After the launch of the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro, which was Samsung’s idea of a premium, mid-range phablet, comes the C7 Pro, its premium idea of a mid-range smartphone.
Launched today with a price tag of Rs 29,990, the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro does look and sound a bit too pricey at first. It packs in mid-range hardware with a price tag that comes eerily close to mid-range Chinese offerings like the OnePlus 3T, the Vivo V5 Plus and even some budget busters like the Moto G5 Plus and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
But during my short hands-on time with the smartphone, I discovered that it does indeed make for something special that few currently have on offer.
Build and Design
The Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro indeed falls perfectly in line with the Vivo V5 Plus, the Oppo F3 Plus, a segment of smartphones that offer a premium-looking smartphone with internals that would today be considered budget (save for the cameras). In short, an interesting smartphone design would be Samsung’s only chance to stand out among the competition.
And from short hands-on time, it seems to have hit the sweet spot. The device is not massive like the Oppo F3 Plus, but packs in an-all metal body that is not just the slimmest in its category, but also feels lighter than others.
It’s taller, but its 7.7mm slim waistline makes for a confident grip which is great from a design standpoint, a detail I missed in this year’s F3 Plus (the F1 Plus was smaller and lighter).
The front features a 2.5D rounded glass, that’s actually rounded and makes for a seamless feel when you slide your fingers over the edges. The fingerprint reader sits on the front, unlike the Galaxy S8 (thank God for that!).
The back is made of aluminium and feels solid with no ugly-looking plastic gaps for the antennas.
Samsung indeed follows the same design philosophy as on the bigger C9 Pro with a triple-band antenna design towards the top and bottom ends of the device.
The Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro features a 5.7-inch Super Amoled display with a Full HD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution. The display is bright and has no problems in outdoor lighting. Sporting a Full HD resolution spread out on a 5.7-inch display I did not notice any pixellation either.
Text and images looked sharp and the colours were well-saturated in a way that we have come to expect from Samsung’s Super Amoled displays.
An addition out here is Samsung’s Always On Display, that lets users quickly glance at notifications without the need to unlock or power up the lock screen or the smartphone. The feature that is usually reserved for Samsung’s premium smartphones, made its way on to the Galaxy A5 and A7 and is now also available on the C7 Pro as well.
Chipset, Storage and RAM
The chipset inside the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. The 625 is built using the 14nm process and uses low powered Cortex-A53 cores that sips on power very, very efficiently.
The 625 is paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The internal storage can be expanded and accepts microSD cards of up to 256GB.
OS and Software
As always, Samsung goes with its improved TouchWiz software skinning. The OS surprisingly uses Android 6.0 Marshmallow as its base, instead of current day Nougat.
Samsung’s customisations go pretty deep into its software and while they are pretty functional, they do include plenty of bloat. In the short amount of time I got to use the smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro did not stutter nor showed signs of any lag. But we should get a better idea once it is loaded with apps an games, something that I will be able to tell you only after thorough testing.
Samsung’s gone in with identical 16MP camera modules on the back and front of the Galaxy C7 Pro. The cameras feature an f/1.9 aperture and the rear camera gets a dual LED flash along with PDAF.
The images shot using the C7 Pro looked decent enough and I do think that the Super Amoled display had a part to play in making them look a bit vivid. However, you will have to wait a bit until I can give my verdict on it, that will be available only after I have tested the device thoroughly in the full review.
Battery and connectivity
A 3,300mAh battery for a smartphone that features a mighty 5.7 display does not sound like it would last through a day of use. But with the power-efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset inside, the possibilities with the right optimisations should be limitless as we have seen with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 in the past. One good feature that Samsung has included is fast charging and it should play well with a 3,300mAh battery.
Connectivity options include 4G LTE connectivity, dual SIM support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, USB Type-C port. Oddly, there was no sign of Samsung Pay on the device even though it features NFC. While MST completes the package, I could not find the Samsung Pay app installed on the device.
In my short hands-on time, I found that Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro has some potential in the design department and will appeal to some as an overall package. While I was not impressed by the specifications versus price debate initially, using the smartphone for a while changed that initial impression. It is a premium looking-device that comes with capable hardware at an attractive price, that you will begin to like once you try it out.
But with the smartphones like the OnePlus 3T (raw power and performance), Vivo V5 Plus (dual selfie camera), Oppo F3 Plus (dual camera) that offer a little more at a hardware level, its just the design and software that currently sets it apart from the crowd. Will it work in Samsung’s favour? Or will that 16MP camera come to Samsung’s rescue? Find out in our full review.
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