Our initial thoughts on the newly announced Galaxy J (2017) smartphones
Samsung’s 2017 editions of its mainstream Galaxy J smartphones are finally official. The Galaxy J lineup was Samsung’s first serious attempt to offer budget users a good smartphone experience, and the company has done a commendable job of bringing in noticeable improvements over the short span these devices have been available (even though some of these improvements came in the form of a device that was available in very few markets). We will be reviewing the new Galaxy J3, J5, and J7 in the coming weeks, but what do we think about these phones based on their spec sheet?
Well, to be honest, there isn’t a lot that impresses here, at least as far as the technical specs are concerned. They aren’t a major step-up compared to last year’s iterations, and the J5 even gets a downgrade in the form of a slightly smaller battery. Samsung has also decided to go with an LCD display on the J3 this year; thankfully, the company is offering a Full HD display on the J7 (2017) in all markets. When taken on their own, however, the specs are impressive for the prices Samsung has attached to these phones, even though they might not match those offered by the Chinese competition. Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 user interface is a highlight here, and so are the 13-megapixel front-facing cameras. The J5 and J7 also get a fingerprint sensor, which is an added bonus.
The premium design is no doubt what Samsung will be focusing on in its marketing material, and it’s certainly going to be the most attractive feature on these phones. We liked the Galaxy J7 Prime, the first metallic Galaxy J series device, and the new J3, J5, and J7 shouldn’t be any different. What will make some people unhappy, of course, is that removable batteries are no longer part of the equation. Don’t worry, though – if the battery life on existing J series phones is anything to go by, you probably won’t be feeling the need for keeping extra batteries all that much.
Overall, we think the Galaxy J (2017) devices will do as well as their predecessors, but we’re disappointed the specs haven’t seen a major boost. An LCD display on the Galaxy J3 (2017) means there is currently no way to get an AMOLED screen in the sub-€250 price segment on a Samsung device, and it’s a considerable downgrade over last year’s Galaxy J3. Needless to say, the actual experience of using the phone is something that the specs never reveal, so we will be taking a close look at all of the three new handsets to see what they offer.
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