Samsung’s budget phone offers a good camera in a nostalgic design, nevertheless, you will get other Android phones offering more as of this price.
Classic Samsung design
Solid rear camera in unlocked version
Accurate colors on display
Similarly priced phones boast higher-end features
Micro USB port
Aging version of Android without upgrade path
You would be forgiven for thinking Samsung only releases premium Android flagships with brilliant displays and killer cameras, because that’s all we see in TV commercials. However the company also makes budget phones, including the Galaxy J7 Prime. You will not get the most recent and greatest features from a $220 Galaxy model, but if you wish the bare-bones Samsung experience, the J7 Prime is merely fine.
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Price and Availability
The J7 Prime will come in a few different variants, according to where you get it. You can purchase the telephone unlocked on Amazon with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 13-megapixel rear camera for $220. If you order it through T-Mobile or MetroPCS, the version you get will sport 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and an 8-MP camera. MetroPCS supplies the best deal currently, selling the telephone for $119. Because of this review, I tested the Amazon version.
The J7 Prime won’t focus on CDMA networks, so Verizon and Sprint customers are out of luck. In the event that you buy an unlocked phone from Amazon, double-check that it’ll focus on your carrier’s network before you get rid of the packaging and return label.
Design and OS: Vintage Samsung
The J7 Prime is identical to the Galaxy S6, which debuted in 2015. Some would think about this look dated, but I don’t mind the classic Samsung design. The gold aluminum back and white plastic trim aren’t cutting-edge weighed against Samsung’s newer, glass-covered Galaxy devices, but as of this price, who cares?
Just like the S6, the J7 Prime includes a fingerprint sensor, an iphone app switcher and a back button on the chin. Again, you are not getting an edge-to-edge display, or perhaps a USB-C port – Samsung stuck with micro USB because of this budget model – but I don’t mind this look.
The J7 Prime runs Android 7.0 Nougat with version 8.1 of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI (now referred to as the “Samsung Experience”) layered at the top. Which means you’re a generation behind regarding software – the just-announced Galaxy S9 runs Android Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.0, and the Galaxy S8 is along the way to getting the update, too. Subsequently, you’ll lose out on features such as for example Bixby should you choose the J7 Prime, but you will still get access to Nougat features like Google Assistant, quick app-switching and split-screen Chrome browsing.
The Galaxy J7 Prime’s gold aluminum back and white plastic trim aren’t cutting-edge weighed against Samsung’s newer, glass-covered Galaxy devices, but as of this price, who cares?
A small number of comparably priced phones, including the $250 Moto G5S Plus, offer dual lens cameras, sleeker finishes and the promise of an upgrade to Android Oreo coming. The $200 Honor 7X includes a newer 18:9 aspect ratio in a display that extends practically edge-to-edge. But we’re not docking points for Samsung’s old-school design, which still has its fans.
Display: You get everything you pay for
The J7 Prime’s 5.5-inch full-HD display isn’t the very best in Samsung’s Galaxy lineup, however the 1080p LCD panel is pretty standard as of this price.
Honor is pushing boundaries for budget phones with the 7X’s 5.9-inch, 2160 x 1080 LCD screen, so if watching videos on a superwide screen is vital that you you, then your J7 Prime isn’t the very best phone.
But Samsung’s panel upon this handset is bright and clear with true-to-life colors, similar to the Moto G5S Plus. The J7 Prime notched a 0.30 Delta-E rating, which measures color accuracy. (Numbers nearer to 0 are better.) Inside our testing, the J7 Prime’s display was much like the Galaxy S8, which scored a 0.28.
The J7 Prime’s screen reproduced 105.4 percent of the sRGB color spectrum, consistent with comparably priced phones. The G5S Plus covered 109 percent of the gamut.
The display on Samsung’s budget device is bright and clear with true-to-life colors.
The J7 Prime falters slightly in terms of brightness, reaching 410 nits inside our light-meter test. The smartphone average is 433 nits, but we don’t expect a full-HD LCD panel to contend with ultra-bright (and ultra-expensive) OLED displays. You can get brighter displays as of this price, though, like the Honor 7X (510 nits).
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Overall, the J7 Prime’s display is correctly acceptable. I was immersed watching Jessica Jones flee explosions in the trailer for season 2 of Netflix’s Marvel series.
Camera: Solid rear shooter
I tested the J7 Prime model with a 13-MP rear camera, that is a bump up from the bottom model’s 8-MP lens.
I could capture solid shots, such as a nighttime scene in Bryant Park, with out a ton of noise or color distortion. The facts of the image, such as for example bare trees and a street lamp against the first evening cobalt sky, are obvious and actually sort of pretty for a budget camera.
The 8-MP selfie camera, however, was a different story. I’m very little for selfies, anyway, but this low-quality lens made me appear to be an alien. It had been a whole lot worse when I toggled on the wonder filter, which enables you to adapt the shade and smoothness of your skin layer tone, slim that person and widen your eyes. I turned every setting on as high since it would go and vowed to never take a photography of myself again given that I live. (Just kidding, nonetheless it will be a couple of days.)
Battery Life: Substandard
Despite its sizable 3,300 mAh battery, the J7 Prime lasted a middling 8 hours and 32 minutes in the Tom’s Guide Battery Test (continuous web-surfing over T-Mobile’s LTE network).
The smartphone average is 9:50, therefore the J7 Prime isn’t terrible. However the G5S Plus can last you 11 hours and 50 minutes, while ZTE’s Blade V8 Pro lasts an impressive 12:08. The Honor 7X offers longer battery life, at 9:21. Deciding on a lower-priced phone shouldn’t mean compromising on battery life, however in the J7’s case, it can.
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We wouldn’t mind the below-average battery life if the J7 Prime offered a quick-charging option, just like the Moto G5S Plus does. But it’ll take you one hour to replenish the budget Galaxy to 50 percent, which is merely too much time. The G5S Plus takes quarter-hour to add a supplementary 6 hours of battery life. With longevity being among the key features smartphone buyers search for, the J7 Prime does not impress.
Performance: Just OK for the purchase price
Phones in the $200 to $250 range are upping the ante regarding performance, and the J7 Prime is competitive with regards to speed and power in a budget phone, because of the Samsung-built Exynos 7870 processor inside.
Samsung’s phone clocked a 3,580 score in the Geekbench 4 test of overall system performance, based on the Moto G5 Plus (3,746) and ZTE’S Blade V8 Pro (3,018). Another $200 phone we recently tested, Nuu Mobile’s X5, turned in a paltry 2,623, to help you definitely get more value for your money with the J7 Prime’s 1.6 GHz octa-core CPU.
However, Samsung’s budget device isn’t the best for gaming. In 3D Mark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test of graphics performance, the J7 Prime produced a score of 8,140. Other phones in this cost range are more capable – the G5 Plus scored 13,862, as the Blade V8 Pro clocked in at 11,897. Honor’s 7X turned in a decent performance, at 11,586.
The J7 Prime certainly isn’t sluggish in terms of lightweight games; I played Super Mario Run easily. For more demanding, graphics-intensive runners and first-person shooters, you really should snag a Moto phone including the $210 G5 Plus.
Some persons find old-fashioned phones reassuring. You don’t need to relearn how exactly to use a fresh interface, and every button is situated right where it always has been. That is the case with Samsung’s Galaxy J7 Prime, that provides the classic design of the Galaxy S6 for $220 (as well as less if you buy a version with an increase of basic specs from MetroPCS).
Unless you expect much from a budget phone, the J7 Prime does a correctly fine job of surfing the net, taking photographs and playing basic ga