Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro Review: The Mid-Ranged Phone for Low-light Photography?

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Can it actually capture the night?

Samsung released their mid-ranged contender last month and they weren’t shy about taking the fight to other brands. Does the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro live up to the hype? Can it truly capture the night like the LSS inducing song by Liza Soberano actually says? Let’s find out in this full review for the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro.

Specifications

  • 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Mali-T830 GPU
  • 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display; 1920×1080 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB)
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.7 aperture, Autofocus, LED flash
  • 13-megapixel front camera, f/1.9 aperture, LED flash
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 3,600mAh battery

The Looks and Feel of Mid-Ranged Device

In terms of look and feel, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro definitely fits the bill for most devices within its price segment. You’ve got a unibody metal build that lends to the phone’s sturdiness, but it has the ergonomics to make easy to operate with one hand. While its material choice and design aspects may be common nowadays, there are still a couple of touches that separate it from the rest of the pack: the antenna bands and the rear camera module.

Instead of placing the bands horizontally or close to the top and bottom of the phone, ala the iPhone 7, Samsung uses the antenna bands to change things up a bit. The rear camera module, on the other hand, is nicely framed with a chrome accent; highlighting the strongest feature on this phone. They definitely don’t boost signal quality or the quality of the photos you’re getting from the camera but, again, it’s a nice way to differentiate the J7 Pro from the designs we’ve typically been seeing from brands that come from China.

The Korean brand hasn’t been known to cheap out on quality and, while the body is a bit of fingerprint magnet, the Galaxy J7 Pro is definitely as sturdy as they come. No flex nor play with the device since the time it hit our desks at Unbox HQ to the time we returned it safely back to Samsung.

Speaking of fingerprints, the fingerprint scanner on the J7 Pro will need a bit of a wipe down on occasion to make sure it can read your bio-metrics properly.

Great Display, Mind the Speaker Placement

The J7 Pro has the company’s homegrown Super AMOLED display that measures in at 5.5-inches and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. If we were to rank mobile phone displays, Samsung’s Super AMOLED panels would definitely be in the top 3 and we definitely appreciate that it’s been brought to the company’s mid-ranged offering and at Full HD to boot. You’ve got a top-notch display that you can watch videos, browse your social feeds, or to play games on. Yes, it can get a little over-saturated at times, but you can tweak the colors in the settings menu if you’re not feeling the vividness of the display.

Visuals are only part of the equation here and the lone speaker on the right side of the J7 Pro is definitely adequate. You’re getting pretty clear audio at higher volumes, but it’s the placement that you’re going to want to be aware of. Because of the natural way we tend to hold our phones when in the landscape orientation, there may be a tendency to put your finger on the speaker itself; though that may only apply to people with huge digits, such as ourselves. You’ll get used to it, but you do have to keep the speaker placement in mind when you first get the device.

Borrowed Processing Package

In terms of performance, the Galaxy J7 Pro feels similar to the former king of the Korean company’s J7 line — the Galaxy J7 Prime. That’s because they’re rocking the same hardware. You’ve got an Exynos 7870 that clocks in at 1.6GHz with 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage. It’s definitely enough for day-to-day tasks and browsing through your social feeds, but heavier users may want to dial down on multitasking or may have to take note of the number of apps they have running in the background.

You can game on the J7 Pro, but expect to turn down the settings on more graphic intensive games to get the smoothest frame rates possible.

Captures the Night Quite Nicely

If there’s one thing that Samsung is banking on to sell the Galaxy J7 Pro it’s its cameras. You’ve got a 13-megapixel camera for both the rear camera and for taking selfies with. The rear camera has an f-stop of f/1.7 and actually lives up to the claims of Liza Soberano’s song of being able to capture the night. Yes, there is still a fair bit of noise, but it’s one of the best performing cameras on a mid-ranged device that we’ve handled in awhile and it’s even better when the lighting conditions are good. You’ve got a great amount of detail, color reproduction, and sharpness to your shots.

Crop from Previous Photo

front camera

As far as selfies go, the smaller aperture size of f/1.9 definitely helps in low-light, but you’re going to want to use the LED flash to get better snaps with the front cam or stick to places with more light.

Great Battery Life

If there’s one area that surprised us with the Galaxy J7 Pro, it’s the battery life. Yes, it does have a larger than average battery when compared to most mid-ranged devices at 3600mAh but, even then, we didn’t actually expect it to perform as well as it did. Synthetic battery benchmarks on the Galaxy J7 Pro gave us a time of nearly 10 hours, which translated into more than a day of juice in real word tests. The J7 Pro also comes with Samsung Fast Adaptive Charger, so topping it up doesn’t take as long either.

Verdict: One of the Best Cameras on a Mid-Ranged Device

While the overall performance of the phone is something we’ve experienced on the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime before, the upgrade to the Galaxy J7 Pro’s display, battery life, and its camera makes it the new king of the J series. At Php, 15990/$318, the Korean brand has definitely created a formidable entry to take the mid-ranged segment by storm and we’re pretty sure the other brands have taken notice. Their biggest draw, in case all the marketing material hasn’t made its way onto your feeds or haven’t played before the video you want to watch on YouTube, is their cameras and like we said above, it’s one of the best we’ve used on a mid-ranged device in awhile.

If a good camera is high on your list when time comes that you have to get a new phone and have to stick to just above Php 15,000/$298 for your budget, then the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro should definitely make your shortlist.

Bonus:

If you haven’t seen the ad from Samsung for the Galaxy J7 Pro, you can watch the music video featuring Liza Soberano below. Be warned, it gives you massive LSS and no, the did not ask us to post this; plus, isn’t the best way to get rid of LSS to pass it on to someone else? Hehe.

You’ve been warned!

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/2T5sj8)

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