[REVIEW] Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime - Is it primed to lead the pack? 1

Performance and Camera
While there are quite a few phones in the circa RM1K category, the J7 Prime leads the pack with hardware that would not have been out of place with Samsung’s older flagship models. For the price of entry, the J7 Prime comes with an Exynos 7470 octacore 1.6GHz processor paired with a Mali-T830 GPU, 3GB RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. The provided 32GB is on par with mainstream models and if needs must, the dedicated microSD bay lets you beef it up by 256GB again by simply bunging in a microSD card. The phone also runs the latest Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 along with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, making it up to date with most phones in the market.


In the field, the J7 Prime proved to be a highly capable workhorse with some caveats. In benchmarks, the J7 Prime took on Epic Citadel and managed an average of 28.1FPS with Ultra High quality settings and 1080p resolution. 3D Mark’s SlingShot using ES 3.1 test yielded a score of 289. With Antutu Benchmark, it yielded a decent score of 45,728. On GeekBench it garnered a score of 672 for single-core operations and 3,148 for multi-core operations.

In use, the J7 Prime was more than serviceable and handled web browsing and other tasks asked of it when minimal lag. Where it encountered a slight lag and pause during loading screens is during heavy gaming such as Warhammer 40,000: FreeBlade at high settings or Asphalt 8: Airborne. Barring that, it ran everything else asked of it without undue complications.

Watching videos were a treat on the 1080p screen which served up good detail and great colours though colour saturation doesn’t match the vividness of a Super AMOLED screen. Unfortunately, there’s no direct way to tweak the colour settings nor does it have a means to adaptively adjust brightness based on ambient light settings. It does however have an outdoor mode that you can toggle which temporarily ramps up the brightness in 15 minute slots though this incurs an additional drain on the battery.

In terms of imaging duties, the J7 Prime comes with a rear 13-MP camera with a CMOS sensor and an F/1.9 aperture capable of up to 1080P video while the front has an 8-MP camera with a similar F/1.9 aperture that is also also able to snag 1080P video. The cameras on the J7 Prime can also be fired up via the handy shortcut that was first enabled on the higher end Galaxy S-series phones. To turn on the camera all you have to do is to double tap the home button.

Like other J-series phones, the rear camera firmware covers the basics with a panorama mode, a Pro mode and a HDR mode. Unfortunately, like earlier examples that we’ve reviewed of the J-series phones, the J7 Prime’s Pro mode lacks quite a few settings and you’re only able to tweak white balance, exposure and ISO.


Also, there’s no Auto HDR mode so you’ll have to toggle between Auto mode and HDR mode when you’re taking shots in areas with high contrast or low light. You’ll likely need HDR mode more in darker indoor environments or after sundown. While it won’t outgun a flagship phone, the rear 13-MP camera does a good showing with good quality across the usual gamut of subjects – food, family and friend shots and the odd accident or two. Very fast moving subjects like a speeding bike or whatnot will regrettably have mixed results though a steady hand and still subjects will deliver the best results on the J7 Prime’s rear camera.

The lack of an auto HDR mode was slightly irksome but it isn’t a deal breaker. On Auto mode the camera had acquired subjects in a relatively swift fashion in well lit environments with good colours and decent detail sufficient for social media and modest prints.

The front camera lacks quite a few modes that other competitors are offering though it does allow for modest adjustments via a slider to skin tone, face slimming and eye size readjustment –  narcissistic necessities for prolific selfie snappers. Fortunately, results are fairly natural with slightly slimmer faces and better skin tone without too much tweaking. The wider F/1.9 aperture helps, allowing for better shots in darker conditions without having to tweak it too much to render a viewable shot.


The front-facing 8-MP camera in normal mode

You’ll naturally get best results with female subjects if you are wont to putter around with all the beauty slider modes with more hirsute, ruggedly complexioned subjects looking somewhat out of place if you put all the sliders to maximum.


The front facing camera of the J7 Prime in Wide Selfie mode – it takes in a wider swath of the landscape and digitally stitches it together

Of note is a ‘Wide Angle’ selfie mode which has you panning the camera back and forth when taking a selfie with the phone stitching a wider panoramic shot which comes in handy for large group shots. When tested, the front camera worked as it says on the tin with good accuracy on skin tones and otherwise decent colours and background details for selfies.

Both the front and rear cameras are capable of capturing 1080P video and if you have a fairly steady hand you can get some good results though the lack of OIS means you’ll have to be stationary or use a gimbal of some sort lest you get juddery looking video.
While its front camera is capable of wide group shots and delivers good results along with the rear, a lack of modes and additional functionality in the firmware put it slightly back in the lead compared to competing phones. The rest of the hardware on offer though is top notch for what you pay for.

Page 1 Introduction & Design
Page 2 Performance & Camera
Page 3 Battery Life & Conclusion
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