Samsung Galaxy On Nxt Review


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Samsung launched the Galaxy On Nxt with similar specifications as the  Galaxy J7 Prime in India last month exclusively on Flipkart for Rs. 18,490. It has a full metal unibody design, has 32GB of on-board storage and is powered by Exynos 7 Octa 7870 14nm processor. Specifications look good on paper, is the smartphone worth the price? Let us find out in the review.

Unboxing

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We unboxed the Galaxy On Nxt recently, check out the video below.

Box Contents

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  • Samsung Galaxy On Nxt smartphone in Black color
  • Earphones with microphone
  • 2-pin charger (5V-1.55A)
  • Micro USB cable
  • SIM Ejector tool
  • Quick start guide and warranty information

Display, Hardware and Design

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The Galaxy On Nxt has a 5.5-inch PLS display with a pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a pixel density of around 400 PPI.  The display is bright, has good viewing angles, offers vibrant color output and the sunlight visibility is decent. It also has a 2.5d curved Corning Gorilla Glass  protection that prevents the display from scratches and the curved screen also offers a premium look. The display doesn’t attract fingerprint easily.

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On the top there is a 8-megapixel camera with f/1.9 aperture. The front camera is decent for selfies and video chats.

It has a proximity sensor next to the earpiece and even has notification LED that glows in Red and Blue colors, but the smartphone lacks an ambient light sensor, even though there is a cutout for it. It also lacks gyroscope and magnetic sensor.

Since it doesn’t have an ambient light sensor you have to adjust the brightness manually using the slider depending on the conditions. There is an outdoor mode option that increases the brightness for 15 minutes or until the screen is turned off.

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Below the display there is a fingerprint sensor embedded into the home button and menu/recently and back keys on either sides that are not backlit, but offer haptic feedback when pressed.

The phone has unibody metal design and is just 8mm thick. The volume rockers are present on the left side. The loudspeaker is awkwardly present on the right side, along with the power button. The primary microphone, micro USB slot and the 3.5mm audio jack are present on the bottom.

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On the left side there is a separate nano SIM slot. The other slot has a tray with nano and microSD slot that accepts cards up to 256GB. It is a good thing that Samsung offers dedicated SIM slots, instead of hybrid arrangement present in most of the phones.

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On the back there is a 13-megapixel camera with f/1.9 aperture and single LED flash. It has a metal back that is smooth so it slips out of the hand easily. It measures 151.7 x 75mm, which is good compared to most of the smartphones with a 5.5-inch screen, so it is easy to hold for one-handed usage. Samsung could have bundled a case for protection. It packs a 3300mAh built-in battery. Overall the build quality of the phone is good.

Camera

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It has a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/1.9 aperture, single LED flash and a 8-megapixel front-facing camera with f/1.9 aperture.

The camera UI is similar to any other Samsung smartphone running Android Marshmallow such as Effects (No effect, Grayscale, Sepia and Negative), Timer (2 to 10 seconds), flash toggle, picture size along with aspect ratio (13MP/8MP at 4:3, 9.6MP/6MP at 16:9 or 9.5MP/1.1MP at 1:1), Gallery, video record and image capture toggles, selfie camera toggle and several modes (Auto, Pro (to adjust white balance, ISO and exposure manually), Panorama, continuous shot, HDR, Night, Sports and Sound & shot). The front-facing camera has beauty mode for selfies.

Settings option lets you choose resolution, toggle location tag, option to quickly launch the camera by pressing Home key twice, use the volume keys to take pictures and more.

Coming to the image quality, daylight shot are good most of the times, but some images are too bright. Macro shots are good, thanks to the f/1.9 aperture, HDR shots are good as well. Low-light shots have a lot of noise as usual. Images with flash are good since the single LED flash is not overpowering even in macro shots. The front-facing camera is decent for selfies and can capture 1080p videos.

Check out the samples below (Click the image to view full resolution sample.)

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HDR OFF
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HDR ON

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It can record videos at 1080p full HD resolution at 30 fps. Video quality is decent and audio is also crisp. Sadly it doesn’t have slow motion recording. Check out the video sample below.

Software, UI and Apps

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Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) with Samsung’s own UI on top and also includes Android security update for October. Samsung has not announced when the phone will get Android 7.0 (Nougat) update.

Android 6.0 for the Galaxy brings a neat and plain UI. You can launch the dialer and camera easily from the lock screen. The drop-down notification bar has several toggles and lets you customize the row accordingly. It also has brightness slider with a toggle and option to select preference for calls, text messages and mobile data.

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There advanced features option has one-handed operation mode to easily reduce the screen size by pressing the home key three times and there is also one-handed input in keyboard, lock screen for entering unlock pattern and in dialer. Smart alert makes the phone vibrate when you pick it up to notify you about missed calls and messages. Easy mute lets you mute incoming calls and alarms by turning the device over.

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It also has the S bike mode. Once you activate the mode, a pre-recorded message informs the caller that you are currently riding a bike. If the call is urgent, the caller can choose to press 1 to get through. Smart Manager app lets you manage your device’s battery life, storage, RAM usage, and security all in one place and Ultra data saving mode powered by Opera Max. This compresses cellular data across all contents such as videos, photos, media, almost all apps and websites. You can also add app exceptions if you don’t want data from an app to be compressed.

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Out of 3GB of RAM, you get 2.8GB of usable RAM, out of which about 1GB of RAM is free when the default apps running in the background. Out of 32GB of internal storage, 24.6GB of storage is usable. You can also move compatible apps to the SD card when you insert one, without formatting the SD card as the internal storage.

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Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google Apps, the smartphone comes with, Opera Max, which powers the Ultra data saving mode and Microsoft Apps – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype. It has S Health app and Galaxy Apps store, and doesn’t have any other bloatware or additional games. It also has option to lock and hide apps and has secure folder that lets you protect sensitive data and apps by saving them in the folder.

Fingerprint Sensor

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The phone has a fingerprint sensor built into the home button. Unlike some sensor, this unlocks the phone immediately when you place the fingerprint on it, without the need to press the power button or home button. It also doesn’t recognize your finger properly if it’s wet. You can add up to 3 fingerprints. It can also be used for Samsung Pay in some markets where the service is available.

Music Player and FM Radio

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It doesn’t have a dedicated music player, so you have to rely on Google Play Music. It has equalizer, Surround and Tube Amp Pro sound effects that can be enabled from the settings or inside the music player settings. This improves the audio when listening through earphones. That said, audio through the bundled or third-pary earphones is good, but the loudspeaker output is just average and is not loud enough even in full volume. Since the loudspeaker is present on the side, sound doesn’t get muffled when you place the phone on a flat surface. The FM Radio has a new UI and has auto scanning and recording, which lets you store the recorded files in phone memory or SD card.

Calling and Messaging

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Dailer and messaging UI are similar to other Samsung smartphones running on Android Marshmallow. Since this is a dual SIM phone, you get option to select either SIMs when calling or sending text message. There are no call drops and the earpiece volume is good.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

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It has the usual set of connectivity features such as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS + GLONSASS, but it doesn’t have NFC support. It also has secure Wi-Fi feature that lets you protect your privacy while browsing and block or encrypt any unsecure requests. It has 4G connectivity with support a lot of bands and also has Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) support for Reliance Jio. Both the SIMs support 4G, but you can enable 4G only in one SIM at a time, while the other goes to 2G.

You can set preferred SIM for voice call, text and data from the SIM card manager. As usual it has Smart Dual SIM feature, similar to other latest Samsung Dual SIM smartphones. This automatically forwards calls from the phone number on SIM 2, even if a user is on the phone with SIM 1’s number. It also has USB on-the-go (OTG) support.

Performance and Benchmarks

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The Galaxy On Nxt is powered by an Octa-Core Exynos 7 Octa 7870processor based on 14-nanometer (nm) FinFET process. It has eight ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.59GHz per core . The performance is good without any lags. 3GB of RAM is enough to run several applications in the background. It has Mali-T830 GPU, which offers good gaming performance. We did not face any heating issues during 4G usage or gaming. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

AnTuTu Benchmark 6

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It scored 45720 points in the AnTuTu 6 benchmark and lies behind the Moto G4 Plus.

Vellamo 3 MultiCore

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It managed to score 1662 points in the Vellamo 3 Multi-Core benchmark.

Geekbench 3 Multi-Core

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It scored 4099 points in the Geekbench 3 Multi-Core benchmark and grabs the third spot.

3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

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It managed to score 8429 points in the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited GPU benchmark. Check out the complete set of benchmark scores here.

Battery life

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Coming to battery life, the 3300mAh battery lasts for less than a day even with average use. Eventhough Samsung doesn’t say the phone has quick charging, it charges in less than one and half hours, but it drains from 100 ot 70% quickly. This might be due to some bugs, which could be fixed through update.  Power saving mode and ultra-power saving mode lets you extend the battery life.

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It lasted for just 9 hours and 1 minute, which is less compared to Samsung’s other smartphones in its On series with the same battery capacity. Check out the complete set of battery life test results here.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Nxt is just an average mid-range smartphone for the price of Rs. 18,490. It has a good unibody metal design, fast fingerprint sensor and also has dedicated SIM slots, in addition to a microSD slot, but Samsung has missed out the ambient light sensor for auto brightness adjustment yet again. Battery life is also not impressive compared to other smartphones and it also drains quickly. It is exclusive to Flipkart, but it is not sold through flash sales, so you can get it easily. To summarize, here are the pros and cons of the smartphone.

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Good design and build quality
  • Dedicated dual SIM and microSD slots
  • Fingerprint sensor is fast

Cons

  • No ambient light sensor, gyroscope and magnetic sensor
  • Average battery life
  • Average camera
  • Priced slightly on the higher side

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram and on Google+