The latest Samsung smartphone to enter the Indian market is the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max. Touted as a budget smartphone, this one is priced at just Rs. 17900 and is promoted as a Make in India phone.
The device landed in our office on the day of its launch and since then we have been putting it through extensive stress and testing to see if the Galaxy J7 Max is worth the money.
So let's see how the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max fares for a budget device.
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The design of the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max can be compared, at best, with the Galaxy J7 Prime, without the width. The Galaxy J7 Max sports a 5.7-inch glass and metal look with a one-piece all-metal design. You will not find any visible antenna lines on the back or edge of the phone. But if you ask me, the square corners end up giving the phone a normal look.
Speaking of design, you'll find the power button on the right with the speaker grills slightly higher up. Volume controls are on the left edge along with the hybrid SIM tray and a separate memory card slot. This is a welcome feature as in most phones, even premium ones, one can use both SIM slots or one SIM and one memory card.
Moving on, the fingerprint sensor and home button is a physical button, a typical Samsung design. It's flanked on both sides by the hardware capacitive navigation button. Buttons are tactile at their best, and responsiveness is excellent.
The micro-USB charging port is at the bottom flanked on one side by the 3.5mm headphone jack. Since the world is moving towards USB Type-C charging ports, it would have been great if the same was included in the Galaxy J7 Max as well.
On the rear, you'll find the main camera and an LED-based Smart Glow surrounding the camera and single-tone LED flash next to it. Speaking of flash, the front camera is also accompanied by a single-tone flash, giving the front end a perfectly organized look.
However, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max is not protected by Gorilla Glass, so you may want to get a tough outer shell or tempered glass to protect it from accidental drops and falls. Although it's only a few millimeters thicker than the Galaxy C7 Pro, one-handed mode is slightly less accessible due to its 78.8mm width.
Overall, in terms of design, the Galaxy J7 Max looks average and there are no specific features that set it apart from other budget J-series devices.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 packs in a 5.7-inch FHD TFT display. Although it doesn't have Samsung's famous AMOLED display, that doesn't stop the Galaxy J7 Max from producing a crisp, sharp and vivid display. Even the bezels are minimal, giving it a streamlined look.
If you were to compare the screen to an AMOLED phone, the J7 Max is only slightly less bright. However, it is in strong or bright sunlight that the screen takes a hit. At full brightness (in the sun), I found it a bit difficult to navigate the phone.
hardware and performance
Talking about the hardware, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max is powered by a MediaTek octa-core processor running at 1.6GHz. It includes 4GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage expandable via a microSD card up to 256GB.
On the AnTuTu benchmark tool, it managed to record a score of44103, almost a score close to the Redmi 4 priced at just Rs. 8999.
More on the hardware side, we have the home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The sensor has a decent response time and is responsive to touch. And the same can be said for the touchscreen, it feels smooth to the touch and isn't too slippery.
Speaking of performance, I have yet to encounter any jitters or lag and it has managed to perform all tasks with ease. Even when the Galaxy J7 Max was put to the testintense GT Gaming review, we did not find any unnatural heating or stagnation.
The only place we found noticeable lag was in Asphalt 8, on the highest graphics settings.
This is not the first time a lag has been found on a MediaTek device, as Asphalt is known to have optimization issues with the chipset.
As for the software, we have the latest version of Android on the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max: Android Nougat. With the influx of Android Marshmallow on most budget devices this year, this move is more than welcome.
Like most Samsung devices, we have the in-house Samsung TouchWiz that runs on top of Android.
Some notable features on the Galaxy J7 Max are Samsung Secure Folders, Dual Messenger apps, and Samsung Pay Mini.
Samsung Pay Mini is a reduced function of Samsung Pay. It won't let you add your credit and debit cards, but it will act as an all-in-one platform from where you can make UPI payments and e-wallets.
Finally, on the security front, the Galaxy J7 Max is protected by Samsung's own Knox, which provides chip-level encryption. In addition, the security patches are also the latest: May 2017.
The Galaxy J7 Max camera is touted as the first in the industry for its social camera and AR technology. As for the specifications, the main camera is a 13-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/1.7, while the selfie camera is also a 13-megapixel camera with an aperture of f/1.9. There are very few smartphone cameras in the budget spectrum with this incredible aperture value.
Good news for selfie lovers, as both cameras are accompanied by a single tone flash. So, no more dark selfies.
This low aperture value plays a huge role in producing great images with excellent detail and color reproduction. But then, the camera is ultra-sensitive and even the slightest amount of movement can result in blurry images. Here are some photos that were taken with the Samsung J7 Max.
Moving on to video, the J7 Max camera can record FHD videos at 30FPS. However, since it lacks EIS and OIS stabilization, videos come out a bit shaky. Therefore, you may want to use a tripod in case you don't have a steady hand to shoot video.
All in all, the camera of the J7 Max will generate beautiful images only if you are careful with it. Also, you get the cool feature of sharing images to social networks or your contacts by clicking on them. Also, there is an amazing set of stickers to spice up your selfies.
For a more detailed review of the camera, check out our video on it,
The battery is one of the engines of any smartphone. A phone with great features can be ruined by poor battery life, take the OnePlus 3/3T for example.
The Galaxy J7 Max is powered by a 3,300 mAh non-removable battery built to last a full day and more for casual use or a full day for heavy use.
Built-in battery optimization plays an important role in maximizing battery life on the J7 Max. Overall, it offers incredible battery life and I was quite impressed with its performance. The screenshots above should be true to my statement.
If you see the screenshot above, it easily lasted a day and still has 35% of its energy left. In this entire duration, I had YouTube on for a full hour which was attributed to only a 12% drop in battery.
The trick to this incredible battery performance is in the form of charging. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max does not support Quick Charge or Fast Charge. So you will have to spend about 2.5-3 hours to charge it to its full capacity.
But given the good battery life, I'd say everyone wins.
See also: Here are all the Qi compatible devices and a fast wireless charger
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max is a decent phone with great battery life, a new software version, and an HD camera with a great set of features. And if you were to take a look at the screen, it's not too bad either. It's the design that's a bit too common.
But for a phone priced at Rs. 17900, it is a bit pricey given the strong competition in the Indian market with the influx of Oppo, Vivo and the refurbished Nokia 6 in the same price range.
If you can look past the design, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max is a decent entry, but hey, don't forget to mount some protective armor.
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