The smartphone market is ever on the rise and just a few days back, Samsung launched its newest member of the Galaxy series smartphone — the Galaxy C7 Pro. Priced at INR. 27,990 this phone is touted as the ideal competitor to the OnePlus 3T. The device landed in our office a couple of days back and it seemed only natural that we let our readers know the initial impressions of this new phone.
The C7 Pro is seen as an upgrade to the older Galaxy C7, however, let not the name deceive you — the C7 Pro overtakes its older self in terms of its premium looks and design.
So, without further delay, let’s get started on the initial impressions for the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro.
The C7 Pro sports a super slim metal body at just 7mm thickness, rather thinness, gives a premium look to the device. The sleek aluminum body, coupled with the 5.7 display doesn’t feel that big when you are using it on a regular basis.
What’s more, there are no plastic gaps for the antenna lines and the triple band antenna design at the back gives a unique look to this device.
The front includes the fingerprint scanner cum home button, along with a 16 MP camera at the top. The volume rockers are present on the left while the power button is on the right — a typical Samsung design.
At the bottom, we have the USB type C port with speaker grills towards the right and the 3.5 mm jack on the left.
The Galaxy C7 Pro also comes with a hybrid SIM tray (Nano + Nano or MicroSD). Weighing just 172 gms, C7 Pro looks every bit neat. In terms of looks, it isn’t much different from the other Samsung phones. At a first glance, you might even mistake it for the another Samsung phone. Long story short, the design is good, but it could have been better.
The Awesome Display
This is one area where Samsung has been really doing an awesome job if you ask me. The C7 Pro comes with a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED Full HD display and it just looks fantastic. The colors are vivid — the blacks are deep blacks and the beauty of this 2.5D display is that it’s really vibrant and immersive.
Photos, videos and almost everything you watch on this display come out to be clear and vibrant. The front sports a Gorilla Glass 4 protection and it proved to be quite an equal match against scratches, in our initial tests.
Overall, the display is as vivid as it can get, however under harsh sunlight, the legibility takes a hit.
Camera – A Balance of Color and Clarity
The C7 Pro sports two 16 MP cameras both on the rear and front of this device. The rear camera gets a Dual LED Flash along with PDAF. Both the cameras sport an aperture of f/1.9 and in our initial impressions, we were impressed with both the cameras.
The images taken on the C7 Pro came out to be very good and they manage to do a fine balance of color reproduction and picture clarity.
Both the cameras shoot fast and thanks to the lower aperture value, low light shots turn out to be great too.
The Hardware Aspects
The C7 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 626 SoC coupled with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage (as on our test model). The Snapdragon 626 is also built on the 14nm process and therefore its cortex cores very efficiently deliver performance while maintaining a very good battery life.
But for a phone which is priced at INR 27990 and is touted to be a competitor to OnePlus 3T, the choice of hardware is a tad baffling. While OnePlus is fitted with Snapdragon 821, the Snapdragon 626 in the C7 Pro doesn’t seem to do justice to the price tag.
Plus, we have already seen 625 in some of the budget series like the Redmi Note 4 and Moto Z Play, and maybe 626 isn’t far behind in making the appearance.
A positive aspect to the hardware aspects is that the 626 chipset heats up less and gives a comparatively better battery life, which is missing in the OnePlus 3T.
The phone does provide memory expansion via microSD card slot and can go high up to 256 GB on this one. The synthetic benchmark scores were also in line with the other Snapdragon 6 Series chipsets and it clocked a decent value of 62370. Geekbench delivered 898 in Single-Core and 4326 in Multi-Core respectively.
And if you compare the scores (yet again with the OnePlus 3T), apart from the difference in numbers you’ll hardly spot any difference in the daily usage.
Coming to the fingerprint sensor, it does its job pretty well. But for accurate readings, you might need to wake the screen beforehand. Beyond that, if you compare the speed of the sensor to OnePlus 3T, C7 Pro’s speed seems a tad slow.
Other than that, the other buttons are tactile and they provide good feedback and feel sturdy at the same time.
Software – Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
The C7 Pro still runs on Android Marshmallow and is based on Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. But for a phone in the premium zone, one would really expect the latest version of Android on it, instead of waiting for the update.
Speaking of the Samsung UI, it has evolved over time and now it runs silky smooth with no lags or jitters experienced as yet. The device pretty much flies through everything that you throw at it.
If you are perturbed by the old version of Android in this one, a silver lining is that the Android security patch updates are the latest.
The C7 Pro houses a 3300 mAh battery and though I was a bit skeptical about it initially, but all my worries were put to rest. The combination of in-house optimization and power efficient Snapdragon chipset helps in achieving a pretty decent battery life, which was able to last a whole day.
Beyond the battery optimization, you get a fast charger in the Samsung C7 Pro. In the days when charging on-the-go is a major selling point for most of the mobile devices, this feature surely adds a point for Samsung.
The connectivity options for Samsung C7 Pro includes 4G LTE, dual SIM Support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and a USB-C port. Although it does support NFC, it doesn’t feature Samsung Pay unlike its other Galaxy cousins like the Galaxy A5 and A7 series.
All in all, the premium build quality, the sleek look with a brilliant display, a great camera and battery life has helped this phone achieve a great spot amidst its other contenders. It has great potential and comes with capable hardware at a good price. But will it be able to kill its current competition?
We will be able to answer that question only when we put it through our intensive tests and reviews. Until then, stay tuned. Also, watch out this space for the Samsung Galaxy A5 review soon.