Hey there, Alex here.
The Samsung Galaxy A series is like a muchneglected middle child in the Galaxy family.
It’s not as powerful or flashy as the SSeries, and it’s not as accessible as the J Series.
It just sits quietly in the middle.
In its third generation, it seems like theA Series is all grown up.
It can now do even more of the things thatthe S series can do.
So let’s take a closer look at the GalaxyA7, and see if it’s any good.
As part of the Galaxy family, the A7 looksexactly like how much it costs.
Which is basically a slightly cheaper versionof the Galaxy S7.
Glass front and back, and metal sides.
It still looks and feels great, but it justlacks that polish and shine that the Galaxy S7 has.
Like it’s literally less shiny.
An interesting design choice is that the speakeris actually at the side of the phone instead of the bottom.
So instead of covering the speaker with myright hand, I'm now covering the speaker with my left hand instead.
Anyway, the speaker itself is pretty averagesounding.
The A7 is now water resistant, with an IP68rating, which is definitely a very nice feature to have.
Considering there are way more expensive phonesstill without that feature.
There is a 5.
7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screenat the front, and like all modern Samsung displays, it looks pretty wonderful in most lightingconditions.
It has great contrast and nice colours.
It may not be as amazing as the display onthe S7, but it’s definitely better than most phonesin this price range.
I am in the camp that thinks that Full HDis still plenty enough for everyday use.
Furthermore, with lesser pixels to push around,the battery life and performance will likely be better as well.
For those who find A7 a bit too big, thereis the slightly smaller A5 with a smaller screen and battery.
Performance wise, it’s packing a mid-rangeExynos 7880 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal memory.
This is a very similar chipset to the Snapdragon625, also with Cortex A53 cores, and built using the 14nm process.
The phone handles most everyday tasks withease, even with a bit of gaming thrown in.
The user interface is generally pretty responsivedespite TouchWiz.
It take a tiny bit more time to open apps,or load a game, but nothing that I would consider a deal breaker.
On the bright side, the processor seems tobe pretty power efficient.
With a 3,600mAh battery, I’m getting reallygreat battery life with more than a day of use, and great screen on time.
It supports fast charging as well, but sincethe battery life is so good, I rarely found myself needing it.
Software wise, it’s running a version ofTouchWiz that looks similar to the Note7.
It's still running on Android 6.
0, but italready comes with some Android 7.
0 features like split screen multitasking and blue lightfilter.
It’s a bit of a bummer it’s not on Android7.
0, but at least the security patch level is still relatively recent for now.
It supports Samsung Pay, which means I canuse it for mobile payments at more locations with Samsung’s MST technology.
Always-on-display is here too, which is afeature I have grown to love on the S7.
Another nice touch is that the fingerprintsensor is now always on, so no need for a button press to wake the phone first.
Then you get a bunch of other TouchWiz featurestoo like the ability to hide important data in secure folder, run apps in a floating window, game toolsfor enhanced gaming experience, picture in picture mode in the Samsung browser,take a long screenshot, clean the device up, and a bunch of otherstuff.
So software experience wise, it's going tobe a pretty familiar one if you've used a Samsung phone before.
Which is to say it’s decent, but not fantastic.
The A7 has a 16MP rear camera with f/1.
9 aperturewhich actually performs really well in most lighting conditions.
You're not going to get S7-like quality fromthis camera, but it’s still pretty good.
It does struggle a little bit in low lightespecially with no optical image stabilisation, but then again most mid range devices do.
That said, it is still slightly better thanI expected it to be.
My main complaint with this camera is theapp itself.
Not with the lack of modes compared to theS7, but with the Auto mode.
The Auto mode isn’t really that great, becauseI still have to manually switch between HDR and Night mode to get the most out of thecamera.
It’s 2017 for crying out loud, and evenmid-range devices deserves a full auto mode with auto HDR and scene detection.
The front camera fares a lot better with its16MP camera and f/1.
I don’t take much selfies, but I am pretty impressed with images thatit’s able to produce, even in dimmer lighting conditions.
So while the camera experience isn't perfect,and the focusing speeds isn’t the fastest around, I think it's still a decent camera for a midrange device, especially if you use the front camera more than the back.
So is the Galaxy A7 worth buying? Well, it depends.
On its own, it is really good at almost everything,but it’s not great at anything in particular.
If I wanted to name it, I’ll probably justcall it Jack.
Because basically, the A7 is a Jack of alltrades.
Except for the fact that it’s able to support2 SIM cards with a microSD card, and it has great battery life, it’s basically a step down from the S7 inalmost every single way.
And that’s a good thing.
Because for a mid-range phone, it’s hardto find a package as complete as this.
However I do think that the A7 is a littlebit pricey for what it is.
For around the same price, there is the OnePlus3T which has better specs, camera, and software experience.
Even though it doesn't have water resistance,and the display isn't as good.
Or maybe even a used Note5 or S7 Edge couldbe a decent option too.
But if you want to stick with a brand youknow, want a brand new phone, and don't want to spend too much money, the Galaxy A7 willmost likely satisfy your needs.
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