Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review

GSMArena team, 14 November 2017.

Unboxing

The Galaxy J7 Pro comes packed within a paper box accompanied by a cheap-looking pair of headphones, a regular microUSB cable, and a 5V/1.55A wall plug. The bundled set is not amazing, but it's nothing to frown at either.

Retail package - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review
Retail package

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro 360-degree spin

The Galaxy J7 Pro measures 152.5 x 74.8 x 8 mm - identical to the J7 (2017) and close to the Galaxy J7 (2016) footprint but slightly narrower thanks to the impressively slim bezels. The J7 Pro has gained 11g of extra weight compared to last year's uber-popular model, a change attributed to the solid aluminum unibody.

Hardware overview

Samsung has been trying out the premium metal build across different segments of its portfolio. The J series finally gets a taste, and hopefully, we'll see it in even more of Samsung's midrange devices.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review

The Galaxy J7 Pro is a well-built device with a sturdy 2.5D glass at the front and metal all across the rest of the body. The seamless aluminum unibody is an instant eyecatcher, along with the signature antenna strip design which Samsung has gone for. Instead of trying to hide those as most manufacturers do, the designers here have decided to turn them into a prominent design feature for the back.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review

For this to work, they've even chosen contrasting colors for the antenna lines on some of the color versions of the phone. Only on the black model are the lines black too, so they are less noticeable.

The display glass on the front gets easily smudged with fingerprints and is tough to clean, so there is no oleophobic coating there for sure. The back, however, is not only fingerprint resistant, but its smooth matte surface makes for a secure grip.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review

Handling the Galaxy J7Pro is a fine experience - the phone feels sturdy, fits well in hand, and won't slip in spite of its round edges. Sure, the J7 may not be the best device for single-handed use, but it's a very reasonably-sized phablet with a solid claim for a premium build.

Handling the Galaxy J7 Pro - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review Handling the Galaxy J7 Pro - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review
Handling the Galaxy J7 Pro

Device overview

Above the 5.5" AMOLED screen is the earpiece flanked by the 13MP selfie camera and the front LED flash. A couple of sensors are also placed nearby. The good ol' clickable Home key is here on the Galaxy J7 Pro even if it's headed for extinction at the higher end Samsung models.

The other two keys under the screen, however - the Task Switcher and the Back key - are touch only.

The always-on fingerprint scanner is incorporated into the Home key surface and works quite well. You don't even have to press the Home button for it to activate - you only need to tap it - even if the phone's screen is off.

The always-on AMOLED - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review Galaxy J7Pro - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review The front LED flash - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review The keys - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review
The always-on AMOLED • Galaxy J7Pro • The front LED flash • The keys

The left side of the Galaxy J7 Pro is quite busy - there are two ejectable trays below the independent volume keys. The first one holds the primary nano-SIM card, while the one to follow has places for another nano-SIM card and a slot for expanding the storage with a microSD card. We are glad Samsung found a way to fit all three slots in the Galaxy J7 Pro instead of choosing the hybrid option.

The left side of the Galaxy J7 Pro and its card slots - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review The left side of the Galaxy J7 Pro and its card slots - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review The left side of the Galaxy J7 Pro and its card slots - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review
The left side of the Galaxy J7 Pro and its card slots

The loudspeaker grille and the power/lock key are on the right side of the Galaxy J7 Pro. While the speaker placement isn't that new - the 2017 A series has the speaker at the same spot - we have to remind you it's a tricky place for a speaker as you can easily muffle it accidentally, especially in landscape orientation.

The speaker is on the right - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review So is the power key - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review
The speaker is on the right • So is the power key

There is nothing of interest at the top of the Galaxy J7 Pro. The bottom has the microUSB port, the audio jack, and the mouthpiece. We wonder why Samsung went for the older microUSB port, while it has already phased it out in the A-series and the S-series for the newer reversible USB-C port.

The top is bare - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review The bottom isn't - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review 3.5mm audio jack is joined by a microUSB port - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review
The top is bare • The bottom isn't • 3.5mm audio jack is joined by a microUSB port

Finally, the 13MP main camera with f/1.7 bright lens is on the back coupled with a single LED flash. You can forget about swapping the battery on your own when you run out of juice - the unibody makes this a job for a proper service center.

Satin-finished aluminum back - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review Marginally recessed camera module - Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro review
Satin-finished aluminum back • Marginally recessed camera module

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