Galaxy A7 (2016): the Smartphone That Tries to Be Top of the Line

Even in price: with 5.5-inch screen, 13 megapixel camera, 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB for internal storage model was launched in Brazil for R $ 2,499.

Smartphones intermediaries, but finished premium. This is the most fair way to summarize the Samsung Galaxy The apparatus or, at least, the model Galaxy A7, the flagship of the line. It will be?

To confirm, I spent the last two weeks testing the 2016 version of the device, which arrived in Brazil in late January. Compared to the 2015 model, the current Galaxy A7 keeps care finish, but brings new processor (Exynos 7580 with eight cores), more RAM (3 GB) and an extra feature truly relevant: fingerprint reader.

At first glance, the hardware assembly and aesthetic appeal give the smartphone a dignified air of sophistication Countertop, not intermediary. The price only works with this impression: the discount smartphones came here costing R $ 2,499 (ui!). But it is the everyday use that will tell us that came the new Galaxy A7.Without further ado, let the impressions that left tests.

Design and Finishing

In terms of visual, Samsung seems to have bothered to leave the Galaxy A7 like the Galaxy S6 – yes this a top of the line, as you know. The effect of this strategy is this: aesthetically, the Galaxy A7 does not have anything new, but attracts the eyes.

The sides have metal frame with lines that give an appearance of sobriety to the model.Since the back is covered with a glass whose brightness conveys sense of refinement – until my reflection there was beautiful: B

In the front area, Samsung maintained the tradition of letting the system buttons set just below the screen. The Home button, physical, is also there, of course. You may not like it, but the Galaxy A7 component has another function: accommodate the fingerprint sensor. I speak of this feature further.

You may have noticed that manufacturers are scrambling to leave the increasingly thinner smartphones. But, for most mortals, this is not a very important aspect: if thinner implies battery with less capacity, there is no problem to leave the smartphone more “chubby”, correct?

It seems that Samsung has realized that. The Galaxy S7 is thicker than the Galaxy S6. In the Galaxy A7 is the same: the 2016 version has 7.3 mm thick; the first generation came to 6.3 mm.

Even so, the camera appears as a “hump” on the back. I do not like it. It seems that only leave the phone on the table will be scratched lens, while the component surrounding frame prevents direct contact with the surface.

This is a very tolerable detail, fortunately. What might bother the spot on the back are the spots: on one hand the glass contributes to leave the Galaxy A7 hunky, the other attracts fingerprints with ease. At least the golden version, which used in the tests has a hue that can soften reasonably well this purpose.

I’m not using dust cap on your smartphone, no. But the Galaxy A7 I would issue to have this accessory. The unit is comfortable, I realized that the first contacts logos. But that comfort does not cooperate with the footprint: the glass back and metal side leave good beautiful model, as I said, but sin in the grip – it was an adventure just hold it with one hand while standing on the subway.

Screen

The Galaxy A7 has Super AMOLED screen of 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels (401 ppi) and protection Gorilla Glass 4. The component is the same as the first generation model. But it was not even necessary to change: the display is beautiful in many ways.

Brightness levels are quite intense, so you can see the screen information with relative ease even in direct incidence of sunlight. This feature helps to take good pictures when you are enjoying a sunny day at the beach, for example.

Because of AMOLED, the colors are lively, but without over-saturation. Moreover, the contrast is very noticeable. The view from different angles is also no problem: you do not have to look good in front of the screen to properly see photos and videos, for example.

Definitely not the screen that had assumed the role of weakness of the Galaxy A7.

cameras

The rear camera of the Galaxy A7 is not the best that Samsung has already put on a smartphone, but it’s not (so) bad. In addition to the 13 megapixels, the component has optical image stabilizer and f / 1.9, features that, according to the company, help in taking pictures with acceptable quality even in low lighting.

Well, that depends on the circumstances. In environments with plenty of light, the pictures come out with low noise and little post-processing effect. But can notice loss of detail, especially around the edges of the images.

When there is little light, in fact, gives acceptable to take pictures, especially if you turn on night mode. Noises appear with more intensity, as expected, but you run less risk of making photo blur.

What bothered me even is that, not infrequently, the camera seems wrong time to “dose” the colors. Sometimes the image comes out with an excess of white, leaving a blue sky, for example, appearing to be covered in clouds – in the examples below, there was so much like whiteness in “real life.”

An automatic HDR mode could probably eliminate at least part of the problem. But the feature does not exist in the Galaxy A7. If you want to make photos with HDR, you have to activate this mode manually.

A little trick that is worth highlighting: if you want to trigger the camera quickly to give that striking, do not need to unlock the device; just take two clicks followed the physical button below the screen. Great stopgap!

Yes, the front camera is also present and follows what we consider the minimum for today’s standards: the sensor is 5 megapixels (and also comes with f / 1.9, that is). You will be able to perform good selfies with this camera, and may even apply some beautifying effects on them.

Just do not expect exceptional quality in the images. Regarding this aspect, that white excess of the problem may also manifest. Some photos come out with acceptable hue. Others show a nuisance fading effect.

Perhaps a software update does not help at least alleviate the problem?

software

Look, I hope this update out soon. Although it was released here this year, the Galaxy A7 comes standard with Android 5.1 Lollipop. The folks at Samsung confirmed that an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow is in the plans, but did not speak in terms.

Yes, yes, the interface is the TouchWiz. In the Galaxy A7, it is no big news. We no longer need to cross the signal when faced with this interface, at least. She is no longer the one charged and unstable thing before. On the other hand, the TouchWiz gets the sense that it could be a little more optimized and have fewer customizations – or finer customizations.

The Galaxy S7 comes with Android Marshmallow and in it you can see that Samsung worked on these aspects. I’m hoping that the same occurs in the system update for the Galaxy A7.

Some people prefer to install it yourself, but, like other Galaxy devices, the A7 comes with a set up that application generous: the main Google apps are there, as well as calculator, video player, calendar, client email, FM radio, voice recorder, notepad and Microsoft Office tools, look.

Game demos and probably useless applications are not present (with one or two exceptions, such as the Recharge One app). It is only a pity that Samsung continues to insist on offering more than one app with the same function: to make its own browser if Chrome is already installed? What is the meaning of an email client Gmail app works with other services?

Well, patience.

Performance and Battery

octa-core processor Exynos 7580 1.6GHz, Samsung’s own, GPU Mali-T720, 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB expandable data storage with microSD up to 128 GB. This is the basic configuration of the Galaxy A7 sold in Brazil. In some markets, the model can come with Snapdragon 615 and Adreno 405 GPU chip, I must say.

The unit I tested behaved well in all tests. In social networking apps, web browser and video player, for example, did not notice any crash or slow. More demanding applications, such as game Asphalt 8: Airborne , also ran well, but with graphics settings medians. You can play with ease if the graphics are at the maximum level, but you’ll notice some drop in frame rate, especially in scenes with many elements – the GPU Mali-T720 owes a bit.

If you notice well in the photos, you should note that the audio output of the Galaxy A7 is at the bottom of the device, right next to the USB port. This position is not even bad. I only had problems in time to play Asphalt 8 : several times I turned the machine to make the car turn in the corners and ended up with this gesture, blocking the audio output.

In these circumstances, the business is to appeal to headphones, because the quality of the speaker is not that great: often the sound is too sharp, especially at high volume. I used headphones Philips SHE8000 / 10 for the tests, which have good bass boost. The experience was great, predictably: clean sound without distortion or abafamentos.

But the experience is even better if you set your phone’s audio settings: Enabling SoundAlive +, the audio seems to be more natural, as if running in the environment; Adapt already Sound function makes a series of tests to provide you custom adjustments and therefore more interesting. It worked well for me, especially with the headphones that came with the device, which are basicoes.

And the battery, as it comes out? As I stepped forward at the beginning of the review, the Galaxy A7 2016 is thicker than its predecessor. But this is no problem, on the contrary: the largest internal space allowed Samsung to put the device a battery of 3,300 mAh. The Galaxy A7 last year comes with battery of 2,600 mAh, just to be able to compare.

This difference is … difference. To check, performed two sequences of tests. At first, I heard music via speaker from Google Play Music for an hour, surfed the web and social networks also for an hour, watched the movie Matrix via Netflix (2h06min) and screen brightness set to maximum, made five minutes connection and played Asphalt 8: Airborne for 30 minutes. All this made the battery out of 100% to 59%.

The other test was simpler. I just was using the smartphone for my daily activities, primarily to access email and social networks, listen to music, use Google Maps and take pictures. With these activities being carried out several times, I had to perform only recharge at the end of the second day.

This means that, unless you make use of heavy applications very often able to leave the Galaxy A7 a day away from the outlet and still have a considerable amount of charge when you get home.

The only problem is the recharge time: using the charger that came with the device, the Galaxy A7 needed 2h39min to the energy level go from 10% to 100%.

Oh, I have not forgotten the fingerprint reader. It is quite likely that in a future not too far even the most simple smartphones contains this feature. Will take. It’s a wonder unlock the device without entering passwords or draw on the screen (and make payments with your phone using digital when this feature is widely available).

In the Galaxy A7, you can register up to three fingers to unlock the device with fingerprint. Recognition is usually fast. Just do not say it’s perfect because twice, the player did not recognize my impressions, forcing me to enter the password reservation.In both situations, I could only do reconnaissance work again by restarting the device.

Conclusion

For all the work, I would say that the Galaxy A7 occupies a position above the intermediate, but below the high-end. For convenience, we can imagine the model as an almost top line. But the challenge here is not to set the appliance category.

The Galaxy A7 is distinguished by careful design, the screen quality, the good battery life and the convincing overall performance – the GPU may disappoint a bit, in compensation, the 3GB of RAM leave the stable smartphone.

The outdated version of Android is a negative point, but this is a problem that Samsung can solve with a little good will. The finish, though well crafted, not favors the footprint, but you can reveal. I can say the same camera: missed a bit of whimsy to her (and not speak more megapixels), but the end result gives to spending most of the time.

Putting it all on the tip of the pencil, the balance is positive. What is the problem of the Galaxy A7, then? The cost-effective. If we take into account factors such as the value of the dollar and the end of tax benefits for the segment, the suggested price of US $ 2,499 is not at the initial time, as aggressive to the pocket.

But if it is to spend more than R $ 2,000 on a smartphone, pays more take-end Galaxy S6, for example. Despite having a successor, this model is still a great device, not to mention your specifications gain in almost all counts compared to the Galaxy A7.

If for some reason you prefer the Galaxy A7 2016 know that will not be taking a bad device, but a device that is not worth the price proposed. So make sure to a good discount: in some online retailers can already find it by values ​​close to R $ 2,000. I would wait for a bigger discount, but for those who have some urgency, with this track you can already start to think about it.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Battery: 3,300 mAh;
  • Camera: 13 megapixel (rear) and 5 megapixel (front);
  • Connectivity: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11n, GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, USB 2.0;
  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 74.1 x 151.5 mm;
  • GPU: Mali-T720;
  • External Memory: microSD card support up to 128 GB;
  • Internal memory: 16 GB (10.5 GB available to the user);
  • RAM: 3 GB;
  • Weight: 172 grams;
  • Platform: Android 5.1.1 (lollipop);
  • Processor: octa-core Exynos 7580 1.6 GHz;
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, digital reader;
  • Display: Super AMOLED 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels (401 ppi) and Gorilla Glass 4.

 

 

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