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Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime Hands-on, Initial Review: The Best J Series Phone?

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While phone manufacturers like to show off their latest flagship phone, they’re all aware that the real money-makers are phones in the budget segment. Samsung is keenly aware of this, and have been slowly strengthening their J-series lineup to cater to more budget-conscious buyers. The newest member of the J-series family, the J7 Prime, looks to bridge the divide between premium-ness and affordability. Does it deliver? We’re about to find out.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime specs:

  • 5.5-inch full HD TFT display, Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 octa-core processor
  • Mali-T830MP2 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9 aperture, AF, LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera, f/1.9 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android Marshmallow, TouchWiz UI

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Initial impressions: Looks and feels premium, with a fast processor to boot

Just like with most mid-rangers today, the Galaxy J7 Prime sports a metal build that gives the phone that unmistakable sense of premium-ness in its build and design. Unfortunately just like it’s older brothers, the Galaxy J7 Prime still has the same old design cues that Samsung’s famous for, namely, rounded corners and edges as well as a physical home button. It’s a design language that’s unmistakably Samsung but we feel it’s getting a little bit long in the tooth.

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The front of the phone features a 5.5-inch TFT full HD display, which is a big departure from the Super AMOLED panels that Samsung has used in the past. Right below that is the physical home key which also doubles as the fingerprint scanner, flanked by capacitive Android navigation keys, a long design staple of Samsung. Right on top of the display is the 8-megapixel f/1.9 selfie camera.

The rear of the phone bears the 13-megapixel, f/1.9 aperture rear camera with LED flash. While the rear of the phone is metal, there’s two plastic strips on the top and bottom of the J7 Prime that houses the antennae of the device. Overall thickness of the J7 Prime is around 8mm making it chunkier than its contemporaries.

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Going around the the phone, you’ll see the lone speaker grill on the topmost right side of the phone, with the power button right below it. On the left side sits the volume rocker as well as the two SIM slots and microSD slot. That’s right – you no longer have to choose between two SIM cards or a SIM card plus microSD expansion.

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Moving on, you’ll see both the USB port and 3.5mm jack on the bottom of the phone. We’re a little taken back with the side-mounted speaker of the J7 Prime, but the placement isn’t too bad, as the phone managed to pump out decent sound from that oddly placed speaker.

Going back to that IPS LCD display. It’s an oddity for sure, since Samsung likes to use its homegrown Super AMOLED panels in its phones whenever possible. Despite that, the display looks bright, has good viewing angles and color saturation. This may be good or bad, depending on your preference for Samsung’s sometimes over-saturated Super AMOLED displays.

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The embedded fingerprint scanner on the J7 Prime worked well enough, but sometimes required us to press down a bit longer than we would have liked.

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Moving on to the hardware, the Galaxy J7 Prime is equipped with Samsung’s Exynos 7870 octa-core processor, running at 1.6GHz on eight Cortex-A53 cores. That’s complimented with a Mali-T830MP2 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.

It’s our first time to encounter the Exynos 7870, which was announced earlier this year. The new processor is built on Samsung’s 14 nanometer FinFET process, which makes it more efficient than comparable processors that’s built on the older 28nm process.

The Exynos 7870 processor isn’t a performance-driven chipset, evidenced by its respectable AnTuTu score. However, the phone performed well during our brief time with it, with the phone exhibiting zero lag during navigation and general use. Gaming on the J7 Prime is acceptable – it’s not the best but it’s not the worst we’ve seen either. We’ve yet to see the performance of the phone in regards to battery endurance, but we’re sure the large 3300mAh will help in that regard.

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That’s pretty much it for the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime. The phone will hit Samsung stores on October 29, and will have a price of Php 13,990.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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13 Comments

  1. Is there a difference between TFT and IPS? What I saw in older reviews in India are TFTs which aren’t any good.

    1. Yung TFT yung screen na nagbabago kulay pag iniikot. iPS yung mga malinaw. Yung gamit nito PLS TFT na mas malapit sa IPS kesa sa mumurahing TFT.

  2. Let me guess? Like my friend’s non-prime J7 wala man lang double tap to wake /sleep? For a 15 thousand phone madaling masisira power button nyan.

    1. There are third party apps pang tap to sleep. And I saw a youtube review na no need to press the home button para magregister fingerprint.

    2. ganyan naman phones ng samsung. mahal talaga compare sa ibang brand. pero malaki difference kasi ng quality ng phone nila compare sa iba except Note7. saka guys, tested na yan chipset, makunat battery nyan.

  3. HAAAY. Another rundown of the specs sheet which tells basically nothing. Another load of crap disguised as a review. I am not hating here. But please, give readers better insight naman! Is gaming performance really your only measure of handheld computing performance?! Other quips:

    Design – don’t tell us something we already know. Instead of just describing the unit per se, isn’t it better if you enlighten us how scratch proof the design is, if it is prone to fingerprint smudges, how large it is compared to specific units not just to ‘it’s contemporaries?’ JUST LAZY WRITING!

    Speakers – Decent? How decent? Is it audible enough in a room filled with 3 talking people? Is trashy or tunog lata?

    Performance – Gaming lang ba talaga measure mo? How about tell us if it lags when you type on it. Or if the keyboard shows up quickly or not. Or if the phone heats up during an hour of web browsing. Is it compatible with most commonly used apps?

    Battery – gah. I can’t even.

    Anyway, please take this to the chin and inform us better. You guys are lucky enough to get your hands on these devices then get paid to inform possible customers. Damn it, kaya maraming bad investments dahil sa relative lack of reliable information. Pakiayos please. Otherwise, mag apply ako sa inyo hehehehehe

    1. JustATechEnthusiast, epal ka! Bakit hindi ikaw ang mag-review?! Aabangan ko review mo ha? Hambog! Dami mong alam. RESPETO!

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