The last couple of years have seen a number of hugely successful ‘budget’ smartphones launch in the UK, such as the Motorola Moto G and the Huawei Ascend G7, opening up a whole new range of well-spec’d, low-priced options for today’s mobile phone buyers.
As you might expect, this had an impact on the sales of bigger, better-known brands. Samsung’s previous budget offering consisted of price-slashed versions of their older, flagship ‘S’ series phones which left them trailing behind their new competition spec-for-spec. The new J series is the Korean giant’s emphatic response.
It has to be said, Samsung have risen to the budget challenge admirably. Whilst the appearance of the J5 may be a bit ho-hum, it is a very solid all-round smartphone with a couple of nice extra touches thrown in.
The most obvious of these is the selfie camera, which weighs in at 5 megapixels. This already puts it at the top-end of available selfie phone-cameras, but the addition of an LED selfie flash puts it in the company of a privileged one or two devices. Perfect if selfies are your thing.
(We should also mention at this point that the overall camera set-up of the Samsung J5 is above-average excellent, featuring a 13 megapixel main camera and plenty of image-enhancing software.)
The second thing of particular note is the quality of the screen. Samsung have long been investing in display technology – unsurprising when you consider their track record in High Definition TVs and in tablets. This is evident with the J5. It has a 5 inch, super-AMOLED display which means it’s vivid, bright and colourful. Great for viewing those awesome selfies you took.
Everything else is as you’d hope and expect. The Samsung J5 is 4G-ready, runs the latest Android software, and has a fast quadcore processor plus memory expandable to 128GB, which more than makes up for the slightly measly 8GB it comes with onboard.
All of this means it’s more than adequate for every day smartphone use and can also handle more demanding duties, such as playing 3D games, if you choose to throw them at it.
Our view: A real contender for the budget smartphone crown with some strong extras and few, if any, downsides.