What’s up Pro? My Samsung J7 Pro Experience Review | Manila Mash

What’s up Pro? My Samsung J7 Pro Experience Review

Does Samsung still hold a place in the mid-range game? Let’s find out.

I have long been a Samsung user starting from the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which in the tech world was a-a-ages ago. I like how with every iteration the company tries to make improvements on their device lines. Some work, some bog the heck out of the device but they always manage to keep the things that work and improve upon those. That I believe is one of the secrets why they were able to rise to the upper ranks of the tech market.

With the abundance of options in the Android world and the overabundance of mid-range devices (which for us consumers is a godsend), Samsung is trying to keep their brand strong amidst the hungry wolves like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Asus and so much more. They have the technology and the experience so let’s see if this keeps them ahead of the pack.

The device has been out for a bit but with the holiday season around the corner, could this still be a great treat under your tree?

Here is my experience review of their Samsung J7 Pro.

DSCF9223

I got my unit from Smart Communications that came along with my postpaid plan. Even with the very first J7, this line has been one of their hot sellers. I got the first J7 from them as well which I gifted to a friend since I had been using two Note 5 units back then. I did play around with the original J7 that time and found the device to be surprisingly solid for the price point. Until now it still rocks out quite well.

The current J7 holds the same torch in my opinion. The build is solid and sturdy; no creaks, no flexes and the unibody design is very becoming. You will not shy away from showing this device off to your friends. I am a sucker for the matte black finish – smudges and all. The only gripe I have is since this came from a carrier, there are a ton of awfully gaudy stickers at the back that disgraces an otherwise sleek design. Oh well. Bet they won’t stick those to an iPhone.

DSCF9247
Sleek and stylish but familiar in that Samsung way.

 

DSCF9261
Throw a case on it already!

 

DSCF9242.jpg
Size comparison: LG G5, Samsung Note 4, Samsung J7 Pro, Samsung Note 5, Huawei Mate 9

 

I am not gonna dive into the specs all too much because this is not that kind of review. I want to focus on the real world performance and my day to day experience which I think is the real value consumers are looking for. You are going to live with the device for some time when you do get it so I want to help set realistic expectations. There are tons of information that will help satisfy your spec hunger so check the interwebs folks, they’re there. But, I will leave a link down below, save you the trouble. I kept the phone as stock as possible and have been using its native apps just to get the real sense of the device the way the manufacturer envisioned it.

The screen is nice and crisp and as with any Samsung Amoled panel, everything just comes alive with rich and vivid colors. It might not be to some people’s liking but for most consumers the screen size, the resolution and the color saturation will be a delight. If you don’t get your paws on multiple devices all at once and this is your main driver, no need to fret because you will enjoy this a lot. I have been using the Huawei Mate 9 as my main device for almost a year now and when I got hold of this I remembered how much I miss that Samsung screen. It’s not a knock on the Mate 9 because that has been one of my favorite devices of all time it’s just there’s something about that Samsung screen that lures you in; they really know how to make screens. Too bad both of my Note 5’s screens are shattered – but that’s a different story altogether and that is why I did not jump into getting the S8 or the Note 8. Glass back tsk tsk tsk.

DSCF9254.jpg
Under direct sunlight.

Since I got used to my devices like my Mate 9 and LG G5 having fingerprint sensors at the back, it was a bit jarring to have to use a front sensor again. I kept hitting the J7 Pro’s back camera with my index finger during my search for the fingerprint scanner there. It was a bit confusing at first but then again you will get the hang of it. The J7 Pro sensor works just as well as any other so I have no complaints there. I just wish I could register more than 3 prints. One small thing to make note of though is that the multitasking and back buttons do not light up. The home button though has a firm and tactile travel that’s comforting to the user and speaks of how well the device is made.

I also like the newer and cleaner Samsung UI. I never did have a problem with their old interfaces because they were thoughtfully designed and useful despite their small quirks. Plus, it’s Android so any device you get becomes your own so we’re not gonna debate on whether Samsung’s UI is better than whatever. Although the new UI seems fresh and simple and I like the swipe down or swipe up to go to the app tray. I now find myself doing the same swipe gesture on my Mate 9 much to my dismay. Samsung still retains the bright candy color icons but I’m ok with it.

Screenshot_20171125-215002
Latest iteration of Android and Samsung UI isn’t bad at all.

 

For videos and music, it does get the job done. Don’t expect too much from the speaker on the upper right side but I must admit I like how it’s positioned there. It also comes with an FM Radio app built in which can be really useful and provides free access to music for those grueling commutes.

20171125_172702.jpg
The Samsung J7 pro’s FM radio will help ease those traffic blues at no cost.

The earphones it comes with is a bit flimsy for my liking but is as expected given the price. They are not the best but they are above decent. I do however would like manufacturers to up their game on that front especially when they tout their products as media consumption devices. I like Bluetooth audio but nothing beats a wired connection on the audio front so I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am glad it has a headphone jack. How times change amiright?

I like to play mobile games from time to time but I am no longer as into them as before but for those who are, this device will not be the only one I will suggest but honestly, it will come up. As long as you set preferences on mid settings you will do just fine even with graphics demanding games like Vainglory, Asphalt Racing or what is seemingly everyone’s cup of tea, Mobile Legends. The gorgeous screen amplifies the experience. The device keeps up so don’t worry. This device will play most games without hiccups. I did not notice heating issues as well so play my friends, play.


One thing I have to mention though and this is really subjective and I think blame does not entirely fall on the phone – is the cellular and data signal. It does find it hard to sustain a healthy connection in my home although I have experienced it here and there on my other devices so my area plays a role there too. Although outside on public areas, it is always decent. Browsing the net and using apps is a breeze so do not worry social media folks, you will stay connected more frequently than not.

Speaking of social media, I was genuinely surprised by the J7 Pro’s camera. I have always held on to higher end devices for that purpose but this device actually did the trick for day to day use. I will not go saying it is the best out there, not even at this price point without testing out the rest just to be fair, but if this is the device you plan to get it is a very worthy alternative. The daytime shots are a given here with clear punchy colors and details plus the night shots aren’t bad as well. The best camera will always be the one you have so do not think twice about shooting with this one. It also has a pro mode you can tinker with along with different filters, modes and features. I am never one to use those as I like my photos straight up and simple but for a lot of people, your Instagram and Facebook photos will get an upgrade with this. Just learn the ropes folks and enjoy. And yes, selfies and group selfies will yield good results too.

Here are some sample photos:

20171122_072907.jpg
Early morning
20171122_152114.jpg
Mid-day
20171124_172115.jpg
Late afternoon
20171121_230045.jpg
Night without flash
20171121_230101.jpg
Night with flash
20171123_155309.jpg
Well lit indoor shot
20171123_143803.jpg
An Instagram moment for our friend here.
20171123_130145.jpg
Paintings are crazy difficult to shoot and the J7 pro did a fair job.

The device also had enough stamina to get me through the day. It would have been a plus if the device charged faster but that’s just me nitpicking. Most people have power banks nowadays so this is almost a non-issue. I appreciate the fact that Samsung did not go the hybrid sim-slash-SD card tray on this device. Kudos there Samsung (slow clap begins). You get to enjoy 2 sim slots (Flossy Carter moment there ehem) and the SD card tray. I hope that becomes a trend as it is very useful and thoughtful for the Philippine market. Phone calls sound good and clear so yeah people, it works well as a phone too.

Overall, I like this device. I really enjoyed my time with it. Although I have to part with it so I can test out other devices, I do personally recommend it to people who want a workhorse that don’t overwork your pockets. It can get you through your day with ease and maybe more.

Plus, carriers are giving them out free or with a low cash out on most plans so that is a worthy investment right there. They have great promos going on coming into the holidays so go check those out to find a deal that works for you. But even if you buy it unlocked, this will be a very good service phone. I suggest you go to a Samsung store and check it in person to see if it is the right device for you. Nothing beats holding the device in your hand and getting that good vibe that it would be your next daily driver.

So is this device a keeper? If you can find a good deal or this is within your budget range, a resounding yes. Let us know if you plan to get this device or share your experience in the comment section. We’d love to know your thoughts.

Thanks for the time folks stay tuned for next experience review.

Samsung J7 Pro Specifications

Photos by: Kadin Tiu

 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: