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Samsung users have been complaining for years about the lack of variety in designs across the Galaxy range. The South Korean company has made a few changes in terms of design in the premium segment, though its budget and mid-range models largely still bear the same old Samsung styling. The Galaxy J7 Prime is also part of that same crowd.
It sports a physical home button just below the display, with capacitive Recents and Back buttons placed on either side. With the addition of metal rear panel, the new J7 Prime looks solidly built, and its rounded sides make it easier to hold the device. At 8mm, the Galaxy J7 Prime is slightly thick, though it feels light for a 5.5-inch phone at 167 grams. The 3.5mm audio jack and Micro-USB port are on the bottom. A Samsung logo is embossed above the phone’s display, plus there’s more branding at the back.
The metal body definitely gives this phone an edge over others in the same price range. There’s also 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass spread across the front, giving it a premium feel. With a screen size of 5.5-inches, the J7 Prime isn’t ideal for one-handed use, and during our review period, we preferred using both our hands. The metal rear panel also made the handset slightly slippery, especially with sweaty hands. The power button is placed on the right and is accompanied by a single speaker grille. On the left you’ll find the two distinct volume buttons as well as the SIM and microSD card slots. Samsung has emphasised that the J7 Prime features separate SIM and microSD card slots, which is an advantage over hybrid slots which force users to choose between using two SIMs or one SIM and a microSD card.
The rear panel of the J7 Prime sports a minimalistic design and houses the primary camera accompanied by an LED flash. It’s worth pointing out that the back panel isn’t entirely metal; there are plasticky panels at the top and bottom, though the paint job gives them a metallic feel.
The Galaxy J7 Prime’s fingerprint scanner is embedded in the home button and was always easy to use. Fingerprint recognition was quick for unlocking the device. Double-tapping the home button launches the camera instantaneously, and this even worked with the phone locked.
The new Galaxy J7 Prime is powered by an octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 processor clocked at 1.6GHz coupled with 3GB of RAM. There is 16GB of inbuilt storage, while microSD cards of up to 256GB are also supported. This dual-SIM phone supports two Nano-SIMs with 4G connectivity on both, though only one can connect to 4G at a time. There’s a 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera with f/1.9 aperture and an LED flash. There is also an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The phone has a non-removable 3300mAh battery. Connectivity options on the Galaxy J7 Prime include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac, GPS/A-GPS, Bluetooth, and Glonass.
Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Galaxy J7 Prime comes with Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI layered on top. Over the years, Samsung has worked on its TouchWiz UI and it is now much lighter than it used to be a few years ago. One of the biggest changes is the reduction in the amount of bloatware. Much like current high-end Samsung smartphones, the J7 Prime also comes preloaded with a number of Microsoft apps including Word, Excel, OneDrive, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Skype. The home screen also features a Google folder which includes Google apps such as Gmail, Chrome, Google Search, YouTube, Drive, Play Music, Play Movies and TV, Hangouts, and Photos. Apart from Google and Microsoft, the J7 Prime also comes with a folder packing a variety of Samsung apps including the phone’s default mail app and Web browser, S Health, Galaxy Apps, and S Planner.