The J7 could surprise you in many ways. For starters, it appears more premium than its price bracket would suggest. The front is a slightly curved-edge glass with a mostly metal back. Looks like a mix between an S7 and an iPhone and that too with a 3.5mm jack. That is like getting Katy Perry, Zoe Deschanel and Lizzy Caplan in one person which some people think they are.
The back is a light shade of dark blue it appears. Despite the 5.5 inch display the phone is easy to hold and feels smaller than it is. That in itself is a packaging feat.
Unusually situated on the top right edge of the device is the speaker grill. Unusual but unobtrusive also. Good for moments when you need to turn on the loudspeaker in very crowded places. Like at a bus stand or telling your mom you're fine and sober while attending a concert at Ramna Park.
The rear of the device is mostly metal with color coded plastic bits top and bottom. Hopefully these won't scratch through considering the back is flat and will take all the abuse. Our test unit has survived surprisingly well considering how often it's been thrown around.
You'll appreciate the home button that serves as a fast detecting fingerprint scanner. It also takes 1.5 seconds to load the camera app when you double-tap. I find it more logical to have the scanner up front where you hold the phone with your thumb.
The 5.5-inch Full HD display has a pixel density of 401pp. The TFT display may not sound very impressive on paper but it far, far serves the viewing needs. It provides vibrant colours and super fine legibility of fine text while going easy on the power consumption.
An octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 processor clocked at 1.6GHz is paired with 3GB of RAM. 16GB built-in storage is supplemented by microSD capacity upto 256GB. Nothing fazes it, not even the most demanding games available right on Playstore. It scored 45,756 in AnTuTu and 24,011 in Quadrant. THese scores place it squarely in Nexus 6P territory. Check this list to see how it compares against the fastest phones from 2016.
It runs on 6.0 Marshmallow and Samsungs proprietary TouchWiz UI latter of which has been cleaned up over the years and now sports minimal bloatware. This is a device for power users on the go highlighting Microsoft apps and Skype. Samsung plugged in their S Health, S Planner and the India special that bikers can benefit from: S Bike mode. It filters calls during riding, prevents earphone usage and will allow you to receive calls only when you stop moving. They have taken biker activities that should be common sense and created an app.
For security, the Secure Folder option allows access to certain folders and apps only via fingerprint unlocking. So you're safe when you hand your phone to your friend to show a picture. You rest assured strange selfies won't show up to your office colleagues via messenger. Friends are like that.
You get the whole package of connectivity features of GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac, GPS/A-GPS, Bluetooth, and Glonass. It supports two Nano-SIMs with 4G connectivity on both, but only one can hook-up with a 4G network at a time. Something that is still not here for us to worry about.
Battery support comes from non-removable 3300mAh battery which has on average given me almost a full days' worth of heavy usage. With average usage and full time Wi-Fi support, you can stretch it to beyond a day. PCMark Battery Benchmark tests scored it a little over 10 hours which is the average we got with our unit. Excellent.
There's a 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera with f/1.9 aperture and an LED flash. Pictures come out well in daylight. It's quick too, focusing locks on within a second of pressing the button. Colours are vibrant with bright reds are represented, well, quite brightly. Colour representation is actually very good. But there is much image smoothening going on giving objects at the rear a bit of a 'painting' effect. Shooting with light behind the subject brings out some chromatic aberrations where edges develop colour overlap. That said, snap in well lit areas and your pictures will come out with decent resolved detail. It compares well with most phones in this price range.
The front camera is disappointing though. The 8MP unit also supposedly has f/1.9 aperture but low light performance is poor. Anything other than the brightest light and your selfies will be a blur. You also cannot tap to focus. Don't laugh, move or breathe if you do not want to blur yourself. When the lighting conditions aren't optimum, best to have someone take your picture with the rear unit. You can check out the photo samples in the gallery below.
The phone is brilliant to look at and hold. It passes the pocket test with ease. The hardware is excellent for a mid-ranger and the responses are super quick. This is a fast device that will serve all your work needs. So it's a phone for people that need style and functionality within an affordable price range. What it doesn't do well is make you popular on Instagram. If you are a social butterfly, taking good selfies wiht the front camera will be difficult. But if that isn't a prime requirement, this device could easily be the best mid-range phone for power users.
Display: 5.5 inches PLS TFT 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi)
CPU: Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
OS: Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
ROM: 16 GB
RAM: 3 GB
Camera: 13 MP, f/1.9 + 8 MP (Front)
Battery: 3300 mAh
Sensors: G-Sensor, Gyroscope sensor, Ambient Light Sensor etc.
Price: Tk. 23,900/-