Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) review: Marathoner with a punch
Samsung's Gallery app has maintained a fairly consistent and clean look over the years. The same goes for the one on the Galaxy A7 (2017) as well. One additional feature you are getting out of the box is Samsung cloud sync. In terms of local photo storage, your shots are split into three categories - Pictures, Albums and Stories. Pictures is just a timeline view, while Albums is the folder-based view.
Stories are collaborative online projects - you can invite people to add their own photos and videos to the Story gallery and create a cool slideshow.
The built-in editor is fairly powerful, going from basic tools to straighten photos through image correction to downloadable image effects.
In contrast, the built-in video player doesn't really go out of its way to pamper you with added functionality. Despite being a separate app, it doesn't have a shortcut anywhere in the menu. This is understandable, since it doesn't really feature a file browser of its own. You just have to navigate to the video file and then pass it to the player.
To be fair though, you do get a couple of nifty tricks. Subtitle support is one of them and it goes into surprising depth in terms of font and styling adjustments.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) comes with Google Play Music out of the box. It is just one of those parts of Google's Android app suite that has spread to a point where it is almost part of the OS itself. Although not really much of a looker, it will power through both local music playback and online streaming. The latter is particularly convenient, since you can either pay for a subscription to Google's service or upload you own MP3 files to the cloud, free of charge. Then you can stream them and even make use of Google's advanced transportation, compression and caching algorithms.
You get comprehensive control over the listening experience thanks to the SoundAlive equalizer, a manual 7-band equalizer, an automatic equalizer (Adapt sound) and even a UHQ upscaler.
Samsung's own Music app can be downloaded from the company's own app store too. It may look a bit sleeker than the utilitarian Google app, but it's limited to offline content only.
Yes, there is an FM radio on board as well. This is another area in which the A-series seems to surpass its flagship S cousins in terms of functionality. There is no RDS, so you do have to enter the radio station names manually. However, there is a recorder included.
Audio output is good
When plugged into an active external amplifier, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) posted excellent scores top to bottom and had high volume levels to start this test on a high note.
Adding in a pair of headphones causes moderate damage to the stereo quality and introduces a tiny amount of extra distortion. The overall output is still nicely clear, though, and with the volume remaining well above average we have little reason to be unhappy.
And now here are the results so you can make your own comparisons.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|LG V20||+0.01, -0.03||-93.0||93.1||0.0036||0.0075||-93.7|
|LG V20 (headphones attached)||+0.04, -0.09||-92.4||92.4||0.051||0.105||-57.5|
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) frequency response
You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.