Tecno Boom J7: Unboxing and First Impressions

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Tecno is introducing into the market a smartphone targeted specifically at the music-loving crowd. The company says the Boom J7 is for audiophiles but after spending several days with the device, we think it is not limited to just audiophiles, it is for everyone who loves their music.

Here is the packaging of the Tecno Boom J7:

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In the box

Tecno is bundling a number of accessories with the Boom J7 right out of the box so you won’t have to spend a dime on cases. You get two protective cases for free. I particularly loved the colourless one with music notes textured to depict the music theme of the device. The Boom J7 is quite the slippery device thanks to its sleek design and sharp edges so it slipping out of your hand is easy. The protective cases provide some much needed grip.

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You will not find a screen protector inside the box but the phone comes with one. It’s already plastered so you’re good to go. It doesn’t scratch easily. You’ll need to be careful when handling the device though since there is no Gorilla Glass to shield you when you accidentally drop the phone on a hard surface.

There’s a 2020mAh battery, some good-looking earphones in a very decent pouch, a small Tecno 2-year warranty banner and a Palmchat flyer as well in the box. The contents of the box are well arranged with the phone itself being the last thing you’ll get upon unboxing.

Impressions

I’ve spent the last 48 hours using the Tecno Boom J7 as my primary smartphone and I can say that for a phone at its price range and those average specifications, it blew me away. Yes it is not perfect but it holds up well.

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The 5 inch HD display is large enough for your casual web browsing, media consumption and chatting on Whatsapp and your other social media channels. It is also pixel dense and at no given time does one get the impression that this is a second or third rate device. The 720p display delivers everything as you’d expect from a display with such a resolution. Images pop, video playback is smooth and text is crisp.

The Boom J7 is a dual-SIM device. Since it runs Android, it is not until recently that Google added native support for multiple SIM cards to Android. In that case, implementation of multi-SIM has always boiled down to the way the software is customized. As far as the Boom J7 goes, that is a bit of an issue. I have to go into settings to specify my primary data line and even activate 3G. Not that it is a very serious issue but I think you should be aware of that. I got used to it pretty quick though.

The software is another avenue that will provoke some questions from Android purists. There’s the Tecno custom overlay that Tecno smartphone users have gotten used to. It’s simply an iOS clone. From the icons to the font to the notification shade. We’ve seen this before from other Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi. At least we have an app drawer on the Boom J7 unlike what Huawei gives us with Emotion UI on its devices.

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Battery life on the device is awesome. At least if you stick to Wi-Fi. Turn on cellular data throughout and battery drain increases. Of course this is something we’ve come to expect of all smartphones so no surprises here. I’ve managed a full working day on a single charge and at least 3 hours screen on time without turning on power-saving mode.

The entire device is built for your entertainment so the music experience is central. The software is tweaked to this end and applications like the Boom Player and the default music player attest to this. About the Boom Player application: I was not able to get it to work since it requires user registration and that includes entering your phone number and getting a verification code. The window to receive the verification code and keying it in is 60 seconds. In the over four instances I have tried, the verification code arrives way after that window has elapsed. I’m still trying to get it to work and luckily I still have time till I file my final review of the device soon.

There’s an 8 megapixel camera on the Boom J7 as well. I am still testing it. Stills, videos and well, selfies on the 2 megapixel front-facing shooter. It looks like a decent camera setup but I’m still taking it through its paces so stick around for the full review on how it fares outdoors and in dim lighting situations.

If there’s something that got me excited about the Boom J7 then it is two things: the general design of the device and the gestures. The Boom J7 is an outright beauty straight out of the box. I have the grey-coloured model with red accents and it amazes me every time I lift it out of my jeans pockets. The gestures are awesome. Drawing a C on the screen when it is off activates the camera in a few seconds. An M launches the music application and so on. Double-tap to wake and sleep also works well.

Tecno provides some decent red headsets so that we don’t miss that ear-popping Hi-Fi music experience. I’m still testing these and I’ll report back on how good or bad they are in the final review. Even before I do that, let it be known that the speaker grill at the back matches its beautiful design with awesome sound. I’m comparing the sound from the Boom J7, a budget device with that of the Galaxy Note 3, a high end smartphone and I can’t make up my mind which one I like better. Yes, the speaker on the Boom J7 is that good.

Voice quality? Overall music experience? We’re still putting the Tecno Boom J7 through its paces so hang around for the final review coming soon. Got a question about the device? What do you want to know about the device? Let us know in the comments and on our social media channels.

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