First – let us unpack the set. The white, simple box hides a rather typical set of accessories. Under the tray with the phone we have papers, needle for opening the cards’ tray, USB cable, charger and earphones. They are simple, not too comfortable, they have an average sound – but let us say that better those than none.
It is a comfort that Galaxy A7 has a minijack and we can easily replace those earphones with others. The charger is slightly disappointing. This is a typical one, and the cable is finished with a microUSB socket.
Fortunately the phone itself is much more pleasing. It lies in hands comfortably, it is light and it does not have a tendency for slipping out of hand and sliding on flat surfaces, though it is finished with a high polish. What is important is that its smooth surfaces do not catch dirt easily – though it can catch some smudges, both at the back and at the front. Unfortunately it is not waterproof.
The housing has a “sandwich” construction – two 2.5D glass panels are connected with an aluminium frame. The body is stiff and the housing looks solid. I have been using the phone for over a month and it still looks like a new one. On the back wall there are no micro scratches, the camera cover – though it stands above the housing a bit – looks perfect as well. Just like the front glass. The only flaw that I see is a damaged lacquer on the side next to the cards’ tray. It is possible that it was my fault – I exchange cards a lot.
In the age of displays covering almost the whole front panel, the one in Galaxy A7 can slightly disappoint. The display has rather wide bezels, the one at the bottom is the most bothersome, because it is empty – system buttons are shown on the display. The upper frame has a similar width, but here we can find a speaker, sensors, the front camera and its LED flash – so we can accept it, especially that there is no controversial notch.
I must commend the slot for cards placed on the left side. The tray is solid, and cards placed in them slightly snap, thanks to which they will not fall out when being placed, which makes it very convenient. What is more, the slot has three places, so we can use two nanoSIM cards and enhance the memory at the same time.
The speaker went on the lower wall and it has a rather narrow cavity, which I managed to cover with my finger when gaming or while watching movies. It is a pity because the speaker itself is nice and it sounds rather clear.
Volume buttons went on the right edge and in my opinion they are placed slightly too high. I had no problems with using them, but those with smaller hands can have troubles. Under it we can find a perfectly placed fingerprint scanner. It lies in a small cavity around the middle of the right side of the phone – which is where we can normally find the power button.
The scanner is an active one, so we do not need to press it in order to wake the phone – we just need to place our finger. The surface of the sensor is big and it is easy to use it without looking at it. The sensor works rather fast and ably, but I have noticed that it is susceptible to dirt. When I was using it often its accuracy fell rather fast – wiping the plate helps. The sensor – besides its basic function, can secure access to selected apps and can be used as a touchpad for quickly sliding down the notifications bar.
Facial recognition using the front camera can be an alternative security measurement. It works slightly slower than the scanner, but it is usually efficient. Unfortunately, it works worse in the dark, though usually we just need to light our face with the display for it to work.