It looks like the Samsung Galaxy S7, feels like the Samsung Galaxy S7, but isn't actually the S7. No it's the 2017 version of Samsung's midrange series, and it's a pretty good-looking phone at that. While it's no OnePlus 3T, the current king of the midrange, the A7 has the chops to stand out as one of the best.
While the OnePlus 3T boasts a flagship processor, the A7 takes a more typical midrange route with a 1.9GHz Exynos 7880 that's comparable to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615 chip. That's not a mark against it though, as the phone runs as smooth as butter, especially on games like Asphalt 8. The only thing I felt could be better was palm rejection -- the phone would constantly register my palm brushes when I used the phone one-handed.
And while it's still only running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with no word on an update, you gotta give props to Samsung for the phone's amazing 22-hour battery life (which we got looping a video in airplane mode). I'm still pretty much blown away by how much of a workhorse this phone can be -- easily lasting a full day of hard use.
Retailing at S$648 in Singapore, which is around $450, £365 or AU$615, for the 32GB version, the A7 seems like a really good deal. There's, however, no word yet on whether Samsung will sell the A7 in the US, but we'll update this review if they do. It should, however, hit Europe soon.
Everything that works great in Samsung's flagship is here, from the Game Tools software to the built-in Samsung Pay. The MySamsung app is also available, giving you access to lifestyle deals. The 13-megapixel camera takes pretty decent pictures, but unlike the higher-end S7, it struggles a tad in low light. You can check out the sample shots below.
While it's not the best, the Galaxy A7 is one of the easiest phone recommendations I can make. While it may not be as cheap as other midrange phones or as powerful as the OnePlus 3T, it packs a beautiful, impressive glass-clad punch. If you don't need top-end performance but want Samsung's quality design, this is your phone.
Otherwise, there's always the Asus ZenFone 3 or Moto G4 Plus to consider, which are both quality phones, though the A7 does beat them by a slim margin. If you really want the absolute best midrange phone, though, there's really no avoiding the OnePlus 3T.
|Samsung Galaxy A7||OnePlus 3T||Asus ZenFone 3||Motorola Moto G4 Plus|
|Display size, resolution||5.7-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.2x3.1x0.31 in||6.01x2.94x0.29 in||6.01x3.05x0.3 in||6x3x0.39 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||156.8x77.6x7.9 mm||152.7x74.7x7.35 mm||152.6x77.4x7.7 mm||153x76.6x9.8 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||6.56 oz; 186 g||5.57 oz; 158 g||5.47 oz; 155 g||5.47 oz; 155 g|
|Mobile software||Android 6.01 Marshmallow||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Video capture||Full-HD||4K||8-megapixel||1,080p HD|
|Processor||1.9GHz Octa Core, Exynos 7880||2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821||2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625||1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617|
|Expandable storage||256GB||None||Up to 256GB||Up to 128GB|
|Battery||3,600mAh (nonremovable)||3,400mAh (nonremovable)||3,000mAh (nonremovable)||3,000mAh (removable)|
|Fingerprint sensor||Home button||Home button||Back cover||Below screen|
|Special features||Water-resistant||Notifications toggle, dual-SIM, Dash Charging||Laser/phase detection autofocus, OIS (4-axis), fingerprint doubles as shutter button||Water-resistant|
|Price off-contract (USD)||TBA||$439 (16GB), $479 (128GB)||$249||$249|
|Price (GBP)||TBA||£399 (16GB), £439 (128GB)||64GB: £265||£229|
|Price (AUD)||TBA||Converts to AU$590 (16GB), AU$652 128GB)||32GB: AU$295; 64GB: AU$360||16GB: AU$399; 32GB: AU$449|