Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) takes on the new ZTE Blade V8 Pro. Both devices would fall under the midrange title, although the Galaxy A7 is pushing $530 whereas the Blade V8 Pro is only $230. We thought it would be interesting to compare these two midrange devices and see if the Galaxy A7 warrants $300 more in specifications or features. The Galaxy A7 uses an all-metal construction whereas the Blade V8 Pro has a metal frame with a texturized plastic back. Which one of these devices has what it takes to win this competition? Let’s see just what these two smartphones have in common and just how much they differ.
The Galaxy A7 and the Blade V8 Pro do have a few things in common. Their displays are close in size – 5.7-inches vs. 5.5-inches, and this makes the devices almost identical physical size. They use the same, Full HD resolution, but they use a different display technology. They both pack 3GB of RAM and have 32GB of internal memory, and they both are expandable to 256GB via a microSD card. Samsung and ZTE took very different approaches when it comes to the main camera areas, but both take great photos. They both sport a non-removable battery with rapid charging. They both enjoy a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device or authorizing mobile payments, including Android Pay. The usual suspects are here – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below, and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
Samsung’s new Galaxy A7 (2017) certainly looks the part of a Samsung smartphone. It has the typical rounded corners, speaker grate at the top with the Samsung name under it, and an oval home button at the bottom. Unlike the Galaxy S series, which uses a glass backing, the Galaxy A7 has an all-metal aluminum body designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It also includes some decent specifications for a mid-range phone, and it should, for its rather high price at $530. The Galaxy A7 also includes the IP68 certification for water and dust and has a new side-positioned loudspeaker. Let’s see just how this new Galaxy A7 mid-range holds up against the new ZTE Blade V8 Pro.
The Galaxy A7 sports the same size display as the Galaxy S7 Edge – a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD display giving it a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 386 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Samsung added the ‘always-on’ screen on the Galaxy A7 to help save battery life. It is a great feature to check the time, date, or notifications without turning on the main display. The Galaxy A7 uses Samsung’s Exynos 7880 octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz and a Mali-T830MP2 for graphics. The Galaxy A7 packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The primary shooter on the Galaxy A7 uses a 16MP lens for with a large aperture of f/1.9 and includes autofocus and a LED flash. Samsung added a large 16MP camera for the Galaxy A7’s front-facing camera (FFC) that also comes with the same f/1.9 aperture as the primary camera. This large FFC will give you excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The Galaxy A7 comes packing a large non-removable battery of 3600mAh and features rapid charging.
The Galaxy A7 comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow as the OS with no word so far about an upgrade to Android Nougat. The device is available in some Asian markets now and early next month will launch in Europe – there is no word on when or if there will be a US release. Mobile purchases are available through both Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which will allow A7 users to make mobile purchases just about anywhere they can swipe a credit or debit card. Samsung included IP68 certification against dust and water, and the Galaxy A7 has an unusual side-mounted speaker. The Galaxy A7 measures 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm, weighs in at a hefty 186 grams, is available in Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist, and Peach Cloud and costs about $530.
ZTE Blade V8 Pro
The new mid-range ZTE Blade V8 Pro is available now in the US through retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Newegg for the sum of only $230. It has a metal frame and plastic back that has a diamond style pattern that offers a firm grip that is comfortable to hold. Don’t look for a Quad HD display, but you will find a dual camera setup with some interesting camera software. You will find a Snapdragon processor, an Adreno GPU, and expandable memory. Let’s see if it have what it takes to stand up to the more expensive Samsung Galaxy A7.
The Blade V8 Pro sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD display giving it a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 401 PPI. It uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor (MSM8953) clocked at 2GHz, and for graphics, it uses an Adreno 506 GPU. The Blade V8 Pro packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of internal memory that is expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The camera area is well represented on the Blade V8 Pro with dual 13MP primary cameras that have bokeh, monochrome, and monocolor modes. They use Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and a dual LED flash that has seven levels of brightness. This combination will allow the user to experiment in B&W or Monocolor photos with some interesting outcomes. The FFC uses an 8MP sensor to capture selfies to pass on to social media or to handle a video chat. A 3140mAh non-removable battery powers the device and uses Quick Charge 2.0 for quickly charging the battery. ZTE claims it will last you the entire day on a full charge.
The ZTE Blade V8 Pro is available right now in the US, and it will only work on GSM networks, such as AT&T or T-Mobile. It has a fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the front, and it can be used to unlock the device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. It sports Hi-Res Dolby audio for listen through the earphones. It has two grills at the bottom end of the device, but only the left one has a speaker. The 3.5mm earphone jacket is on the top of the phone. The Blade V8 Pro measures 156 x 77 x 9.1mm and weighs in at a hefty 185 grams. It is available in our favorite color, Black and costs about $230.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
There was no other decision than to choose the $230 ZTE Blade V8 Pro as the winner of this comparison. It just offers to much value and too few demerits not to be the winner. It has almost the same size display, the same resolution, a solid build, the same amount of RAM and memory, Hi-Res audio, a dual lens camera, and comes with the same Android Marshmallow. It does all of that for less than $250.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 is a fine mid-range device, but other than the AMOLED 'always-on' display, Samsung Pay, and IP68 certification, it does not really have anything over the Blade V8 Pro other than a $530 price tag.