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Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 (AT&T) Review

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) AT&T

Posted: , by Corey G. Corey G.

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Call Quality

Good, but a little muddy

Calls on this phone sound good enough. The device is HD voice capable, but even then, voices came across with a hint of muffled muddiness – nothing that most people will take issue with, or likely even notice unless coming from a much better phone. The speakerphone is loud, but suffers from the same tinge of muddiness.

Battery Life

3,300 mAh are put to good use here

Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 (AT&T) Review
This is one area we can’t complain much about. A 3,300 mAh battery keeps the J7 2017 humming along nicely with moderate usage, showing the ability to get into a second day using a lower brightness setting. Our custom battery drain test found the J7 dead after a solid 12 and a half hours – an impressive showing. Charge time on this larger capacity battery will be similarly long though, clocking in at two hours and twenty-two minutes.

Conclusion


The instinct to call this phone, and others like it, “Dad Phones” is one somewhat based in truth – often the older crowd isn’t looking for the latest and greatest, but rather a solid phone they can use for as many years as possible – but the fact of the matter is, this price range (and a bit above it) also lends itself to a crowd that knows technology but doesn’t see the value in buying a $900 phone. As a result, the value proposition of such phones has grown considerably, and will continue to do so. A wide breadth of manufacturers, some familiar and some less-so, contend in this price range, with increasingly tantalizing options.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 (AT&T) Review

If you don’t care about screen size and are thinking “let me get a cheap Android phone to get a higher value” then think again. The iPhone SE still offers better call quality, quicker and smoother performance, a much better camera with 4K support, nicer materials, and a fingerprint scanner – not to mention that a 32GB model can be had for $200 from both AT&T and Best Buy. Or, $80 more than the J7’s $240 retail price can get you a pre-owned 16GB iPhone 6s, if you’re into that sort of thing.

But if Android’s more your jam, and you’d like a 5-inch+ phone, then you have some worthy options there too; for one, the Moto G5 Plus. Here you’ll gain a more competent camera and camcorder with 4K support and image stabilization, turbo-charging, a fingerprint sensor, and, for our tastes, a much more comfortable screen to look at – not to mention that the unlocked version sells for $230. Oh, and it looks better too.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 (AT&T) Review
Speaking of looks, the Nokia 6 is also selling for $230 and brings along a stylish metal casing, a 16 MP camera, fingerprint biometrics, and NFC. We’ll be reviewing this phone shortly, but we anticipate competitive performance mated with an aesthetic we already have the hots for.

And then there’s phones like the Honor 6X, made by Huawei. This was one of the better mid-range phones we've reviewed and gives users a taste of some flagship features, like dual-cameras, 3GB RAM with a swift processor, fingerprint biometrics, and all-around solid performance – selling for $200 most days, and $250 on others.

We did mention that it’s a crowded field. The point of it all is to say this: if you’re in the market for a $200 - $300 phone, it’s a nice place to be right now; options are plentiful and value is on the rise.

Samsung’s Galaxy J7 for AT&T is a decent handset. The revamped UI is light on its feet and Samsung’s proprietary apps and nuances are mostly useful and intuitive. Navigating the device and launching apps, you may encounter a pause here or there, but generally, things move quickly and smoothly. The display’s also decently sharp and colorful in most applications, though its deficiencies can make it hard to look at. The camera isn’t the highest quality mid-ranger either, displaying some difficulty in exposure, focus, and detail capture, but it’s far from the worst. For a mid-ranger, it gets the job done.

While some of the aforementioned devices may cater more to the “techy” crowd, there are certain things that everyone looking at such a phone can agree on. Dads can certainly appreciate water resistance or at the very least some level of splash resistance, something which the J7 lacks. And who wouldn’t want a better camera, or more storage? Everyone has eyes, and though the display can represent colors decently well, the coldness and overcompensation of brightness for its lack of range makes this screen exhausting to look at.

The bottom line is this: if you’re particularly fond of what Samsung does with Android – and they do a lot right – but simply don’t want to spend more than $300, then the J7 2017 is really your only choice. But the handset simply doesn’t pack much dollar-for-dollar value. With so many solid options, often offering more features and better performance, there’s never been a better time to try something new.

Pros

  • Bright, vibrant screen
  • Camera reproduces colors well in properly lit situations
  • In-house chipset delivers generally quick performance

Cons

  • Dated look
  • Cheap-feeling materials
  • Display is prone to causing eye strain
  • Very poor low-light camera performance
  • No fingerprint scanner or splash resistance, lacks 1080p on a 5.5-inch screen
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PhoneArena rating:
6Average
Display5.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (267 ppi) TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1600 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
2 GB RAM
Size5.96 x 3.01 x 0.34 inches
(151.5 x 76.4 x 8.6 mm)
5.6 oz  (159 g)
Battery3300 mAh, 40 hours talk time

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