India is a major market for smartphone manufacturers and Samsung out of all brands understands it pretty well. Even after the debacle of Samsung Note last year, Samsung is still considered as a reliable brand in the country. While climbing to the top and becoming the most popular smartphone brand in the country was somewhat easy for the company as only a handful of brands were available when Samsung arrived, the company is surely facing tough competition from other brands now, especially the Chinese ones.
To cement its position, Samsung is now launching devices with features that are exclusively designed for the Indian market and at price points which are currently the most popular in the country. The company launched Galaxy J7 Prime last year, a mid-range smartphone with a metal unibody, fingerprint scanner, S Bike Mode, S Power Planning, and much more. This year, it launched its successor Galaxy J7 Max which is again a mid-range device with the new Mediatek Helio chipset and a massive 4GB RAM.
Unboxing Galaxy J7 Max
Galaxy J7 Max has a curved design similar to most other releases from Samsung. The phone measures 156.7 x 78.8 x 8.1mm which is still good given its large display. The top front panel of the phone features an earpiece, front camera, and ambient light and proximity sensor. Below the display, there is a physical Home button which also houses the fingerprint sensor. On the sides, there is Back key and recently/menu key which are not backlit. The phone has a metal unibody which feels very comfortable in the hands.
The phone has a 5.7-inches PLS capacitive touchscreen with 16M colours. It has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels with a pixel density of ~386. The display offers good viewing angles, is bright and has excellent colour output. Even the visibility in sunlight is impressive. While the display is not AMOLED like its sibling J7 Pro, it is still one of the highlights of J7 Max. The company has not mentioned if there is Gorilla Glass on display and it’d be better to get a case for safety.
J7 Max has a number of features that Samsung is introducing for the first time. For instance, it is the first time in the smartphone industry that a phone features AR technology and social camera. On paper, the rear camera is of 13MP and an aperture of f/1.7. Even the front camera is of 13MP and has an aperture of f/1.9.
With the Social Camera mode in the front shooter, you can add many different filters to your selfies and share them directly on Facebook or WhatsApp. There are several other features and modes like Timer, Auto, Pro, HDR, Mirror Selfie, Panorama, Continuous Shot for beautiful pictures.
Inside the Galaxy J7 Max
Galaxy J7 Max runs on Android Nougat, and the security patch for Android released in June 2017 is also available on the phone. On top of the OS, there is a layer of the latest Samsung Experience 8.1, a UX which is a significant upgrade from the old TouchWiz UX from Samsung. Some of the highlights of this new UX include a vertical swiping interface, adding apps screen button on home screen, simultaneously move multiple apps and changes to typography and app icons. There is also Dual Messenger feature which can be used to log into two different accounts in an app.
The phone is powered by a MediaTel Helio octa-core P20 64-bit processor with four 2.39GHz ARM Cortex A53 cores and four 1.6GHz ARM Cortex A53 cores. Its massive 4GB RAM is good enough to multitask without any lags. For a better gaming experience, it also has an ARM Mali T880 GPU. The phone has a built-in storage of 32GB which can be expanded up to 256GB with a microSD card. It runs on a 3,300mAh battery which offers talk time of up to 20 hours on 3G network.
Pros and Cons
Pros: The Good
• Great cameras- The cameras in J7 Max are a lot more than you’d expect from a phone in this price range. From their pixels, aperture, to the different modes, the phone is sure to impress you with the optics.
• Excellent design- The metal unibody of the phone makes it look like a premium device. The placement of buttons is just right, and even though it is a huge device, it is not difficult to use it with a single hand.
• Latest Samsung UX- The phone has the latest Samsung Experience 8.1 UX which has several handy improvements and features as compared to its predecessor.
• Dual Messenger- The Dual Messenger feature of the phone is very useful as it allows you to log into two different accounts in the same app.
• Good audio output- The audio output from the speaker grille on the right side of the phone is good too. The phone can easily fill a small room with great audio.
Cons: The Bad
• The battery could have been better- For a 5.7-inches device running on an advanced processor and 4GB RAM, the 3,300mAh battery is a drawback.
• No LED notification light- There is no LED notification light in J7 Max. Instead, there is a LED light strip around the rear camera which lights up in various colours as per the notification.
• No display protection- The display is not protected by Corning Gorilla Glass or any other hardened glass, making it prone to damage.
• No support for fast charging- There is no support for fast or quick charging in J7 Max.
• No support for IR Blaster or NFC- Many of the phones in the price range offers these features, but J7 Max doesn’t.