Last month, at the Samsung Forum 2016, Samsung announced their two new smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 and Samsung Galaxy A7 2016. The A7 is the bigger brother of the two, and I have been using this device for around 5 days now as my secondary device. Today, I bring to you my full review of the Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 with some real life usage scenarios.
Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 Full Specs
[table id=352 /]
Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 Unboxing, Review, Pros, Cons [Video]
What are Usage Reviews, Tests and Opinions?
This review is based on our quick tests and usage done with the phone, we try to push the device to its limits and find out the results which will matter if you plan to buy this phone. We hope this review helps you to get your queries answered about the device.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 is powered by an octa-core Exynos processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The device performs well, with just a few minor lags and stutters that we have come to expect from all Samsung devices these days. The phone packs a good hardware combination, but sometimes just fails to perform because of the underlying operating system that is running on the phone.
App Launch Speed
The app launch speed on the Galaxy A7 2016 was good, but I think that it could have been better. Sometimes, randomly while launching an app, there would be a minor lag of a few milliseconds before the application would actually open.
Multitasking and RAM Management
The Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 is packed with 3GB of RAM out of the box, and on boot, you get around 1.7GB of RAM free. As far as the RAM management is considered, the phone is able to manage the applications in the background most of the times. Only a few times I saw minor lags when switching between open apps, even between the apps that were recently used.
To test the scrolling speed of the browser, I opened up the GadgetsToUse homepage on the Chrome web browser as well as the Samsung Internet Browser, and in both the browsers, it was able to scroll on the page with ease. The rendering of the images on the page was also really quick.
In day to day usage, I did not feel the smartphone heat as such. Only when gaming for a longer period of time, I noticed the phone’s rim heat up. Even then, it did not become uncomfortable to hold in the hand.
[table id=366 /]
The camera on the Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 has been improved from the previous version of the phone as it now Optical Image Stabilization, and much better low light performance than the previous generation of the A7. Just that while taking pictures in low light conditions or artificial lighting conditions, it took a short time to focus, which is still acceptable to me because of the final images that it produces.
The camera user interface on the phone is just as you would find on any Samsung Galaxy device. It features quick settings on the top, with options to change the flash, timer, enable effects and such things. At the bottom, you can control which camera to use to take the picture, along with a shutter button, a button to record a video and modes for the camera.
Day Light Photo Quality
Low Light Photo Quality
Selfie Photo Quality
Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 Camera Samples
The video quality on the Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 was nothing short of amazing. You can totally see the Optical Image Stabilization in play when recording videos because the videos came out to be really stable and of good quality from both the front facing and the rear camera on the device.
The battery performance of the device is amazing. The device could easily last me for over a day and a half, with a great screen on time. While testing the device, I’d be connected to my WiFi for half of the day almost, and the rest of the time, it was on 3G. The charging and screen on times that I got on the phone were also pretty good.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 features Fast Charging and using the phone with the bundled charger charges the phone pretty quickly. Starting with almost zero battery on the phone, I was able to get it to a full charge in about 2 hours. That is pretty good I’d say.
Screen on Time
While using the smartphone, I would usually get around 6 hours of screen on time with my typical usage. This much screen on time is tremendous from a Samsung Galaxy device in my opinion.
Battery Drop Rate Table
[table id=411 /]
Looks and Design
The Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 is great in terms of the looks and design. It borrows its design from the Samsung’s flagship lineup, the Galaxy S6 to be precise. The phone features a 5.5-inch Full HD screen on the front with a physical home button and the two traditional Samsung capacitive buttons on either side. On the back, you’ll find a Gorilla glass back panel with a 13-megapixel camera with LED Flash. The bottom houses the basic I/O for the phone, with a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microUSB port and a single speaker.
Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 Photo Gallery
Quality of Material
The quality of the materials used to build the device is never questionable for Samsung. The device is always built with great material, and the Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 is no exception. The phone does feel sturdy with the metal rim around the phone and the Gorilla Glass on the front and back.
Coming to the ergonomics of the device, the device is not heavy at all. It is light to hold in the hand and has a good grip when using it with just one hand as well. The only thing is that since the back of the phone also features a glass, it sometimes randomly slips out of the hand because of that.
Display Clarity, Colors and Viewing Angles
The display clarity on the Galaxy A7 2016 is great. The colours are vivid and pop out. The viewing angles are also great on the device. The device is easily visible at extreme angles without any issue whatsoever.
Outdoor Visibility (Full Brightness)
With full brightness enabled, the phone is easily visible in direct sunlight. Since the phone packs a Samsung Super AMOLED display, the brightness on the screen is just amazing.
Custom User Interface
The Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 runs on the Samsung’s popular custom user interface called the Samsung TouchWiz, but the good thing is that the device runs on the newer version of TouchWiz, that is buttery smooth and just flies through all the tasks that I wanted to do on the phone. Occasionally, though, I would see the user interface get stuck on something, which was really peculiar for me to see from a phone at this price point.
In the notification drop down, there are toggles for all the quick settings that you would want to have, and also a control for the brightness of the phone. The rest of the interface is just like you would see on any other Samsung device these days.
The sound output from the speakers on the phone is good. Though the speaker is located on the bottom edge of the phone, it still manages to bring a good sound output when watching videos or simply listening to songs. The only complaint about the speakers is the positioning. It is very easy to cover it up when holding with two hands in landscape mode. Other than that, it is good overall with great bass and treble.
The call quality of the device is something that we have come to expect from all Samsung devices. It is top notch, with the ability to add extra volume when you are on a call. This feature basically allows you to increase the volume on the earpiece so you are able to hear the person on the other side pretty well.
The gaming performance on the Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 is definitely good. For testing out the performance, I played Dead Trigger 2 and Modern Combat 5 on the smartphone, and while playing, I never felt that the game is feeling underpowered. The gaming experience was good, except that the speaker is on the bottom of the phone, and it was easily covered by my hand while gaming.
[table id=367 /]
Game Lag & Heating
While gaming, I did not feel Dead Trigger to lag at any point, although I could easily feel the Modern Combat 5 losing a few frames here and there. Just because I’ve played these games on a lot of devices I was able to notice them. In day to day gaming, you might not even notice it. As far as the heating of the device is considered, the device did not heat anything as such, other than the rim around the edges of the phone. That was the only part of the phone that I could feel heat up after about 20 minutes of gaming.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A7 2016 is a power packed phone, that offers some of the great Samsung features like the awesome Display, a good camera and the home button with the fingerprint sensor. But if you ask me personally, I feel that the phone is overpriced because you can get a phone with a similar or even better performance for much cheaper from a lot of companies in India these days.