At an event in New Delhi on Wednesday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy J7 Max. The all-new J-series smartphones come with Samsung Pay and Samsung Pay Mini respectively, Samsung's payment solution that has been missing from the range so far. Apart from mobile payment solution, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro also promise a premium design, features, specifications that can match flagship phones in some regards.
Samsung's J-series of smartphones have been well received in India, and have been catering to a broad price range. Smartphones like Galaxy J3 Pro, Galaxy J1 (4G), and Galaxy J2 Pro have been targeted at sub-Rs. 10,000 segment while the Galaxy J7 Prime and Galaxy J5 (2016) have been focused on the Rs. 10,000- Rs. 20,000 segment. The new Galaxy J7 Max and the Galaxy J7 Pro are being marketed as the devices to cater to "mass-mid segment smartphone market", which has lately seen fewer launches. At the New Delhi launch event, we got a chance to spend some time with the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro smartphones and here are our first impressions.
The new J-series phones sport all-metal unibody design and are sleek. The big displays certainly mean that it won't be easy to use the phones with just one hand, and we felt it during our limited time with the handsets. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro measure 8.1mm and 7.8mm respectively.
The Galaxy J7 Max also comes with Smart Glow which is a squarish surrounding the rear camera at the back. The Smart Glow around the camera gives you alerts for notifications when they arrive.
For Galaxy J7 Pro, Samsung is promoting the flat back camera. We also liked the new "U" designed antenna bands on the Galaxy J7 Pro that definitely add to the visual appeal of the handset.
The new dual-SIM J-series phones also come with a dedicated slot for microSD card which could turn out to be a good addition at this price.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max features a 5.7-inch full-HD display and is powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 octa-core SoC clocked at 1.6GHz paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. The phone packs a 3300mAh non-removable battery and support 4G with VoLTE (with Cat. 4 download speed support).
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, on the other hand, features a 5.5-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display, and is powered by an Exynos 7870 octa-core SoC clocked at 1.6GHz paired with 3GB of RAM. It offers 64GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded using a microSD card (up to 128GB). The smartphone packs a 3600mAh battery and is IP54 certified for being splash proof.
Both phones sport 13-megapixel rear and front cameras with f/1.7 aperture and f/1.9 aperture respectively. There's flash support on both ends.
Both the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro ship with the company's new UX based on Android Nougat. We have to confess that Samsung has been constantly improving its UX since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6. There has been a cut down on number of pre-loaded apps, and interface looks neat. As seen in other Samsung phones, the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro come with Google and Microsoft suite of apps preinstalled.
Samsung has integrated a lot of Nougat features in its new UX like swiping up from the bottom opens up app drawer. We also noticed that both the phones came with a slider feature for directly jumping to Samsung Pay feature but there should be a way to turn it off. With Nougat, Samsung has also given its Settings page a revamp which now looks uncluttered.
One of the biggest features of the new J-series phones is Samsung Pay. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro will support the company's recently announced NFC-enabled mobile payment solution Samsung Pay. The South Korean company is also introducing its Samsung Pay Mini feature which can be seen as "lite" version of Samsung Pay. The new Galaxy J7 Max debuts the Samsung Pay Mini feature, which can be used to make online payments only. Sumit Walia, Director - Mobile Business, Samsung India while talking to Gadgets 360 said that the company was looking to bring its mobile payment solution to more devices for some time.
Explaining the new Samsung Pay Mini feature, Walia said that it comes with all the bells and whistles of Samsung Pay minus the "Tap & Pay" capability that is used to make offline payments at PoS terminals, as it's designed for phones like Samsung Galaxy J7 Max that don't come with the required hardware for the Pay service.
At the event, the company representatives showed how the Samsung Pay Mini feature worked and it looked neat and was easy to use. We will try the feature once we receive the Galaxy J7 Max.
Samsung Pay, on the other hand, supports both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) that allows payment through smartphone via terminal's card reader. For new users, the Samsung Pay and Samsung Pay Mini apps come with inbuilt "How to use" videos, which is a good addition.
In the limited time we spent, we noticed that the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro ran smoothly and we had no issues switching from one app to another. The smartphones were responsive to touch inputs as well. Stay tuned for our detailed reviews when we put the phones through their paces.
Samsung is also marketing the cameras on the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro as the best in the segment. In our short time with the devices, we found that both the devices came with cameras that were quick to launch and clicked sample shots that were crisp. The low-light photos, in particular, seemed to have decent amount of detail. The front-facing 13-megapixel cameras on both the devices with f/1.9 lens were also capable enough and captured photos with good amount of detail. Though, we will reserve our verdict on the cameras until we get a chance to test them under varied conditions.
Samsung's new Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro smartphones no doubt pack some decent specifications under the hood. The Samsung Pay addition makes the phones quiet capable too. The camera is also impressive on both the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro, and we will have more on them when we get to review the devices.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro have been launched in India at Rs. 17,900 and Rs. 20,900 respectively. They will be going on sale via offline channels as well as the company's online store. At this price point, both the new devices will be competing against popular devices like Xiaomi Mi Max Prime, Moto G5 Plus, and Honor 8 Lite.