Samsung Galaxy A7 versus Apple and Xiaomi
Internationally, Samsung is quickly losing ground in the phone market as opposed to the US market. Thanks to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung have sold 40% fewer Galaxy S5 phones than it was expected since they unveiled the device the year before. As such, they designed the Galaxy A7 specifically to make up for this loss by stressing on the metal framework and other style factors which the Galaxy S series did not have.
Considerably thinner than any Galaxy S phones, A7 has 6.3mm thickness, very close to that of the iPhone 6. The dual SIM version offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor with eight 64-bit CPU cores (Cortex-A53), running at 1.5GHz and 1.0GHz. It also has an Adreno 405 GPU.
However, there is quite a difference between the device intended for the Western market and the Eastern one. The Western version will come equiped with the higher-end Exynos 5430 (an ARM Mali-T628) with a 32-bit Cortex-A15 or Cortex A7 CPU clocked at 1.8GHz and 1.3GHz respectively. The Eastern (Asia-Pacific) market will only see a Galaxy A7 equipped with 32-bit exclusively which leaves hope of a future 64-bit support upgrade. Theoretically, both phone versions should be able to use all eight cores simultaneously if Samsung allows this.
Besides the 5.5-inch sAMOLED display and 2GB of RAM, the phone offers a 13 megapixel camera (5 megapixel front camera) and a Private Mode similar to Windows Metro.
Is the A7 good enough to challange Xiaomi as well?
Compared to the iPhone 6 (which already comes with 64-bit support, better CPU core and higher resolution display), Galaxy A7 challenges the iOS device strictly on an aesthetic level seen as how Samsung has other devices which can compete with the iPhone on a performance level.
Compared to Xiaomi however, things change significantly and not for the better either. The company’s latest Mi 4 is a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 phone which comes equipped with a stainless steel frame, 3GB of RAM, a 3080 mAH battery and infrared transmitter. Even its 8 megapixel front camera is superior to that of the A7’s. It’s also cheaper than the A7 with its $320 versus the estimated $600.
Essentially, Samsung is overflowing the phone market with devices which have lower screen resolutions, weaker cameras, 32-bit CPUs which might or might not be upgradable to 64, less CPU power, smaller batteries but with loads of software tricks and sleek-looking metal framing. None of these features are enough to make the Galaxy A7 even better than other Samsung phones. While Samsung promised to increase their phone sales this year up to a third, all they have done up to this point is introduce weaker and weaker variations often with worse specs of the same product or products.
Another annoyance is the 16GB internal storage. In this day and age where the new camera (both video and picture) standard is 1080p (or even higher) and the phone’s own operating systems takes up to five gigs of space, this 16GB minimum internal storage becomes relevant only to those who haven’t had this much storage to begin with.