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Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero, Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Katarina Novak), 12/14/2016

New edition. Samsung's mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy J7, has undergone a facelift. The result is the Galaxy J7 (2016), which comes with a more stylish case, more performance and a larger battery compared to its predecessor. Our review shows whether the upgrade has been worth it.

For the original German review, see here.

Samsung has overhauled its mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy J7, which was only released in 2015. In order to avoid confusion with the predecessor, the 2016 version has the year in its name, just like the new edition of its sister model, the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016). The manufacturer has not changed the underlying direction: Like its predecessor, officially priced at 260 Euros (~$277), the more or less equally priced Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)  aims to appeal to selfie enthusiasts in particular, with its 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera.

Overall, Samsung has gone easy on the upgrade and by not completely reinventing the Galaxy J7, except for the internals. Instead of the octa-core Snapdragon 615 SoC with structures of 28 nm, the 2016 Galaxy J7 uses Samsung's own and more powerful Exynos 7870 Octa (structures of 14 nm) and comes with 2 instead of 1.5 GB of RAM. The battery has also got a small upgrade, with the capacity rising to 3300 mAh. The control center is no longer Android 5.1, but Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

An alternative to the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) is the 5.2-inch Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016): It uses the same camera modules, also has a Super AMOLED display with HD resolution, and the same metal and plastic chassis. However, the battery is slightly smaller (3100 mAh) and the SoC (Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916) is slower - this results in a saving of about 50 Euros (~$53) compared to the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016).

Is the Galaxy J7 (2016) worth the higher price? Let us find out. In our review, the Galaxy J7 (2016) will compete with similarly priced and specced rivals: Included are the Honor 5X, the Huawei P9 Lite and the Sony Xperia XA. The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) is of course also part of the comparison.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 (Galaxy Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
, LPDDR3
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 267 PPI, Super AMOLED, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.63 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headset jack, Card Reader: MicroSD (up to 128 GB), NFC, Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity sensor, ANT+, Wi-Fi Direct, Smart Switch, App2SD, Android Beam, USB-OTG
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM-Quadband (850, 900, 1.800, 1.900 MHz), UMTS-Quadband (850, 900, 1.900, 2.100 MHz), LTE Cat.4 (Band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 40), Downloads/Uploads with a maximum of 150/50 MBit/s, Micro-SIM, Head-SAR 0.349 W/kg, Body-SAR 1.390 W/kg, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.8 x 151.7 x 76 ( = 0.31 x 5.97 x 2.99 in)
Battery
12.71 Wh, 3300 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 23 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix F/1.9, autofocus, LED flash, pictures up to 4.128 x 3.096 pixels, video recording up to 1.920 x 1.080 pixels/30 FPS
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix F/1.9, pictures up to 2.576 x 1.932 pixels, video recording up to 1.920 x 1.080 pixels
Additional features
Speakers: One speaker on the back., Keyboard: Virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, Modular power supply, Micro-USB cable, headphones, warranty information, Google Apps, Microsoft Apps, Samsung Apps (S Planner, S Health, Galaxy Apps), UKW-Radio, Facebook, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
169 g ( = 5.96 oz / 0.37 pounds), Power Supply: 30 g ( = 1.06 oz / 0.07 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

If you put the 5.5-inch Samsung Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J7 (2016) smartphones next to each other, it is very easy to confuse them, since they both have the same case design. However, on closer inspection, you can see that the Galaxy J7 (2016) is slightly slimmer than its predecessor (7.6 instead of 7.9 mm//~0.3 instead of 0.31 in).

But as soon as you pick the phones up, a big difference is noticeable. Because the chassis of the Galaxy J7 (2016) is made of an aluminum frame and plastic back, it feels significantly more premium than the completely plastic Galaxy J7. The metal frame also makes the case very solid, which was, in our test, practically immune to bending and twisting of any sort. The metal frame does not have a negative impact on the weight; according to the specification sheet, the test candidate weighs 169 grams (~6 oz), and so only one gram more than the Galaxy J7. The removable back cover conceals the replaceable 3330 mAh battery, as well as a Micro SIM and a microSD card slot. A clear comparison of the two cases can be found on YouTube, for example.

Aside from our black review unit, Samsung also offers the Galaxy J7 (2016) in gold and white.

Size Comparison

151.7 mm / 5.97 inch 76 mm / 2.99 inch 7.8 mm / 0.3071 inch 169 g0.3726 lbs151.3 mm / 5.96 inch 76.3 mm / 3 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 158 g0.3483 lbs146.8 mm / 5.78 inch 72.6 mm / 2.86 inch 7.5 mm / 0.2953 inch 147 g0.3241 lbs145.8 mm / 5.74 inch 72.3 mm / 2.85 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 159 g0.3505 lbs143.6 mm / 5.65 inch 66.8 mm / 2.63 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 137 g0.302 lbs

Connectivity

The octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa SoC works inside the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016), and its Cortex-A53 cores are clocked at 1.6 GHz. An ARM Mali-T830 MP2 graphics adapter integrated into the mid-range SoC  provides a solid gaming performance in our test.

Android 6.0.1 and preinstalled apps occupy slightly more than 5 GB of the 16 GB storage, so our review unit has about 10.6 GB left. The internal storage can be easily expanded with microSD cards, which can go up to 128 GB and are formatted as mobile storage. The applications we installed later could not all be moved to a microSD card, but games such as “Asphalt 8: Airborne” and “Dead Trigger 2” could be moved.

The micro USB port supports only 2.0 speeds, but it is capable of USB-OTG. NFC joins the package as a wireless connection.

Left: volume rocker
Left: volume rocker
Right: power button
Right: power button
Top: no ports
Top: no ports
Bottom: micro USB 2.0 port, 3.5 mm headphone jack
Bottom: micro USB 2.0 port, 3.5 mm headphone jack

Software

The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and thus one of the more current Android versions - it is certainly more in tune with the times than Android 5.1 running on its predecessor. Samsung has laid its TouchWiz skin over the operating system, which only cautiously intrudes into standard Android. This includes a softer look with rounded buttons and logos, as well as a somewhat differently structured settings menu. If you scroll to the far left on the home screen, you reach the news aggregator "Briefing", which can be configured individually.

In terms of preinstalled apps, in addition to Microsoft's Office Suite and Google apps, there are also proprietary tools such as the health app "S Health" and the calendar "S Planner". All in all, Samsung has restrained itself from adding too many software additions, which is nice. Still, they cannot be uninstalled, only deactivated at best.

Communication and GPS

With a Micro SIM card and a suitable mobile plan on board, the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) can communicate over four GSM, four UMTS, and seven LTE bands/frequencies. This does not necessarily mean that you will find a cellular network everywhere in the world, but there should not be any problems in the European zone, since the phone covers all the important local frequencies and LTE bands. Download speeds can reach up to 150 MBit/s, upload speeds can go up to 50 MBit/s.

The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) transfers data over WLAN via the 802.11 b/g/n standards. Since 802.11a is missing, the smartphone does not connect to 5 GHz networks. Data transfers on the 2.4 GHz frequency of our Linksys EA8500 test router run flawlessly and with consistent speed, but they are not particularly fast at a maximum of 43.1 MBit/s.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
42.9 MBit/s ∼100%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.1 MBit/s ∼100%
GPS outside
GPS outside
GPS in a building
GPS in a building

The GPS module of the Galaxy J7 (2016) pinpoints your current location precisely within a few metres in buildings as well as outside. In our field test, where we take a 12 km (~7.5 mi) bike ride and compare the smartphone's GPS with the localisation skills of the professional Garmin Edge 500 navigation device, the smartphone did not fare so well after all. For example, the Galaxy J7 (2016) sometimes takes rigorous shortcuts through the woods or positions us several meters away from the path, meaning that the total measured distance ends up with a difference of almost 700 meters (~766 yd). This is still sufficiently precise for everyday use, but many rivals offer considerably more precision, including the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016).

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016): Whole route
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016): Whole route
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016): Turning point
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016): Turning point
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016): Bridge
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016): Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Whole route
Garmin Edge 500: Whole route
Garmin Edge 500: Turning point
Garmin Edge 500: Turning point
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

Phone app: Settings
Phone app: Settings
Phone app: Number pad
Phone app: Number pad

Samsung's subtle redesign of the Android operating system also includes the phone app. It is uncluttered and offers a large keypad for dialling numbers. In addition, there are tabs for logs of received and outgoing calls, favorites and contacts.

The voice quality is not convincing. In our test calls, we or the voice of our conversation partner always sound somewhat muffled. The built-in speaker sounds relatively fine during calls, but it is prone to distortion at high volumes.

Cameras

Taken with the rear camera (click for original)
Taken with the rear camera (click for original)

With a 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera, the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) has up-to-date cameras. We suspect that it has the same camera module as its smaller sibling, the Galaxy J5 (2016), because system information apps such as AIDA64 identify both rear camera sensors as "SLSI_S5K3L2", a CMOS sensor made by Samsung. 

The rear camera, which has an LED flash, takes good pictures in daylight, although the darker areas of the pictures are relatively weakly illuminated, despite a fast F1.9 aperture. Pictures taken in darker surroundings tend to become blurry quite quickly. Casual photographers should be content with the picture quality, though. The camera can record 1080p videos with 30 fps. The quality is decent, even though the pictures occasionally seem slightly dark.

The 5 MP front camera is completely focused on selfies. Aside from facial recognition and a selfie mode, it offers a "Group Selfie" mode and an interval record function for consecutive images. In "Sound & Shot" mode it can also record background noise. There is also a timer function, and "Sepia", "Negative" and "Grayscale" filters. The front LED can be turned on in the picture settings in order to obtain better lighting conditions - selfies are then possible even in dark surroundings. As the pictures are sharp and vivid, the front camera delivers good image quality.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

In addition to our test shots, we also test the sharpness and colors under controlled lighting conditions. For this we take a picture of the ColorChecker passport and our test chart. We do not edit the pictures. Colors reproduced by the Galaxy J7 (2016) are a touch too strong and bright. The test chart is sharp in the middle, but the brightness and sharpness decrease towards the edges. However, this can also happen with professional cameras.

ColorChecker-Farben abfotografiert. In der unteren Hälfte jedes Patches ist jeweils die Originalfarbe abgebildet.
Photograph of ColorChecker colors. The original colour is in the lower half of each patch.
Detail of the test picture
Detail of the test picture
Test picture (click for original)
Test picture (click for original)

Accessories and Warranty

Samsung provides the Galaxy J7 (2016) with a 3300 mAh lithium-ion battery, a modular power supply, a micro USB 2.0 cable as well as headphones. At the time of writing, the manufacturer does not offer any accessories for this smartphone.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) comes with 24 months of warranty, the battery with a one-year warranty, and the rest of the accessories in the box with 6 months of warranty.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Handling

Samsung has integrated its own keyboard into the Android user interface. The keys have turned out slightly smaller than on the standard keyboard, but Samsung's keyboard also has a row with the number keys on top and supports useful functions such as speech input and swiping. An optional contrast mode colors the letters black and the keyboards's background a bright yellow-orange - it does not win any design prizes, but it is more legible. If Samsung's keyboard does not suit you, you can of course always install new keyboards from the Google Play Store.

The Galaxy J7 (2016)'s AMOLED touchscreen can register up to 10 fingers simultaneously, does not resist the fingers too much, and works precisely even in the remotest corners. We also liked the physical buttons, which include a home button on the Galaxy J7 (2016) as well as on the Galaxy J5 (2016). They sit firmly in the case without wobbling and give precise feedback due to their crisp pressure point.

Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Subpixel
Subpixel

The Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) is equipped with a Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels and thus a pixel density of 267 PPI. Because of its technology, it offers advantages such as a theoretically unlimited high contrast ratio, because the black pixels are turned off and therefore are not lit. Subjectively, the display produces a flawless image with very vivid colors.

On average, the Galaxy J7 (2016) reaches a brightness of 291.2 cd/m² with an entirely white background. This can be increased under the display setting "Outdoor mode" for using it outside, reaching up to 413 cd/m². If we take the even and thus more realistic distribution of bright and dark screen areas as the basis (APL50), the luminance increases to 596 cd/m². The brightness distribution of 91% is very even.

However, there is one small flaw: As with the sister model, the Galaxy J5 (2016), we notice screen flickering on our test candidate. Sensitive users can perceive it on the Galaxy J7 (2016) if the brightness is set to 40% or lower.

302
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 305 cd/m² Average: 288.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 287 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.9 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 2.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.05
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Super AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.5
Honor 5X
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Huawei P9 Lite
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Sony Xperia XA
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.2
Screen
-7%
1%
-41%
-12%
Brightness middle
287
535
86%
505
76%
518
80%
289
1%
Brightness
289
521
80%
468
62%
475
64%
291
1%
Brightness Distribution
91
85
-7%
88
-3%
81
-11%
96
5%
Black Level *
0.43
0.74
0.61
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.9
4.88
-68%
4.1
-41%
6.8
-134%
4.7
-62%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.1
8.66
14%
5.8
43%
11.4
-13%
7.3
28%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.1
5.2
-148%
4.9
-133%
7
-233%
3
-43%
Gamma
2.05 107%
2.26 97%
2.5 88%
2.35 94%
2.03 108%
CCT
6228 104%
7766 84%
7116 91%
8151 80%
6291 103%
Contrast
1244
682
849

* ... smaller is better

Four display modes are available.
Four display modes are available.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) comes with four display modes to choose from, with which you can adjust the color reproduction individually. In the preset mode "Adaptive display", the smartphone automatically optimizes the image parameters such as the color spectrum, the saturation and the sharpness. There is also an "AMOLED cinema", "AMOLED photo" and "Simple" mode. The "AMOLED cinema" mode produces the most vibrant colors, "AMOLED photo" has slightly less vibrant colors, and in the "Simple" mode, colors appear almost pale, but also the most natural.

When it comes to the precision of mixed colors, an analysis with the analysing software CalMAN and the photo spectrometer shows that the "Simple" and "AMOLED photo" mode do not deviate too much from the ideal levels, with the "AMOLED photo" mode having a slight advantage. As expected, the "AMOLED cinema" mode is the furthest from a neutral reproduction, as it displays the most vibrant colors of all.

Color space coverage (target color space: AdobeRGB)
Color space coverage (target color space: AdobeRGB)
Color space coverage (target color space: P3)
Color space coverage (target color space: P3)
Color space coverage (target color space: sRGB
Color space coverage (target color space: sRGB
Mixed colors (Display mode Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (Display mode Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Display mode Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Display mode Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (Display mode Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (Display mode Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (Display mode AMOLED cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (Display mode AMOLED cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Display mode AMOLED cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Display mode AMOLED cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (Display mode AMOLED cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (Display mode AMOLED cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (Display mode AMOLED photo, target color space: sRGB)
Mixed colors (Display mode AMOLED photo, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Display mode AMOLED photo, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Display mode AMOLED photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (Display mode AMOLED photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (Display mode AMOLED photo, target color space: sRGB)

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 238.1 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 238.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 238.1 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9418 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3 ms rise
↘ 3 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 4 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 45 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40 ms).

Despite the AMOLED display's average brightness of 291.2 cd/m², which is not very impressive, it is perfectly suitable for outdoor use. Furthermore, the Galaxy J7 (2016) has another ace up its sleeve: the optional "Outdoor" mode that makes the display viewable even in very bright environments. First, the screen's brightness is greatly increased for 15 minutes. Then the mode remains turned on until it is deactivated or the screen is turned off. Of course, the "Outdoor" mode takes a toll on the battery life, but this should be rather negligible considering this phone's long-distance running qualities.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) also has a winning hand when it comes to viewing angles. Regardless of how flat your viewing angle is, the contents on the screen are always shown without any color or brightness shifts.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Samsung has equipped the new edition of its mid-range smartphone with the octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa SoC, which makes use of a 14 nm production technique and whose Cortex-A53 cores are clocked at a frequency of up to 1.6 GHz. The SoC makes use of 2 GB LPDDR3-RAM and is supported by the ARM Mali-T830 MP2 in its graphics calculations.

As expected, the Galaxy J7 (2016) achieves better results in synthetic benchmarks than the Galaxy J5 (2016), which is equipped with a slightly less powerful processor. Our test candidate has even enough power to outperform the Honor 5X. However, it cannot match the performance of the Huawei P9 Lite and the Sony Xperia XA.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
45234 Points ∼16%
Honor 5X
37152 Points ∼13% -18%
Huawei P9 Lite
50366 Points ∼18% +11%
Sony Xperia XA
48331 Points ∼17% +7%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
27232 Points ∼10% -40%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3277 Points ∼12%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
680 Points ∼12%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1681 Points ∼39%
Huawei P9 Lite
1370 Points ∼32% -19%
Sony Xperia XA
1236 Points ∼29% -26%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
242 Points ∼4%
Huawei P9 Lite
305 Points ∼5% +26%
Sony Xperia XA
306 Points ∼5% +26%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
299 Points ∼5%
Huawei P9 Lite
369 Points ∼6% +23%
Sony Xperia XA
422 Points ∼7% +41%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1687 Points ∼38%
Honor 5X
1089 Points ∼24% -35%
Huawei P9 Lite
1373 Points ∼31% -19%
Sony Xperia XA
1259 Points ∼28% -25%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
709 Points ∼16% -58%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
394 Points ∼4%
Honor 5X
103 Points ∼1% -74%
Huawei P9 Lite
473 Points ∼4% +20%
Sony Xperia XA
525 Points ∼5% +33%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
42 Points ∼0% -89%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
475 Points ∼6%
Honor 5X
129 Points ∼2% -73%
Huawei P9 Lite
554 Points ∼7% +17%
Sony Xperia XA
603 Points ∼8% +27%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
53 Points ∼1% -89%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
12949 Points ∼15%
Honor 5X
8174 Points ∼9% -37%
Huawei P9 Lite
13676 Points ∼16% +6%
Sony Xperia XA
12138 Points ∼14% -6%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
9022 Points ∼10% -30%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
7746 Points ∼1%
Honor 5X
7764 Points ∼1% 0%
Huawei P9 Lite
11318 Points ∼2% +46%
Sony Xperia XA
10916 Points ∼2% +41%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3838 Points ∼1% -50%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
8505 Points ∼4%
Honor 5X
7852 Points ∼3% -8%
Huawei P9 Lite
11769 Points ∼5% +38%
Sony Xperia XA
11156 Points ∼5% +31%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
4400 Points ∼2% -48%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
12 fps ∼0%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼0% +17%
Huawei P9 Lite
19 fps ∼0% +58%
Sony Xperia XA
18 fps ∼0% +50%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
5.2 fps ∼0% -57%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
19 fps ∼1%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼0% -26%
Huawei P9 Lite
19 fps ∼1% 0%
Sony Xperia XA
28 fps ∼1% +47%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
9.7 fps ∼0% -49%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
4.9 fps ∼1%
Honor 5X
5.4 fps ∼1% +10%
Huawei P9 Lite
7.8 fps ∼1% +59%
Sony Xperia XA
7.2 fps ∼1% +47%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
1.8 fps ∼0% -63%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
9.4 fps ∼3%
Honor 5X
5.9 fps ∼2% -37%
Huawei P9 Lite
8.4 fps ∼2% -11%
Sony Xperia XA
15 fps ∼4% +60%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3.8 fps ∼1% -60%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3.2 fps ∼0%
Huawei P9 Lite
4.5 fps ∼0% +41%
Sony Xperia XA
4.8 fps ∼0% +50%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
fps ∼0% -100%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
7.2 fps ∼0%
Huawei P9 Lite
4.9 fps ∼0% -32%
Sony Xperia XA
11 fps ∼0% +53%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
fps ∼0% -100%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3691 Points ∼19%
Honor 5X
3794 Points ∼19% +3%
Huawei P9 Lite
5339 Points ∼27% +45%
Sony Xperia XA
4685 Points ∼24% +27%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
4126 Points ∼21% +12%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
624 Points ∼31%
Honor 5X
9 Points ∼0% -99%
Huawei P9 Lite
765 Points ∼38% +23%
Sony Xperia XA
717 Points ∼35% +15%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
551 Points ∼27% -12%
Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
512 Points ∼2%
Honor 5X
763 Points ∼3% +49%
Huawei P9 Lite
818 Points ∼3% +60%
Sony Xperia XA
669 Points ∼2% +31%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
312 Points ∼1% -39%
Memory (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1319 Points ∼18%
Honor 5X
787 Points ∼10% -40%
Huawei P9 Lite
1346 Points ∼18% +2%
Sony Xperia XA
1076 Points ∼14% -18%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
643 Points ∼9% -51%
System (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
2127 Points ∼13%
Honor 5X
1378 Points ∼8% -35%
Huawei P9 Lite
2438 Points ∼15% +15%
Sony Xperia XA
2289 Points ∼14% +8%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
1060 Points ∼6% -50%
Overall (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
973 Points ∼12%
Honor 5X
297 Points ∼4% -69%
Huawei P9 Lite
1197 Points ∼14% +23%
Sony Xperia XA
1043 Points ∼12% +7%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
585 Points ∼7% -40%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 5X Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P9 Lite HiSilicon Kirin 650, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia XA Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash

The results of the browser tests put the smartphones in the same order as the synthetic benchmarks: At the top, the Huawei P9 Lite and the Sony Xperia XA, this time, however, closely followed by the Galaxy J7 (2016). The Honor 5X and the Galaxy J5 (2016) finish last.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3905 Points ∼7%
Honor 5X
3595 Points ∼7% -8%
Huawei P9 Lite
4756 Points ∼9% +22%
Sony Xperia XA
4046 Points ∼8% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
2730 Points ∼5% -30%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
9670.9 ms * ∼16%
Honor 5X
12510 ms * ∼21% -29%
Huawei P9 Lite
9396.5 ms * ∼16% +3%
Sony Xperia XA
9609.8 ms * ∼16% +1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
13046 ms * ∼22% -35%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
66 Points ∼8%
Honor 5X
65 Points ∼8% -2%
Huawei P9 Lite
67 Points ∼8% +2%
Sony Xperia XA
72 Points ∼9% +9%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
47 Points ∼6% -29%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
24.119 Points ∼7%
Honor 5X
21.92 Points ∼6% -9%
Huawei P9 Lite
29.03 Points ∼8% +20%
Sony Xperia XA
27.5 Points ∼8% +14%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
16.8 Points ∼5% -30%

* ... smaller is better

The read/write speed of the Galaxy J7 (2016) is solid. Sequential reading achieves the fastest data transfer speeds at 189.4 MB/s, while the speed indicator stops at 46.2 MB/s during sequential writing. The competition manages this slightly better, led by the Honor 5X and the Galaxy J5 (2016). Pretty much all smartphones are on par when it comes to random read and write speeds of 4 KB data blocks. Only the Huawei P9 Lite can pull ahead a little.

The Galaxy J7 (2016) occupies the first spot in terms of reading and writing to a microSD card. Our reference card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (read up to 95 MB/s, write up to 80 MB/s) does not reach its limits with this smartphone. With 75.5 MB/s and 58.2 MB/s sequential read/write speeds, respectively, the Samsung smartphone still beats its in-house rival, the Galaxy J5 (2016), and the Sony Xperia XA.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2016Honor 5XHuawei P9 LiteSony Xperia XASamsung Galaxy J5 2016
AndroBench 3-5
5%
16%
10%
5%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
58.24
25.1
-57%
50.68
-13%
46.61
-20%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
75.54
60.81
-19%
72.87
-4%
79.83
6%
Random Write 4KB
10.11
10
-1%
15.35
52%
10.6
5%
11.6
15%
Random Read 4KB
22.33
17
-24%
38.22
71%
22.05
-1%
21
-6%
Sequential Write 256KB
46.24
78
69%
46.24
0%
68.64
48%
72
56%
Sequential Read 256KB
189.35
144
-24%
283.55
50%
240.43
27%
147
-22%

Games

Playing games on the Galaxy J7 (2016) is fun. In the first place, the controls on the touchscreen and the position sensor work flawlessly and accurately. Secondly, the ARM Mali-T830 MP2 graphics chip ensures that even demanding games such as “Asphalt 8: Airborne” or “Dead Trigger 2” can be played smoothly. Both games run at a stable 30 fps in our test, even with the graphic details turned all the way up.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

Temperature

With a peak value of 31 °C (~88 °F) under full load, the Galaxy J7 (2016) does not really have any heat development to speak of. After an hour of running our stress test, the average operating temperature of the smartphone rises to only 29.4 °C (~85 °F). The Galaxy J7 (2016) does not use any dirty tricks such as throttling for this, as our test run with the GFXBench battery benchmark shows. Even after running the T-Rex benchmark 30 times, the frame rate stays consistently high.

GFXBench: Performance
GFXBench: Performance
GFXBench: Battery
GFXBench: Battery
GFXBench: Frametimes
GFXBench: Frametimes
Max. Load
 29.1 °C
84 F
29.3 °C
85 F
28.9 °C
84 F
 
 30.1 °C
86 F
29.6 °C
85 F
29.2 °C
85 F
 
 29.7 °C
85 F
29.9 °C
86 F
29.2 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 30.1 °C = 86 F
Average: 29.4 °C = 85 F
29.1 °C
84 F
28.5 °C
83 F
28.6 °C
83 F
29 °C
84 F
29.2 °C
85 F
28.9 °C
84 F
29.9 °C
86 F
30.5 °C
87 F
31 °C
88 F
Maximum: 31 °C = 88 F
Average: 29.4 °C = 85 F
Power Supply (max.)  28.4 °C = 83 F | Room Temperature 21.2 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.4 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 30.1 °C / 86 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 31 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Pink Noise diagram
Pink Noise diagram

The mono speaker on the back produces an acceptable sound for a smartphone and can be heard well even if the smartphone is lying on the table, since the rear camera protrudes slightly from the case. The sound quality of the speaker fits into the line-up of many smartphone speakers that have overly prominent highs and practically ban all bass sounds from its sound spectrum. With 88 dB(A), it can get quite loud, though, and there is no sound distortion even at maximum volume.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.6472525.431.43125.332.44032.9315033.643.76331.634.78028.430.21002730.412520.824.71602231.520021.336.825020.84831521.250.440019.456.650019.560.463017.766.480017.973100017.873.5125017.374.7160017.473.9200016.774.1250017.275315018.276.8400017.976.8500017.679630017.780800017.875.61000017.966.11250018.163.41600018.255.8SPL3087.5N1.369.7median 17.9median 66.4Delta1.312.737.727.732.437.722.330.631.322.326.529.131.726.52931.4262932.337.239.432.32927.736.22924.627.628.624.623.223.425.423.228.321.821.328.330.823.223.330.834.52422.534.537.222.922.437.242.126.921.342.147.428.218.447.456.236.117.556.262.641.517.562.670.848.617.270.875.853.716.875.872.450.217.372.470.548.117.470.568.146.716.668.167.245.117.367.268.547.217.668.570.949.417.670.974.953.217.774.976.554.417.476.576.354.717.776.365.242.617.965.251.330.718.151.346.826.118.146.884.162.229.884.156.714.71.356.7median 65.2median 42.6median 17.7median 65.213.911.21.613.940.731.832.440.732.731.831.332.730.834.231.730.831.830.42631.836.633.139.436.633.330.936.233.332.42528.632.429.624.325.429.631.523.921.331.536.324.323.336.344.329.822.544.352.236.622.452.257.341.721.357.362.747.118.462.764.950.117.564.96752.517.56769.153.917.269.17254.216.8727454.217.37475.755.317.475.775.756.916.675.776.157.817.376.17757.917.67779.159.517.679.180.161.117.780.178.359.417.478.377.358.417.777.378.859.717.978.872.953.518.172.956.83718.156.888.469.529.888.473.724.21.373.7median 72median 53.9median 17.7median 7211.19.91.611.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSamsung Galaxy J7 2016Samsung Galaxy J5 2016Huawei P9 Lite
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.52 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.6% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 71% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 81% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.09 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 32.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 83% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 10% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 88% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 8% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei P9 Lite audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.42 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 27% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 54% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison diagram (checkboxes selectable/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Galaxy J7 (2016) is quite energy efficient with a maximum power consumption of 3.3 watts. Only its 5.2-inch counterpart, the Galaxy J5 (2016), operates slightly more efficiently (3.1 watts), while the other competitors demand between 5.05 and 6.43 watts under full load. Since our candidate also has a battery with the largest capacity, this raises the hope for long battery life. The phone can be fully charged in about 2.5 hours with the power supply that comes in the box.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.31 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.67 / 1.71 / 1.83 Watt
Load midlight 2.37 / 3.31 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3300 mAh
Honor 5X
3000 mAh
Huawei P9 Lite
3000 mAh
Sony Xperia XA
2300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3100 mAh
Power Consumption
-57%
-35%
-22%
8%
Idle Minimum *
0.67
0.87
-30%
0.73
-9%
0.72
-7%
0.61
9%
Idle Average *
1.71
2.08
-22%
2.09
-22%
1.5
12%
1.41
18%
Idle Maximum *
1.83
2.22
-21%
2.11
-15%
1.57
14%
1.51
17%
Load Average *
2.37
5.26
-122%
4.15
-75%
3.48
-47%
2.56
-8%
Load Maximum *
3.31
6.34
-92%
5.05
-53%
6.04
-82%
3.1
6%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The combination of a large battery and very moderate energy consumption makes the Galaxy J7 (2016) a long-distance runner that beats several comparable devices. If you convert the 17 hours and 5 minutes it scores on our realistic WLAN benchmark into everyday smartphone use, it should easily hold up two or even more days on one charge. When playing our test video, the H.264 version of "Big Buck Bunny", the Galaxy J7 (2016) runs out of battery after more than 20 hours. Most rivals last only half as long. The runner-up is the Galaxy J5 (2016), but it is far behind.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
33h 50min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
17h 05min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
20h 20min
Load (maximum brightness)
11h 21min
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3300 mAh
Honor 5X
3000 mAh
Huawei P9 Lite
3000 mAh
Sony Xperia XA
2300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
3100 mAh
Battery Runtime
-54%
-46%
-66%
-36%
Reader / Idle
2030
1053
-48%
1404
-31%
775
-62%
1599
-21%
H.264
1220
602
-51%
568
-53%
460
-62%
658
-46%
WiFi v1.3
1025
643
-37%
604
-41%
353
-66%
643
-37%
Load
681
144
-79%
272
-60%
170
-75%
402
-41%

Pros

+ stable case
+ Android 6.0.1
+ high contrast AMOLED display
+ high system tempo
+ smooth gaming
+ almost no heat development
+ removable battery
+ very long battery life

Cons

- slow WLAN speed
- no brightness sensor
- no fingerprint reader
- mediocre voice quality
- only average rear camera
- screen flickering

Verdict

In review: Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016). Review unit provided by Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016). Review unit provided by Notebooksbilliger.de

With the Galaxy J7 (2016), Samsung has overhauled its mid-range 5.5-inch smartphone in a subtle, but effective way. One highlight of the 2016 edition is the metal case, which provides the smartphone with higher-quality haptics and more sturdiness when compared to its predecessor. The performance has  also been taken up a notch by switching from the octa-core Snapdragon 615 SoC to the Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa and upgrading the RAM from 1.5 to 2 GB. Another plus point: The new edition comes with the more current Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS instead of Android 5.1. 

The overhaul has been worth it: If you are looking for a good, affordable mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy J7 (2016) could be the right candidate.

The virtues of the predecessor, such as a Super AMOLED display, the 13 MP rear camera, the 5 MP front camera, and a removable battery, have been preserved. However, the latter has even more capacity on the Galaxy J7 (2016) and gives the smartphone excellent battery life.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy J7 (2016) also has a few weak points. The slow Wi-Fi speeds, a missing brightness sensor, the mediocre voice quality, and a qualitatively only average main camera need to be mentioned here. A fingerprint sensor could have also been included in this price range. More sensitive user could also perceive some disturbing screen flickering at certain brightness settings. Basically, these are more or less the same points we have already criticised with the Galaxy J5 (2016). So, if you want to save 50 Euros (~$52) and can live with a slightly smaller display (5.2 instead of 5.5-inch) as well as a slower SoC, then the Galaxy J5 (2016) could also be interesting.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 - 12/06/2016 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
90%
Keyboard
72 / 75 → 95%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
39 / 60 → 65%
Weight
91%
Battery
100%
Display
84%
Games Performance
17 / 63 → 26%
Application Performance
40 / 70 → 58%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
67%
Average
73%
84%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2016-12-14 (Update: 2019-04-21)