One issue we had with the original J7 was that it used Samsung's old design language. Now that the new aesthetic introduced by the Galaxy S6 flagships is finally becoming available to the lower ranks, the Galaxy J7 (2016) is narrower, shorter and only a tad thicker than its predecessor at 151.7 x 76 x 7.8mm. And it packs a bigger battery as well.
Interestingly enough, the larger capacity hasn't come at the expense of weight, and due to improved materials and lighter components, the new Galaxy J7 is a gram lighter than the outgoing model.
Just like the Galaxy J5 (2016), the bigger J7 comes with a new design compared to its predecessor. The plastic build of old makes way to a new, more stylish metal frame. To be fair, there's still plastic to be found but the back cover sports a tastefully done brushed metal finish that works pretty well.
There's a subtle camera bump, but it's not much of an issue. The ensemble including a LED flash and a speaker grille is well designed.
Speaking of the sides, Samsung follows its traditional button layout. The Power/Lock is on the right, while the volume rocker is on the left.
The Galaxy J7 (2016) display has a fair bit of bezel, but nothing that gets in the way. Below the screen, Samsung's traditional home button is surrounded by a capacitive Task switcher on the left and a Back button on the right.
Above the display, there's a front-facing camera on the left with the LED flash unusually positioned on the opposite side. In the center, there's an earpiece and a proximity sensor. Sadly, like in the smaller Galaxy J5 (2016) an ambient light sensor is missing here.
At the bottom, you'll find the microUSB port, the main (and only) mic as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack. There's nothing of note at the top.
Removing the back cover reveals the 3,300mAh battery as well as the microSIM and microSD card slots. Notice the NFC chip on the back panel, as well.
Handling the Galaxy J5 (2016) is a pleasure. If five and a half inches of screen diagonal aren't too much for you, the metal frame and solid weight make up for a pretty nice feel in hand.