After getting our hands on to the Galaxy J5 (2016) edition, it’s time to shift our attention to the more powerful, more capable, faster Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) model. Important note you should remember, we are reviewing the 3GB RAM model with 1080p Full HD Super AMOLED. Samsung Philippines is officially offering Galaxy J7 (2016) with 720p screen here in the Philippines, but some stores managed to sell the higher-end Galaxy J7 (2016) that’s intended for Asian markets.
Is the newer Galaxy J7 worth for your money than the Galaxy A7 or Galaxy A5? And what’s changed to the 2016 model compared to 2015 model? Let’s find out in our comprehensive and full review of the Galaxy J7 2016.
More Samsung Galaxy J7 reviews, comparisons
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 vs J7 2016 comparison
- Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) full review
- Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) vs J7 (2015) comparison
Design and build
There is little changes in the exterior design of the new Galaxy J7 as to the older model. The changes are quite noticeable for trained eyes and hardly for typical users. But the good news is that the 2016 model features metal frame around it and retains the removable back cover that gives access to a removable battery, dual microSIM, and micro SD card slot.
The missing fingerprint scanner is a disappointment, but at least, Samsung has maintained the solid build. Despite the large size, the device felt tough and could withstand an accidental drop. Speaking of drops, there is no waterproof protection here. We just wished that Samsung will soon extend the IP68 dust and water resistance to its mid-range models.
We felt that the Galaxy J7 doesn’t attract nor possess premium looks and feel as the phablet Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9. The front is a plain Samsung with the usual suspects of a home button, navigations keys, and that curved corners.
With a budget price (in the definition of Samsung), the Samsung Galaxy J7 has more substance than style, which we understand and will be universally likened by its potential users.
Rocking a 5.5-inches 1080p Full HD Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy J series has stepped into the high-res boundary that was previously reserved for the premium Galaxy A and Galaxy S series. The addition of more pixels means sharper viewing experience while keeping the punchy and bright Super AMOLED.
On top of the screen is a scratch-resistant glass with no Gorilla Glass layer proofing unlike on the Galaxy A7 that is covered with Gorilla Glass 4 up front and on back. We have no issues with the glass at all, the screen remain very responsive and the touch experience feels seamless and fluid.
The main camera on the back is the same 13MP with the f1.9 aperture as to the previous Galaxy J7. That’s one year ago and still we got the same sensor with a very subtle improvement in quality. There are noticeable changes in white balance and color rendering as well as in high dynamic range control. The sharpness, however, is slightly better on the 2016 camera.
Daylight and HDR
Low light, night shooting
Up front is a 5MP with a wider aperture at f1.9 whereas the last year’s shooter is stuck on f2.2. The selfie portrait photos are comparable to what the more expensive Galaxy A7 offers, with an over sharpened and beautification effect while losing a great amount of saturation.
Overall, the Galaxy J7 2016 is still a reliable camera that shoots 1080p Full HD video at 30fps despite the dated sensor.
Software and UI
Both the Galaxy J5 and J7 are intended to run in Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Our unit is still stuck at Android 5.1 Lollipop and we’re hoping that the update to Marshmallow is just around the corner.
In terms of software experience, there’s very little to talk about here. The TouchWiz offers customizations and a wide plethora of Galaxy exclusive themes from Samsung store.
Performance and benchmark
At its core is a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7580 chip clocked at 1.6GHz each CPU core with 3GB of RAM and Mali T760 graphics. The performance is smoother and faster than both the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 2016. The Antutu benchmark score is also higher tips the 40k mark, which is impressive for this budget mid-ranger phone.
Our gaming and multitasking experience show very occasional stuttering or lagging at all. The Galaxy J7 2016 could handle and run graphics-intensive games without a problem, but just slightly slower in opening. Nevertheless, the hardware inside is one of the reasons why we like the whole package.
Battery life and charging
The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) could easily last a whole day of moderate use including switching from cellular to WiFi data connection, thanks to the 3300 mAh removable battery.
The higher resolution on the screen, faster CPU clock speed, and 3GB RAM reduce the battery life at below the smaller Galaxy A5 with 2900. Difference is small, however, and equates a 4-5 hour screen-on time and 34 hours endurance or continuous use.
Charging the 3300 mAh battery pack takes roughly 2 hours with no luck for fast charging support.
Battery life, charging time
The back-firing speaker produces decent vocal audio quality with underpowered bass level. The loudness is average and speaker sounded tinny when maxing out the volume. Overall, the speaker decent for its price.
Pricing and verdict
Priced for Php 15k pesos, the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) offers the biggest upgrades within the series. That’s in terms of internal hardware only. The 1080p screen and 3GB RAM are vital features you should really look for in upgrading and we recommend to anyone picking up the Galaxy J7. These features add future proofing and better experience than sticking to a 720p, 2GB-powered variant.
If you really don’t mind the boring look of the Galaxy J7 (2016), we think it’s worth it and has value for your money despite a little expensive for a budget mid-range Android smartphone.
What’s in the box: Unboxing
- J7 2016 model in white/gold/black/rose gold
- 1.5 A power adapter
- 3300 mAh removable battery pack
- Stereo headphone
- USB data cable
- Decent battery life
- 1080p Super AMOLED screen
- Dual SIM + micro SD card hybrid
- Great performance
- Boring design
- Expensive budget Android
- Unsubstantial camera improvements
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 edition Official Price, Specs, Release date in the Philippines
Display: 5.5-inches 1080p Full HD Super AMOLED, 401 ppi
Design: Polycarbonate + metal frame, scratch-resistant
Size: 7.8mm thick, 170g weight
Chip: Exynos 7580
CPU: Octa-core Cortex A53 at 1.6GHz processor
GPU: Mali T760 graphics
Memory: 16GB internal + 128GB max microSD card (dedicated)
Camera: 13MP, f1.9 lens aperture, LED flash, Full HD 1080p video
Selfie: 5MP f1.9 front-facing, 720p video, LED flash
Connectivity: WiFi n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 4G LTE, dual-SIM (dedicated slot)
Port: microUSB 2.0
Battery: 3300 mAh, No fast charging
Color: White, Black, Gold, Rose Gold
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Release date: May 2016 in the Philippines
Price: Php 14,990 pesos official Samsung PH SRP / Online stores in PH