Samsung’s J series phones have always served as tier-1 branded alternatives for budget conscious buyers. In India, rival Chinese offerings have had better specs to offers, but still, these affordable Samsung phones have been selling like hot cakes.

The recently launched Galaxy J7 Prime which currently leads the pack does things a bit differently. Adopting current hot trends like 2.5D glass, fingerprint reader, and metal unibody design, this is perhaps the best looking and most aggressive J series handset coming from the South Korean Android giant thus far.

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But, how well does it stack against the competition? Let’s take a look at why you should or should not buy the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy On Nxt With 5.5-inch Display and Metal body Launched at Rs. 18,490

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime Specifications and Features

Model Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime
Display 5.5-Inch, Full HD TFT display, 2.5D Gorilla Glass
Processor 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 octa-core processor
RAM 3GB
Internal Storage 16GB, 256GB MicroSD card support
Software Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Primary Camera 13MP, f/1.9
Secondary Camera 8MP, f/1.9
Battery 3300 mAh
Others 4G VoLTE, Dual SIM, Fingerprint sensor
Price 18, 780 INR

Design

As we have already hinted, the design and build work in its favor. The chunky plastic body with hideous chrome finished side frame that we have come to associated with J-series phones are gone for good. The Galaxy J7 Prime definitely looks premium (more so in Black).

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The metal back that tastefully folds to form right edges, the 2.5D curved glass covering the fascia from head to toe, skimmed bezels, witty speaker placement on the right edge, and the agreeable slim profile – All add up to an attractive and ergonomic handset.

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The minimalist, flat back cover – with just the Samsung branding and a camera module that sits flush with it- doesn’t open and thus all slots, buttons and ports are housed on the edges. Save for the home button, of course, which also reads your fingerprints for secure unlocking (you need to press the button first).

The metal unibody design also means that unlike most other J series phones, the battery isn’t removable. With most manufacturers sticking to non-removable batteries, this isn’t that big a deal these days.

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Thankfully, Samsung has provided dedicated MicroSD card slot and Dual SIM card slots, both mounted on the left edge. A majority of users will need to use both at some point in time.

Also Read: How Do You Go About Buying A New Smartphone?

Display

A lot of potential buyers are already cynical about the J7 Prime display, simply because it’s a TFT panel. The practical experience, however, confirms otherwise.

The 5.5-inch Full HD panel on Samsung J7 Prime actually looks pretty decent. The TFT factor only weighs in when you look at it from extreme, rather impractical angles – something you don’t really need to care about.

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Colors are punchy and blacks are deep, trying hard to duplicate AMOLED impact. You can’t tweak contrast and color temperatures from the settings menu, but the default selection is pretty good, leaning slightly towards cold whites.

Maximum brightness is quite high, thus outdoor visibility shouldn’t be a problem. However, you will have to manually toggle brightness level or check the outdoor mode since Samsung is still adamant on not adding an ambient light sensor on its J-series phones.

It must also be noted that the Galaxy On Nxt which is virtually the same as the Galaxy J7 Prime, save for more internal storage, has warmer color tones that look better in our opinion.

Performance and Software

The Samsung Galaxy A7 Prime is powered by 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 octa-core processor paired with 3GB RAM and 16GB storage. After loading all the apps I frequently and rarely use and one gaming app, I had around 6GB space free. That’s where the MicroSD card support (256GB) should come in handy.

In day-to-day usage, the Galaxy A7 Prime doesn’t falter that easy. At the same time. performance isn’t impeccable either. We did encounter some random freezes once or twice in our two weeks with the device, but it was mostly smooth sailing.

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The high-end games we tested were playable, though the gaming experience wasn’t as smooth as on the Galaxy J7 2016. Casual games like subway surfer and Leo’s fortune ran fine. It must be noted that App data cannot be moved to SD card. You will have to keep all your games on the internal storage.

The RAM management is a bit aggressive. If you admire the convenience of more than 2 or 3 apps running in the background, the Galaxy J7 2016 might disappoint you. I could conveniently switch to and fro between Kindle, browser and notes app, but the phone kept terminating apps at times when I had to toggle between more demanding ones like Uber, Google Maps, and MX Player.

The software is Android Marshmallow based TouchWiz that integrates a bunch of J-series exclusive S-features, Microsoft apps, Google Apps and a few Samsung Apps as well.

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The S-Planing feature and Secure folder are a couple of interesting additions. With S-Planing, you can reserve some amount of date for calls, access battery saver and choose a contact to forward your calls in case your battery dies. It works as advertised and we found ourselves using it frequently whenever the battery was about to die but we didn’t feel like charging.

The Secure Folder lets you add dual apps and secure content with a separate pattern or finger impression. Then there is the usual S-Bike Mode and UDS.

Also Read: 6 Things A Spec Sheet Won’t Tell You

The TouchWiz launcher still feels a bit overwhelming to us, and so we replaced it with our current favorite Pixel launcher after a couple of days. There is nothing else to complain about.

Camera

Samsung is using the same camera module as in the Galaxy J7 2016, and the resulting performance is more or less the same too.

The Camera clicks decent images in good lighting, be it indoors or outdoors. Shutter speed is fast and the camera lands focus reasonably fast as well.

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In low lighting, the images quality deteriorates rather dramatically.

The camera on the Galaxy J7 Prime won’t be giving it any clear cut edge, but it won’t drag it down either. There is definitely room for improvement here. A more robust Pro mode would be a good start.

Let’s explore the camera further as we go through the image samples below.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime Camera Samples

Battery Life, Loudspeaker and Call Quality

The battery backup is excellent. Even on a heavy usage day, with 4G LTE data being consumed for the most part, the handset managed to retain 30 to 40 percent battery by bed time. Usually, the battery lasts for complete two days! Moreover, even with 5 percent battery remaining we could just toggle S Power Planning On and didn’t have to fret about missing important calls for the next couple of hours.

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The inbox charger, however, is slow. With a 2A/ 9V charger we got good charging speeds.

The call quality is something which Samsung takes pretty seriously on all its phones. The J7 Prime, however, is an exception. We would rate call quality on Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime as average.

We like the loudspeaker placement on the left edge. The sound doesn’t get muffled irrespective of how we hold it, and the audio quality and loudness is quite satiating.

Also Read: Best Android Phones Under Rs. 20000

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime is a good proposition for basic and moderate users, and perhaps for anyone who values tier-1 branding and associated advantages like efficient after sales support, and prefers to buy from offline stores. The remarkable battery backup, solid day-to-day performance, the elegant design and well-calibrated display all play their part in delivering a pleasant usage experience. In spite of its flaws, we have enjoyed our time with the handset.

If you don’t mind purchasing from online stores, the Samsung Galaxy On Nxt is virtually the same handset with more internal storage, and thus strikes as a better bargain.

Of course many would be lured in by ‘better-specced phones’, but for basic and moderate users, we have no qualms about recommending it to anyone strictly restricted by a budget of Rs. 15K to 20K.

Pros 

  • Elegant design
  • Awesome battery backup
  • Sharp and vivid display

Cons

  • Average call quality
  • Camera stumbles in low light

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