Let’s get to it — here’s what I thought of the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro.
Scratching the surface
Looks matter. Smartphones basically become an extension of your hand (I mean really, count the hours you have that phone on you and you’ll get my point) and if I’m going to spend that much time with a gadget, it may as well be with a handsome device. The Galaxy J7 Pro is exactly that.
The full metal body on the 5.5-inch screen looks and feels good on your hands. It has a nice weight to it that makes it feel premium despite its lowered price.
Button and port placements are still similar to the Galaxy J7 Prime: micro-USB and headphone jack at the bottom, volume buttons on the upper-left side, plus speakers and the lock/unlock button on the upper right. The fingerprint scanner-equipped physical home button is on the bottom chin, in between two capacitive buttons (back and recent apps).
The real star of this phone is its display. Its screen looks like a million bucks — okay, not a million but it does look really good (and I stress the “really”). The J7 Pro has an AMOLED screen, something only premium high-end phones are usually equipped with. Because of this, the Galaxy J7 is one of the first entry-level phones to have an Always On display — a feature I’ve found to be quite useful.
This means time and notifications are displayed on your screen (without being too bright as the AMOLED allows for only portions of the screen to light up) for quick and easy access. I daresay I’m definitely going to miss this feature if I go back to my iPhone.
Equipped with two cameras, the J7 Pro takes pretty decent photos. There are 13-megapixel shooters on each side, both equipped with their own flash.
The front-facing camera has Samsung’s own beauty mode built in, and it’s looking quite fine. (Like me! Haha. I kid, but thank you for the flawless selfies, Samsung!)
Low-light photography is a camera’s true test, and for a phone that’s been marketed as “a great night camera,” I expected better results.
Then again, the night-time shots were okay for the phone’s 13-megapixel specs, so I really can’t complain about that either.
It’s what is on the inside that counts
The J7 Pro is powered by a midrange Exynos processor, the same one that powered last year’s J7 Prime. Although this shouldn’t limit the phone’s capabilities for light to medium users, heavy smartphone users (such as myself) may be a little frustrated with app crashes (especially if you tend to leave most, if not all, apps open and running) and screen lags.
The phone has one SIM card slot and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage expandable up to 256GB. Its battery life is impressive with a capacity of 3600mAh, which lasted me almost 12 hours even on Wi-Fi.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
If looks were all that mattered, the J7 Pro would go home with all gold stars from me. However, in smartphones (and in life), that isn’t the case.
As much as I would have loved to see higher specs on this thing, I have to rein myself back in and remember what the Samsung Galaxy J series is about: budget smartphones. For those looking for an expensive-looking phone in that department, this is definitely the one.
This Pro Galaxy is a premium-looking phone with entry-level specs because it is that: an entry-level phone. To expect more from it just because it looks pretty (and looks pretty expensive, which is a good thing) would be unfair to a phone that’s only dressed up to look like a flagship. If anything, how good it looks should definitely just be a plus.
The Galaxy J7 Pro retails for PhP 15,990 in the Philippines. It’s expected to retail for INR 20,900 in India.