Samsung Galaxy A7 hands-on
The Samsung Galaxy A7 is the latest phone to arrive and it completes the A series with a large-screen device. The Galaxy A7 features a 5.5-inch phablet-sized display, but the big highlight - as with all of the A series - is its sleek all-aluminum body. And now that the Galaxy S6 has gone official with a glass back, the Galaxy A series remains the only choice for lovers of metallic smartphones.
The Galaxy A7 is already on sale in some markets, but most are still awaiting its arrival. Luckily, Samsung brought it to MWC 2015, and we took up on the opportunity to make a review of this stylish member of the A family.
Design and Display
The Galaxy A7 sports clean, refined looks, but it is its amazing thinness that really impresses at first sight. The A7 measures just 0.25" (6.3mm) thick, which is thinner than both the Apple iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6. Samsung has also done a great job slimming down the side bezel, so that the phone feels surprisingly compact given its fairly large 5.5-inch display. The A7 is 5.94" (151mm) tall and exactly 3" (76.2mm) wide, while the iPhone 6 Plus, for instance, is 6.22" tall and 3.06" wide, noticeably larger despite the fact that both have equally large screen.
Amazingly thinSpeaking of the display, the Galaxy A7 sports a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, and pixel density of 401ppi. At first sight, the colors on the A7 appear typical for AMOLED - vibrant, rich, a bit overblown, and the screen has excellent viewing angles and deep blacks.
Performance and Memory
The Galaxy A7 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615, an octa-core 64-bit system chip featuring eight Cortex A53s running at up to 1.5GHz. The Snapdragon 615 is a step below the high-end Snapdragon 810 system chip, and the main difference is that does not use any high-performance A57 cores, so while it does well with multi-core applications, single-core performance is really not all that stellar. There's also 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 405 GPU under the hood. The handset supports 4G LTE connectivity as well.
The Galaxy A7 features 16GB of internal storage that you can expand via microSD cards of up to 64GB. This is a good option to have, especially now that the flagship Galaxy S6 does not support expandable storage.
The resolution of the main, rear-facing camera is set at 13 megapixels and there's a single LED flash for scant lighting conditions. The phone is capable of recording video in a 1080p resolution at up to 30 frames per second. Up front, the A7 is equipped with a 5-megapixel selfie shooter.
All in all, the Galaxy A7 feels very well made: sturdy and stylish. This is the kind of design that fits well the Samsung brand, given that now you can find cheaper devices with similar specs, but there are not that many with such premium styling in a less expensive envelope than that of a flagship.
The A7 is not perfectly on par with flagships in specs, but it also does not lack much: it's got a powerful, 64-bit chip, a very decent 13-megapixel main camera, and 4G LTE connectivity. If you're looking for a not-too-expensive phone and want the reliability of a proven brand like Samsung, the Galaxy A7 looks like a very decent option.