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Reviews

Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 – The latest from the J team!

galaxy j5 samsung (3)

The J series of devices from Samsung has been doing exceptionally well in the market, thanks to its blend of decent design and specs at an affordable price.

And looking to cash in on its popularity, Samsung has added two new members to its J family –  the Galaxy J5 (2016) and Galaxy J7 (2016). Of the two, the Galaxy J 5 (2016) can be considered the lesser sibling. Does it have what it takes to carry forward the success of the J series?

galaxy j5 samsung (1)

Looks Similar

In the design department, the Galaxy J5 (2016) has borrowed a similar look from its predecessor (J5 2015). The design is so much similar it is hard to distinguish between the two phones. But there is one major difference: the 2016 variant of J5 features a 5.2-inch display while the 2015 variant had a 5-inch one. The smartphone weighs 158 grammes and is just 8.1 mm thick.

On the front you will see a secondary camera coupled with an earpiece, a single LED flash and sensors, while at the base there is a home button coupled with back and recent menu capacitive buttons which are not backlit. Interestingly, the home button also acts as a camera shortcut key – all you need to do is double press the button. On the right you will find the power on/off button while on the left there is the volume rocker. At the base you will find both the microUSB port and 3.5mm audio jack, while the top has been left bare.

The back is removable and has a metallic finish plastic body which looks good but is a bit on the slippery side. You will find the primary camera at the top centre with LED flash and speaker positioned next to it (a bit odd placement). Removing the back cover reveals a removable battery, dual-SIM slot and a microSD card slot. Overall, the Galaxy J5 (2016) looks good, but is far too similar to its predecessor and not as premium as the Redmi Note 3 or the Lenovo Vibe S1.

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) features a 5.2-inch HD Super AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 1280×720 pixels. The company has increased the size of the screen by 0.2-inches but has kept the display as same as it was in the previous model. Colours tend to be a bit saturated. We watched videos on YouTube and were not very impressed with the performance, but viewing angles were good.

galaxy j5 samsung (2)

Middling specs and performance

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. If we compare this with spec sheets of other devices in the same price range, then the J5 seems very modest indeed, when you consider that the likes of Xiaomi and Honor are giving devices with better processors, displays and cameras.

The Galaxy J5 (2016) handles most routine tasks like browsing, social media, video streaming, etc., pretty well but we encountered some sluggishness in multi-tasking mode. The phone was able to handle casual games like Temple Run 2 and Subway Surfers quite well, but when it came to medium or high
graphic  games like Uncharted: Fortune Hunter and Asphalt 8: Airbone, the frame drops crept in.

galaxy j5 samsung (3)

On the camera front, the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. There is a 5-megapixel front camera with LED flash for selfies and video calling. The camera has its hits and misses. It took some good shots in broad daylight, but its performance in low light conditions was average – it was not able handle glares well and photos were too grainy and noisy. The front shooter takes some good selfies and the LED flash makes taking selfies in dark places more convenient.

What makes the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) stand out is Android Marshmallow 6.0 software with cthe ompany’s TouchWiz  UI on top of it, which ran very smoothly indeed. The device comes with a 3100mAh battery which lasted a full day with moderate use and slightly more than half a day with heavy, stressful usage. Call connectivity and clarity were good.

 

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