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Last updated on the 18th of January at 8:10am with 316,853 deals.
Our Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) Review
The 2016 version of the Samsung Galaxy J3 offered a bright screen and solid battery life, but fell down on internal storage, design and performance. It was an inherently affordable smartphone, but its rivals just had something more to offer.
We take a look at the 2017 release, which promises the same level of affordability, but will need to make a few improvements.
Contract, PAYG or SIM Only?
The 2017 Galaxy J3 is available to buy outright for around £100, so price-wise it’s a good shout for customers looking at SIM-only. The SIM deals are such great value that paying £100 to own the phone will work out as great value for money. The same goes for Pay As You Go; you’ll own the phone so your only cost will be the top-ups and there are plenty of good deals out there, even though a SIM plan represents better value.
Equally, you’ll get some really cheap contracts where the phone price is included. From around £15 a month you can get the phone, unlimited calls and texts and 500MB-1GB of data. Depending on the provider, you could get this down to around £13 a month, if you sacrifice some of your minutes.
As you would expect from Samsung, the screen is a positive feature, although not without its drawbacks. It’s a 5-inch 1280 x 720 LCD display, so it’s actually a step down from the Super AMOLED technology used on the 2016 release.
That being said, the 720p screen holds up. It’s crisp and bright, so you’re getting something that’s pretty decent at this price point. The drop in screen tech is somewhat of a mystery, but it remains in line with similarly priced rivals.
The 13-megapixel camera is very much a budget effort, but it still fares pretty well. Low-light snaps can be a struggle die to the f/1.9 aperture, but good lighting offers a significant improvement.
The 5-megapixel front-facer includes an LED flash which means selfies survive poor lighting. Additional features for taking photos are all run-of-the-mill; the key word for this phone’s camera capabilities would be ‘average’.
This version of the J3 sports a smart design, with a metal finish that makes it feel more premium than the price point would suggest.
The smoothed-off edges are indicative of a Galaxy phone, and whilst the large bezels aren’t ideal, you can still count on something that looks good at a great price. It’s also pretty slim and lightweight, measuring 8.2mm in thickness.
It runs on a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, alongside 2GB of RAM, so performance is okay. Obviously the higher-end Android phones put such specs to shame, but there’s reasonable fluidity here.
There are a few games that will suffer from lag, but you would expect that. Overall performance is fine for a budget Galaxy phone.
What we think
You’ll get what you pay for, and that sounds harsh but you can get a lot more if you move a little on price. As budget phones go it has rivals that offer more, but at the same time you get a premium-looking phone with a decent screen and good performance, so it’s worth considering.
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) Specification
- Display Size: 5.0"
- Display Resolution: 1280 x 720
- Display Type: PLS
- Primary Camera Flash: LED
- Primary Camera Resolution: 4160 x 3120
- Primary Camera Megapixels: 13
- Secondary Camera Megapixels: 5
- Memory Card Slot: MicroSD up to 256GB
- 2G Connectivity: GSM
- 3G Connectivity: HSDPA
- 4G Connectivity: LTE
- Bluetooth: 4.0 with A2DP, LE
- GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS and Beidou
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
- Processor: 1.4 GHz Quad-core
- Chipset: Exynos 7 Quad 7570
- Talk Time: Up to 15 hours
- Weight (grams): 142
- Dimensions: 143.2 x 70.3 x 8.2 mm
- Battery Type: Non-removable
- IP Rating:
- Sim Type: Nano SIM
- Operating System: Android
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