Flagship phones are great. They come with all these bells and whistles after all. But flagship phones aren’t for everyone. Sometimes a solid, affordable device is just what you need. That’s what Samsung hopes to offer with the Galaxy J7 Prime.

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    • Premium on the cheap. It’s not a new thing for manufacturers to bring the premium look and feel to their more budget-friendly offering. And Samsung is able to do that for the Galaxy J7 Prime. It has a brushed metal finish at the back that makes it comfortable to hold in hand. And without the camera lens protruding, you can place it flat on top of your table. It won’t be recognized for it looks (it has the Samsung DNA embedded through and through) but it isn’t a device you’d be ashamed of either.
    • Griping over (finger)prints. I was initially disappointed to discover that Samsung continues to put its fingerprint sensor on top of the home button in front. I’m used to having devices with fingerprint sensor at the back because it’s easier to tap when the phone is in hand. But I later discovered Samsung’s placement made it easier to open the phone when placed on a desk. Kudos for Samsung for including this added security feature to a mid-range device, too. I wish it was faster, though. Response is a bit on the slow side most of the time.
    • Good for the daily grind. Thankfully, the performance issues with the Galaxy J7 Prime’s fingerprint sensor doesn’t extend much to the phone itself. With 3GB of RAM, this smartphone is a steady performer. I’ve had it hang on the occasion while switching between social media apps and email but it wasn’t often enough to be too big of an issue. It can handle my current obsession with Lara Croft GO with ease. Its display shows Samsung’s strong suit in the area with great viewing angles and a bright enough screen. The 5.5-inch screen extends almost to the edges to give you as much screen real estate as possible. It’s strange that Samsung opted out of having an auto mode for adjusting brightness, though. Audio quality leaves much room for improvement. Battery life will get you through a work day spent out and about but that’s just about it. If you’re a bit more judicious, you can carry it over to the next morning. But prepare to charge this on a nightly basis.
    • Snap with caution. The Galaxy J7 Prime’s camera is great when it wants to be. Colors come out natural and you’re usually guaranteed a good shot when you shoot in well-lit areas. But sometimes it’ll blow up the highlights or produce blurry shots. You need some steady hands to shoot with this device.

TEST SHOTS

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Photos by Jessica Tan

VERDICT
It’s tough to pick out the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime in the sea of mid-range devices that look similar to it. But if you’re not too fixated on looks and can’t afford a flagship phone but want to upgrade from your entry-level smartphone, this device can serve you well.

Specifications
Display 5.5” TFT capacitive (1,920 x 1,080 resolution)
SIM Dual (nano, dual standby)
Operating System Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Processor Exynos 7870 1.6GHz octa-core Cortex-A53
GPU Mali-T830MP2
Memory 3GB RAM
Storage 32GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
Cameras 13MP rear w/ f/1.9 aperture, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p@30fps; 8MP front w/ f/1.9 aperture
Security Fingerprint sensor
Connectivity & I/O Ports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot; Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, LE; GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS; microUSB 2.0, USB OTG
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3,300mAh
Dimensions & Weight 151.7 x 75 x 8mm, 167g
Price P13,990
Test: Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime
Form Factor8
Build Quality8.5
Ease of Use8.5
Performance8.3
Value for Money8
8.3Overall Score