Samsung Galaxy J7 Core Review: Just Right

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The Galaxy J7 Core is Samsung’s latest offer for the budget segment. For a little less than PhP10,000, you get an octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, and a 3,000mAh battery.

Of course, there are other devices that look better on paper and cost the same, or even less. So I wondered, does the J7 Core have other tricks inside the hat? and moreover, is it even worth that much? let’s find out in this review.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Core Specs:

  • 1.6GHz 14nm Exynos 7870 Octa-Core Processor
  • 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB)
  • 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED Display
  • 13MP Rear Camera
  • 5MP Front Camera
  • Dual SIM, 4G/LTE
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Colors: Black, Gold

Design and Build Quality

The overall look of this device reminds me of the good old Note 3, only smaller. The back panel is made of a rubbery material which not only makes it look more premium, but also makes it easy to grip.

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Apart from that, the J7 Core is mostly what you would expect from a Samsung device at this price point. Thick bezels, non-illuminated buttons, a standard microUSB port,

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Removing the back panel gives you access to the SIM card and microSD card slots, along with the removable battery. Something you don’t really often see on these days. And while it does give you the privilege of bringing a spare battery, it kind of takes away the premium feel, plus, there are devices called power banks.

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The J7 Core sports a 5.5-inch display. And while the HD resolution may irk some folks off, having it means less strain on the battery, which means more up time. You still get the vibrancy that Super AMOLED displays are known for, and visibility under direct sunlight is quite good too.


Casual users will find the phone, more than enough as a daily driver. While those who are into resource-heavy apps and multi-tasking may feel unsatisfied, especially since it only has 2GB of RAM. A gigabyte more would’ve made it better.

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But surprisingly, the J7 Core is able to handle  NBA2K17 in a mix of ultra low and low settings. There’s some lag during cutscenes, but the gameplay itself is actually quite smooth.

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As far as Mobile Legends is concerned, the experience is quite decent. It’s not the buttery smooth as you’d expect, but it’s more than enough to keep you engaged in the game. The graphics quality is in fact, quite good.


The 13MP rear camera is surprisingly capable. In good lighting, it yields photos with good clarity and details, such as the lines on the leaves of a plant, or even the markings on a piece of wood. The background can be a bit too grainy at times, but that’s only a minor issue, and doesn’t affect the overall quality.

Sadly the 5MP front camera isn’t as capable. While selfies came out bright and sharp, the amount of detail captured is only decent at best.


The J7 Core comes with Samsung Experience UI on top of Android 7.0 Nougat, which can be found in the J7 Pro, and the flagship Note 8. The new look leans toward being minimal but remains at its core of being colorful and lively. It also runs buttery smooth, with no signs of stutter or lag when navigating the interface.

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The new software offers a number of notable features, such as Game Tools, which let you record gameplay, take screenshots, lock the navigation buttons, and prevent notifications when gaming. Pretty handy to keep yourself from being distracted. Just don’t forget to check your notifications when you’re done.

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There’s also Multi-Window, which lets you run two apps side by side. Very handy if like me, you like to watch a YouTube video of your favorite song while browsing your gallery for memories, I mean pictures.


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If there’s an area where this phone really excels, it’s here. You get more than 11 hours of uptime on a single charge, which means you get at the very least, a whole day’s worth of light to moderate use with no worries of having to bring out that charger.


Despite its unimpressive spec sheet, the Galaxy J7 Core is actually quite a capable device. You get decent gaming performance, a capable rear camera, and outstanding battery life. You also get Nougat out of the box.

Yes. There are things that could’ve made it a better device overall, such as more RAM, or another processor. The speaker also falls short in terms of volume.

Despite all of that, I’d say the PhP9,990 price tag is just right, for what you’re getting. If you’re a heavy multi-tasker, you should be moving up to the mid-range segment anyway.

The Good

  • Decent Gaming Performance
  • Rear Camera Performance
  • Outstanding Battery Life
  • Well-Optimized Software
  • Removable Battery

The Not So Good

  • Front Camera Performance
  • Only 2GB of RAM
  • HD Display

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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