The Rs 20,000 – 30,000 segment is getting crowded. We saw Xiaomi’s first POCO device (The F1) make a splash in this segment with its promise of a zippy user experience. Speed is clearly on everyone’s radar, whether you’re multi-tasking or gaming extensively. But there’s another thing people demand from their phones – a solid camera. That’s exactly the proposition Samsung’s A7 brings to the table with a triple-rear camera set up. This time Samsung is placing all its bets on the camera with a device that is critical in its bid to garner a significant share of this ultra-competitive price segment
Let’s get straight down to this device’s biggest USP – its camera. The idea of a triple rear cam is not entirely new. We saw this earlier this year with Huawei’s P20 Pro that also wears a Leica badge. But two key differences – the A7 comes at almost one-third the price and features a wide-angle lens. Of course, it is not a premium flagship like the P20 Pro. Samsung’s best camera out there is still this year’s Galaxy Note 9. It’s one of our favourite smartphone shooters, especially in low light. Wide-angle cameras are not a 2018 thing. I remember snapping cityscapes with LG’s G5 back in 2016. However, LG didn’t make it a highlight feature in its sales pitch, the way Samsung has set out to do with the A7.
The rear-cam features a 24MP lens (with a f/1.7 aperture), an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP depth sensor. It’s the wide-angle lens that I enjoyed using the most during extensive camera tests with this phone. A 120-degree field of view truly opens up multiple possibilities, whether you’re trying to cram a stunning horizontal building or your large, extended family into a single frame. The wide-angle images are terrific in ambient light but are not as sharp in low light. You can flip to normal mode in low light where the camera shoots good images. The triple-camera set up also allows you to shoot portraits on Samsung’s DSLR-style Live Focus mode. The 24MP front cam shoots great selfies.
The A7 scores with its design language too. It feels quite good in your hand and is quite friendly for one-handed navigation despite its large 6-inch screen (1080 x 2220 pixels / 411 PPI). It weighs just over 160 gms and looks quite chic (especially the blue colour option) with its all-glass form factor. Colours are quite vibrant on this Super AMOLED display. It’s not quite all-screen like Samsung’s premium flagships – this one boasts of a 74.2% screen: body ratio. The speakers complement the large screen; Dolby Atmos is a nice touch. My favourite design element is the fingerprint sensor that has been conveniently incorporated into the power button on the right spine of the device.
The hardware spec sheet is acceptable – it’s powered by a Samsung Exynos 7885 (2.2 GHz Octa-core) processor with 4GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM depending on whether you opt for the 64GB or 128GB internal memory options; there’s support for Micro SD cards (up to 512 GB). The A7 breezed through our tests; it’s not as zippy as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Processor that you will find under the hood of the POCO F1. It’s the same with the battery life (3300 mAh battery) that should work for most average users.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 delivers on its promise of a solid camera. If the camera is the number one driver of your smartphone purchase, then this device certainly deserves your attention at its sticker price. The A7 certainly has its task cut out in this segment with worthy contenders like the POCO F1 and Nokia’s upcoming 7.1 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) comes in three colours (Gold, Blue and Black) and costs Rs 23,990 for the 4GB/64GB and Rs 28,990 for the 6GB/128GB versions respectively.