The Affordable Samsung Galaxy J-series smartphones – 10 things you need to know

At the top of Samsung’s plethora of smartphones, you have the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S7 and S7 edge but what if you are after a budget option. Being, Samsung, there is always a smartphone to plug that segment of the market.

This is the segment well known for Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime and Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. Yes, Samsung is taking the Galaxy moniker everywhere and pushing the limits of phrases you can use to describe a phone. The budget range is now being extended to include the J-series, specifically the Samsung Galaxy J1, J2, J3, J5 and J7. We will take a look at the 10 things you need to know when considering between these super affordable smartphones.

UPDATE: Being Samsung, they will leave no stones unturned, no market unexplored, no segment ignored and in the case for the J-series, a new J2 is introduced with 4.7-inch display and some existing J devices updated. We have updated the spec by spec comparison below to reflect the updates up to 2017. A slightly tweaked J1 ace with more memory was also introduced to replaced the J1. Also, in 2016, the J1, J5 and J7 received updates to improve performance both memory and speed, followed by further updates to  J3 ,  J5  and J7 in 2017.

Samsung introduced the Galaxy J3 2017 with a 5.0-inch display and moved J5‘s display from 5.0-inch to 5.2-inch. If they keep this up, we will see a complete J1 to J7 smartphones without skipping any of the numerals as the only number they skip is 4 so watch out for J4. Every upgrade moves the J series closer to perfection. J3, J5 and J7 launched in 2017 all received stylish uniform metal finish and 2.5D glass shielding, differentiating it from other budget smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2017

The new Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 also made its debut in June 2017 with a Super AMOLED 5.5-inch display at Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution running Android 7.1 (Nougat). The device is powered by Exynos 7870 Octa-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 processor with 3GB RAM and 16GB or 32GB memory. It has a 13MP front camera and 13MP rear camera and has a 3600mAh battery. The 8mm thin bumpless body of the J7 2017 has a metallic finish, 2.5D glass front and fingerprint sensor on the front bottom bezel. It also features slimmer size bezels and always on screen for notifications to bring it more in-line with the A series. However, it still uses the Micro USB connector instead of the new USB Type-C.


Samsung Galaxy J7 2017

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy J7 Max

Thanks to our reader, we would also like to include the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro and J7 Max launched around July 2017 but only available in certain markets. The J7 Pro is known simply elsewhere as the J7 2017 as seen above. To break it down for you, the differences between the phones are as below:

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro

  • J7 Pro has a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Super AMOLED display
  • J7 Max has a 5.7-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) LCD display
  • J7 Pro is powered by octa-core 1.9 GHz Exynos 7870 processor*
  • J7 Max is powered by octa-core 1.9 GHz Mediatek MT6757 Helio P20 chipset*
  • J7 Pro has a 3600mAh battery
  • J7 Max has a 3300mAh battery
  • J7 Pro has 3GB of RAM with 64GB of Storage
  • J7 Max has 4GB of RAM with 32GB of Storage

Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

Both phones have fingerprint sensor, uses micro USB ports and is likely to make a killing in the budget and mid-range segment.


* Cortex-A53

WHY CONSIDER THE J SERIES:

We already know that the J series is super affordable for phones in its class, but what are the other features would make you decide on choosing the smartphone:

  • Crisp and bright AMOLED display (J2, J5, J7, J7 Pro)
  • Fast & fluid interface, snappy app loading and switching
  • Dual SIM models support 4G on both slots (J5, J7, J7 Pro)
  • Samsung flavour of OS customisation TouchWiz UI
  • Front camera complete with LED flash
  • Expansion slot for up to 128GB microSD card

The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About The Samsung Galaxy J-series (J1, J2, J3 J5 and J7)

With so many affordable Chinese smartphones in the market, tech giant Samsung needed to flex their muscle to show them who is still the boss. Samsung introduced new smartphones in every market segment imaginable. There is the super budget J series, the sleek and slim yet affordable A series and finally the S series (the S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+).

Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 BlackPhoto: Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 Black

Super AMOLED Display

Exceptional pictures and videos with crystal-clear display with Super AMOLED screen, similar to those found on high end smartphones. The catch here is they are not Quad HD but up to Full HD nonetheless. Samsung’s proven Super AMOLED display technology does bring out the colours, making them more vivid giving users a richer media experience. Great for photo-viewing, video-watching and gameplay with rich, true-to-life colour reproduction and an exceptional contrast ratio for deeper blacks. It’s worth noting that only 2016 models, the J1, J3,  J5 and J7 receives the Super AMOLED treatment. Also, the J5 2016 received a bigger 5.2-inch screen compared to previous J5 with 5.0-inch. With a 5.5-inch display, this placed the Galaxy J7 in the Phablet category and a really cheap one too.

Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 BluePhoto: Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 Blue

Octa Core and Quad Core Performance

While these smartphones do not come with top of the chart, high end processors, they still pack a punch with up to 1.6GHz Octa Core processor on the J7. On the other hand the J5 and J1 only spot a 1.2GHz Quad Core processor.

  • The J7 2016 received a boost in memory and cpu speed from 1.5GB to 3GB and 1.5GHz to 1.6GHz respectively. Image of new J7 2016 in White below.

Enjoy faster web browsing, gaming, and HD video viewing, as well as effortless and lag-free multitasking with the powerful Octa Core processor and seamlessly perform a wide range of tasks including gaming, watching movies, and surfing the web on the Quad Core processor with enhanced productivity and greater efficiency.

Gallery: Samsung Galaxy J5 2017

Samsung Galaxy J5 2017
Samsung Galaxy J5 2017

Samsung Galaxy J5 2017
Samsung Galaxy J5 2017

 

Memory, Storage and Expansion

Being the entry level phone, the J1 only has a gigabyte of RAM and measly 8GB ROM storage o f which 4.4B is available to the user. Both new J5 and J7 runs quicker with more memory at 2GB and 3GB RAM respectively compared to previous models with only 1.5GB RAM.

For storage, the J5 and J7 have the most memory at 16GB ROM, double that of J1 at only 8GB ROM. However, unlike their more expansive siblings, the Galaxy S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+, the J series features a MicroSD expansion slot with support for up to 128GB additional storage. The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge however seens the re-introduction of SD slots.

  • Samsung Galaxy J7: 16GB ROM, 3GB RAM, MicroSD slot up to 256GB (Available storage memory 10.0 GB) – BIGGEST STORAGE, BIGGEST MEMORY
  • Samsung Galaxy J5: 16GB ROM, 2GB RAM, MicroSD slot up to 128GB (Available storage memory 10.8 GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy J3: 8GB or 16GB ROM 1.5GB RAM, MicroSD slot up to 128GB (Available storage memory TBA)
  • Samsung Galaxy J2: 8GB ROM, 1.0GB RAM, MicroSD slot up to 128GB (Available storage memory 4.3 GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy J1 ace: 4GB ROM, 768MB RAM, MicroSD slot up to 128GB
  • Samsung Galaxy J1: 8GB ROM, 1GB RAM, MicroSD slot up to 128GB (Available storage memory 4.4GB)

So there is no 4GB of RAM to speak of (as found on Galaxy S6 edge+) but the J7 2016 and J5 2016 now come with 3GB and 2GB instead of 1.5GB RAM which are becoming standard these days on entry level units from other manufacturers. Even the lowest model, J1 2016 received an update from 512MB to 1GB RAM memory and 4GB storage to 8GB storage.

But, it is in the ability to manage the apps, widgets, notifications and other services that determine the most efficient use of memory. This is not to say that the smartphone is not capable of multitasking but being an entry level device, power users will have to look elsewhere. For everyone else, there is Smart Manager.

Samsung Galaxy J3 2017Photo: Samsung Galaxy J3 2017

Smart Manager to Manage Your Smartphone

Smart Manager, a built-in app lets you check and manage a range of essential information on your Galaxy J series, including battery status, storage space, memory stats and more. With a few easy touches, you can close unused apps, improve battery and RAM performance, delete unused files and run antivirus checks. This puts even the most basic user in control of their phone with intuitive buttons and icons on a nicely laid out dashboard for quick and easy access.

Samsung Galaxy J3 2017Photo: Samsung Galaxy J3 2017

Design, Dimensions and Weight

While there is no ultra slim bezel, super thin or metallic body in the J series, Samsung has given it a rolled edge and chrome effect bumper for a premium feel. The J5 and J7 2016 however does have an all-metal integrated frame for extra protection with rounded edge and slim profile accentuate, its simple yet sleek, modern design. It’s stylishly tactile in the palm of your hand. At only 7.8 to 8.9 mm thick, it provides a very comfortable grip.

J7 2016 is available in Gold, White and Martian Pink. J5 is available in Gold or White. J2 is available in Black, White or Gold while the J1 2016 is available in Gold or Black. J3 and J5 2017 is available in black or gold. Finally, the J7 2017 is available in black, gold, pink or blue.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro

Enhanced Cameras

Get brighter, clearer photos and videos with the Galaxy J series’ 13 MP rear camera and f/1.9 aperture. Use its built-in front camera flash to take bright snaps even in low light conditions. Access effects, timer, settings, flash and other features directly on the screen in ‘view finder’ mode with flat icons and not buttons that can obstruct you image you are about to capture.

Both J7 and J5 is kitted with the same camera pair, a 13MP main camera and 5MP front facing camera with auto focus and LED flash on both cameras. Both capable of capturing Full HD video. The J1 and J2 have lower resolution main camera and front facing cameras at 5MP and 2MP respectively.

  • Samsung Galaxy J7: 13.0 MP f/1.7, Auto Focus with LED flash Rear Camera, 13.0 MP f1/.7 Front Facing with Flash, FHD (1920 x 1080)@30fps video capture – BEST CAMERA PAIR
  • Samsung Galaxy J513.0 MP f/1.9 CMOS Auto Focus Rear Facing with Flash, 5.0 MP f/1.9 CMOS Auto Focus Front Facing with Flash, FHD (1920 x 1080)@30fps video capture
  • Samsung Galaxy J3: 8.0MP rear facing camera with HD 1080p video capture and LED flash, 5MP front facing camera.
  • Samsung Galaxy J2: 5.0MP CMOS Auto Focus Rear Facing Camera with LED Flash, 2.0MP CMOST Auto Focus Front Facing with Flash, HD (1280 x 720)@30fps
  • Samsung Galaxy J1 ace5.0 MP CMOS Auto Focus Rear Facing with Flash, 2.0 MP CMOS Auto Focus Front Facing with Flash, HD (1280 x 720)@30fps
  • Samsung Galaxy J1: 5.0 MP f/2.2 CMOS Auto Focus Rear Facing with Flash, 2.0 MP f/2.2 CMOS Auto Focus Front Facing with Flash, HD (1280 x 720)@30fps

Front facing camera with is LED flash light offers brighter and clearer selfie shots. The camera app also support touch anywhere capture.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro

Packed with Connectivity, LTE and Dual SIM Support

The Galaxy J7 and J5 supports LTE connectivity while the J1 only supports 3G for data. All J series devices support Dual SIM.

  • Samsung Galaxy J7: 3G and 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz + 5GHz, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0, 3.5mm Stereo Ear Jack, GPS, Glonass, Beidou location technology. PC Sync with Smart Switch (PC version).
  • Samsung Galaxy J53G and 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0, 3.5mm Stereo Ear Jack, GPS, Glonass, Beidou location technology. PC Sync with Smart Switch (PC version).
  • Samsung Galaxy J33G and 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0, 3.5mm Stereo Ear Jack, GPS, Glonass, Beidou location technology. PC Sync with Smart Switch (PC version).
  • Samsung Galaxy J23G and 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0, 3.5mm Stereo Ear Jack, GPS and Glonass location technology. PC Sync with Smart Switch (PC version).
  • Samsung Galaxy J1 ace3G, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, USB 2.0, 3.5mm Stereo Ear Jack, GPS and Glonass location technology. PC Sync with Kies.
  • Samsung Galaxy J13G and 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v4.1, USB 2.0, 3.5mm Stereo Ear Jack, GPS and Glonass location technology. PC Sync with Kies.

Samsung Galaxy J5

High Battery Capacity and Ultra Power Saving Mode

The Galaxy J series’ high capacity battery goes at 3300 mAh on the J7 2016 (Previous J7 had only 3100mAh). High capacity battery meant you can enjoy a variety of media contents, including movies, music games and web use for longer than ever – without the need to worry about your battery. The J5 2016 model has a big boost in this department, from 2600mAh to 3100mAh battery capacity.

  • Samsung Galaxy J7: 3600 mAh (Removable) Battery, Internet Use 3G/4GLTE 12/15 hrs, Internet Use WiFi 16 hrs, Video Playback 18 hrs, Audio Playback 59/91(Always On Display Off) hrs, Talk Time 24 hrs. – BEST BATTERY LIFE
  • Samsung Galaxy J5: 3100 mAh (Removable) Battery, Internet Use 3G/4GLTE 9 hrs, Internet Use WiFi 11 hrs, Video Playback 13 hrs, Audio Playback 62 hrs, Talk Time 18 hrs.
  • Samsung Galaxy J3: 2600mAh (Removable), standby 349 hours, talk time 22 hours.
  • Samsung Galaxy J22000 mAh (Removable) Battery, Internet Use 3G/4GLTE 9 hrs, Internet Use WiFi 11 hrs, Video Playback 14 hrs, Audio Playback 41 hrs, Talk Time 12 hrs.
  • Samsung Galaxy J1 ace: 1800 mAh (Removable) Battery, Internet Use 3G 8 hrs, Internet Use WiFi 10 hrs, Video Playback 10 hrs, Audio Playback 44 hrs, Talk Time 10 hours.
  • Samsung Galaxy J1: 2050 mAh (Removable) Battery

With Ultra Power Saving Mode, unnecessary functions are shut down and the battery consumption is greatly reduced. The mode also switches the screen to a battery-saving monochrome display squeezing every drop of juice from the battery. With the extended battery life, when your battery is low, you can still use essential functions, like making calls and receiving messages. Image of the new J1 2016 in Gold is shown below.

Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 Side ProfilePhoto: Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 Side Profile

Quick Launch to Bring Up The Camera

The Galaxy J series’ quick launch functionality makes accessing your camera easier than ever. Simply press the home button twice to enjoy quick and direct camera access. Never miss out on another photo opportunity with this convenient feature.

Pocket Friendly

Priced to compete with entry level smartphones, being at the bottom of Samsung Galaxy range, the J series offers both affordability and features. Other smartphones priced lower than the J series are the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime, Samsung Galaxy Core Prime and Samsung Galaxy V Plus. The J series price bracket is beneath that of A series and S series. The New Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7 is going to compete directly with offerings from the likes of Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Lenovo.

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Would We Buy It

Our choice would be between the Samsung Galaxy J5 or Samsung Galaxy J7. As the specifications is rather similar (CPU, RAM, LTE and Connectivity) with the only difference being the display size and storage, the decision ultimately comes down to how big a smartphone can you live with. Both J5 and J7 has the Super AMOLED screen offering True-to-Life viewing experience. Would it be the 5.2-inch or the 5.5-inch smartphone?