Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime – User Experience
Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime belongs to the entry category of Samsung smartphones, although it is the prime of the J series. In the Samsung smartphone world, we have the very high end Note series, the flagship S series, the midrange A series and the budget J series – where J1 series being the very low of the J series and J7 Prime being the king of the J series. Owning a Samsung Galaxy J7 prime therefore puts you on the high end of smartphone market, but for Kshs 30K only instead of the Kshs 90+K for true high end market.
Although carrying the entry level tagline, Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime is no kid. The device has a massive phablet screen of 5.5 inches complete with full HD resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels and Corning Gorilla glass protection. Body wise, the phone is metallic, and other than the Corning Gorilla glass bodies you’d see in Samsung Galaxy S6 onwards, there isn’t any better way to make a smartphone classier. To make the Samsung Galaxy J7 prime be fully part of the prime world, Samsung threw in a fingerprint scanner on the the home button too – a scanner I used for a few hours and turned off as I found it completely irritating.
True to its name, holding Samsung Galaxy J7 prime feels primely. It is sold. It has weight thanks to the metallic body that gives it a weight of 167g. After holding the device all round to feel its edges it will be time to delve inside – and by inside I don’t mean opening up to check the circuitry or battery as the case is sealed – but starting the device so that you can start interacting with the Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 together with Samsung’s own TouchWiz (UI) that power the device.
If you are a Samsung user there will be nothing strange – but personally I found myself in a strange world after not using a Samsung device since 2015. Two years in tech is such a century! The last time I used a Samsung device my Samsung Galaxy S3 wasn’t dead, and two years later I was surprised that my beloved features like being able to place the phone to my ear and the phone would just make a call on its own had been dropped, at least in the J series. I’d need to check out the latest in the S series to know whether the many cool features introduced by the S3 are still intact.
Other than dropping several features that I found useful in the S3, I was pleasantly surprised that Samsung has dropped tens of blotted Apps that used to come with their tweaked Android versions. Instead of disabling over 20 Apps as I did on the Samsung Galaxy S3, I disabled seven apps only – three of which are Android based Apps installed by Google and not Samsung. Four of the Apps including the S Health that I disabled can be found very useful by a number of users, so I would say Samsung has done her best to delete all blotware that was typical of her phones prior to Samsung Galaxy S6.
After updating the Apps, and installing others that I deem necessary, including replacing the Samsung keyboard with Google Keyboard (Gboard), I was set to take the J7 prime on the road – and by this I mean testing user friendliness, browsing and gaming experience, battery, and the camera.
By and large using the Samsung Galaxy J7 is friendly. If you are coming from a different user interface e.g. that where the back button is placed on the left of the phone, you may find yourself always pressing the Recent Apps button when what you want to do is to go to the previous screen. Other than Samsung smartphones, I haven’t seen another smartphone where the back button is placed on the bottom right side of the screen – it usually goes to the left.
The other issue you may experience, and this is only by those with big fingers like mine, is that pressing the wrong key while typing may become your usual irritant. I overcame this by resizing the Gboard to be a little taller. Although this narrowed the key width, I found myself hitting the right keys most of the type while texting. Anyway, my weird experience might have been because I got used to 6 inch Infinix Note 3 that offers a very wide keyboard for texting. What this means is that those like me may never find a 5 inch smartphone useful. I sometimes wonder how I was so comfortable using the now defunct 3.3 inches Samsung Galaxy Young.
Browsing experience is as good as using any other Corning Gorilla protected full HD device. I mention Corning Gorilla protection because the glass gives the touch screen a certain soft feel-a feel that doesn’t require you to press so hard in order to move an item when gaming or scrolling down the browser to read more content. The phone size is also reasonably small to allow for one hand use.
What I didn’t like is using the phone to play bullet chess (1 minute total time). With such a short time to play, I sometimes found myself unable to move the pieces placed at extreme left of the screen, mostly because the bezel is too narrow meaning part of the finger holding the phone was within the screen, thereby making the screen recognising multiple touches leading to frozen screen. If you are going to play a game that requires you to move pieces around, you should take note of the almost no bezel on the Samsung Galaxy J7 prime.
After using the phone for a few days it was time to take it out to test its 13MP back camera and the 8MP selfie camera. Although I am unable to share the selfie photos in public, the selfie you’ll get with Samsung Galaxy J7 prime are stunning. You will most likely fall in love with its colour reproduction and the sharpness. Of the cameras I have recently used, I loved the selfies by the J7, but my wife loved the selfies from the Huawei P9 Lite. The difference between me and my wife is that I am a professional photographer but my wife loves to be photographed all the time.
The back camera is a typical 13MP camera that features a 28mm f/1.9 lens with autofocus. The camera software doesn’t give a lot of leeway in controls but there is HDR and manual control for white balance and exposure and inline editing tools. On the day I took the camera for a test shoot it was raining, so I decided to take a picture of a street in Nakuru and did a little editing. I loved the results as can be seen in the image below.
Lastly Samsung Galaxy J7 gives you the ability to browse on 4G all day long (9 to 13 hours of use time) thanks to the non-removable 3300mAh battery. When the battery drains to 15%, you can still extend the usage time by up to 7 more hours by turning on the Ultra saving power mode – that quite frankly performs very dismally as compared to the Ultra power of Tecno, Infinix or even Huawei. The beauty with the J7 Prime’s Ultra power mode is that it allows you to access the Internet but through limited Internet Apps like Facebook and the browser. The other phones don’t allow Internet access on Ultra power and may explain why their Ultra power extends the phone’s usage for more hours.
Core Specs of Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime
I have mentioned some of the specs of the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime including the full HD screen, the metallic body, the 13MP camera and the 3300 mAh battery. The table below is the summary of the specs.
|Body||Metallic, 151.7 by 75 by 8 mm, Black, Gold. Home button has fingerprint scanner.|
|Screen||5.5 Inches, PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1080 by 1920 pixels, protected with Corning Gorilla Glass|
|Processor||Samsung’s Exynos 7870 Octa, 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 with Mali-T830MP2 GPU.|
|Camera||Primary – 13MP, f/1.9 28mm lens with autofocus. Secondary – 8 MP, f/1.9|
|Memory||16/32GB Internal Storage with 3GB RAM. Expandable card slot up to 256GB.|
|Network||4G LTE, 3G, HSPA, 2G GSM. Supported in both card slots. The two card slots are nano SIMs.|
|OS||Android Marshmallow 6.0 with TouchWiz UI.|
|Battery||3300mAh non-removable battery allowing for up to 21 hours talktime on 3G and 84 hours of music play.|
|Price in Kenya||Ranges from Kshs 26,000 to Kshs 30,000 in different stores.|