Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) test: when Samsung tries the triple camera

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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It's not just for the S series or the Note series at Samsung. With its A series, the Korean manufacturer also tries to combine price content and quality experience. The latest addition to this family is the Galaxy A7 version 2018 that we tested for you.

Presentation

Samsung had warned: the Korean manufacturer wants to give a boost to its mid-range mobiles and offer them the next "innovations". The first phone to embody this strategy is the new Galaxy A7 which tries to embark on the adventure of the triple photo module. A first for Samsung. 



Sold around €349, the A7 (2018) is, as its name suggests, the successor to the A7 2017 and the first of this line to be released in Spain. As part of the A family, its ambition is to offer a "high-end experience" at a much lower price.


The front face and the imposing borders of the A7 2018



So successful bet or precariously balanced phone? This is what we will see...

Ergonomics and design

From the first grip, we feel that Samsung has made some savings on the construction of this A7 2018. The phone is far from being ugly or uncomfortable in the hand, but it is simply not up to 2018 standards. Admittedly, it adopts the 18,5: 9 format, like its cousin the Galaxy S9, but the imposing borders that surround the screen (screen/size ratio of 75%) anchor this A7 in an outdated fashion. In addition, the glass back is certainly elegant, but sounds a little hollow and the plastic edges are not the most beautiful effect. In short, the A7 does not give a very qualitative feeling in hand. Too bad, the A6+ was more serious on this point.



A micro-USB port and not USB-C.


Second black point that we already raised when testing the Galaxy A6+, Samsung has still not seen fit to put a USB-C port on its mid-range mobiles, while the competition has switched to the "universal port" for some time now. Faced with mobiles like the Pocophone F1 or the Honor 10, the A7 seems to be making a few too many technical concessions. No waterproof certification is present either, but on a mobile at this price, it is still rare.

In terms of pluses, we can name the presence of the fingerprint sensor on the edge of the mobile which allows it to be unlocked even when it is placed on a desk. The latter works quite well – but is not easy to find blindly – ​​just like the facial recognition mechanism. No worries on that side. The volume buttons, on the other hand, are placed a bit too high, and require some finger gymnastics to reach them.


The volume buttons and the fingerprint sensor on the right edge.


Finally, needless to say that the phone cannot be used with one hand, its 6-inch diagonal panel being far too large for that.

Screen

Unsurprisingly, the Amoled screen that equips the A7 2018 is a real success. Samsung shows once again that even mid-range mobiles can afford quality screens – especially when you make them yourself. It is the Basic display profile that offers the closest colorimetry to perfection (Delta E at 1,3 and color temperature at 6 kelvins), while the Adaptive profile will delight lovers of more vibrant colors.


Delta E colorimetry = 1,3

Question readability, no worries, the phone can climb up to 500 cd / m² and go down to 1,8 cd / m². An amplitude that allows you to consult the phone in direct sunlight or under the duvet without being bothered. The anti-reflective treatment is also of good quality and limits the annoying effects of stray lights.

Finally, in use, the Full HD+ definition (2 x 280 px) is more than enough and allows you to display chiseled characters, good quality images and a correct information density. Even the touch delay is practically imperceptible since it is only 1 ms. 

performances

We find in this Galaxy A7 a chip made in Samsung, namely the Exynos 7885 engraved in 14 nm and with an octa-core processor. It is far from being the most powerful solution on the market, but accompanied by 4 GB of RAM and a small onion optimization, it manages to animate the A7 without any hitch being felt. We juggle the different apps without any problem.


Galaxy A7 2018 heats up after 10 minutes of photo and video capture.

In addition to this, the phone has the good taste of not heating up, even when it is used for a long time with 3D games or capturing photos and videos. 

Question 3D games besides, it manages rather well. On a title like Asphalt Xtreme, fluidity is there throughout the game. This certainly requires some graphic concessions, but nothing too bad.

Audio

The Galaxy A7 had almost everything to be a good music lover's smartphone: a jack socket – it must now be specified as it is becoming rare – distortion maintained at an almost zero level and a wide dynamic range. Unfortunately, the channel separation is too messy and pollutes the experience.

The single speaker placed on the lower edge does a decent job, with controlled distortion, but as often you shouldn't rely too much on the bass. The signal is focused on the mids and high mids. In addition, its placement causes the sound to be muffled when holding the smartphone in landscape mode.

Photo

By sticking no less than three photo modules on the back of his phone, Samsung has mechanically emphasized this aspect of the mobile. We have already come back to the strengths and weaknesses of the A7's ultra-wide-angle sensor in a dedicated article, but to quickly summarize, the module produces correct shots in broad daylight, very average in the dark and has a notable tendency to distort the shots. We will therefore repeat it: the option is nice for group photos, but the quality deserves to be better.

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Lab – The ultra-wide-angle camera of the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018

Before the publication of the full review of the device on Thursday, let's take a look at what makes the Galaxy A7 2018 special, its cap...

3 years ago

We will therefore focus here on the 24 Mpx module with f/1,7 aperture. In broad daylight, as often, the result is quite correct. We notice micro-boiling of pixels on the finest details, but overall all the elements are well rendered, the color reproduction is good and the sharpness is very present. On the other hand, the contrast is a little forced to give an impression of relief and we notice the presence of a slight grain on certain flat areas.

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As on the ultra-wide-angle module, it is on the side of low light that the shoe pinches. The mobile increases the ISO to capture a correctly exposed scene, but the result is relatively unconvincing, with extremely brutal and not well controlled smoothing which erases a lot of detail and loses sharpness. Faced with the Pocophone F1, the A7 2018 clearly does not go the distance.

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Portrait mode, on the other hand (which Samsung calls "Direct Focus"), is quite effective even if the background bokeh is too dense and not progressive for a penny, making the subject appear main of the photo was pasted on a blurred background.

A word about the selfies, which lack contrast and whose skin tones are far too smoothed out.

The quality and video recording aren't much to complain about except for a slight afterglow that only the most trained eyes will notice. Finally, the application is full of different capture modes, but the Pro mode lacks adjustment options and only offers balance, ISO and exposure compensation. No exposure time or manual focus. 

Autonomy

Like the Honor 10, the A7 2018 comes with a 3 mAh battery, so less generous than that of the Pocophone F400 (1 mAh), but when it comes to battery life, size isn't everything. The proof is that the Galaxy A4 000 has better battery life than its competitors.

On our in-house battery life test, the phone lasted just over 18 hours before falling below the fateful 15% threshold. That's a good half hour longer than the Pocophone F1 or the Huawei P Smart+. In practice, you can therefore easily last two days with this A7. Disabling Always-On mode will save you a handful of minutes. 

Finally, it takes about 2 hours to fully charge the device with the supplied adapter.

Highlights

  • autonomy solid.

  • Quality screen.

  • Good headphone output.

  • Correct performance.

Weak points

  • Disappointing screen-to-size ratio.

  • Disappointing photo quality.

  • A micro USB socket.

Conclusion

Note globale

For a relatively contained price, the Galaxy A7 offers overall very decent performance. If we excuse his little skid in the photo, the mobile provides the rest. But faced with a Pocophone F1 sold at the same price, Samsung does not have much other than its brand image to convince.

Sub Notes
  • Ergonomics and design
  • Screen
  • performances
  • Audio
  • Photo
  • Autonomy
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