Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) review
New Galaxy J7 for 2017
Refreshing its Galaxy J series of smartphones for 2017, Samsung brings new features and a better spec.
Our Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) review comes hot on the heals of our Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) review. The Galaxy J7 (2017) is the more premium option of the two, bringing with it a larger screen with a better resolution, faster performance with a larger RAM and better staying power with its bigger battery.
Metal and glass
The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) has a completely uniform design with a metal finish and no annoying camera bump on the rear. This phone has possibly the nicest look outside of the S series, with the antenna stripes adding a little character.
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The front face is made from 2.5D glass, which softens the edges and gives an almost floating appearing for the display. The Galaxy J7 (2017) is slightly heavier than the smaller J5, weighing in at 181g and having a thickness of 8mm.
The first advantage of choosing the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) is its larger 5.5” Super AMOLED display. The resolution is massively improved as well with Full HD delivering 1080 x 1920 pixels.
This Samsung phone has an octa-core 1.6GHz processor with an improved 3GB RAM, that enhances performance all round.
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One of the pluses that is immediately evident is that the speaker is positioned on the side, just above the power key. This means that when the phone is placed on a surface, face up or face down, that the music or audio is never muffled.
Phone Set Up
The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) has a 16GB internal memory, of which 10GB is free to the user for transferring content onto, from an old smartphone or iPhone. While this isn’t a huge amount of memory, there is a microSD card slot that will accept cards with a value of up to 256GB.
Samsung Cloud is also available with 15GB of free space. It is well worth setting this up so that you can synchronise, backup and restore content, when needed.
Fingerprint security is coming to more and more mid-range smartphones and it makes its way onto the Galaxy J7 (2017). The fingerprint sensor can be used to unlock the phone, to verify accounts online, use Samsung Pay or to sign digital documents.
The fingerprint sensor can also be used to access the Secure Folder that encrypts your content, photos, documents, apps and voice recordings.
Always On Display
The Always On Display is extremely useful as it saves battery battery and time. You can choose what is shown and the options includes your calendar, the time, notifications and music control buttons.
Android Nougat and Galaxy Apps
The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) runs on Google’s Android 7.1 Nougat operating system. Here you get the best of both worlds with access to the Play Store and Samsung’s Galaxy Apps store.
There are several new features that compliment existing favourites such as Samsung Notes and S Health:
- Dual Messenger - Here you can use two messaging accounts at the same time, meaning that you don’t need to constantly log-in and log-out if you have more than one account.
- Multi window - With this you can use two apps side-by-side in either a split screen view or a pop-up view.
- Game Launcher - The Game Launcher puts all of your games in one place, for greater control over them. From here you can mute notifications, record your gaming sessions or enter game power saving mode, which reduces the screen resolution in order to conserve battery.
In addition to these features there is a device maintenance feature that can optimise the phone and fix issues. Within device maintenance you can manage open apps and the memory, close unnecessary files, conduct malware scanning or identify abnormal battery use.
The final feature of note on the Galaxy J7 (2017) is the blue light filter. This is designed to reduce eye fatigue in the evening and you can set a schedule for it or have the feature automatically activated at sunset, based on your current location.
Camera & Video
The 13MP main camera is easy to use and the floating motion-trigger button makes it easy to take photos during one-handed operation. You can quick launch the camera app by pressing the Home key twice and there is a handy onscreen button that makes faces clearer and brighter.
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Shooting modes includes panorama, continuous shot, night shot, sports shot, sound & shot and FHD (1080p) video recording.
13MP selfie cam
The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) pays almost equal attention to the 13MP portrait camera. This has a selfie flash function and the shutter can be triggered by making a gesture.
The pre-loaded beauty effects let you adjust your skin tone, slim your face or enlarge your eyes. Wide selfie mode allows you to capture a wider scene or larger group of friends. This works like panorama mode, so you will need to pan from side-to-side.
The battery has a really big capacity at 3,600mAh, and this is only beat today on a handful of smartphones. With this battery you can enjoy up to 59 hours of music playback or 18 hours of video playback, 16 hours of internet browsing, 91 hours of music playback with the Always On display off or up to 24 hours of talk time.
There are also two battery saving modes, identified appropriately as MID and MAX.
Next: Huawei Honor 9 review
Written by: Michael Brown