Introduction


The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016 edition, aka J7 6) represents the new generation of affordable Samsung phones: with a stylish look, a sturdy metal frame, and even with a few premium features like the Quick Launch camera shortcut.

In a fiercely competitive Android phone market, the 5.5” Galaxy J7 6 has plenty of rivals, though, and many are coming at prices well below what Samsung has set here.

Does the Samsung brand name, the more refined TouchWiz and the performance of the Galaxy J7 6 live up to expectations? We take a look at our in-depth review.

In the box:

  • Galaxy J7 2016
  • Wall charger (5V - 1.55A)
  • microUSB to USB cable
  • White Samsung earbuds
  • User manual

Design

A metal frame is nice to have, but the design feels generic and the plastic back cover feels cheap.

The Galaxy J7 6 is an evolution over the traditional look of plastic Samsung phones from way back in the day. In fact, save for the metal frame, it looks like your generic Samsung phone with that typical back layout with a silver speaker grill introduced way back in 2012, some four years ago. Yet, the metal frame carries the modern carve-outs we know from more modern Samsung phones, so all in all the design blends together the past and the present.

From a purely practical standpoint, the J7 6 design works: it’s sturdy, with no screaky, hollow parts, and the back does not accumulate fingerprints. Yet, the plastic back cover feels decidedly cheap and the phone lacks flare.

The buttons are well-crafted, though: all are made from metal and feel very clicky and nice to press. There’s a lock key on the right and two separate volume buttons on the left, while up front there is a single physical home key, but it’s just a regular button - no fingerprint here, sadly. On the bottom of the phone is a microUSB port for charging.

In terms of size and heft, the J7 6 is well balanced for a 5.5” phone: it’s not too wide at 2.99 inches (76mm) and thickness comes in at the rather thin 7.8mm. The phone tips the scales at 169g, which is neither too heavy, nor too light for a phone this size.


Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.99 x 0.31 inches

151.7 x 76 x 7.8 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches

144.8 x 71 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.99 x 0.34 inches

150 x 76 x 8.65 mm

Weight

5.78 oz (164 g)

Meizu M3 Note

Meizu M3 Note

Dimensions

6.05 x 2.97 x 0.32 inches

153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.99 x 0.31 inches

151.7 x 76 x 7.8 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches

144.8 x 71 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.99 x 0.34 inches

150 x 76 x 8.65 mm

Weight

5.78 oz (164 g)

Meizu M3 Note

Meizu M3 Note

Dimensions

6.05 x 2.97 x 0.32 inches

153.6 x 75.5 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

The 5.5” 720 x 1280-pixel screen is not super-sharp, and its colors are a bit off, but the big shock is that there’s no ambient light sensor! Come on, Samsung!


The Galaxy J7 6 sports a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. That works out to 267ppi, which in simple terms means that on this display you can notice some slight pixelization and the screen won’t look as sharp as on higher-end phones.

What about the colors, though? Samsung’s AMOLED displays come with the neat option for users to choose how the screen looks. The default ‘Adaptive’ display mode features unrealistically oversaturated colors and bluish whites, which combine for a very punchy, but wildly unrealistic, cartoony look to everything.

We switch all of our Samsung AMOLED displays to the ‘Basic’ mode (you do this by going into Settings - Display - Screen Mode), as this is the mode that comes closest to the sRGB color standard, the de facto standard for all images and video on the web and on Android. Sticking with Basic Mode and the sRGB standard means that you see images the way those who captured those images intended you to see them. Still, the Galaxy J7 6 does not have its colors properly balanced in this mode, and it’s a bit off: blues are mostly accurate, but reds and greens are off target. Whites are also slightly, but noticeably greenish here.

The J7 6 also does not have the brightest of screens: outdoors, on a sunny day, we found it hard to read content on the display and we had to shield it with our hand. Viewing angles are not bad, though, as brightness is retained at different angles.

We left the biggest shocker, however, for last: the J7 6 has no ambient light sensor! Preposterous? Yes! This is not the cheapest of phones, yet it lacks the essential option to have automatic brightness adjustments! Having to manually adjust brightness is not only inconvenient, but it can also lead to high brightness levels used longer, causing battery life to take an unnecessary hit. Instead of the Auto toggle we're used to having, there's a strange 'Outdoor' mode, which bumps the brightness up upon activation, and then disengages automatically after a short while. From the looks of the sensors lined up across the phone's upper bezel, it appears that there is, in fact, an ambient light sensor, but the option to activate it isn't available, and diagnostic tools like CPU-Z don't seem to detect such a component either. Weird stuff.

Another compromise comes in the oleophobic coating on the J7 6. It seems that it’s either not there, or very weak, as the phone catches fingerprints on the display very easily and often looks depressingly smudgy and dirty.



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20 Comments

1. redmd

Posts: 1939; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

This is a nice mid range phone. Very reliable with its great battery life.

5. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

Yeah and it has a good camera too.

15. AkmalWarrior

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 17, 2016

And, for a few dollars more. You can download Manual Camera on Play Store and use the full Camera2 API interface.

19. velizar.peshev

Posts: 2; Member since: May 05, 2017

This phone is COOOOOOOL I really loved it! Fast processor nice amount of RAM and cool design. Only haptic feedback missing is bad but no matter of this little thing:-)

2. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 455; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Plastic backs are so much better. On all the new Samsung phones they're glass and if you don't use a case it's gonna get shattered pretty quick.

16. AkmalWarrior

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 17, 2016

But the NFC tag is in there and plastic back cover snap easily if you drop it on normal height.(Cover and Tempered Glass screen protector recommended.)

3. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

saying "impressive battery life, smooth performance, support microSD" then gave it 6.5, lol cons: - Somewhat pricey for what it offers - No 4K video option did you expect 4k recording on $240 phone?

4. Unordinary unregistered

Cry more

10. Fonatic

Posts: 70; Member since: May 23, 2016

butthurt isheep

11. Fonatic

Posts: 70; Member since: May 23, 2016

now bow to imam obama unordinary

7. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

the batch 2014/2015 flagship phones are priced like this phone or even lower and yet offer stellar performances and all the bells and whistles :D

13. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah, true.. lenovo, huawei and others can offer better spec at that price tag.. but expecting 4k recording for $240 phone is too much, is there any sub $300 phone that can record 4k? (except refurbished last year flagship :P)

8. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

6.5 because it doesn't have a fruit logo.

12. MySchizoBuddy

Posts: 159; Member since: Aug 23, 2011

s6 and s7 also doesn't have a fruit logo. they also go 6.5. Oh wait they didn't.

6. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Ambient Light Senson is Useless Crap. Touchwiz offers a quick way to change Brightness that is far better than Light sensor that never ever works. PA says Phone is too quiet amd it is loudest among others they mention. Crap. It could have had a lowet price. But considering what LG, Sony, Htc have been offering, its actually cheap. Even Samsung has not offered something so good at this price. Battery life in reality is far better than even Redmi Note 3 that drain as soon as it start heating which happens when browsing heavy sites and gaming. Also J7s max temp while hardcore gaming for long was 37 C in India. Here ambient temp is about the same.

9. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

not too bad for its prince range. Might give it a try

14. AkmalWarrior

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 17, 2016

I like that the camera of the Galaxy J7 6 is better than my Note 3. Pros -Full Camera2 API Support with Manual Camera (Other apps lack some features) -Great for Selfie and Vlogging (With Gyro Stabilizer) Cons -1080p display on China models(WTF Samsung) -No OIS nor EIS -1080p60fps is a nono -No Gyroscope (3rd party Panorama app become useless) -NFC tag is on the back cover(Most prone to damage)

17. Lunovic

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 31, 2016

How come you get to a conclusion like that? Only 6.5? First of all, plastic helps disolve the temperature; secondly, hd screen saves battery and temperature, it is as good as Full Hd, for normal human being; For last, complaining about 4K video, your kidding? you got right only when talking about fingerprint scanner. This phone deserves a much better rating!

18. Tumaini1

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 20, 2015

Wanna try this as my first Android phones..

20. velizar.peshev

Posts: 2; Member since: May 05, 2017

You will be no disappointed. I bought this phone 1 week ago and I loved it when I first switched on!!!
Galaxy J7 (2016)
  • Display 5.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1600 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(23h 3G talk time)

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