Samsung reinvented itself last year and that gave the A-series a chance for a coup. It took the great new design from the S-phones and parred it down to a mid-range price.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) is essentially an A5 (2016) stretched to 5.5″ screen size. This sort of size has turned into somewhat of a sweetspot for a phablet – any bigger and the phone becomes unwieldy, any smaller and you lose the benefit of the big screen .
While the A5 (2016) competed with the company’s flagship – the Galaxy S6 – the A7 (2016) is placed somewhat differently – it can’t even hope for taking on the Galaxy S6 edge+ or the Note5, so it’s instead targeting a market populated by a number of Chinese-made phablets.
- Available with a hybrid dual-SIM/microSD slot
- Metal frame sandwiched between 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4
- 5.5″ Super AMOLED of 1,080 x 1,920px resolution, ~401ppi
- Octa-core Cortex-A53 processor, 3GB of RAM, Adreno 405 GPU; Snapdragon 615 chipset (also available with an Exynos 7580 chipset)
- Android 5.1 Lollipop with TouchWiz, theme support
- 13MP camera with f/1.9 aperture and OIS; 1080p video recording; 5MP front-facing camera, 1080p video
- 16GB of built-in storage; 11GB user available; microSD slot (same as SIM2 slot)
- LTE Cat. 4 150Mbps, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.1, ANT+, NFC, FM Radio
- 3,300mAh battery
- No 4K video or [email protected]
- Limited storage out of the box, no 32GB version
- No MHL (but USB OTG is supported)
Compared to original Galaxy A7
- Same screen size, resolution
- Same chipset, but more RAM (3GB vs. 2GB)
- Same camera specs, but has OIS
- Bigger battery, 3,300mAh vs. 2,600mAh
- 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 on the back
The relationship between the old and new Galaxy A5 and A7 is strange. The original A5 left to be desired and the new one is a great upgrade… except it’s priced too high. The A7 was pretty solid and so the new A7 (2016) isn’t a huge improvement, but it’s pricing is on point.
And the new features, while few in number, do a great job of transforming the phablet into a true premium mid-ranger. The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) brings a first-rate fingerprint reader and Samsung Pay support.
It also looks to have some impressive photography chops on paper – with a bright f/1.9 aperture and OIS. Not to mention the AMOLED screen with perfectly calibrated colors.
We’ll check up on that later, first let’s have a look at the new design, which features 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 on the back, just like on the front.