FOR someone who is right-handed, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) doesn’t feel out of place on my left palm. With a metal frame design and glass back, the A7 has pronounced curves, giving the smartphone a perfectly smooth texture and, of course, a nice grip.
But if you suffer from “sweaty palms syndrome”, it is advisable to get a phone casing that minimises possible slips. Anyway, left or right hand, holding the A7 sure does feel comfortable.
Samsung has totally upped its mid-range smartphone game with the release of A7. In fact, this phone’s design is more similar to its higher-end sibling, the Galaxy S7, than to its predecessor the Galaxy A7 (2016). It is arguably one of the best-designed mid-range smartphones on the market now.
The A7 is also dust- and water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about accidental splashes, spills or even quick dunks. Just pick up your phone, wipe it off and keep going.
The A7 has 16-megapixel front and rear cameras, so you surely would not be subjected to the “Did you take that photo with a potato?” (it’s a meme, Google it) question ever. The overall image quality is pretty impressive, even in low light. And you can switch between the front and rear cameras with just a swipe, so that makes your photo-taking that much easier.
Fans of selfies will enjoy the three built-in features: Skin Tone, Slim Face and Large Eyes, which like their names suggest, give your selfie face a blemish-free skin, slimmer cut and bigger eyes.
But if you’re going for a wefie (group selfie), then the wide selfie feature would ensure that you don’t leave anyone out of the group photo. The best part? You can take your photos with voice control by just saying “Smile”, “Cheese”, “Capture” or “Shoot”, and record videos by saying “Record Video”.
The A7 has a 5.7in Super Amoled screen, making it slightly bigger than the 5.5in sported by the 2016 model. The screen displays highly detailed images, which makes watching videos and playing games an absolute joy. I am not much of a gamer but I do enjoy a round or two – or 100 to be honest – of Wheel Of Fortune on the phone.
The speaker is now located on the right side of the panel, though it doesn’t make much difference if you like to play games on mute or use headphones when listening to audio.
The A7 has a 1.9GHz octa-core processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, which can be expanded to 256GB via a microSD card. It also supports dual SIM cards, with two separate SIM trays.
If you’re looking to give your eyes a break after staring at the screen for too long, then do switch on the Blue Light Filter mode. Though some would say that it is more suitable to use this feature for reading e-books or articles, you can opt to keep it on the entire time. The filter is adjustable, so you can choose the screen opacity that suits you best.
The new A7 comes with a non-removable lithium ion 3,600mAh battery, a slight improvement from the previous A7’s 3,300mAh battery. I could go up to almost two days without charging the phone – that is without playing any videos or games, of course.
The phone uses a USB Type-C connectivity which ensures faster charging and data transfer speeds.
I create the worst passwords, and almost everyone around me is able to unlock my phone. That is why I love the fingerprint scanner on the Home button, and you can save up to three fingerprints, which ensures that only you can unlock the phone.
However, screenlock pattern and password can still be used for protection. And this is so 2015, but I just found out that I can log into websites using my fingerprints provided that I use the stock browser app. You know what that means? It means I don’t have to remember my passwords anymore though I’m pretty sure that’s going to come back and bite me one day.
Anyway, speaking of protecting data, use the Samsung Cloud to back up your device securely and sync your data and images across Samsung devices. It surely saves the hassle of reinstalling apps one by one.
The A7 also comes with Samsung Pay, which uses a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) to make mobile payments accessible. Go to samsung.com/my/samsungpay to register for the Samsung Pay Beta Programme, and start paying using your phone.
The bottom line
The A7 is a worthy mid-range phone that is a significant upgrade from its previous namesake. A good camera that’s perfect for selfies, user-friendly interface and lasting battery are just some of its plus points. Also, the Always On Display mode gives you the essentials – clock and calendar – even when the phone is in sleep mode.
Absolutely fuss-free, the A7 is a great addition to the Samsung family.
Pros: Sleek design; good front and back cameras; user friendly; supports Samsung Pay.
Cons: Slippery without phone casing.
Galaxy A7 (2017)
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
DISPLAY: 5.7in full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
CAMERA: 16-megapixels for front and back cameras
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
PROCESSOR: Exynos 7880 octa-core (1.9GHz)
MEMORY: 32GB internal storage (expandable up to 256GB with microSD); 3GB RAM
BATTERY: 3,600mAh lithium ion
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 77.6 x 7.9 x 156.8mm
OTHER FEATURES: Samsung Pay, Always On Display, water and dust resistant (IP68)
Rating: Four stars
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia Electronics, 1-800-88-9999