Xbox boss Phil Spencer claims the PS4 Pro is not Xbox One X competition
Rather, he believes the PS4 Pro should be compared to the Xbox One S
He also admitted the company could do better with getting exclusive games
The Xbox One X aka Xbox Scorpio was revealed at E3 2017 by Microsoft. With most of the event focussing on what the company claims is the world’s most powerful console ever, it has now gone on the offensive, taking shots at the PS4 Pro from Sony.
“I look at [PS4] Pro as more of a competitor to [Xbox One] S than I do to Xbox One X,” claims Spencer in an interview with Eurogamer. “This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there.” Spencer mentions 40 percent more GPU speed, more RAM, and the speed of storage as the advantages of the Xbox One X over the PS4 Pro, but he also berates Sony’s methods for getting to 4K resolutions with some of its games. “When I think about techniques to somehow manufacture a 4K screen like what some other consoles try to do, this is different than that.” Spencer also says he expects the majority of consoles that Microsoft sells next year will be Xbox One S.
nd while he might be right in terms of specifications, despite lacking VR support, Microsoft has truly dropped the ball on its games. Barring Forza Motorsport 7, there were no big AAA games from the company to prop up the Xbox One X at launch. Spencer admitted that this is a concern.
“I do think we have an opportunity to get better in first-party and to grow,” he said. “We’ve got great support from the company to go do that.”
Much like the PS4 Pro and PS4, the Xbox One X shares the same library of games as the Xbox One and Xbox One S, while Sony has belted out a wealth of great PS4 and PS4 Pro exclusives along with support from third-party developers, optimising for the PS4 Pro hasn’t exactly been a priority for most game makers what with the likes of Prey and Injustice 2 offering incremental upgrades at best. If the Xbox One X gets support outside of its launch window remains to be seen.
Our review of HP’s Spectre x2 12.3-inch 2-in-1 tablet begins with a simple question: Can HP continue its tradition of being an elegant, yet durable alternative to Microsoft’s Surface Pro flagship?
The answer is Yes. HP took the best bits from its Elite x2 tablet and the first-generation Spectre x2 tablet (2015), then updated the new Spectre x2 with the latest Kaby Lake chips. The Spectre x2 gives you more features for the money than the Surface Pro: Our $1,300 review unit included both the keyboard and the stylus right in the box (hear that, Microsoft?). It’s a shame this solid value is let down by middling battery life and a pesky fan.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Specs: Kaby Lake and an outstanding display
Kickstand, pen loop anchor the productivity
Performance: Marred by mediocre battery life
Conclusion: Good value despite a few flaws
Specs: Kaby Lake and an outstanding display
HP will offer one $1,300 retail version of the Spectre x2 (the one we tested):
Model name: Spectre x2 12-c012dx
CPU: Core i7-7560U
RAM: 8GB LPDDR-1600
SSD: 360GB PCIe NVMe
Four more SKUs will be available via HP.com:
An entry-level Core i5 version for $1,150:
Model name: Spectre x2 12t
CPU: Core i5-7260U
RAM: 8GB LPDDR-1600
SSD: 128GB PCIe NVMe
An entry-level Core i7 version for $1,230:
Model name: Spectre x2 12-c052nr
CPU: Core i7-7560U
RAM: 8GB LPDDR-1600
SSD: 256GB PCIe NVMe
Two higher-end Core i7 versions have these starting configurations and can be upgraded. This one starts at $1,670:
Huawei has finally launched the Honor 8 Pro in India, almost three months after its international launch. The phone is priced at INR 29,999 and will be available exclusively on Amazon India.
The Honor 8 Pro has a 5.7-inch QHD display, HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB expandable storage, dual 12 megapixel rear cameras, 8 megapixel front camera, 4000mAh battery, and Android 7.0 with EMUI 5.1. The phone also comes inside a packaging that turns into a VR headset.
The phone will be available through an open sale on July 13, 12:00 AM. For Amazon Prime customers, the phone will be available starting July 10 at 6:00PM. There will also be offers on launch, including 0% EMI, 15% cashback for HDFC card holders, and 45GB 4G data from Vodafone for 5 months.
Reliance Jio’s feature phone could be announced on July 21
The Nokia 5 is now open for pre-bookings ahead of the actual sale
Honor 8 Pro launched to take on OnePlus 5 and others
If you need a quick recap of the tech news from this week, then you’ve come to the right place. One of the top highlights from this week as the news that Reliance Jio’s long-rumoured feature phone could be unveiled soon, priced at just Rs. 500. The 4G VoLTE capable Jio feature phone might be announced on July 21, but go on sale only on August 15, alongside a special tariff plan. According to reports, the feature phone will still support Jio apps, such as MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, and JioMusic. Reportedly, Jio will also be launching a broadband service at the same time, under the name JioFiber.
While all that is still rumoured, what is official is a new offer for the JioFi Wi-Fi hotspot. Now that the Jio Summer Surprise and Dhan Dhana Dhan offer benefits are coming towards an end, this will be the best way to get the most bang for your buck on Jio. The new offer provides customers with up to 224GB data on purchasing a new JioFi device and a new Jio SIM card. The Rs. 99 cost of Jio Prime membership is included in the cost of the JioFi device, and consumers will only have to buy one of the Jio plans on which the offer is provided. You can get a 2GB Jio plan for Rs. 149, or pay Rs. 309 for 1GB per day Rs. 509 for 2GB per day.
There were a couple of other great offers from Jio rivals as well. Airtel’s Monsoon Surprise Offer for postpaid users went live. It gives Airtel subscribers up to 30GB of 4G data for three billing cycles. To avail the offer, you need the My Airtel app, and you can claim the additional data as a free add-on to your recharges. On the other hand, BSNL is now offering up to 8X data for postpaid users. With refreshed postpaid plans, BSNL now offers 1GB data at Rs. 225, compared to 200MB data earlier. Other BSNL plans have been similarly boosted as well.
The Nokia 3 become available online in India last week, and now the pre-bookings have begun for the Nokia 5. Unfortunately, it’s still unclear when it will actually be available to customers. The Nokia 5 was launched at a price of Rs. 12,899 for the offline market in India. Sporting a 5.2-inch HD display, the phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC, and 2GB RAM, along with 16GB in-built storage. Like the Nokia 3, the Nokia 5 is also an offline-exclusive phone.
We also got to learn a bit more about the upcoming Nokia Android lineup. According to a report, the Nokia 8 will be the brand’s 2017 flagship, and not the Nokia 9. The latter phone might instead be launched later instead.
We also saw a number of launches this week. One of the bigger ones was the Samsung Galaxy On Max, with 4GB RAM and a front flash. Priced at Rs. 16,900, the phone will be sold via Flipkart, and aside from the 4GB RAM, it’s got a 5.7-inch full-HD display, with an octa-core processor and 32GB of inbuilt storage. The Samsung Galaxy On Max comes with 13-megapixel sensors for the front and back cameras, with single-click image sharing options.
Another launch was the Nubia M2, with rear dual-cameras. Sold via Amazon India, the phone is priced at Rs. 22,999 and aside from the dual rear camera, packs 4GB RAM and a Snapdragon 625 SoC. Both rear cameras have a 13-megapixel sensor, and there’s a 16-megapixel front camera. The phone comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage.
The Honor 8 Pro was launched in India this week and will be sold exclusively via Amazon India. The phone is priced at Rs. 29,999, and goes on sale next week. It comes with a dual camera setup, a massive 4000mAh battery, and an impressive 6GB of RAM. The Honor 8 Pro comes with 128GB of inbuilt storage, and a 1.8GHz octa-core processor. It will go head to head against the OnePlus 5.
The Asus ZenFone 4 Max was launched in Russia this week, where its price starts at RUB 13,900 (roughly Rs. 15,000) for the Snapdragon 425 variant. There is also a Snapdragon 430 variant, whose price was not revealed. The phone otherwise has a dual-rear camera setup, and a 5000mAh battery that can also be used as a power bank for other phones.
Vivo also launched the Vivo X9s and Vivo X9s Plus, priced at CNY 2,698 (roughly Rs. 25,600) and CNY 2,998 (roughly Rs. 28,500), respectively. The two phones have the same specs, but the Vivo X9s is 5.5-inches, while the Plus is 5.85-inches; as a result, it also has a bigger battery, at 4015mAh as compared to 3320mAh. Both phones have a 1.44GHz octa-core, along with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a dual camera setup on the front.
Another interesting development this week was news that Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing service, is eyeing international expansion. Sources told Gadgets 360 that Ola plans to enter Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. There’s no fixed timeline for the rollout, but Ola is apparently looking to add support for international locations to its app.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s long-underway White Space project appears to have hit a roadblock. Earlier this year, the company piloted the project in Harisal, a small village in Maharashtra, crippled with several infrastructural issues such as power cuts that stretch over 10 hours a day. Months later, Microsoft quietly stopped the project in Harisal after its temporary license to run pilots expired and the government refused to renew the spectrum band for commercial deployment.
Speaking of Microsoft, the company announced that Skype Lite has now gotten Aadhaar integration, allowing users to verify identity on video calls. The company had launched Skype Lite in February, and on Wednesday added Aadhaar integration to the app with the latest update.
A leak this week also gave us a look at the upcoming Moto X4. While Moto X4 was already expected to feature a dual camera setup, it can also be seen sporting a curved screen in the freshly leaked render.
If you’re looking for a deal, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ 128GB variant just saw a price cut of Rs. 4,000, just a month after the phone launched in India. At Rs. 70,900, it’s still far from a cheap phone though, and it’s not clear if this is a temporary drop or a permanent price cut.
Xiaomi meanwhile announced that its just seen a record quarter with shipments of 23.16 million units. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun confirmed that the company saw a 70 percent increase from the previous quarter. He also noted that the India revenue in the first half of the year is up 328 percent year-on-year.
In the wake of LeEco’s continuing financial troubles the company’s founder has resigned as chairman. He earlier resigned as CEO in May. The announcement came after Jia on social media promised to repay debt and reaffirmed LeEco’s electric car commitment.
m in productivity hell. For the past week, I’ve been using Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 to read Twitter, correspond on Slack, and write articles for this website. The Tab S3 is capable of doing all these things — in some cases, it’s even capable of doing them quite well — but it’s not capable of doing them anywhere near as well as a proper laptop. And in the week I’ve had it, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why I’d use this tablet as a portable work device instead of a cheaper, more functional computer like a Chromebook.
The Tab S3 is a direct shot from Samsung at Apple’s latest iPad Pro. On description alone, the two match up beat for beat: they have 9.7-inch, high-resolution displays (both 2048 x 1536), nearly top-of-the-line processors, 32GB of internal storage, fingerprint sensors, four speakers, measure 0.24 inches deep at their thickest, weigh just shy of one pound, sell for $599, and support both a stylus and keyboard case.
That means that, like the iPad Pro, the Tab S3 is pitched as more than just a tablet. It’s good for laying in bed and watching Netflix, of course, but it’s also supposed to be great for bringing to the coffee shop, propping up on a tray table, or firing off a quick email while you’re on the go. That’s a much more challenging task. And it’s one that, combined with the full $730 asking price for this tablet and its keyboard case (sold separately), Samsung has a fairly challenging bar to meet.
But first, let’s talk about the Tab S3 as merely a tablet, because that’s where it shines the most. On hardware alone, this is a really nice device. It’s thin and light. The back has a seamless design that looks like some futuristic sheet of paper. And while the front is plain, it’s the AMOLED display at the center of this thing that you’re here for: it’s sharp, vibrant, and gets bright enough to hurt.
I’ve found the tablet’s performance to be quite good, too. The Tab S3 was able to run casual games like Candy Crush Saga and Subway Surfers without issue, and I was able to pull up two apps at once without seeing either start to lag (though there are other problems with multitasking, which I’ll get to later). I’ve only had the tablet for a week, and performance may deteriorate with time. But I’m not seeing any immediate cause for concern, and the tablet’s relatively modern specs should keep it running smoothly for a while.
Some miscellaneous nitpicks while I have you here: the tablet’s volume rocker doesn’t adapt to landscape mode, so pressing the right side of the volume key lowers the volume, even though the tablet’s visuals indicate that higher volume should be to the right. The tablet also vibrates very loudly, and its default notification sound is a prolonged jazz medley, which… what on Earth!?
One of the Tab S3’s weaker points is its cameras. Both the front and rear cameras on the Tab S3 are a functional but muddy mess — pretty much every photo I’ve taken looks like it’s been softened and smudged. It’s kind of surprising given how nice some of Samsung’s recent smartphone cameras have been. These’ll do for video chatting, but that’s it.
The bigger disappointment for me was the tablet’s four speakers. The speakers are located on the top and bottom of the tablet, so when you position it in landscape to watch a YouTube video or a movie on Netflix, all the audio gets blasted way out to the left and right of you. In some cases, this creates a really exaggerated stereo effect, where it can sound like people are only talking out of one side of the tablet, and in the worst cases, well off to the side of where they ought to be.
The speakers get plenty loud, and the issue isn’t always that noticeable — during a fight sequence in Captain America: Civil War, the effect almost came off as immersive — but films’ quieter sequences and, really, most YouTube clips I’ve watched have been kind of annoying to listen to. The fact that the speakers are directed to the side of you is clearly part of the reason this is happening, but I also suspect that Samsung is being too aggressive in the way it splits up audio channels, resulting in sounds that should be coming from a center channel ending up shifted way off to the side.
One of Samsung’s big differentiators for years now has been its styluses. A stylus is included in the box with the Tab S3 (which is notable, since Apple’s Pencil costs an extra $99), though you’ll need to buy a case to find a place to store it — unlike the Note line, there’s no slot to slip this S Pen into when you’re not using it. But, fair enough. This is a full-size stylus and not one of those short, skinny ones that comes with Samsung’s Chromebooks and phones.
The stylus is one of the best things the Tab S3 has going for it. I’m not usually a huge fan of them, but Samsung has integrated the S Pen into Android enough that it feels like a natural extension of the tablet, rather than some grafted-on poking device. You can use the S Pen just for navigating around the operating system and tapping through apps — which is nicer than it sounds, especially when you have the tablet propped up in Samsung’s keyboard case. Or you can use it for drawing and note taking.
I’m not much of an illustrator, so I can’t say how well the S Pen works for drawing (my guess is: fine for sketching, not so good for anything detailed), but it’s great for jotting down notes and making goofy doodles to send people. Samsung has some fun and useful features built in to help with this, including an option to mark up screenshots, automatically pull people or objects out of images, and create GIFs by dragging a box over a video that’s playing.
Samsung has been doing styluses long enough to really nail the correct feeling when using one. The S Pen’s tip has the perfect balance between gripping the tablet’s screen when you want to touch something and gliding over it when you want to write. It makes note taking far more pleasant than on other tablets — though, a word of warning, it only goes so far to improve already-illegible handwriting like my own.
The Tab S3’s keyboard case sells for an extra $129.99, but you’re really not getting the full experience of this tablet without it. The case makes the tablet a little more heavy and a lot more ugly, and it picked up smudges quickly; but it works well as a case, a pen holster, and a stand for the tablet.
As far as the actual keyboard goes, I’m not as much of a fan. While I’ve been able to type this entire review on the Tab S3’s keyboard case, I have to tell you that my hands are feeling a little cramped and uncomfortable at this point. This is only a 9.7-inch device, after all, and it can’t fit the kind of keyboard we expect from a 13-inch laptop.
It’s too bad. Samsung made a mostly good keyboard here, but it’s largely held back by its size. The keys have great travel and are easy to type on — they make a nice, soft clicky sound, too, which I see as a bonus — and after several days of use, I don’t even make all that many typos. But the keys are just too close together to be comfortable unless you have particularly small hands. And honestly, it’s starting to hurt.
Samsung doesn’t do itself any favors with some strange key and shortcut placements, either. There’s a search key right next to the Control key, which has made me accidentally call up Now on Tap every other time I try to italicize something. And for some reason, you can’t hold Shift at the same time that you press the space bar, which it turns out is a thing I do pretty often. Samsung seems to have mapped this to be a shortcut for switching languages, which is frustrating, since the keyboard also has a dedicated language key.
Samsung’s keyboard case would be perfectly fine for limited use: writing an email, responding to tweets, filling out a spreadsheet. But all of those things can be done just fine with an on-screen keyboard, too. And I have to wonder, if you’re writing something longer, why you wouldn’t just switch to a laptop.
Because the real frustration of this tablet is just how close it gets to a “real” computing experience, and just how far away the gap still is. Even though Android still doesn’t have the tablet app selection that iOS does, I was able to run basically everything I needed to on the Tab S3, including work apps like Trello and Slack to more powerful sketching apps like Adobe Draw. I was able to keep up two apps at once. And I was able to research and publish articles to this website without major issue.
But unfortunately, multitasking is still far from elegant, and it’s what separates this device the most from a “real” computer. One issue I ran into immediately: even though Slack supports multitasking, the app only pulled in new messages when I was engaged with it; if I tapped on the other app I was running alongside it, Slack would sit idle and refuse to show new messages that were added to the conversation until I tapped on it. That made it impossible for me to write an article and keep up with our busy newsroom chats at the same time.
Other apps just don’t play nice with multitasking yet. Facebook’s app, for some reason, falls to pieces when you try to run it in split-screen. And others, like Instagram, Dark Sky, Snapchat, and Uber, don’t support landscape layout at all, let alone multitasking. (In fairness to those developers, Google hasn’t made Android’s initial setup screen work in landscape mode either, which makes for an unpleasant introduction to a new tablet.)
Even when split-screen works, it still feels clear that you’re trapped in something that’s not quite a computer. Basics like copy and paste are still designed for a keyboard and mouse more than a touchscreen and stylus — why do I still have to drag tiny little markers around each character I want to highlight instead of being able to drag the S Pen around something and have it magically carry over to another app? Samsung has some features that begin to get at this, but they don’t work with much consistency.
That all leaves the Tab S3 in a pretty awkward position. It’s a good tablet, but the iPad Pro is a slightly better one, particularly thanks to its app ecosystem. And while the Tab S3 is a decent little laptop replacement, it’s nearly twice the price of Chromebook — say, this one made by Samsung — that can do all the same things while being more comfortable to type on.
So that puts the Tab S3 in the same place that tablets have always been: stuck awkwardly in between. Good at a lot of things, but great at few.
If you want a tablet, this is a good one. But if the goal of making tablets more like laptops was to make them more useful, the Tab S3 doesn’t meaningfully get there. As the best tablets have always been, the Tab S3 is a good tablet and nothing more.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro, just like company’s other J-series phones, packs ‘Make for India’ features such as Ultra Data Saving (UDS) mode and S bike mode.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro will be available on Flipkart, starting May 29, 2017. The Galaxy J3 Pro is priced at Rs 7,990 and comes in three colour options – gold, black, and white. Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro, just like company’s other J-series phones, packs ‘Make for India’ features such as Ultra Data Saving (UDS) mode and S bike mode.
“The Galaxy J3 Pro delivers powerful performance, outstanding display and also packs in consumer centric features developed at our R&D centers in India. This launch will give Flipkart consumers the opportunity to buy ‘Galaxy J Series’ which is the largest selling range in India”, said Sandeep Singh Arora, Vice President, Online Business, Samsung India.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro features a 5-inch HD sAMOLED display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. The smartphone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. It is powered by a Quad-core Spreadtrum processor clocked at 1.5GHz. The Galaxy J3 Pro comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory (expandable up to 128GB via a miccroSD card).
Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro gets an 8MP rear camera with auto-focus, f/2.2 aperture and LED flash. The front camera is 5MP. The rear camera can shoot HD (1280×720) videos at 30fps. Other features include auto, beauty face, continuous shot, HDR, panorama, pro, selfie, sports, and sound & shot.
Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro supports Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, GPS, Glonass, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and Wi-Fi Direct Sensors on the device include Accelerometer, and Proximity sensor. The smartphone is backed by a 2,600mAh battery. Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro is a dual SIM device. It measures 142.3 x 71 x 7.9 mm, and weighs about 138 grams.
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Earlier this year, Samsung launched the Galaxy C9 Pro, company’s first smartphone with 6GB RAM, in India at Rs. 36,900. To recall, the smartphone was initially launched for China in October last year and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box. Now, the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro price in India has been slashed and customers can purchase the smartphone at Rs. 31,900 from Samsung’s own online store or from Flipkart in India.
While the South Korean company did not make an announcement on the price cut for the country, it has quietly shed Rs. 5,000 off from the official price for Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro from its official online store. Further, as we mentioned earlier, the smartphone is already available via Flipkart as well at the new price.
The dual-SIM (Nano+Nano) 4G-enabled Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro sports a 6-inch full HD (1080×1920) AMOLED display, and is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 SoC, with four cores clocked at 1.95GHz and the rest at 1.4GHz. In terms of optics, the Galaxy C9 Pro packs a 16-megapixel camera on both front and rear ends. The rear 16-megapixel camera comes with an aperture of f/1.9 and a dual-LED flash. The smartphone’s selfie camera too has the same aperture sans the flash module.
Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro comes with inbuilt storage of 64GB, which is expandable via a microSD card (up to 256GB). The smartphone has a fingerprint scanner mounted on its physical home button. The Galaxy C9 Pro packs a 4000mAh battery with fast charging support. Apart from 4G LTE, the connectivity options on the Galaxy C9 Pro include Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), GPS, Glonass, Beidou, NFC, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It measures 162.9×80.7×6.9mm and weighs 189 grams.
LG will unveil the two models on June 27 in its home market and could later announce them for International markets.
LG will launch two new G6 variants—a G6 Pro and a G6 Plus model by the end of this month, reported a South Korean news website etnews.com. According to the report, LG will unveil the two models on June 27 in its home market and could later announce them for International markets.
The two variants—G6 Pro and G6 Plus would mainly differ in their storage capacities. The G6 Plus model is said to offer 128GB of internal storage and feature wireless charging capabilities under a price tag of 1,000,000 Won (approx. Rs 57,000), while the G6 Pro model would feature less storage space at 32GB at a price of 790,000 Won (approx. Rs 45,000).
Additionally, the report says similar to the standard G6 model, the two will features a 5.7-inch Quad HD + full vision display with an aspect ratio of 18:9, is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, coupled with 4GB RAM.
However, an official announcement on the launch of two G6 variants is yet to be made by the company.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Max has been launched at Rs. 17,900
Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro price in India is Rs. 20,900
Both come with Samsung’s mobile payment solution
At an event in New Delhi on Wednesday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy J7 Max. The all-new J-series smartphones come with Samsung Pay and Samsung Pay Mini respectively, Samsung’s payment solution that has been missing from the range so far. Apart from mobile payment solution, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro also promise a premium design, features, specifications that can match flagship phones in some regards.
Samsung’s J-series of smartphones have been well received in India, and have been catering to a broad price range. Smartphones like Galaxy J3 Pro, Galaxy J1 (4G), and Galaxy J2 Pro have been targeted at sub-Rs. 10,000 segment while the Galaxy J7 Prime and Galaxy J5 (2016) have been focused on the Rs. 10,000- Rs. 20,000 segment. The new Galaxy J7 Max and the Galaxy J7 Pro are being marketed as the devices to cater to “mass-mid segment smartphone market”, which has lately seen fewer launches. At the New Delhi launch event, we got a chance to spend some time with the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro smartphones and here are our first impressions.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro design
The new J-series phones sport all-metal unibody design and are sleek. The big displays certainly mean that it won’t be easy to use the phones with just one hand, and we felt it during our limited time with the handsets. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro measure 8.1mm and 7.8mm respectively.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Max
The Galaxy J7 Max also comes with Smart Glow which is a squarish surrounding the rear camera at the back. The Smart Glow around the camera gives you alerts for notifications when they arrive.
For Galaxy J7 Pro, Samsung is promoting the flat back camera. We also liked the new “U” designed antenna bands on the Galaxy J7 Pro that definitely add to the visual appeal of the handset.
The new dual-SIM J-series phones also come with a dedicated slot for microSD card which could turn out to be a good addition at this price.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro specifications
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max features a 5.7-inch full-HD display and is powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 octa-core SoC clocked at 1.6GHz paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. The phone packs a 3300mAh non-removable battery and support 4G with VoLTE (with Cat. 4 download speed support).
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, on the other hand, features a 5.5-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display, and is powered by an Exynos 7870 octa-core SoC clocked at 1.6GHz paired with 3GB of RAM. It offers 64GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded using a microSD card (up to 128GB). The smartphone packs a 3600mAh battery and is IP54 certified for being splash proof.
Both phones sport 13-megapixel rear and front cameras with f/1.7 aperture and f/1.9 aperture respectively. There’s flash support on both ends.
Both the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro ship with the company’s new UX based on Android Nougat. We have to confess that Samsung has been constantly improving its UX since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6. There has been a cut down on number of pre-loaded apps, and interface looks neat. As seen in other Samsung phones, the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro come with Google and Microsoft suite of apps preinstalled.
Samsung has integrated a lot of Nougat features in its new UX like swiping up from the bottom opens up app drawer. We also noticed that both the phones came with a slider feature for directly jumping to Samsung Pay feature but there should be a way to turn it off. With Nougat, Samsung has also given its Settings page a revamp which now looks uncluttered.
Samsung Pay and Samsung Pay Mini
One of the biggest features of the new J-series phones is Samsung Pay. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro will support the company’s recently announced NFC-enabled mobile payment solution Samsung Pay. The South Korean company is also introducing its Samsung Pay Mini feature which can be seen as “lite” version of Samsung Pay. The new Galaxy J7 Max debuts the Samsung Pay Mini feature, which can be used to make online payments only. Sumit Walia, Director – Mobile Business, Samsung India while talking to Gadgets 360 said that the company was looking to bring its mobile payment solution to more devices for some time.
Explaining the new Samsung Pay Mini feature, Walia said that it comes with all the bells and whistles of Samsung Pay minus the “Tap & Pay” capability that is used to make offline payments at PoS terminals, as it’s designed for phones like Samsung Galaxy J7 Max that don’t come with the required hardware for the Pay service.
At the event, the company representatives showed how the Samsung Pay Mini feature worked and it looked neat and was easy to use. We will try the feature once we receive the Galaxy J7 Max.
Samsung Pay, on the other hand, supports both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) that allows payment through smartphone via terminal’s card reader. For new users, the Samsung Pay and Samsung Pay Mini apps come with inbuilt “How to use” videos, which is a good addition.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, Galaxy J7 Max performance and cameras
In the limited time we spent, we noticed that the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro ran smoothly and we had no issues switching from one app to another. The smartphones were responsive to touch inputs as well. Stay tuned for our detailed reviews when we put the phones through their paces.
Samsung is also marketing the cameras on the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro as the best in the segment. In our short time with the devices, we found that both the devices came with cameras that were quick to launch and clicked sample shots that were crisp. The low-light photos, in particular, seemed to have decent amount of detail. The front-facing 13-megapixel cameras on both the devices with f/1.9 lens were also capable enough and captured photos with good amount of detail. Though, we will reserve our verdict on the cameras until we get a chance to test them under varied conditions.
Samsung’s new Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro smartphones no doubt pack some decent specifications under the hood. The Samsung Pay addition makes the phones quiet capable too. The camera is also impressive on both the Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro, and we will have more on them when we get to review the devices.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro have been launched in India at Rs. 17,900 and Rs. 20,900 respectively. They will be going on sale via offline channels as well as the company’s online store. At this price point, both the new devices will be competing against popular devices like Xiaomi Mi Max Prime, Moto G5 Plus, and Honor 8 Lite.