For many people, Samsung only produces flagship devices like the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy Note 9. However, it also manufactures a series of mid-level devices with its "J" and "A" series. "J" phones have the most competitive price and the "A" range is designed to be more premium. I recently got a Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) because I wanted to run the Speed Test G on it and its Exynos processor. I was so impressed, I thought it warranted a complete review in writing!
Design Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
The first things you might notice about the A7 are the frames. In a time when flagship devices are all about end-to-end displays and getting the largest proportion of screen-t0-body possible, the A7 (2018) may seem a bit shocking. When I showed the device to a teenager in my family, the first reaction was, "wow, look at the frames."
The A7 (2018) has a 10 percent smaller than a device like the Galaxy S9 Plus, which is one of the reasons why it is cheaper. Making all these curved edges costs money in the manufacturing process. That does not mean the A7 (2018) is ugly – it's not. In fact, if you can see beyond the frames, it will have a certain elegance, even a premium look and feel.
The device has a 2.5D glass backrest, which means it's a glass sandwich with some kind of tempered plastic molding acting as stuffing. The glass on the back may be a fingerprint magnet, or more precisely a finger magnet, but that's par for the course nowadays.
The buttons are fine, but the volume keys may be a bit too high. All buttons are on the right side and the SIM tray is on the left side. My biggest complaint is with the power switch – not as an on / off switch, but as a fingerprint reader. It works well as a power button, but it is quite narrow, which means that using it for authentication or unlocking is not as simple as other Samsung experiences. Yes, you can wake up and unlock the phone using your finger recorded on the power button, but not 100% of the time. Once in a while it will crash and you will need to try again (or even a third time). I think we were spoiled by the high accuracy of the existing fingerprint reading technology.
At the bottom edge of the device, there is a headset (hooray), a MicroUSB port (not much hooray) and a single speaker. The audio is clear and loud and does not suffer distortion at higher levels.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) display
The A7 (2018) has a 6.0-inch FHD + Super AMOLED Infinity display. Of course, clear and vivid. The colors are rich and, as usual with AMOLED, blacks are deep. Once you have become accustomed to the frames, the vibration of the screen makes using the Galaxy A7 a pleasure. You may even wonder why you need to spend so much money on a standard bearer when devices like this exist in the middle range.
There is no physical start button, so the screen navigation is the order of the day, something that has been for some time the way of Samsung. The 6.0-inch screen offers a screen resolution of 2,220 x 1,080 (FHD +), which is actually the default resolution for flagship devices like S9 and Note 9 (although they may be taller). The monitor has a aspect ratio of 18.5: 9 and a density of 411ppi.
Overall, the screen is certainly a strong positive point for the A7 (2018).
See too: The best views of 2018
Software Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
The A7 (2018) comes with Android 8.0 Oreo and Samsung Experience 9.0. If you are familiar with the look and feel of Samsung, you will feel right at home here. Due to the unifying nature of the Samsung Experience, the user interface looks and responds exactly like a larger flagship. When I put Note 9 next to the A7, it is difficult to distinguish them from the perspective of the user interface. The settings menu is the same, the Samsung icons are the same and the theme is the same.
One thing missing compared to his older siblings is Bixby Voice. While Bixby Home is present (sliding left from the home screen), the voice assistant is not included and there is no dedicated Bixby button. I think Samsung considers Bixby a luxury for the flagship owners. The sarcastic side of me is tempted to say that the lack of Bixby's voice is another reason to buy the A7 (2018), but I will resist! However, the device still has AI functionality – you can access Google Assistant by long pressing the start key.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) performance
The A7 (2018) uses the Exynos 7885 14nm processor. It has an octa-core processor with two Cortex-A73 2.2GHz CPU cores and six 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 cores. For the games there is good news and bad news. The 7885 has a Mali-G71 Arm GPU. The G71 is an advanced GPU that uses the latest Arm Bifrost GPU architecture.
Unfortunately, the G71 can be configured by chip makers like Samsung to include anything from 1 to 32 shader cores. The Exynos 8895 on Galaxy S8 and Note 8 has a G71 GPU with 20 shader codes. The Exynos 7885 has two. That said, I tested the device with Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile (using the Media settings) and found the gameplay to be smooth.
The Exynos 7885 also features an integrated LTE modem that supports 2G, 3G and 4G, with LTE download speeds of up to 600Mbps. There is also a great Image Signal Processor (more on that in the cameras section). On board, there is also 4GB of RAM (6GB on some models), 64GB of internal storage (128GB models available) and a microSD card slot.
For those who like reference numbers, the A7 (2018) scored 1524 in the Geekbench single-core tests and 4379 in the multi-core tests. This puts in the same stadium as a Galaxy S7 with a Snapdragon 820 processor. For AnTuTu, which also tests the GPU, the result was 123,302. The AnTuTu score places the A7 (2018) in the same general area of a master device beginning in early 2016.
Battery for Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
The 3.300mAh battery in the A7 (2018) is larger than the battery of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and certainly large enough to give you a battery life that lasts all day. According to my test, you should have at least six hours of screen time per charge. This number will increase if you mostly do less demanding tasks such as watching YouTube. If you like a bit of 3D games, then do not worry, five hours minimum. Remember, the screen brightness can dramatically change the battery life. If you increase the brightness to the maximum, expect to cut at least one hour of all those numbers.
Camera Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
The camera on the A7 (2018) is a story of simultaneous brightness and unfortunate inadequacy. It's brilliant for having three cameras – one for normal photos, one for wide-angle shots and one for detailed information. It's brilliant that the depth camera adds the ability to change the depth of field while taking a photo, and then. It's brilliant in that the main camera has a 24MP sensor and f / 1.7 aperture, which is great for low light.
It is totally inappropriate that the wide-angle camera has only 8 MP. It is inappropriate because it does not have OIS. It is inappropriate because it only records FHD at 30fps.
Related: Best of Android 2018: The Best Cameras
Maybe "totally inadequate" is tough – this is not a premium device – but Samsung managed to raise the standard with the A7 to a tempting level, just to mess up the details. For everyday use, there is little evil to say about the 24MP main camera. The colors are true, the dynamic range is good and the HDR functions work well.
However, the 8MP wide angle camera is a bit too wide. The images usually suffer from barrel distortion and the slower f / 2.4 aperture is not so good in low light.
The third camera is for detailed information. It uses a 5MP sensor and a f / 2.2 aperture. These numbers are not as important as the purpose of this camera is to activate depth of field functions. The inclusion of a bokeh mode is certainly an advantage for the A7, as it is often a feature reserved for more premium devices. Although the effect is not as accurate or advanced as flagship devices, it is still useful and fun to use.
Having opted for an 8MP wide-angle camera on the back, there are some bailouts for selfie lovers. The A7 (2018) has a 24MP front camera! There is an af / 2.0 lens and many computer photography options, including bokeh self, beauty mode, pro-lighting (for "a more glamorous look"), emoji AR and wide-selfie, which is basically a panorama mode for frontal camera.
It's not as if the 8 MP sensor and occasional barrel distortion on the wide-angle camera would destroy the camera experience. Overall, the A7 (2018) offers a solid configuration backed up by many interesting software tricks.
Here are some more sample photos for you to judge for yourself. If you want to see the full resolution images, you can find them here.
Specifications of Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
|Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)|
|Exhibition||Super AMOLED 6.0 inch
Resolution of 2,220 x 1,080 (FHD +)
|SoC||Exynos 7885 Octa (14 nm), 64-bit
Octa-core CPU (2 x 2.2GHz Cortex-A73 and 6 x 1.6GHz Cortex-A53)
|RAM||4 or 6GB|
|Storage||64 or 128 GB
MicroSD card slot
|My Account||Rear Cameras:
Triple camera: 24MP (F1.7) + 5MP (F2.2) + 8MP (F.24)
– GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900
B1 (2100), B2 (1900), B4 (AWS), B5 (850), B8 (900)
4G FDD LTE
(700), B13 (700), B13 (700), B17 (700), B17 (700), B17 (700) B20 (800), B28 (700), B66 (AWS-3)
4G TDD LTE
– B38 (2600), B40 (2300), B41 (2500)
3.5mm Earphone Jack
Bluetooth 5 (up to 2 Mbps LE)
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac 2.4G + 5 GHz, VHT80
GPS, Glonass, Beidou
Samsung Experience 9.0
|Dimensions and weight||159.8 x 76.8 x 7.5 mm
|Colors||blue, black, gold|
Prices and final thoughts
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) is a better-than-average midrange device. It has a great Super AMOLED screen and an intriguing triple camera setup. The battery life is good and has a headset! The dual-core GPU can be troubling to gamers, but if you're more of a Candy Crush type, you do not have to worry about anything.
If the A7 (2018) does not tempt you, many other mid-range phones have solid chipsets and good cameras, including the Xiaomi Mi A2, Nokia 7.1 Plus, Honor Play, Asus Zenfone 5Z, Moto G6 Plus or , clear. the flagship of the Pocophone F1.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) is available in blue, black and gold for 279 euros (~ $ 317) in Europe and 249 pounds (~ $ 315) in the UK. These prices depend on several seasonal discounts. It will not officially come to the US, but you can find it on Amazon!