under the sunlight and doesn’t disappoint under a sunny sky.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) amused us with its music capability, and so did the case with the camera which was 13 MP at rear and front housed a 5 MP lens.
It comes with optical image stabilization (OIS) and a wide, f/1.9 aperture for allowing more light. The images it produces are of excellent quality and can be easily matched with what S6 can do for you.
The camera app interface is simple, and the icons are very well placed.
One feature is worth mentioning which allows you to take pictures even if the video recording is going on. We couldn’t’ find this option even in most of the high-end phones. So, you can produce some great quality uninterrupted videos of a party and take the pics of some interesting moments at the same time.
The image capturing from the rear camera is excellent in better light conditions, whereas the results are equally good under low light, thanks to a better quality LED flash.
Continuous shots were not the problem, and there seemed no lag in between. Even the app itself opens quite briskly either from the home screen or double tap the home button which does the same even in the lock mode.
The camera app comes with various built-in modes including the ‘pro’. There are others which you can download from Samsung cloud including the animated GIF that allows you to record those longer moments by snapping up to 20 continuous photos and automatically creating a shareable GIF instead of a movie.
Selfies are equally hot in 2016 and for selfie lovers, there is a panoramic mode ‘Wide Selfie’ that means you can always include more heads in your pictures.
Processing and Memory
Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 has few a variants, but in Pakistan, the smartphone comes with Exynos 7580 chipset with an added support in the shape of Mali-T720 for GPU rendering.
Routine working didn’t bother us, but you get to see a slight stutter when the phone is heavier with multiple apps working side by side. Certainly, the phone is not designed for gaming maniacs who are into heavy 3D games, but 3GB RAM keeps you away from distress in most of the cases.
You get almost 9 GB out of total 16 GB internal storage (somehow, 7 GB is used by the system) so you can’t rely for the big data archive on this phone without an external card which Samsung has a dedicated slot for it.
Sound during calls and multimedia
We are not going to do rigid technical comparisons here; from the layman’s perspective, the in-call sound quality is just fine, and even the speaker justifies the middle range standing of the product although, we get a much better speaker voice from the phones of likes S6 and Note 4, 5.
The music experience is excellent, especially when your favorite headphones are on and to add extra spice; there is a built-in equalizer with some very impressive pre-defined and manual options to play around. The speaker at the bottom does the job, but Samsung could have enhanced the experience further by giving a little more attention.
There is an FM radio app which is basic in handling the affairs. There is no RDS feature, but you can record the live transmission.
While the recording is on, the phone lowers the volume by 50%, and the same is replicated in the recorded file.
Watching videos on a 5.5-inch screen which is much brighter than usual is an experience of its own, but we missed the equalizer in the video app that forced us to download alternatives from the Play Store. There is a subtitle support, though. Moreover, there is an Edit option, but it only allows to trim the file which is handy in some cases.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) offers an improved non-removable battery of 3300 mAh which is a big upgrade for the smartphone users as an earlier version of the phone never gave you a whole day companionship. There is more; the phone comes with fast charging feature coupled with some very useful power saving modes that you can access from ‘Smart Manager’ for keeping your gadget alive for some good extra hours and keep it clean at the same time.
We experienced a 1% drop in battery power overnight while every other connectivity feature remained inactive. It looked similar to what we experienced with J series phones, but they are somehow more efficient in battery consumption.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A7 smartphone offers great features at the price of just Rs. 53,000. Remember that you always get what you pay for. If you need a device that offers an excellent range of features for listening music, capturing beautiful photos, selfies, videos, and chatting on WhatsApp & Skype, and then Samsung Galaxy A7 is definitely for you.