Samsung J5 and J7, launched by the company a few days back are their devices to sport a front LED flash. While the J5 was priced at Rs 11,999, the higher powered J7 comes at a premium of Rs 14,999.
With the advent of Chinese OEMS into the Indian market the Korean giant had been struggling in the midrange and the low range sections. Their Galaxy Grand and Core devices priced round Rs 10,000 and above were no match for the devices launched by companies like Xiaomi, Oppo. While the Grand Grand 2 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 still retails at Rs 14,999 on e-commerce sites, the flagship Xiaomi Mi4 can be bought at Rs 14,999. Thankfully Samsung took notice of this, and here they are with the Samsung J7. But can the device match the likes of the Mi4i priced lower at Rs 12,999? Let's find out.
Build and Design:
Samsung was never a king of this category! I always felt that their sub 15K device were never up to the mark in terms of design. The worst part is we were seing the same design language in all their devices - to boring to be honest. But I was glad that Samsung finally did a change with their flagship of 2015, Galaxy S6.
Nevertheless the Samsung J7 is plain old ordinary designed phone from the company we had been seing all while. The body is made out of plastic and to be honest the quality of materials used is not great! A metal like rim running all way round the side profile of the device.
On the other hand the Mi4i comes with an above average build quality. It feels a lot more firm and well-built mainly due the polycarbonate body. I can even vouch for the fact that, this device is one of the best build device from Xiaomi- and that too with an original design. It's even marginally slimmer than the Samsung J7 by 0.1 mm.
There's some marked difference between the two devices here. The Samsung J7 is more of phablet with a 5.5inch HD Super AMOLED display whereas the Mi4i features a 5 inch IPS panel sourced from Sharp/AUO. So for those who wants a big screen device, the J7 would be an obvious choice. You may give a think regarding the Yureka Plus and the K3 Note too.
But the worst part is yet to come. Despite featuring a 5.5 inch display the J7's display is only HD i.e. 1280x720! That's reflects at a pretty low ppi(pixel per inch) looking at today's standards. The Xiaomi Mi4i on the other hand features a Full HD IPS OGS display (1920x1080) with top notch color reproduction and viewing angles. The display possess 90% NTSC color gamut, against the 85% found in most top of the end device of today.
To be perfectly honest this display (comparable to the likes of Mi Note) is better than the one found in the flagship Mi4. Plus it comes with a nifty trick down its sleeve, the ‘Sunlight Display' which changes the contrast of the display according to the lighting condition of surrounding. And the best part is that it really does work quite well in a harsh sunny day!
Under the hood:
Here both the devices match each other head on head. While the Xiaomi Mi4i comes with a 2nd gen Snapdragon 615 octacore SoC (4 Cortex A53 cores at 1.7GHz and the other 4 at 1.1GHz each), the Indian version of the J7 comes with the company's own octacore Exynos 7580. The international variants of J7 would come with a Snapdragon 615 though.
The SD615 had been in the news for all wrong reasons of late and the Mi4i had a lot to contribute to the fact. The devices heated up like anything but the company had solved the issues marginally since the last few updates. But I wouldn't recommend you to go with the Mi4i if you are looking for high performance. Go with the Samsung J7 as it will be more reliable. Despite curbing the heating issues the SD615 chipset falls prey to excessive throttling, thereby lowering the performance after a half an hour of heavy usage.
But if multitasking is your priority then I would recommend you against the J7. It features a meagre 1.5GB RAM in contrast to the 2GB present in the Mi4i. The reason I mention meagre here because the Samsung TouchWiz is a RAM hungry UI by itself! Don't expect anything more than 700GB of free RAM on the J7. Mi4 usually delivers something round 900-1GB.
Let's make this decision easy for you. Are you a ‘Selfie' focused person? If so close your eyes and grab the Samsung J7! It features a 5MP front facing camera with a 120 degree wide angle lens. But do remember it has a LED flash - this is where it beats the Mi4i 5MP front snapper hands down.
Coming to the back camera, the Mi4i holds its own here. It features a 13MP f2.0 unit with a 5 element lens. The sensor used here is none other than IMX214 (found in the popular flagships like the Mi4, One Plus One, Oppo Find 7). On the other hand J7 uses a Samsung made sensor. Both devices can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps.
I am personally not fond of the TouchWiz UI and I feel many of you out there would share my views. It hogs up the RAM without providing much a functionality. Plus one gets a number of added bloatware.
The MIUI 6 on the Mi4 though is very much customisable and utilitarian. It comes with a number of useful features that most ROMs generally don't offer as of now.
Both the devices runs on Android Lollipop 5.0.1 out of the box. Futures updates are also a possibility.
The batteries on both the devices are a close match. While the Mi4i features a 3120mah battery, the J7 carries a 3000mah unit. Personally I feel that both the device would deliver a nearly same battery life and the extra 120mah won't make a difference. You may ask me why though! It's because that SD615 still heats up (better than before though) like anything and results in hogging down the battery life. The Exynos on the other hand has a cooler hierarchy.
In one line - ‘Samsung J7 is a spirted attempt to match up with its Chinese counterparts, but it is still not up to the mark'. The Samsung J7 do bring something new to the table though- especially the front LED flash and the Exynos 7580.