Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Review

Galaxy A7 Review: Three is Better Than Two For Now

Now is probably the era of multiple cameras on a single device. This time 10 years ago, it was cool to have a camera on your phone. And during this time, it was the race to the highest megapixels. The higher megapixel you have on your phone camera, the better the photo quality will be.

And then some of the phone companies started playing with a dual camera set-ups. That has become a norm in 2018. We now have phones with dual rear shooters, some has dual front shooters instead. Now enter the realm of three rear camera set-up by Samsung, also known as the Galaxy A7.

When I first heard that Samsung is launching the A7, I was somewhat excited to know how this phone will fare in the real world usage. I had the chance to review the Galaxy A7 for 2 weeks and this is my honest review.

Design and Functions

I received the blue colour Galaxy A7 which looks very attractive. The surface of the A7 is a fingerprint magnet so I had to clean the smudges at the back of the phone from time to time. That’s okay if you’re planning to get a phone cover if or when you purchase the A7.

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Review

The right side of the phone you can find the power button that also doubles up as the fingerprint sensor. The accuracy of the sensor is not too bad although it did miss a few times when I tried to unlock the phone. The A7 also comes with the facial scanner so that you can unlock the phone just by looking at it. The volume rocker sits above the power button.

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Review

The left side of the phone is where the SIM card goes. The Galaxy A7 supports dual SIM plus it can still support external storage even when you’re using dual SIM.

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Review

At the bottom of the phone is where you will find the Micro USB port (not type-C), speaker, mic and the headphone jack. With the absence of USB type-C, the charging time takes a little bit longer. I really don’t know why Samsung opt to not using the type-C for this phone.

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When we turn the phone to the back, you can see the obvious three camera set-up, all aligned neatly on the left side with the LED flash below the three camera modules.

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Review

I am already getting used to using a dual camera set-ups and with the A7, it feels a little bit weird, but in a good way. I honestly love the wide angle lens and the main camera takes accurate colour balance and contrast.

The auto-focus works quickly, just like the Samsung’s flagship phones so I can safely say that everything works really well in the camera department. After all, the A7 is focused on the camera potential and it did live up to its potential. The phone feels comfortable in my hands but a little bit slippery at times especially when I’m sweating.

Performance and Daily Usage

When it comes to phone reviews, I will never leave out the performance test. And my usual performance test is playing PUBG Mobile on the phone for long hours. That is to test out the battery usage, heat and responsiveness. Overall, here’s what I think…

The Galaxy A7 is able to handle heavy graphics such as the PUBG Mobile game. I spent long hours testing it out, playing the game whenever I have the time. I can tell you that the A7 can really take the load, all thanks to the 6GB RAM and the Exynos 7885 octa-core SoC.

The Super AMOLED display made everything looks really good while gaming. My graphic settings in PUBG is set all the way up to the max. Rendering is not as smooth as the higher end flagship phones but still good somehow. So I can safely say that you can enjoy your chicken dinner frequently with the A7.

Battery usage while gaming is quite impressive. I charged it up to 100% and I straight away fire up the PUBG. After 5 games, I still have a little over 40% of juice left. Mind you, each game lasted me close to 40 minutes. The 3300mAh battery did a good job retaining enough juice through each game.

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On normal usage however, the battery can last me a good two days use. That includes YouTube, Social Media stuffs, camera and many other productivity apps.

The Galaxy A7 runs on Android Oreo 8.1 and future update to Android Pie 9.0 might be coming soon.

Camera and Sample Photos

Having three cameras is probably the main advantage of the A7. It comes with one 24MP f/1.7 27mm wide angle main shooter, one 8MP f/2.4 18mm ultra wide angle camera and one 5MP f/2.2 depth sensor camera for that smooth bokeh effect.

The front camera is a 24MP f/2.0 26mm wide angle camera for a good group selfie.

I really enjoyed using the ultra wide angle camera because it is wide. I can go up close to a subject but still able to capture the surroundings. Here’s a sample of what I meant:

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Review

Normal angle shot

Similar spot with ultra wide angle lens.

Although the photo will have some distortions, that is pretty normal for a wide angle lens – similarly with a dSLR camera and 14mm wide angle lens.

Wide angle is suitable when you want to show more in a single photo especially when you’re shooting landscape. Traditional photographers will agree with me on this. And here’s a sample of landscape wide angle that I took with the Galaxy A7:

Normal main camera

Ultra wide angle camera

Same place, different camera lens. Notice the distortion of the power line pole on the left? It looks like it is bent a little bit. But that’s what happens when you use an ultra wide angle lens. Sometimes it makes the photo looks nice.

Here’s another one:

Normal main camera

Ultra wide angle camera

Yes. You will be able to see more on both sides, top and bottom. Now you know why I enjoy using this camera.

I have another sample of normal and ultra wide angle photo below:

Normal camera

Ultra wide angle camera

The photo quality is above par. It is as crispy as the roti canai in the picture. I am very impressed with the A7’s cameras and it’s not easy for me to stop taking pictures with it.

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And how about the selfie camera? Turns out good too. Check it out…

Normal selfie shot

Live focus selfie (bokeh background)

Wide angle selfie for group shots

The beautify option on the A7 is making my face looks smooth. Maybe a little bit too smooth but that can be adjusted in the camera app. Overall, it’s great.

Here are few more shots with the A7:

Ultra wide angle shot, indoors and low light.

Normal camera. indoors and normal lighting.

Indoor shots turns out good too. When the light is low, the wide “aperture” of the lens did help a little bit with capturing enough light through the sensor. I’m happy with the camera performance.

Conclusion

The new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 proved to be a suitable phone for photography enthusiast or those who wish to have a good phone with a good camera setup.

Performance in heavy graphic games is good, battery life is great and camera is what I love most about the Galaxy A7.

The only thing that I don’t like about the A7 is that it is too smooth and slippery at times. Would I go out and get myself the A7? Yes I would. Will there be another contender to the A7? Yes, but for now only the flagship phones by the competitor is having a three lens setup and that will be way more expensive. So right now the A7 will be a good bang for your buck.

Specifications

GENERAL

Release date September 2018
Dimensions (mm) 159.80 x 76.80 x 7.50
Weight (g) 168.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3300
Removable battery No
Wireless charging No
Colours Black, Blue, Gold, Pink

DISPLAY

Screen size (inches) 6.00
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1080×2220 pixels
Aspect ratio 18.5:9

HARDWARE

Processor 2.2GHz octa-core
RAM 4GB
Internal storage 64GB
Expandable storage Yes
Expandable storage type microSD
Expandable storage up to (GB) 512

CAMERA

Rear camera 24-megapixel (f/1.7) + 8-megapixel (f/2.4) + 5-megapixel (f/2.2)
Rear autofocus Yes
Rear flash Yes
Front camera 24-megapixel (f/2.0)
Front autofocus No
Front flash Yes

SOFTWARE

Operating system Android 8.0

CONNECTIVITY

Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes, v 5.00
NFC No
FM Yes
Number of SIMs 2
Active 4G on both SIM cards Yes
SIM 1  
SIM Type Nano-SIM
SIM 2  
SIM Type Nano-SIM
4G/ LTE Yes