Samsung galaxy a7 (2017) review: a strong midrange choice

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The Galaxy A7 (2017) & Galaxy A5 (2017) are IP68 certified The phones also tư vấn Samsung Pay & S bike mode The A7 is priced at Rs. 30,900 while the A5 is priced at Rs. 26,900

Samsung’s Galaxy A series is positioned as the next best thing lớn the flagship Galaxy S series. The idea here is khổng lồ provide an almosttop-level experience, which encompasses the feel of the device, features, và of courseperformance, but at a price that more people can stomach. So far, the company has done a good job of maintaining this balance, và now, it’s time to lớn take the 2017 editions of the Galaxy A7 và Galaxy A5 for a spin.

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These new smartphones went on sale in India back in March, & based on our initial encounter with them, they seemed like they could be serious contenders in the mid-range điện thoại space. Priced at Rs. 30,900 and Rs. 26,900 for the Galaxy A7 (2017) and the Galaxy A5 (2017) respectively, the two go up against the xe máy Z2 Play(Review), OnePlus 5(Review), Honor 8 Pro(Review)and Samsung"s ownGalaxy C7 Pro(Review). Let"s see how they stack up.


Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) và Galaxy A5 (2017) design

The two new smartphones are virtually identical in terms of design & features. For the extra Rs. 4,000 for the Galaxy A7 (2017), you get a bigger display & a larger battery. For the sake of simplicity, all our analysis in this reviews applies khổng lồ both model, unless stated otherwise.

Samsung has done an excellent job with the build quality as the metal and glass blend seamlessly together, which feels really good when you hold either of the two. The aluminium frame on the sides isn’t slippery, và adds a rich finish khổng lồ the phones, just like with last year"s models. Both models have edge-curved Gorilla Glass 4 along with glass on the back. The edges of the back are curved inwards, much like the kiến thiết on the Samsung Galaxy S7.However, the backs of the phones looktoo bland, & one could easily mistake these for budget-level phones from this angle.

There are volume buttons lớn the left and a power button to lớn the right. The phones" mono loudspeakers have been shifted lớn the right side, above the power buttons. This is a bit of an odd place lớn put them, but the advantage is that the speakers aren"t blocked even when you’re holding these phones in landscape mode for gaming or watching videos.

There are visible antenna bands at the top & bottom of the phones, và the USB Type-C ports và headphone sockets are at the bottom. Lượt thích before, both phones have dedicated slots for a microSD card (up lớn 256GB) along with two Nano-SIM slots, which we appreciate. One big flagship-class feature that is new is IP68 water & dust resistance.

The big differences between the two, physically, are their size and weight. The Galaxy A5 (2017) is a lot more manageable for one-handed use with its 5.2-inch screen, and isn’t too heavy at 157 grams. The Galaxy A7 (2017) on the other hand feels bulky và heavy at 186 grams và isn"t the best suited for one-handed use with its larger 5.7-inch screen.

Both models have Super AMOLED displays & both have the same 1080x1920 px resolution. This makes edges and text in the OS appear slightly less sharp on the Galaxy A7 compared to lớn the Galaxy A5. We also found that our Galaxy A5 (2017) reviews unit had slightly crisper whites và punchier colours compared lớn the Galaxy A7 (2017) sample, which exhibited paler whites and slightly muted colours.

We have a physical trang chủ button below the displays on both phones, with two capacitive buttons on either side. The fingerprint sensors are fast at authentication và we lượt thích that you don’t have to lớn press the button lớn unlock the phone, as they workwith just a touch.

In each phone"s box, you get a stereo headset, travel adapter, charging cable, và user guide. Overall, the new Galaxy A7 & Galaxy A5 stay true khổng lồ their premium identities. The A5 is definitely more manageable in your hand, so the choice can come down to a tradeoff between screen form size and ease of use.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) và Galaxy A5 (2017) specifications and features

Samsung has fitted both smartphones with pretty much the same internals. Processing is handled by an Exynos 7880 octa-core SoC & 3GB of RAM. This SoC is a nice nâng cấp from the Exynos 7580 in last year"s A-series models, with a smaller 14nm fabrication process & faster Mali-T830 GPU. It uses ARM’s big.LITTLE CPU architecture to lớn bring together four Cortex-A72 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores.

Compared khổng lồ a Qualcomm"s equivalent Snapdragon 626 which is used in phones such as the xe máy Z2 Play, the Exynos 7880 seems to lớn have a better GPU, but CPU performance seemcomparatively weaker. We got a score of 33fps in GFXbench, while other benchmarks that measure overall performance were a bit of a mixed bag with AnTuTu & PCMark favouring the Qualcomm cpu while Quadrant went in the Exynos’ favour.

The rest of the specifications include 32GB of storage, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, bluetooth 4.2, NFC & MST for Samsung Pay, GPS, FM radio, USB-OTG, & a suite of sensors which include a gyroscope, barometer, & hall sensor, plus the usual ones.

In terms of software, both smartphones are still on a custom version of app android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. However, this is only temporary as Samsung appears khổng lồ have completed its Wi-Fi certification process for an upcoming update, which clearly shows the version as game android 7. The look and feel of the interface in general is very similar to lớn that ofthe Galaxy S7 series and the more recent Galaxy C9 Pro & Galaxy C7 Pro.

You can enable the ‘Always On’ display feature which is very handy if you want a constant overview of your unread notifications. You get Google"s apps as well as Microsoft’s Office suite và Samsung’s own apps such as My Galaxy, USB Backup, and S Secure. Samsung offers you a choice of whether or not to installits own apps first thiết đặt the phone, so you aren’t forced lớn live with redundant apps. You can always tải về them later from Galaxy Apps store.

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There are also a tonne of little features added to the Settings app lượt thích Smart Network Switch, whichautomatically switches between mobile data và Wi-Fi depending the strength of each; a bluelight filter in the display settings; an SOS trigger called Panic mode; và Game Launcher for in-game screen captures and recording. Samsung’s Secure thư mục feature lets you use both phones" fingerprint sensors lớn lockapps, accounts, files, notes, & even contacts. You also get 15GB of Samsung Cloud storage for backing up contacts, notes, browser data, và the gallery.

The UI has a notifications toggle called S xe đạp mode, which has been a popular feature in the company’s Galaxy J series lineup. Once activated, a big S bike button takes over the entire screen, preventing you from using the phone. Caller geta voice message which tells them that the phone"s owner is riding a bike, và if it’s an urgent call, theycan press ‘1’ on their diallers khổng lồ force the gọi through.

Samsung Pay is another very useful addition to both phones and it works very well. We tried this out và save for a few restaurants, it worked in most places.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) & Galaxy A5 (2017) performance, cameras, & battery life

App and interface performance is very good on both smartphones. Despite the heavy UI customisations, we rarely encountered hiccups with animations or multitasking. However, gaming performance isn’t the best. While games like Implosion and Marvel Spider-Man Unlimited run smoothly, heavier games like Breakneck and Asphalt 8 had intermittent choppy frame rates. The good news is that the phones don"t get excessively hot during prolonged gaming sessions. 4G works well và VoLTE is also supported. Both phones also survived exposure to rain without any problems.

We’ve rarely had complaints about the truyền thông media capabilities of Samsung"s smartphones, & that stays true with these units. The stock video player can handle 4K playback, and you can vày other fun stuff too like create six-second GIFs from any portion of a video. Picture-in-picture mode is supported, and you have the ability lớn edit videos (although this didn’t work on our 4K kiểm tra clips). The loudspeakers are quite weak for truyền thông files & some games, but they"re okay for alerts.

Both smartphones have the exact same cameras. At the back, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) và Galaxy A5 (2017) have 16-megapixel sensors with an f/1.9 aperture, và in the front there are also 16-megapixelfixed-focus cameras with the same aperture. For stills in daylight, both phones take a good second khổng lồ lock focus. If you happen lớn move even slightly, you can see the focus readjusting. During our tests, we found it nearly impossible to lớn get a properly focused shot of moving subjects such as pets.

Landscapes appeared flat with no depth, and close-ups were tricky too. We struggled with macro shots, and more often than not, we ended up with soft focus or blurry shots because either we or our subjects moved a bit. The màn chơi of detail is shots was pretty average too, and our sample photos ended up looking a bit underexposed. The sensorused here is a Samsung S5K3P8, which frankly just doesn’t cut it at this price point.

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Tap khổng lồ see full-sized Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) sample images

In low light, the large aperture does a good job at keeping noise under control, as you over up with bright and well lit images if there"s decent ambient light. However, this also subdues most of the detail in shots. The front cameras have the same resolution but selfies aren’t sharp và lack detail.

The camera app is easy lớn use but isn’t the most practical. For starters, there’s no tự động hóa HDR mode, which is now common in most camera apps. To get to lớn HDR, you need khổng lồ swipe right to lớn pull up the camera modes and then select it, which isn"t convenient.Pro mode is poorly implemented too, as you can only select a maximum sensitivity of ISO 800 and there’s no shutter speed control, which makes it useless in low light.

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Tap khổng lồ see full-sized Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) sample images

Video recording maxes out at 1080p, which is not very good considering 4K đoạn clip recording is doable on mainstream phones these days. Autofocus works quite well in đoạn clip mode và is relatively good at shifting focus between subjects. There’s no stabilisation here, so you will want to restrict your movements when shooting. Other than Hyperlapse clip mode, there are no effects or slow motion modes lớn choose from. You have the option to download more shooting modes but there are literally just two of them khổng lồ download.

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) features a 3600mAh battery while the A5 (2017) has a 3000mAh battery. In our HD video clip loop test, we managed lớn get good runtimes on both phones, with the A5 stretching to 16 hours, 21 minutes và the A7 going up khổng lồ 17 hours, 14 minutes. We managed to lớn get a full day’s worth of usage from the A5, with A7 giving us up lớn a day & half. Both phones tư vấn Samsung’s Adaptive Charging & in our tests, we managed to lớn get up to lớn about 80 percent in little more than an hour.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) và Galaxy A5 (2017) in pictures

Verdict

Samsung’s latest A-series offerings hit the right notes when it comes lớn build unique and design. The Galaxy A7 (2017) & Galaxy A5 (2017) look and feel incredibly premium, just lượt thích their predecessors. We’re not big fans of the look of the backs, but then that’s just us nitpicking.

Between the two, the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) is the one we’d recommend. Camera performance is a bit weak and some high-end games don’t have smoothframerates, but in return, you get good battery life, a vivid display và handy features lượt thích S xe đạp mode & Samsung Pay. The price feels a bit on the higher side considering overall performance, but the IP68 certification is appealing.

On the other hand, we don’t seen any worthwhile reason lớn pick up the Galaxy A7 (2017) at Rs. 30,900 as you aren’t getting anything more for this premium other than a slightlylarger battery và a bigger screen. These also comeat the cost of ergonomics, as the A7 is heavier and bulkier. Here, you’re better off with the Honor 8 Pro or the OnePlus 5.