Review | Samsung Galaxy J7 Core smartphone

South Korean smartphone giant Samsung has expressed interest in tweaking their smartphone designs when it launched the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge not too long ago. Starting from the Galaxy S8 launch this year, Samsung continued to release renovated handsets until they rolled out the Galaxy J7 Core – a retro-looking smartphone bound to serve the gaming community with its 14nm processor.

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Design

After reviewing the Galaxy J7 Pro, the J7 Core looks like a tribute to good old Samsung attire – except that it now has an improved texture and ergonomics.

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Hitting the 5.5-inch mark, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Core sports a Super Amoled screen with 720 x 1280 resolution. Although some of its foes are already into 1080 wagon in the same price range, the J7 Core managed to overshadow that shortcoming by improving the handset’s performance. More on that later.

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The J7 Core has the home button, recent apps, and back keys underneath the 5.5-inch screen. Unfortunately, they do not have a backlight to support night usage. The home button does not have a fingerprint sensor, too, which should not be a surprise given the phone’s price tag.

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Covering the back of the phone is a textured plastic rear cover that we really love for its material and feel. It is removable, though, thus the need of switching off the phone when inserting and ejecting SIM and microSD cards.

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The back cover has the Galaxy S5′s feel combined with curved edges to fit your hands comfortably. Although we generally love the overall design, we disapprove the speaker placement at the back. Nevertheless, it has a better and more practical speaker placement than the J7 Pro.

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At the foot are the micro USB port and 3.5mm socket for audio output.

Performance

Living up to its gaming motif, the J7 Core exceeded beyond our expectations with its swift and fluid performance. Despite housing only 2GB of RAM, this handset gladly accepted the usual tasks we do daily without a hump.

Although the whole day of work was confidently covered by J7 Core’s 3,000mAh battery, it’s a shame that the bundle does not include any quick charging adapter to cut the power refill time short. Again, with its price bracket, it should not hurt that much.

Running the latest Android Nougat operating system, the J7 Core is powered by an Exynos 7980 Octa chipset, octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, and Mali-T830 MP1 GPU. Setting it under our benchmark tests, this smartphone hit the following scores:

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In the camera division, the J7 Core has a decent set of cameras for its price range. The front camera shoots 13-megapixel resolution at f/1.9, while the rear camera captures 5-megapixel resolution at f/2.2.

Conclusion

Lying on the boundaries of entry-level and mid-range bracket, the Samsung J7 Core has become one of our favorite sub-P10,000 handsets. Although it hit 1GB short from our preferred 3GB RAM, the J7 Core had provided a decent performance all throughout the testing period.

The Good:

  • Nice back cover and handling experience
  • Enough battery for the whole day
  • Welcomes two SIM cards and microSD expansion

The Bad:

  • 2GB RAM
  • No backlight for navigation keys
  • Speaker placement

The Samsung Galaxy J7 Core is out on the market with P9,990 SRP.

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