Will you be in seventh heaven thanks to Samsung’s new mid-range offering, the Galaxy A7 (2018)? Jump in and find out.
Smartphone manufacturers are going into cameras in a big way, and that trend is continued with Samsung’s new Galaxy A7.
The multi cameras seem to be the biggest boast from the South Korean giant’s latest mid-range offering, which looks pretty spiffy thanks to its premium 2.5D glass back.
However, for me what’s great about this pretty little phone is that it gets the job done efficiently.
I am not a phone geek by any measure, but like most people out there I am glued to my phone 24/7 – depending on it for almost everything from communication, location, work to entertainment. And you know what? The A7 did wonderfully well from the get go.
The screen is more than big enough for me to do all of that with ease and I am especially impressed with the thrifty price tag because it has become increasingly frustrating having to fork out what seems like half my paycheck for a phone!
Plus, it’s quite stylish to boot.
Hey good looking
Available in three stylish colours to suit your personal style – Blue, Black and Gold – the A7 is ergonomically designed and feels comfortable in your hand thanks to its seamless curves.
The phone has an aluminium frame, and is thin and light – kind of reminiscent of the glass and steel structures of contemporary architecture, giving it a very modern look.
However, this all-glass finish also makes it super slippery. Be extra careful where you place it because even a modest slope will allow it to slide off.
Unlike my previous phones, this one’s fingerprint sensor is on the side, which at first I found a little unusual. But after scanning both my right thumb and pointer fingers and a week of actively using the phone, I find it works without any problems. My palms are often sweaty so every now and then I have trouble unlocking it with my fingers, so I have added facial recognition to the mix, and now everything’s coming up roses.
Samsung’s expertise with cameras is no big secret. You know you’re going to get good shots when you use your Samsung camera.
What’s extra special about the A7 is that it has not one or two, but three cameras. The A7’s triple-camera setup features an 8-megapixel sensor with a 120° ultra-wide lens, and 24-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors that work in combo to produce the Bokeh effect, which Samsung calls Live Focus.
The camera UI is pretty easy to get the hang of, and you’ll quickly learn how to switch modes according to the occasion – from Panorama, Pro, Beauty, AR Emoji, Slow Motion to Hyperlapse. There’s a whole bunch of settings which you can tailor to your style.
We had so much fun with the AR Emoji, which turns your selfie into an animated 3D emoji. Ditto for Slow Motion and Hyperlapse.
And then, of course, there’s Live Focus, which allows you to Bokeh till you’re blurry-eyed. Blurring and softening backgrounds is, of course, a great way to enrich a cityscape, rainy day or sunset photos, and make you look like a pro. You can flex those creative muscles with stickers, filters and other knick knacks and go crazy with your Insta posts.
I am actually quite eager to go on a scenic holiday so I can give the ultra-wide lens a good run for its money. The A7’s 120° ultra-wide lens gives you more room to work with – which will be especially helpful for those postcard perfect snapshots of the Temples of Machu Pichu or the Statues of Easter Island. Hey, one can dream.
Samsung has also included what it calls a Scene Optimiser, a mode which automatically detects the scene and uses a preset setting to capture the best possible image. There are 19 different settings but I was only able to test a handful.
One of the things I found efficient was the share function, which, as the name suggests, lets me share the image quickly on social media platforms.
I do think photos taken with a Samsung phone camera take some getting used to at first because the colours are just so vivid, thanks to its 6.0in FHD+ Super Amoled Infinity display.
When it comes to watching videos, browsing though Instagram and Pinterest or playing games, I am just enjoying myself immensely. The screen is superior compared to other devices in the price range, and more than good enough for me.
The speakers too perform very well. Only one small gripe is that the phone tends to heat up a little when I am engrossed in a game – I tried out Asphalt 8, Mortal Kombat 5 and Alto’s Odyssey and was spellbound by the colours and sounds, which is a step up from my usual methodical grinding on Candy Crush.
The A7 has a range of functions to offer also, including Multi Window which allows you to view two apps at once (for example: watch YouTube videos and answer WhatsApp messages), as if you’re not already multi- tasking enough.
The phone comes with 128GB storage and if that’s not enough you can use the microSD expansion slot to add up to 512GB more, especially if you are fond of large videos.
Battery life is also great so far – I use my phone pretty much for everything and I’ve not run out, only having to charge it once a day.
No loose ends
To be honest, I have been really enjoying this phone and the switch from one Android to another has been painless, and in fact quite seamless. I loathed the idea of switching phones before simply because I was so familiar with my previous brand, but the Samsung Galaxy A7 – because it doesn’t overwhelm you with unnecessary features or an exorbitant price tag – is a lovely way to make that cross over.
PROS: Sleek and stylish; smooth performance; good battery life; affordable.
CONS: Super slippery; heats up a little.
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GALAXY A7 (2018)
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 8.1 Oreo
DISPLAY: 6in FHD+ Super Amoled (1,080 x 2,220 pixels)
CAMERA: Three rear cameras (24 megapixels + 8 megapixels + 5 megapixels), 24-megapixel front-facing camera
CONNECTIVITY: MicroUSB, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
PROCESSOR: 2.2GHz octa-core
MEMORY: 128GB storage/4GB RAM
DIMENSIONS (H x W x D): 159.8 x 76.8 x 7.5mm
RATING: 4 stars
Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia Electronics, 1-800-88-9999