Taking a major step in further penetrating the growing smartphone market in India, Samsung has showcased renewed vigour and innovative zeal to take on the Chinese brands flooding the mid-range segment. A result of this new strategy was the launch of the Galaxy A7 in September that comes with triple camera configuration at the back.
The Galaxy A7 was unveiled in two variants - the 4GBRAM and 64GB internal storage variant at Rs 23,990 and the 6GB+128GB phone costing Rs 28,990 in three colours - blue, black and gold. The phone supports dual SIM and the MicroSD slot allows both the variants to extend internal storage up to 512GB.
The phone is powered by a Samsung Exynos 7885 2.2GHz octa-ore processor and runs the Android Oreo operating system.
Samsung did not hide what it wanted to achieve with the Galaxy A7. It wanted to more engagement form the millennials by offering them a premium-looking phone packed with features that they care for the most, such as good-quality front and rear cameras and ease of shopping, at an affordable cost.
Let's see how the execution part of this winning proposition has fared for Samsung by examining the galaxy A7 4GB+64Gb variant.
What works for the phone?
In terms of look, the 2.5D glass back does give the premium feeling despite ditching the notch which has now become mainstream even for sub-Rs. 20,000 segment. The bezels on the sides are also not too thin for a phone of this price range, but what gives it the edge is the light weight and easy grip that it offers. The 6-inch phone weighs just 168 grams.
The placement of the fingerprint sensor is another big plus. Unlike most other phones that feature the fingerprint sensor at the back, in galaxy A7 it comes bundled with the power button placed at the side bar, making it little more easier to unlock the phone as users generally tend to reach out to the power button, instead of using the fingerprint sensor, to unlock their devices. We have also found the face unlock feature working well.
The phone also comes with the "Always On" mode that allows users to see the date and time on the display without even touching the phone. This is a useful feature which is not very common, although it drains the battery a bit.
The highlight of the phone is, of course, its cameras at the back and front. The rear triple camera system comes with a 24MP AF lens, an 8MP "Ultra Wide" lens (F2.4) and a 5MP "Depth" lens.
In terms of camera performance, we found it working better than Xiaomi's POCO F1 which is priced in similar range. In similar shots, background colours captured by the Galaxy A7 showed more vividness and closeness to reality. With auto flash turned on, the images in low light conditions also came out fairly good. The phone also allows users to add an extra button to click pictures from any place in the display.
The rear camera also comes packed with several interesting feature, such as the "scene optimiser" that makes necessary corrections depending on the objects that the camera is focused on. For example, the shot scenario for food is starkly different from the shot scenario of a sunset and the camera is powered to make these distinctions through its auto detection feature.
The beautifications that the 24MP front shooter makes should also make selfie lovers happy. The "Selfie Focus" feature allows one to blur the background. But as with most smartphones, this phone also does not help much if someone wants the background to come out really well in the selfie.
The FHD+ Super AMOLED display is another plus that offers good video viewing experience. It also supports Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology, but this works only in earphones and Bluetooth headsets.
The 3,300mAH battery works well to run a day after full charge for moderate level of use. With the Shopping Mall and Samsung Pay mini, it can also enhance the shopping experience of the users, especially its key target groups - the millennials.
What does not work for the phone is that it does not come with any fast-charge technology as the users are given a USB 2.0 connector.
Conclusion: The galaxy A7 offers sober look, several useful and innovative features and an ease of handling, besides the camera advantage and a trusted brand backing.
(Gokul Bhagabati can be contacted at email@example.com)