Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) review

The phone with a mighty third-eye that can do magic to your photography

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Software

  • Android 8.1 with Experience UI
  • Neat and fluid

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) runs on Experience UI 9.5 based on Android 8.0 Oreo. 

It has neat, natural-feeling transitions, is responsive and feels light. How the apps menu works is the main difference between this and the standard Android look. The app drawer is arranged into pages rather than a vertical scroll. You can even get rid of the app drawer entirely if you want.

Bixby Home is the main extra part of the interface. This is a feed of ‘cards’, showing updates from the apps installed on your Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018).

It seems fairly pointless unless you’re among the 0.2% of people who haven’t yet found ways to waste time on your phone. But it is also relatively inoffensive. Bixby Home sits to the left of your standard home screen, so doesn’t get in the way.

There are numerous pre-installed apps, including a Samsung suite and Microsoft’s office apps. Samsung Health is the one we tend to use quite a lot when reviewing Samsung phones. This is a fitness tracker app, like Google Fit or Fitbit, that also lets you log your food consumption and even caffeine intake.

On the lighter side, the UI supports themes, like most other interfaces. You have to dig around to find free ones, though.

There are a couple of really useful software apps and features like the Samsung Pay Mini for instant cashless/cardless payment at major POS terminals across the country. Also, you can transfer Apps and social media data to SD card as well. It supports up to 512GB of external memory, which means there's enough space to install apps and store data. 

Music, Games and video

  • Display is great for video
  • Not the very best option for gaming
  • Reasonable quality, but mono, speaker

A big screen makes the Galaxy A7 (2018) a great choice for multimedia enthusiasts. For music, it has a decent loudspeaker to fill in a small room, and we're counting the 3.5mm jack as a plus for those who want to use their old pair of headphones. Sound quality is fair, but not stellar. There’s just one driver on the bottom edge and no stereo sound.

The 6-inch AMOLED display is a treat for video consumption and playing games. Although it's not the best handset to play games on. You can try playing PUBG Mobile, but in our case, we encountered lags and hitches even when playing at medium settings. 

This is a great phone for video, as the screen is big and vibrant enough to make the idea of watching a whole movie on the thing feasible. Well, if you’re traveling rather than sitting in your living room, anyway.

Having an option of a dedicated microSD card and a decent battery life also adds up to the fact that it's a worthy phone for multimedia consumption. 

Performance 

  • Exynos 7885 chipset
  • 4GB/6GB of RAM
  • Sub-par performance

In basic day to day tasks, the Galaxy A7 performs fine, but it's not the best option if you multitask on your phone. The 4GB of RAM and Exynos 7885 inside the A7 are the same as the Galaxy A8. It has six standard low-power 1.6GHz cores, the Cortex-A53 kind you’ll find in phones half the price or less. However, there are also two 2.2GHz Cortex-A73 cores, used when more power is needed.

The apps launch quickly, animations stutter occasionally, we also noticed temporary screen freeze while switching between the apps and opening or closing camera. Although it has a huge display, it's not the best phone to play PUBG Mobile in its range. If you are into hardcore gaming, this is just not for you. You can either go for Poco F1 or the Asus Zenfone 5Z. But that doesn't mean it cannot handle gaming at all. I played other titles like Modern Combat 5 and Asphalt 9, which ran smooth. 

In a nutshell, the phone starts giving up as soon as you demand too much from it. The Exynos 7885 chipset represents fairly poor value for money at this level. It should really have a more powerful GPU.

Verdict

Out of the two variants of the Galaxy A7 (2017), we would recommend buying the 4GB variant if you're obsessed with its premium design, display and camera. It's a good proposition for the masses, especially the youth, who are active on social media platforms and consume content on the internet. The only trade-off is with the performance, which is a major issue if you are planning to use the phone for a couple of years.

Who’s this for?

Non-gamers should avoid. Anyone who's into watching TV series or any kind of video content will love it. Best for users looking for a good camera phone under Rs 25,000. 

Should you buy it?

Yes, the 4GB RAM variant is one of the best multimedia phones under Rs 25,000 along with the Nokia 7 Plus. Under this price, it's the best camera that smartphone photographers can experiment with. 

The only reason not to buy the Galaxy A7 (2018) is the lack of graphics prowess and sub-par gaming and multitasking capabilities. We have phones that offer the flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset at a similar price. It's the best chipset right now in the market for those who demand raw power and faster processing.