Samsung J3 (2016) phone review
The Samsung J3 (2016) is one of the entry level models that Samsung introduced this year, and with it’s price, build quality and brand’s name, it should be one of the top contenders in the entry level market. But will it succeed? As we know, the entry level market is a very tough place to compete, mostly because of the Chinese companies that offer a variety of Android smartphones at a very competitive prices. Also, many smartphones from other OS (mostly Windows Phone) are a competition for the entry level Android phones because of their light OS, which is a very good match for the hardware that we see in the devices for that price range.
When it comes to the design of most Samsung’s phone in the last years, we already got used to the candybar design, where we can see rounded corners, chamfered edges, and the physical button in the front, bellow the screen. And the Samsung J3 (2016) makes no difference in this department. The other physical buttons are on the sides, just like we are used to.
The material of which the Samsung J3 (2016) is built is entirely plastic. Yes, we know that in the most recent years we saw Samsung stepping up and producing metal and glass phones, but in this price range, we couldn’t expect more. At least the phone looks very well screwed, and we believe it will last, at least for the 2 years of contract, on which people will most likely buy it.
The screen is of 5 inches, and it is packed with the latest technology of Samsung, the Super AMOLED. This is a very good thing for a budget phone, because even though the resolution isn’t the highest, the screen still looks very good. The phone is reasonably thick too, with thickness of just 7.9mm.
This is the department where the Samsung J3 (2016) lacks compared to the competition at this price range. Yes, as we mentioned, the screen is 5″, but with the resolution of just 1280×720 pixels, which means the pixel density is ~294ppi. But it still looks good to the naked eye, because of the good reproduction of colors of the Super AMOLED.
The lowest point of the phone is it’s processor. The Samsung J3 (2016) packs a Spreadtrum SC8830 processor, which is a 32 bit quad-core 1.5 gHz Cortex A7 chip. At this price point we expect to see at least a lower end eight-core 64 bit processor, which is the case with most of the Chinese Android phones, and even with some of the most popular brands like Sony. But the Speadtrum SC8830 is considerably weaker than, let’s say, the Snapdragon 615. Also, the modest 1.5GB of RAM is not the best match we’ve seen in 2016, and pair that with the old Mali-400 GPU, we get really low-end performance.
Still, when used on it’s own, the phone doesn’t feel that slow. For a very average user that just wants to check the social networks and browse the internet, the Samsung J3 (2016) will be just enough. But, the internal storage of only 8GB (on most models), and of which only 4.4GB are usable, will be a problem. It is a very good thing that Samsung implemented the MicroSD card slot that offers expandable memory of 128GB.
The rear camera is 8 megapixel shooter, with an aperture of f/2.2. It is not the best camera in the world, but it’s handy to have it with you. The front camera is of 5 megapixels and it is decent for you everyday selfies, and for that price range, we can’t complain about the cameras on the Samsung J3 (2016).
The battery is of 2.400 mAh, and very important, it is removable. And while those 2.400 mAh don’t sound like much, considering the hardware in this phone, the actual performance is really good.
The Samsung J3 (2016) won’t be something new on the market, and with it’s price to specs ratio, we think that even though it is a cheap phone (around 150 euro for no-contract deal), it is still underpowered. Still, it should be decent for many users, and with the expandable storage and microSD card slot, it should be a good deal if you can get it for free on contract.