Samsung J3 2017 001
- Smartphones

Review: Samsung J3 – Budget Samsung For The Simple User

Not everybody want and need the new Samsung Galaxy S8. It is overpriced and if you are a simple user, you pay way too much. There are alternatives which are a fraction of the price of the Galaxy series but still preform like you want. It is not some unknown China phone brand that you will but then, no! Samsung makes budget phones as well. The Samsung J3 is one of those, let’s have a look at the Samsung J3, the budget Samsung for the simple user.

Samsung J3 2017 001

Specifications & Introduction

Do we need to pay almost €700 for the Samsung Galaxy S8? I think it is overpriced, just like the iPhone X or the iPhone 8. There are good, cheaper alternatives on the market. The Samsung J3 is still a known brand, which a lot of people want, but it is less then €200!

Basics: 
Brand:Samsung
Type:Smartphone
Operation System:Android 7.0
CPU Brand:Samsung
CPU:Samsung Exynos 7 Quad (7570)
Core:1.4GHz,Quad Core
GPU:Mali™-T720 MP1
Sim Slot:Single
Sim Type:Nanosim
Storage: 
RAM:2GB
ROM:16GB
External Memory:MicroSD, MicroSDHC, MicroSDXC
Micro USB Slot:Yes
Screen: 
Screen type:Touchscreen
Screen size:5"
Screen resolution:1280x720
Dots per inch:294dpi
Screen to body ratio:68,5%
Connections: 
WiFi:802.11 /b/g/n wireless internet
Bluetooth:Yes, Bluetooth 4.2
Mobile Networks:2G - edge, 2G - gprs, 3G - hsdpa, 3G - hspa, 3G - hsdpa, 3G - hspa, 3G - hspa+, 3G - hsupa, 3G - umts, 4G - lte
4G Bands:LTE FDD B1, B3, B5, B7, B8, B20 - LTE TDD B38, B40 - LTE Cat. 4 - WCDMA B1, B2, B5, B8
Frequencies:850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz , 1900MHz
Others:NFC (Near Field Communication), 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro USB
Camera: 
Camera type:Dual cameras (one front, one back)
Back camera:13.0MP
Front camera:2.2MP
Supported video resolution:1920x1080
Battery information: 
Battery:2400 mAh
Type:Lithium-Ion
Talk-time:Up to 23 hours
Stand-by:Up to 400 hours
Others: 
Size: 143.2 x 70.3 x 8.2 mm (5.64 x 2.77 x 0.32 in)
Sensors:Accelerometer, proximity

Unboxing

I’ve unboxed a lot of Xiaomi products (lamps, sensors and phones). Some of those Xiaomi products got a really boring packaging, but the Samsung J3 has a colorful Blue package!

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Hardware & Design

The metal frame of the Samsung J3 gives it a nice strong feeling. There are multiple phones (Maze AlphaBluboo S8Bluboo S1) on the market which are less then €200 which feel like crap. Luckily the phones I got felt pretty good. The plastic design doesn’t give you the feeling of a good strong phone. Luckily Samsung used metal in the frame! The design is simple but effective and if you are a person who like to show the brand, Samsung put it on the front and back so that everybody can see that you own a Samsung phone.

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The design itself is rather simple, but I think it looks good. It really looks like a Samsung phone and they did a good job.
It is easy to hold in your hand because it is just a 5″ phone instead of the almost 6″ or even more that we see today. If I compare this to the Maze Alpha or the Bluboo S8, this J3 is way better to hold and preforms almost the same at the roughly the same price.

A phone can be really expensive, but if the hardware sucks and the results are bad, nobody is willing to walk around and showing off how much money they paid. On the otherhand, if a phone is really cheap, but preforms really good, everybody would love to tell everybody how they paid less then €200 for a great preforming phone. Lets have a look how the Samsung J3 2017 preforms:

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And as the results already tell, this phone is enough for daily use. But, if you are a gamers or use it more heavily then normal, this might not be the phone you want to buy.

The missing fingerprint scanner

This budget Samsung phone does not have a fingerprint scanner. It is a miss and I really like the use and fast unlocking that it brings with it, but I can live without. I’ve used this phone now for some time and it is working fine. If you are getting this, you just have to unlock it with the pattern or pincode again.

This is one of the few downsides of the Samsung J3 (2017), if Samsung build in a fingerprint scanner, I would recommend this phone to everybody. (Who is a light to medium user).

Audio and speaker

The speaker is placed in a different place then we normally see. I expected to see the speaker at the bottom of the phone, but it has a weird place. It is located above the power button. This is a place I did not expect it.

The sound is good and medium loud, but you are able to play a video or song and show it to a group of people. The sounds are good with different styles, like: Classic, R&B, Hip-Hop and Rock.

Software

The software is Android 7.0 with the Samsung skin over it. It is something you have to get used to, but if you come from a previous version of Samsung, this would be fine. I only had a Samsung when the Samsung Galaxy S3 was really cool, so that is a long time ago! I had to figure out the Samsung skin a bit, but that was fine after a few hours.

You can install a launcher and customize it how you’d like, but if you keep it default, you might have to get used to it.

Camera

I’m surprised by the camera of the Samsung J3. I thought, like the other budget phones, that the camera would take really bad pictures, but it actually takes some decent pictures and movies! Of course it is not Samsung Galaxy S8 quality, but for the price, this is more then I expected.

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As you can see, the photo’s are decent looking and considering the phone they are good! The colors are a bit off if we compare it with the 4K video that the Xiaomi Mi A1 made. But again, this phone is cheaper and has a camera that is not as good as the Mi A1. The Samsung J3 (2017) has a “special” thing. It has a selfie flash. As you can see in the pictures above, it makes a real difference. The photo without flash is makes me look red and sunburned, but with the flash it makes it look way better and sharper.

Battery

I’m really suprised about the battery. This is a smaller phone then I would normally have and the battery capacity is even less. It is just a 2400 mAh battery, but it lasts really long. I’ve used the phone for a few days now and I’m able to use it two full days, without charging. For a budget phone with a smaller battery, this is amazing.

This usage was after a day of working and I was still over 90% battery left. A little side note, there was no simcard inside. I used the phone on WiFi and Hotspot all day.

I used the phone as well with simcard and I was able to use it for two days as well. There was less battery at the end of the day, between 5%-20%, but 2 days is great for this phone.

Conclusion

Samsung showed that they are capable of creating some great high-end flagship phones. But, with the Samsung J3 (2017) they created a budget phone that is perfect for the average user. Just use it for browsing and chatting, this phone is perfect. Even the camera is good and makes pictures you are comfortable to show to other people.

The Samsung J3 (2017) is comparable with the Xiaomi Mi A1, but it is from a more familiar brand. If you give people the two phones and let them choose, I geuss they will go for the Samsung because of the brand.

Samsung J3 (2017)

€199
7.8

Software

7.5/10

Battery

9.0/10

Build quality

8.5/10

Features

6.0/10

Camera

8.0/10

Pros

  • Battery
  • Build quality
  • Camera

Cons

  • No fingerprint scanner
  • Samsung software