Samsung Galaxy C7 review: A Note for the masses

A Note for the masses

GSMArena team, 29 August 2016.

Display

It seems you can always count on an upper midrange Samsung smartphone to come with a great-looking display. The Korean Giant is pretty much on top of the food chain when it comes to its excellent Super AMOLED technology where high contrast and punchy colors are a given.

Sitting proud at a respectable 5.7 inches, the Galaxy C7 is a perfect stand-in for a Note phablet, minus the S Pen of course, among other things. The point is, you definitely won't suffer from any shortage of screen real estate and the Full HD resolution and 386ppi still make for an absolutely sharp image. Plus, skipping on the increasingly popular QHD does go easier on your battery.

Samsung Galaxy C7 review

As far as performance goes, the panel on the Galaxy C7 does quite alright. It has deep blacks and the benefit of infinite contrast. At 100% brightness level, it maxes out at 422 nits, which is pretty close to what Samsung's current flagship devices, like the Galaxy S7 and Note7 are capable of. When presented with a bright external light source, the C7 can burn up to 624 nits in Max Auto mode, so using it outdoors is trouble-free, even on the brightest of days.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy C7 0.00 422
Samsung Galaxy C7 (Max auto) 0.00 625
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 0.00 421
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) 0.00 425
LeEco Le Max 2 0.30 426 1444
Huawei Mate 8 0.346 471 1361
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek) 0.42 403 953
Samsung Galaxy Note5 - 439
Samsung Galaxy Note5 max auto - 620 -
Xiaomi Mi Max 0.46 424 922
Sony Xperia XA Ultra 0.50 531 1071
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) 0.00 427
Huawei Nexus 6P 0.00 352
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ - 410
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ max auto - 540 -
LG V10 0.29 432 1490

As already mentioned, sunlight legibility does not disappoint. In fact, it is nothing short of excellent.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Color accuracy is impressive as well, but you do have to switch the display to Basic mode to enjoy the most accurate color reproduction. In Basic mode the average delta E is only 2.4 and a max reading of 5, interestingly enough, in the cyan color. But if you would much rather enjoy the punchy colors AMOLED has to offer, you can just leave the C7 in Adaptive mode, where reds tend to deviate as far off as 12.7.

Overall, the display is excellent save for the slight color shift when looking at it from an angle.

Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy C7 is equipped with a total of two nano SIM slots. It's a hybrid slot so one of the card positions is to be used with either a SIM card or a Micro SD card, so you do have to choose. As for network speed, the Snapdragon 625 powering the phablet is equipped with an X9 LTE modem, capable of speeds of up to Cat.7 or 300 Mbps. However, Samsung has capped the C7 to Cat.4 or 150 Mbps. Other Internet connectivity options include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac.

Local connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.2 complete with ANT+ support, so Samsung has made sure to keep the hardware up to date in this department. NFC is also on board, and it is compatible with Samsung Pay.

The microUSB 2.0 port handles charging and data, but it also supports USB OTG so you can hook up external hardware to the phone.

You do get FM radio as well, as a more old-school source of music and entertainment. It is full-featured as well and includes RDS and recording.

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy C7 is powered by a hefty 3300mAh battery, which is non-removable. However, on a positive note, combined with the 1080p AMOLED panel and a 14nm midrange Snapdragon processor, the sealed-in pack manages to go a long way. Just as a reference, you might recall the Galaxy J7 (2016), which managed to pull a whopping 101 hours of endurance with an identical 3300mAh battery, a 14nm Exynos chipset and a 720p AMOLED display.

Samsung Galaxy C7 review

The C7, which has most of the same ingredients, scored 100 hours flat in our dedicated battery life test. That is a truly outstanding performance and puts the C7 only a notch below the Galaxy J7 (2016) in our battery performance chart and in the top 15 of all time. And better yet, this incredible endurance is achieved while still maintaining an above average 2.0GHz of clock rate on the Cortex-A53 cores and an impressive overall performance. We have no doubt that similar battery life results will become more common as the 14nm development processes spread to more and more chip designs. However, right now, you should look no further than the Galaxy C7 for excellent battery life.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare to each other under your own choice of usage pattern.

Reader comments

  • Ali

Already has months ago. You need to install samsung kies3 on your laptop and then connect it to upgrade it.

  • Shafaan

When will it (Samsung Galaxy C7) be upgraded to Android 7.0 (nougat)?

  • AnonD-731326

I am a fan of this phone but am dissapointed with how fragile it is. I'm up for a new face and am having trouble finding a Replacement and a technician to fix it in Auckland New Zealand. Can anyone help?