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Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7 2016 Hands-on, First Impressions: Budget Mid-rangers?

Samsung J Series 68

Samsung’s J series of devices have always been aimed at budget consumers, and to that end, had plastic bodies and wallet-friendly price tags. This year though Samsung’s thrown that recipe into the drink with the top end models for the J series – the J5 and J7 – by encasing the two devices in premium metal frames, which has seemingly raised the prices for the two new models. Let’s take a closer look at the two, shall we?

Samsung Galaxy J5 specs

  • 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of expandable storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9 apeture lens, LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera, f/1.9 aperture lens, LED flash
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 3100mAh battery
  • Android Marshmallow

Samsung Galaxy J7 specs

  • 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 16GB of expandable storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9 aperture lens, LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera, f/1.9 aperture lens, LED flash
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Android Marshmallow

Samsung J Series 74

Initial impressions: Metal frames make them feel like mid-range, not budget phones

Like we said earlier the J series of Samsung has always been the runt of the litter – while the Korean company’s high-end S and Note series got all the attention (and the hype), the J series had the thankless job of reaping in the profits at the low-end.

Samsung J Series 69

This year Samsung’s taken to infusing metal into the budget lineup, which incidentally is one of the few phones in the company’s portfolio that’s still almost exclusively made from plastic. No more – the new 5.2-inch J5 and 5.5-inch J7 now have metal frames in their bodies that’s patterned after the new A-series of devices.

Samsung J Series 72

The result are phones that feel more premium than they actually are. Both phones are identical in design, in fact you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart when you pick them up seperately. The J5 is a little smaller, obviously, coming in at 72.3mm tall and a little thicker too, at 8.1mm. The J7 comes in at 76mm tall and is a hair thinner, at 7.8mm thick.

Samsung J Series 36

Despite the metal frame there’s still vestiges of the J design in the two phones – the backs are plastic, and for some reason we’re not liking the curves at the side where the plastic meets metal. We also loathe the placement, color and material choice for the speaker grille, which spoils the otherwise premium feel of the phone.

Samsung J Series 18

One bright spot of the overall design? Removable backs – the Galaxy J5 and J7 have removable backs and removable batteries, along with dual SIM slots and a microSD expansion slot. Removable batteries are still important to a large subset of smartphone users, and it’s nice that the J5 and the J7 still has this feature.

Samsung J Series 71

As with most of their phones, Samsung supplies the Super AMOLED displays on both devices, and both have HD resolution displays. In keeping with Samsung’s design philosophy the phones also use a physical home button, but sadly it doesn’t come equipped with a fingerprint scanner.

Samsung J Series 19

Both phones use the same 13-megapixel rear camera that’s paired with a f/1.9 aperture lens, AF and LED flash. The front camera is a 5-megapixel deal with a f/1.9 aperture and LED flash as well.

Probably the only thing that the two phones differ in is the processor – the J5 uses the rather dated Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor, while the J7 uses the Snapdragon 617. Both processors are not screamers in terms of speed, and both score modestly in AnTuTu – 28039 for the J5, and 5815 for the J7. That said, the phones will probably last more than a day with a single charge, given their large battery capacities and modest power requirements. Despite the age of their processors, the phones still perform well in normal tasks, and the 2GB of RAM is more than enough for daily use though power users may shy away given the modest specs.

Samsung J Series 75

Samsung is pricing the Galaxy J5 at Php 11,990 and the J7 at Php 14,990. That’s a substantial jump from the 2015 versions of the phone, which retailed at Php 9,990 and Php 12,990 respectively.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

15 Comments

  1. Aren’t we getting the Exynos 7870 J7 instead of the Snapdragon one? Please verify in Antutu/CPU-Z, thanks

    1. oo better wait for ASUS to provide you with a faulty phone lololol

      ASUS mobile division will provide you with good specs and seemingly good price but at the expense of quality and reliability

      1. Woah! laki ng talon sa price..kung price range nya i would go for Vivo V3 same specs as J7 2016 or get a Huawei P9 Lite which has better specs than the 2…or yeah wait for Asus ZF3..

      2. ano pinagsasabi mo? yung Max ko till now smooth at napaka ganda ng performance. the best ang asus. budget friendly, innovative(pag nag release ng bagong unit malaki ang inimprove sa unang release), rich community and support. san ka pa?

  2. Sinayangan lang ni Samsung ang Ganda ng kuha na front camera ni J7 – ang pangit ng kuha ng rear, parang Patay yung saturation – parang 1st generation Omnivision lenses. ? Kung back camera ni A9 tapos front camera ni J7 for 13k-14k, Panalo na Sana to. Isa pa yung RAM – Sana ginawang 3 GB to. Sabi ni Sammy, pantapat daw nila to kay Redmi Note 3 Pro – pero layu e. Epic fail na nman.

  3. For the same amount or less you can get a more capable phone. Samsung and Apple have the same marketing strategy of tricking people into buying their overpriced shit.

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