In countries like Pakistan, Samsung has a strong foothold in budget focused smartphone market. The new Galaxy J1 Mini Prime is the brand’s latest offering in this category. Not only is the phone multiple times cheaper than a flagship but also packs practicality. We will be taking a look at this phone in quite detail right below and stack up its features to see whether its the right choice for the price. To start off, Samsung has been shifting down names to alphabets where the J series is at the very bottom with hardware specs and price. Read ahead for a detailed description about Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini Prime and our opinion on it.
Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini costs the better part of $100. Mentioning the price straight forward is quite important as it is a major point in markets like Pakistan. The phone itself doesn’t cut much corners at first glance but lets take a detailed look at it and find out how it manages in practical usage. We have with us the Galaxy J1 Mini Prime in Black color.
Before we start the discussion, lets look at the technicals of the Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini Prime
- Network: GSM / HSPA / LTE
- Display: 4.0 inches TFT Display
- Proceesor: Quad-core 1.5 GHz
- OS: Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
- Camera: Rear : 5 MP (F/2.2), Front : VGA
- Video: MPEG4, H.265(HEVC), H.264(AVC), H.263, VC-1, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8, VP9
- Audio: MP3, AAC LC/AAC+/eAAC+,AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, FLAC, Vorbis, Opus
- Additional features: MST Technology (Samsung Pay) Option, Samsung KNOX, S-Voice, Dual SIM option
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v 4.2, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC (UICC)
- Memory: 1GB RAM + 8GB Storage and Micro SD slot (up to 256GB)
- Dimension: 121.6 x 63.1 x 10.8 mm
- Battery: 1,500mAh
Galaxy J1 Mini Prime: Design and Hardware
Starting off with the phone’s exterior, the whole body is made out of plastic. The back cover has a grippy texture on it whereas the front, as usual, is made of up glass. Obviously, it isn’t Gorilla Glass but it serves it purpose. This phone reminds us of the old days where Android phones were just gaining traction. Galaxy J1 Mini Prime features Samsung’s standard three button layout on the front. The layout consists of a physical home button and two capacitive touch buttons on each side. Unfortunately, the touch buttons don’t have a backlight.
Moving on, there is no notification light on the phone hence you would have to power the screen on to check for notifications. As it isn’t featuring a AMOLED screen there is no support for Always-On Display. The screen resolution is at 480×800 spread out on a 4.0 inch surface area. This means, the pixel density is at 233 PPI. Not completely unusable but not on the higher part of the spectrum as well.
On the longer sides, we find the power button on the right and volume rockers on the right. On the top, there is a, thankfully, 3.5mm audio jack. Lastly, on the bottom you would find the standard microUSB port for data communication as well as charging.
Concluding on the overall design, it is distinctively Samsung. We are reminded of previous budget smartphones by the same brand through this design. Which is a good thing as familiarity has always been one of the traits of Samsung.
Internals, the Galaxy J1 Mini Prime gets a Quad Core processor clocking at 1.5GHz coupled with 1GB RAM. Nothing to battle with flagships but for normal usage, enough. The phone handles multi-tasking well if the number of apps open are small in number. As mentioned earlier, the processor wont shatter records but we have still benchmark-ed the phone and results have been attached.
Galaxy J1 Mini Prime: Camera
The camera modules are just added as a necessity. The main module is 5MP with f/2.2 aperture whereas the secondary one is at VGA quality. Both of these modules have a fixed focus. Again, in this range, camera is a feature rather than the quality of the camera. Users wont be expecting to replacing point and shoot cameras with the Galaxy J1 Mini Prime. The rear camera is capable of recording footage at 720p resolution at max.
We think Samsung could have went with a nicer camera module on the rear. Competitor smartphones in similar price brackets do have better cameras compared with the Galaxy J1 Mini Prime.
Galaxy J1 Mini Prime: Connectivity, Memory and Battery
This category is where we Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini truly stands out. Starting off with connectivity, the phone features LTE connectivity which is very rare at this price bracket. Seeing the LTE traction in Pakistan, this phone will only encourage more users to try it. Further, the phone has a standard 8GB capacity. That might seem quite lacking but fortunately, it is easily upgrade-able with a microSD card. The RAM is at 1GB which might not seem enough but as it runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the OS feels snappy thanks to it being more optimized than ever before.
Lastly, the Battery capacity is 1,500mAH. The low-power processor and display help this otherwise quite small capacity to last for quite some time. Also, Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving mode helps to extend it even further. In our daily usage, we got a day’s worth of power easily out of a single charge with much to spare.
Galaxy J1 Mini Prime: Software
Another good selling point of the Galaxy J1 Mini is the software it runs. Other competitor smartphones in this bracket lack heavily in this department. As Samsung has years of experience building Android phone and specially, Android powered OS, it is only right to say Samsung is quite good at it. Thankfully, Samsung has tried its best to add all TouchWiz UI features found on higher-end phones to the Galaxy J1 Mini Prime. The Ultra-Power Saving mode is there, you get Samsung priority apps including Galaxy Apps store.
The overall User Interface has been carried over from high end flagship phones by Samsung, giving users familiarity and that same ease of use. Also, as this is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, there wont be any issues of compatibility of latest apps. The brand will also follow up with maintenance firmware updates which again are lacking in a number of competitor phones.
Default bundled Samsung Apps & Features:
File Manager is a simple but mandatory app available in the Galaxy A5 (2017). It functions to provide you access to all of your stored media and data. OTG connections also show up in this app.
Galaxy Apps lets you install proprietary Samsung apps which aren’t listed or available on the Play Store like S Note.
S Voice is a personal voice-powered assistant. You can control your phone hands free through S Voice and perform different actions otherwise not available in Google Now.
Ultra-Power Saving mode if you are running on low battery and cannot charge your phone, you can access this mode. It cuts down on all of the different features while still letting you access the basic ones.