d.Samsung Galaxy A7. For the first time on the market comes a smartphone with a Samsung brand with the presence of a triple camera at the rear. A recording device beat only by Samsung’s brother Galaxy A9. Which adds a further one. A device to discover here on Hardware Upgrade.
The Samsung Series A has always hit the market for a good value for money for those who did not intend to spend too much with the various top of the range. This year the company in the absence of the A5 has decided to present to its audience two devices: A7 (2018) and A9 (2018). If the Galaxy A9 is distinguished by the presence of a camera from 4 sensors. A normal wide-angle, a wide-angle, a telephoto lens and another only for detecting depth. The Galaxy A7 instead see the absence of the telephoto sensor but still maintains the other three sensors that are big news for a mid-range phone. These are not the only things that catch the eye on the smartphone that has a Super AMOLED display but also an Exynos chipset with a 14nm process.
The price of 349 euros clearly undermines some peculiarities and the Samsung Galaxy A7, in this case, does not have any fast charge indeed the user will still have to settle for a USB-A port that certainly in a bit out of 2018. At the level of sales package, everything is normal with a rather obsolete 5V / 1.50A adapter and a USB cable to use it. Among the positive aspects the presence of a pair of earphones that now seems a chimera for many producers.
Table Of Contents Summary
- 1 SAMSUNG Galaxy A7
DESIGN: perhaps too simple in the lines
Samsung’s Galaxy A series no longer has that uniformity in its design compared to what was actually done in the past years. Gone are the days when A meant to have a particular design and the attached number was mostly the size specification.
In the same year in which the A6 models use aluminum unibody and the Galaxy A8 have both front and back glass with an aluminum frame. The Galaxy A7 is a middle ground with poorer materials such as polycarbonate even if with a well-made construction. Aesthetically the less experienced could be confused with aluminum but taking the smartphone in hand because of its very small weight does not escape the fact that the same was made with polycarbonate.
The Galaxy A7 (2018) measures 159.8 x 76.8 x 7.5 mm and weighs only 168 grams against the 186 grams of the A6 + (2018) or against the Galaxy A8 + (2018) that even reaches 191 grams, all three with a display of 6 inches. Display that, as usual for Samsung, does not have any notch and is characterized by the presence of a small upper and a lower frame. Allowing to be loved by all those who in recent times have kept away from the omnipresent notch of the competitors.
In recent times, everyone seems to make smartphones characterized by particular colors different from the classic black and white. Samsung did not want to be outdone and the Galaxy A7 under test was dye with an original ‘ bright blue color. Makes the device nice to see, youthful but also elegant at the same time at least in our opinion.
A little ‘little personality in design for the new Galaxy A7 that has a simple body. Without aesthetic details and that perhaps could easily be confused with other phones of the competition. The front is the absence of a physical button, now a mere memory of Samsung’s past, and the user will. Therefore, have to get used to using the back, home and multitasking buttons on the screen. Particularly the housing of the rear camera that we remember is made up of 3 sensors that are put in place to the South Korean company in a vertical position at traffic lights with little thickness and in a single housing.
What was lost in this version of Galaxy A7 is the fingerprint reader in the classic posterior position. Samsung seems to be inspired by Sony and has decided to place it sideways to cover the on/off button on the right just below the rocker of the volume positioned very high up. Changes that could destabilize users compared to what was usually seen in the past. The left side then sees the presence of the SIM slot at the top.
In this case, the company did not want to skimp but rather allows users to use the device with a double SIM in nano format also ensuring the addition of a microSD. The choice of placing a USB-A port on the bottom of the device is rather bad. We have criticized all mid-range smartphones that have made this choice and we must also criticize Samsung, which usually looks forward but has instead taken a step backward. The only note, perhaps, is the positive adoption of a hole for the classic 3.5 mm headphone jack, although in this case, users seem to have understood the convenience of a pair of wireless headphones.
Going beyond the hardware, we can not help but notice that there is not a degree of IP protection against water and dust. Given the plastic construction of the A7 and less premium market positioning, it is not all that surprising. In fact, however, the past generation of Galaxy A7 (2017) possessed it and this also leaves a bit ‘bitter taste, even if we understand the choice of Samsung based on the selling price.
DISPLAY: always at the highest levels
The Galaxy A7 (2018) is equipped with one of Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays and this needs to be emphasized. It’s a 6.0-inch Full HD + format panel with rounded edges even without any curvature on the sides. The resolution is 2,220 x 1,080 pixels in an 18: 9 format capable of reaching a density of 411ppi.
We obtained a maximum brightness of 600 nits in Automatic mode and 400 nits with the ambient light sensor. A great value for a device in this price range that is positioned even on the Galaxy S9 or Note 9 line even if with a few tens of nits less. As the always great depth of blacks that are really blacks, resulting in infinite contrast and optimal viewing angles. Even in direct sunlight no problem thanks to the algorithm of Samsung that automatically, at the perception of strong light, increases the brightness to the maximum ensuring total visibility.
As for the colors, Samsung’s approach is the same on both the midrange and high-end devices. Here you will have the default mode Adaptive thanks to which the colors will be even more incisive. Samsung is not joking with the displays and the choice not to skimp on this Galaxy A7 (2018) shows. The great steps forward made by the company that even can afford to put a panel of this quality in a device. Potentially does not want to bother the top of the range, even if from this point of view it could and how.
HARDWARE: good for a medium range
At the hardware level, there is a known chipset, namely the Exynos 7885, the latest and most powerful of Samsung’s mid-range chipset line. Particular is its 14nm production process which makes it particularly efficient. The CPU is an octa-core in a 2 + 6 configuration with two Cortex A73 clocked at 2.2 GHz and with six Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz. The GPU is Mali-G71. As for the RAM options, you can buy the one with 4GB of RAM associated with a 64GB internal storage that can still be expanded with MicroSD up to 512GB.
SAMSUNG Galaxy A7
|OS (at launch)||Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience|
|Processor||Exynos 7885 Octa-Core at 2.2GHz|
|Display||Super AMOLED 6.0 “Full HD + (18: 9)|
|Storage (at launch)||64 GB + MicroSD up to 512GB|
|Rear Camera||Three Rooms:
Main 24MP (f / 1.7) +
Wide Angle 8MP (f / 2.4) +
Depth 5MP (f2.2)
Full HD Video @ 30fps
|Front Camera||24MP (f / 2.0)|
|Ports||Micro USB + 3.5mm jack|
|dimensions||159.8 x 76.8 x 7.5 mm|
How does the Galaxy A7 behave? Looking at the pure benchmarks, the Galaxy A7 (2018) gets roughly the same scores as the brother A8 in either single or multi-core tests. In the graphics department, the device is able to do well. Even if it is difficult to place itself above other competitors with CPUs of the same level. But in everyday practice how does it work? All in all, well if we consider the fact that the smartphone is a medium range. Which does not have the will to exaggerate from this point of view but to ensure adequate daily use?
It is not a gaming smartphone but not even a professional one. A phone, however, that does its best to be behind the many animations of the graphical interface of Samsung. Some stumbling from time to time but switching from one app to another or opening the camera is almost always immediate, ensuring the user to shoot without having to waste time or do anything else. The Galaxy A7 is a smartphone that looks at efficiency and in this everything is very functional.
GRAPHIC INTERFACE: Experience 9 with Android Oreo
The Galaxy A7 (2018) works with Android 8.0 Oreo customized from Samsung Experience 9.0. Just like the rest of the recent A series of phones. The Ambient on Display is undoubtedly a recognition feature of Samsung and is increasingly present on the phones of the company just like in this Galaxy A7 (2018). So many now the layouts of different graphics as well as the options to set the clock in. Addition to the ability to keep it always active or only based on a time schedule.
The way in which the new fingerprint sensor is configured is more or less the same as other Samsung’s. And its operation, albeit in a position not always comfortable is optimal and fast both in recognition and in unlocking. Too bad perhaps have the ability to record a maximum of 3 fingerprints and not 5 as instead is usually allowed. Also important is the functionality that allows you to hide the notifications on the lock screen away from any prying eyes. Nothing has really changed in the lock screen in the home screen or in notifications compared to other Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
Even the Galaxy A7 (2018) supports the themes and in the appropriate section of the menu. You can find many really free and paid. Present the Game Launcher to have in one place all the gaming applications plus Samsung. Also allows you to customize the gaming sessions going to disable notifications as well as the navigation bar. As well as make screenshots or record the gameplay. Particularly useful is the Adapt Sound function that tunes the equalizer according to the headphones used reproducing the sound at its best. An FM radio receiver is also available.
CAMERA: 3 sensors to be improved
Now let’s talk about the true peculiarity of the new Galaxy A7 (2018) or the triple camera at the rear. It is the first time that Samsung decides to place three different sensors. If the aesthetic work is perhaps not the best certainly at the technical level we are at good levels. Technically we talk about the main sensor that we could define normal. Then an ultra wide-angle sensor and an additional sensor for detecting depth in portraits.
The primary module, which is then positioned at the center of the photo light is a 24 MPx sensor. With a 27 mm-long lens, f / 1.7 focal aperture and phase detection autofocus. The ultra wide-angle sensor lens is instead an 8 MPx fixed. Focus has a focal aperture of f / 2.4 and covers a viewing angle of 120 degrees. Finally, the third camera the top one, can not be used alone and allows you to only have depth in shots.
On the card is a 5 MPx unit with an f / 2.2 focal aperture lens.
The camera application is practically the same as any other current Samsung phone. With the exception of activating the camera module. The tree icon allows us to understand if we are in wide-angle mode or not. With the designation of three trees, we are in the presence of the ultra-wide width. While with the double tree we get the normal width.
There is a scene optimization mode activated through the use of AI that allows you to recognize up to 19 types of scenes, objects or subjects and automatically adjust the parameters of the shot. The active focus mode is present, of course, to justify the presence of the 5MPx module. There is also a Pro mode that ensures that you take photos by editing all the various parameters such as ISO, exposure compensation and white balance.
How do you shoot this triple camera of the Samsung Galaxy A7? As for the 12MPx shots, the result is a rather detailed picture with a dynamic range that is always quite large, thanks to the HDR setting is maintained automatically. Even the colors are really important, with deep red, bright yellow and green truthful. The wide-angle camera captures very large images even if not totally correct as it happens with other competitors such as Huawei or LG that also use Ultra Wide sensors. Just this camera has a color rendering slightly colder or better to say more opaque and certainly does not correspond to the same dynamic range of the main sensor.
In low light conditions, the images of the Galaxy A7 (2018) are not spectacular. Here the dynamic range is rather narrow; there is a general softness but few details. Note, however, is the noise that is really well controlled by the algorithm created by Samsung. The ultra wide-angle camera at night produces additional desaturated images even. If the use of the same at night is certainly less.
Very good use instead of the 5MPx cam for details of depth. The results in the portrait shots see a very precise separation of the subjects. The usual warnings of being in the presence of a smartphone and not a reflex, of course. In addition to allowing you to adjust the level of blur while shooting the portrait. You can also do so in post-production directly on the gallery.
The Galaxy A7 (2018) then has a 24 MPx camera in the front. Not as good as the main one on the back in terms of specifications the diaphragm is weaker with a focal aperture of f / 2.0. The most important thing is the lack of autofocus. Which is not terrible for solo photos. But if you want to benefit from the wide-angle lens and let more people in the frame. It may happen that some subjects are slight blur.
The Galaxy A7 (2018) has a very simple set of video recording functions. Present the top mode with video recorded at 1080p with 30 fps. While there is no possibility to record at 1080p with 60 fps. On the other hand, it is possible to record video even with the ultra-wide-angle camera. The video footage with the main sensor is of high quality with abundant detail and very little noise.
AUTONOMY: not bad for the little thickness
The battery capacity of the Galaxy A7 (2018) is equal to 3,300 mAh or about 300 mAh more than the Galaxy A8. The various Galaxy A6 + (2018) and A8 + (2018) on the other hand, both with 6-inch displays are based on 3,500 mAh batteries. The Galaxy A7 (2018) showed an average resistance of Samsung smartphones with a consumption always a little high in standby and with a more or less gradual decrease during use. We do not go beyond 5 hours of the display with a total of about 11 or 12 hours of battery life. We could do more but we admit that the very small thickness could have compromised the increase of a battery with greater amplitude.
Too bad for the presence of the MicroUSB port that we find at the bottom of the phone because it is not only obsolete and technically outdated. Because it does not allow you to have a fast charge as you would expect on a Samsung. The charging process takes even two and a half hours to go from 0 to 100%. Really a pity that could make many users turn up their noses.
Let’s start from the fact that the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) is the cheapest smartphone among the large that sees the presence of a triple camera with the wide-angle sensor. Resistance to dust and water is lacking and perhaps this peculiarity can be found in direct competition.
However, it has a larger display in a smaller body and above all without any notch to ruin the front design. Not only because the display is not a simple IPS LCD. But a very good “made in Samsung” have AMOLED that we have seen really had potential.
The Galaxy A7 (2018) has a lot to offer and we are talking about the display, battery, and camera. Especially at the price of € 349 which it is sold. It has a triple chamber that certainly can have an effect in seeing it but also in using it. But there are aspects that do not go like the slow charge, the MicroUSB port, and a plastic body. Aspects that can still be outclassed by the desire to have a triple cam with a wide-angle sensor. That not yet to date you can still find in the competition. Especially reiterating the price range of the Samsung Galaxy A7.