Samsung Galaxy On Max quick review

Samsung launched the Galaxy J7 Max (and the Galaxy J7 Pro), follow up to last year’s Galaxy J5 Prime (and Galaxy J7 Prime), in India in June. The Galaxy J7 Max is part of Samsung’s ever-expanding Galaxy J-series universe. The Galaxy J7 Max, much like all Samsung J-series phones, is only available offline, however. Just to ensure online buyers don’t feel left out, Samsung has now launched the Galaxy On Max. The Galaxy On Max, for all intents and purposes, can be considered a Galaxy J7 Max version 2.0 for online buyers. It is exclusively available for buying from Flipkart for Rs 16,900 which is Rs 1,000 less than the original Galaxy J7 Max for obvious reasons.

On a regular day, the Galaxy J7 Max would pass off as a Samsung A – series phone. But then again, even the A-series of phones from Samsung has received quite a drastic makeover with time, bringing it closer to the company’s flagship S-lineup. Samsung finally decided to give its J-series, the premium treatment last year and with the Galaxy J7 Max, it has continued with the trend. The Galaxy On Max looks very similar to the Galaxy J7 Max which means that it looks (and feels) really premium. It’s nice to see Samsung maintaining a level of consistency in terms of design and building materials in a large “chunks” of its phones that cost under Rs 20,000, a segment that previously saw Samsung making only all-plastic phones.

Just like the Galaxy J7 Max, the Galaxy On Max also boasts of an all-metal unibody design — top and bottom end being plastic with the brushed metal finish to accommodate the antennas — with curved 2.5D glass on the front. It comes with a front-mounted physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Just like the Galaxy J7 Max, the Galaxy On Max is also a 5.7-inch phablet.

The Samsung Galaxy On Max will compete directly with the Moto G5 Plus especially in the camera department

Being all-metal means the Galaxy On Max has a non-removable back cover, and obviously a non-removable battery. That is, but, a small price to pay for all that premium you’re getting. Much like the Galaxy J7 Max, the Galaxy On Max also uses a 1080p screen (IPS and not AMOLED) which should get the job done for most users. The phone has just the right amount of pixels, without going overboard, which means it is pleasantly sharp – if a little on the dim side — with good viewing angles. The screen is, however, a bit reflective which affects outdoor legibility to some extent.

In terms of hardware, the Galaxy On Max is powered by an octa-core MediaTek P25 Lite processor clubbed with 4GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage which is also expandable. It runs Android Nougat-based TouchWiz UI, supports dual-SIM and 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity.

Samsung is banking on two – rather three — key features to sell its new Galaxy On the phone: Pay Mini, a camera that’s – because it has a 1.7 aperture – supposedly great in low light and Social camera. While Samsung Pay Mini is Samsung Pay minus debit/credit card support, a Social camera is essentially a camera feature that lets users apply beautify and filters on the fly while taking photos as well as share them simultaneously on social media channels, right from the camera app itself.

 

Of these, the Samsung Pay Mini – which is essentially a lighter version of the company’s Pay mobile payments service platform – is the more interesting. Samsung Pay has all the cards (Visa, Mastercard), wallets like Paytm and UPI all integrated into one and works with both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission). It works with any payment terminal: card swiping or reading machine accepting either a traditional swipe or contactless payments. It takes just three simple steps to use Samsung Pay, according to the company. These include: swiping up to launch the service, authenticating via PIN or fingerprint and making payments using your compatible Samsung phone. Samsung Pay Mini, on the other hand, supports only Paytm and UPI.

Moving on, Samsung is looking to bring Samsung Pay Mini to almost all its phones that have a fingerprint scanner which means previous-generation J-series phones (with fingerprint scanner) will also support the service in the days to come.

 

I am yet to test the Galaxy On Max at length, but based on first impressions of the device, well, looks like we might just have something — in fact a lot — positive to look forward to. I was pleasantly surprised with the phone’s rear camera, especially its quick focus locking and shutter speed. The phone ships with a 13-megapixel camera on the front as well as on the back, by the way. The rear camera onboard the Galaxy On Max is really fast, even in indoor lighting conditions, where I tested the phones. The ability to add stickers and filters on the fly, within the camera app itself, is an added bonus. Notably, the Samsung Galaxy On Max is only the second phone under Rs 20,000 to have a bright f1.7 lens. The first of course was the Moto G5 Plus. The Moto G5 Plus is, however, better equipped for low-light scenarios, thanks to its dual autofocus pixel rear camera.

Samsung is banking on two – rather three — key features to sell its new Galaxy On phone: Pay Mini, a camera that’s – because it has a 1.7 aperture – supposedly great in low light and Social camera

As for, overall performance, well, I for one am glad that Samsung has really tried to cut down on bloat or unwanted apps. I will have more to say about the phone’s all-around performance and camera capabilities in our full review.

Just like the Galaxy J7 Max, the Galaxy On Max is also backed by a 3,300mAh battery and doesn’t support quick charging.

The Samsung Galaxy On Max will compete directly with the Moto G5 Plus especially in the camera department and by the looks of it, Samsung’s new phone has a lot going for itself, at least in first impressions. The Moto G5 Plus has its ups (and downs) and features like splash-resistance and turbo charging are an added bonus, but, the Galaxy On Max with its all-premium build, larger screen, a software that allows for more customization, and pretty capable pair of cameras can’t be overlooked certainly. Watch this space for our full review of the Samsung Galaxy On Max in the days to come.