Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Review: Triple Camera Phone for a Friendly Price

This year, we saw the introduction of smartphones with triple-cameras which was first announced by Huawei’s P20 series. I expected Samsung to follow suit once they release their Galaxy S10, but apparently, they went ahead with their Galaxy A series, particularly with the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018. It’s the Korean giant’s first foray into triple-cameras and the A7 is their guinea pig before they finally decide to possibly include it in the upcoming Galaxy S10.

We first shared the news about the Samsung Galaxy A7 last September before it was launched in Kuala Lumpur a month later. We were not invited for the launch, but thankfully we were sent a review unit for us to evaluate.

SAMSUNG GALAXY A7 2018 REVIEW SPECS:

OS:Android 8.0 Oreo
Processor:Exynos 7885 2.2 GHz Octa-Core processor
Display: 1080 x 2220 6" FHD+ Super AMOLED Display
Wireless Connections:LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
Memory:64 GB Internal Storage expandable with a Micro SD card up to 512GB, 4GB RAM
Connectors:Micro USB 2.0
Cameras:24 Megapixels with f/1.7 and PDAF +8 Megapixels with f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide) + 5 Megapixels with f/2.2 depth sensor (MAIN); 24 Megapixels f/2.0 (Front)
SIM Card Slots:2x Nano SIM Cards required
Battery:3,300 mAh
SRP:P17,990

THE LOOKS AND FEEL: SAMSUNG GALAXY A7 2018 REVIEW

What makes the Galaxy A-series different from the J-series are its premium features usually found in their high-end line-up. The Galaxy A7 2018 is built with a reinforced plastic frame while its front and back panels are both made with glass. It feels solid but at the same time, lightweight making it very easy to hold. Since it is made of glass, it can be slippery sometimes and become a fingerprint magnet.

The power button which is also a fingerprint scanner is placed at the right side of the Galaxy A7 2018. I personally like it because it’s location is unique and accurately recognizes my finger most of the time. It should also work for left-handed users since they can use their left pointing or middle finger to scan their fingerprint while holding the phone.

Overall, the Galaxy A7 2018 looks trendy with its blue color variant.

THE DISPLAY: SAMSUNG GALAXY A7 REVIEW

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 comes with a 6-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display. While there’s nothing to complain about the screen’s quality (like honestly, was there ever a time I complained about Samsung’s screen) there are some noticeable thick bezels around it like it was still 2016. It doesn’t have a notch though so that wouldn’t offend those notch-haters.

THE PERFORMANCE: SAMSUNG GALAXY A7 2018 REVIEW

The Galaxy A7 2018 is powered by an Exynos 7885 2.2Ghz Octa-Core processor. Haven’t reviewed any Samsung phone with this processor on-board but I already knew what to expect being a mid-range phone.

Antutu Benchmark score of 110,512 is lower than the other mid-range phones I’ve reviewed before. I usually get 130,000 to 138,000.

Geekbench 4 scores for Single-Core and Multi-Core are within range of other mid-range phones’ scores.

The Exynos processor along with the 4GB of RAM is very much capable of handling the phone’s usual activities. It ran smooth throughout my usage and haven’t encountered any hiccups while juggling all the open apps I have in the background.

While I’m fine using the fingerprint scanner, I found the face recognition inconsistent. It would work at first but would cease to recognize my face after a few hours.

Even as a mid-range phone, the Galaxy A8 2019 is able to play Asphalt 9: Legends flawlessly.

PUBG Mobile on HD Graphics, High Frame Rate is still very much playable. However, I would recommend lowering the Graphics to Balanced to avoid making the phone hot.

THE CAMERA: SAMSUNG GALAXY A7 2018 REVIEW

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 is the first smartphone I’ve reviewed with a triple cameras, though I had a Huawei P20 Pro for around a week which I used sparingly. The cameras are composed of 24 Megapixels (to take normal photos,) 8 Megapixels (to take wide-angled images) and 5 Megapixels (for depth.)

The wide-angled lens is a good addition for those who want to take photos of tall structures or scenic landscapes. Here are some sample photos taken in normal mode and wide-angle:

Without Wide-Angle

With Wide-Angle

Without Wide-Angle

With Wide-Angle

Without Wide-Angle

With Wide-Angle

I was impressed how the wide-angle lens was able to capture the tall structures. However, I noticed in some pictures with barrel distortion where the lines of the structures become curved instead. Personally, it doesn’t bother me as long as it’s able to take the whole scene (and I think a lot of users would agree on that) but professional photographers would say otherwise.

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Photos taken in daylight scenarios look sharp and bokeh works as well. On the other hand, images taken during low-light conditions were always challenging. Unless I make adjustments on the camera’s exposure, pictures will turn out dull.

THE BATTERY LIFE – SAMSUNG GALAXY A7 2018 REVIEW

The battery capacity of the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 is 3,300 mAh. I’m averaging 14-15 hours of usage per day with at least 15%-20% of battery juice left. My usage involves browsing, social networking, streaming via YouTube (total of 2 hours) and gaming (total of 1 hour.)

DR’S CONCLUSION

Samsung’s first attempt to produce a smartphone with triple-cameras turned out to be fine. Certainly not at-par with the Huawei P20 Pro, but it can definitely compete with its contemporaries in the mid-range segment. With a price of P17,990, having triple-cameras is not only the Galaxy A7 2018’s asset. It looks trendy, performs well, and has good battery life. Samsung should start making their J-series based on this phone.

PROS

  • Slim and trendy
  • Triple-cameras
  • Performance is fast and smooth. Can be used for mobile gaming.
  • Good battery life
  • Price

CONS

  • Slippery and smudge magnet
  • Face recognition doesn’t work after a few hours of use
  • Wide-Angle photos have barrel distortion
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