Samsung Galaxy J3 – Best 2016 budget phone?

The UK release of the Samsung Galaxy J3  helps fill out the ranks of 2016 budget phone range, accompanying others, like the HTC Desire 530.


HTC Desire 530 review


Samsung Galaxy J3 design


The most attractive element of the Galaxy J3 is its Samsung branding and the look of the phone is recognisably Samsung too. The buttons that sit beneath the display are physical and this does make operation easier when compared to phones that use virtual buttons that disappear.


In the hand, the Galaxy J3 is extremely light and isn’t bulky either with a waist measuring 7.6mm. The phone is available in gold, white and black.


Samsung Galaxy J3


The Super AMOLED HD display measures 5 inches and typically Samsung displays are the brightest and most colourful around, and the screen on this phone is no exception to the rule. The resolution is high definition and there is an Outdoor Mode, which ramps up the brightness for use under sunlight.


User interface


The Android Lollipop OS offers a friendly user experience that has had a few Samsung tweaks. Pull down the notifications panel from the top of the screen and there is a coloured bar of quick settings, a link to the full settings menu and of course the notifications themselves.


In the settings, users can add their social networking accounts and add numerous email accounts, for an all-in-one inbox.


The Samsung Galaxy J3 also morphs itself very well to cater for specific, and often forgotten, demographics. There is an Easy Mode for those who want an uncomplicated experience, HAC support for hearing aid wearers and dominant hand selection for both right and left-handed users.




The Samsung Galaxy J3 has access to new apps through the Google Play Store and through the Samsung App Store, where apps designed specifically for Samsung can be found.


The pre-loaded apps includes Google Maps with GPS navigation and maps can be downloaded for navigation when the phone is not connected to the internet. Google Play Music is also pre-loaded and this works well with the phone’s SoundAlive+ speakers.


Galaxy J3


Further features includes Google Voice Search, Google Voice Typing, 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi and hotspot creation for getting other devices online.


Samsung Galaxy J3 photography


The 5MP camera comes with plenty of bells and whistles. A variety of shooting modes cater for panorama shots, continuous shooting for capturing fast paced action, Beauty Face for taking selfies on the 2MP camera and Sound and Shot for capturing a snippet of the atmosphere.


Further to these, the camera can shoot HD video, be launched quickly with a double tap on the home key and edit photos with collage and slideshow creation tools.


Battery life


The battery gives plenty of juice for actually using the phone and under continuous use the Samsung Galaxy J3 can browse the internet for up to 11 hours over Wi-Fi, play music for 77 hours or play videos for up to 14 hours.


As with all Samsung phones, there is Power and Ultra Power Saving Modes for use over extended periods aways from a mains charger.


Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy J3? Personal tastes answer this question. If you want a Samsung phone on the cheap then this is a good buy. If you want a better smartphone camera then the HTC Desire 530 may be a better buy and this phone also has Android Marshmallow straight out of the box.


Written by: Michael Brown

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