The J series from Samsung has experienced an end of year overhaul with the new Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime. This mid-tier smartphone sure packs a punch with its premium exterior and software features that were previously present on high end flagships. The phone itself is targeted towards the budget market and an audience which wants a phone that is good enough to run day to day tasks. The Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime sure does promise a lot, let’s see how it holds up in usage.
In the price bracket where the J5 Prime is present, there isn’t a lot being offered. Phones that are, usually skip on some very crucial features and hopefully J5 Prime is to the contrary. There is a fingerprint scanner built-in to the home button, there is expand-ability of a microSD card slot and more. On the exterior, which we think is quite important for a budget class phone and also the only point that can break or make a deal for the end-user, the J5 Prime shines with its aluminum body and a very nice matte black color – our review unit was also in matte black.
Traditionally, lets get the technical specifications out of the way first.
Galaxy J5 Prime: Technical Specifications
- Dimensions 142.8 x 69.5 x 8.1 mm (5.62 x 2.74 x 0.32 in)
- Weight 143 g
- Battery 2400 mAh
- Memory 16 GB built-in, 2GB RAM, microSD card
- Processor Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53
- Display Size 5.0 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (~294 ppi pixel density)
- Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
- Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, proximity
- Operating System: Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
- Colors Black, Gold
- Camera 13 MP, f/1.9, 28mm, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR
- Video 1080p@30fps
- Secondary 5 MP, f/2.2
Galaxy J5 Prime: Design and Hardware
In a sea of Android smartphones, there are two things which set the toppers apart. That, in our opinion, are Design and Hardware. Processor specifications and other technologies can easily be replicated but a pleasing design philosophy and engaging hardware truly seals the deal. And in this respect, the J5 Prime truly excites and goes beyond expectations. The machined aluminium is amazing to hold along with the fact there isn’t any camera, this phone sits flat on any surface which is a very big plus.
Packing a 5.0 inch 720p display, it is adequate. Powering it is a quad-core chip coupled with 2GB of RAM and also 16GB of built-in storage. The storage isn’t a limiting factor as the phone comes with a microSD card that supports upto 256GB. We usually skipped mentioning this in our reviews but fortunately, the J5 Prime DOES ship with a standard 3.5mm jack. The speaker is placed on the side rather then on the bottom, an interesting placement. Neither did it ruin our listening experience neither did it enhance it.
As for cut downs, there are a lot. It is expected that in order to maintain margins, the brand had to cut. There is no light-up buttons, there is no light sensor for auto-brightness functionality and the gyroscope is missing as well. At first, we saw these as crucial features and were surprised Samsung didn’t include them but after using the phone for a while, for the audience it is targeted to, it isn’t as devastating. The auto-brightness is something we really think the phone should’ve shipped with.
Galaxy J5 Prime: Camera
The camera modules are decent. The primary one is featuring 13MP with a f/1.9 aperture for a better low-light experience. The front one is a mediocre 5MP with f/2.2. You can capture some great photos with the camera given that your hand is steady and lighting is above average. The secondary is also adequate for video calling and occasional selfies.
Galaxy J5 Prime: Connectivity, Memory and Battery
The J5 Prime does support 4G LTE connectivity and Dual-SIM functionality. Both of the SIM slots make use of 4G connection capability. Also, the dual-SIM technology is dedicated so if you want to expand storage, there is a separate slot rather than utilizing one SIM slot. As there is a SD-card slot, the phone only has a single 16GB variant. Battery is something also where the J5 Prime excels. Promising around 4-5hrs of Screen On Time, the phone sips power rather than chug it. Another key positive in our books.
Galaxy J5 Prime: Software
The Galaxy moniker from Samsung ensures a very similar software UI across all devices. Be it the expensive S line or Note line, or the J series, the experience is largely similar. Definitely, the speed takes a hit but otherwise TouchWiz UI does a good job on skinning Android. It is one of the very few skins that actually add useful features on top of pure Android to make it worthwhile.
The S-Bike mode is available on the J5 Prime. This feature is to facilitate bike riders with a distraction free ride experience. You can activate it before your journey and the phone will automatically note down key information as well as display notifications in a very easy to view and reply format.