Samsung is doing well in the Indian smartphone market, but it’s coming under increasing pressure from the likes of Xiaomi. In the third quarter of 2017, Xiaomi tied Samsung for first place in the Indian smartphone market with 23.5 percent market share, according to IDC. That’s one reason why Samsung announced last week it would launch a phone in India: The Galaxy On7 Prime. And at an event on Wednesday, the company formally announced the phone for India.
The Galaxy On7 Prime broke cover on Samsung’s UAE website a few weeks back, but the variant launched in India is a bit different. It has a 13MP front camera (the model sold in the UAE has an 8MP front camera), a new icon for the recent apps menu, and a new visual search feature called Samsung Mall.
Samsung Mall is similar to Bixby Vision on Samsung’s flagship devices. It lets users take a photo of a product (or use a photo in their gallery) and compare prices for that product across multiple shopping sites using the “All-in-one Shopping” tab. Users can then purchase the product via Samsung Mall’s “Universal Cart” feature, which allows them to add and review products from different sites in a single cart.
Samsung says that Samsung Mall will come to more phones in the future.
The Galaxy On7 Prime is a mid-range handset with a metal body and plastic highlights on the top and bottom. It measures 151.7 x 75 x 8mm and weighs 167 grams, and has a 1.6GHz octa-core Exynos 7870 system-on-chip consisting of eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores paired with the Mali-T830MP1 GPU. (Unfortunately, the device doesn’t use the newer Exynos 7872 SoC, which is substantially faster.) In India, it’ll come with 3GB/4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of storage. There’s a microSD card slot on both models that support up to 256GB expandable storage.
The Galaxy On7 Prime has a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) PLS TFT display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 401 PPI. In terms of cameras, it’s got a 13MP rear camera with a f/1.9 aperture and a 13MP front camera that uses the same sensor as the rear camera but without autofocus.
The Galaxy On7 Prime has a 3,300mAh battery, and ships with Samsung Experience 8.5 on top of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It has the standard array of connectivity options, including 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.1, a microUSB port, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. And there’s a fingerprint sensor on the front integrated into the home button. (It’s disappointing to note the absence of USB Type-C and Wi-Fi 802.11ac.)
In India, the Galaxy On7 Prime will be available in Gold and Black colors. It’ll cost Rs. 12,990 ($203) for the 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant, and Rs. 14,990 ($235) for the 4GB RAM/64GB storage variant. Both will be available exclusively from Amazon India and the Samsung Shop, and go on sale from January 20. Launch offers include 10 percent cash back on HDFC Bank debit and credit cards and EMI, Rs. 2,000 ($31) cashback for JioMoney users, and an Amazon Pay value offer.
Our view: With the exception of the front camera, the specifications of the Galaxy On7 Prime are quite similar to the Galaxy J7 Prime, which was launched back in September 2016. The Galaxy On7 Prime has a 13MP front camera while the J7 Prime has an 8MP front camera. The On7 Prime has newer software, includes Samsung Mall, and has a new icon for the recent apps button, but everything else is pretty much the same as the J7 Prime, including the dimensions.
The Galaxy On7 Prime is an online exclusive, whereas the J7 Prime was available in offline retail. However, it seems a bit disingenuous of Samsung to call it an entirely new smartphone. For the most part, it’s the Galaxy J7 Prime with a new front camera and upgraded software. It can’t compete on the basis of specifications with devices from the likes of Xiaomi, Honor, and Motorola. Performance-wise, the Galaxy On7 Prime is inferior when compared to its rivals, as other phones have moved to faster system-on-chips.
For devoted Samsung fans, the Galaxy On7 Prime might seem appealing. But one thing’s certain: Samsung still has a way to go before it catches up with the likes of China-based brands in the budget phone market.
Source: Amazon India
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