In the last two years, Samsung has been the least popular global brand in the budget smartphone segment. Other MNC manufacturers like Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Yu have totally dominated this segment in Bharat.
I want to admit though Samsung has not lost its desire to become the favorite brand of all smartphone lovers even after getting a tough beat. Every year it launches a new range of devices that are especially focused towards the budget customers.
In this article, we are going to review three such affordable smartphones that the Korean brand Samsung has launched this year. We will also discuss whether devices will make this company popular among budget customers again or not.
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
The Galaxy J3 is one of the cheapest Samsung smartphones out there. One can grab it for just 8,990 rupees at the moment.
Although the J3 looks very similar to any other Galaxy smartphone but Samsung has brought in a number of changes to enhance the look and feel of this device. The build quality of the Galaxy J3 has greatly disappointed me. I was expecting at least a metallic rim this time around.
An 8MP camera on the back enables Galaxy J3 to capture decent shots. It also features a 5MP front camera for selfie lovers.
This smartphone comes with a 5-inch Super AMOLED display sporting an HD resolution of 1280 X 720 pixels. Stunning graphics make everything on its screen come alive.
At the heart of the Galaxy J3 has a Cortex-A7 quad-core processor – coupled with 1.5 GB of RAM. At the software side, the phone is allowing access to the advantage of hardware through Android Lollipop operating system, whose user interface looks quite smooth here. Under the back panel is a 2600 mAh battery capable of giving a full day power backup on moderate usage.
The Galaxy J3 makes a perfect daily driver in the budget segment.
|Features||Android Lollipop, Dual SIM, GSM+GSM, FM Radio|
|Display||5 inch, HD(720×1280), 294 PPI, Super AMOLED|
|Processor||Spreadtrum SC9830, Quad core, 1.5 GHz, Mali-400 MP2|
|Memory||1.5GB RAM, 8GB Internal Memory, 128GB SD Card Support|
|Camera||8MP, LED Flash, ISO control, HDR, Digital image stabilization, FHD @ 30 fps; 5MP|
|Connectivity||1G, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, NFC, GPS, BT 4, Wi-Fi, microUSB 2.0|
|Body||138 grams; 7.9 mm thickness|
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)
If you are a Samsung fan and love premium design, then the Galaxy A3 could be a great option to go for. Many experts have appreciated this phone for its design and features. Even the manufacturer, Samsung, has great hopes from the Galaxy A3.
Is this phone capable standing out in today’s mid-range segment competition? Let us find it out.
I must say, the Galaxy A3 is the most beautiful Samsung smartphone under the price cap of 20,000 rupees.
The phone features a metal frame just like the Galaxy S7. This is not all; the back panel of the phone comes with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Slim profile and premium feel are the two trademarks of this device.
Edges of the phone are chamfered, which gives an appealing look to the whole setup. No matter how small or big your hands are, the Galaxy A3 is much easier to hold and use.
Ideal Display Size
Beyond a certain screen size, smartphones become uncomfortable to hold and carry. This is the reason why Samsung has installed this phone with a 4.7-inch display.
Super- AMOLED technology results in better color reproduction and high contrast ratio. One thing to note here is that the default color tone of the display remains slightly oversaturated but it can be fixed by changing the screen mode from setting menu.
Screen resolution of just 1280 X 720 pixels is a downer as even the budget smartphones are offering full HD display these days.
The Galaxy A3 smartphone runs on a Cortex A-53 quad-core processor clocking at 1.5 GHz. It also has 1.5 GB of RAM, which is enough for running a bunch of apps in the background without affecting the fluidity of the interface.
I found the interface of this phone snappy. Onboard Android 5.1 Lollipop OS does not create any kind of problem for the processor. The custom skin, Samsung has pre-loaded to this phone looks interesting and adds to the user’s better experience.
This Samsung smartphone can fluently run all the apps available on Play Store, including some of the heavy ones like Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, and Google Chrome.
On the gaming front, the Galaxy A3 fails to get a big score. It can run light to moderate games but while running intensive games like NOVA 3 and Asphalt 8 at the highest settings: the processor explodes by frequent hiccups.
It has also got 16 GB of inbuilt of storage that is expandable up to a whopping 128 GB using a microSD card.
13MP 5MP Decent Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy A3 has impressed me with its optical performance. Images captured from the rear 13 MP sensor pack a lot of detail. You can also shoot 1080p videos with it. On the front is a secondary 5MP shooter capable of taking really impressive shots as well.
In low light conditions, both front & rear camera fails in taking clear images. Therefore, indoor images appear not as good as outdoor ones. Another area where the Galaxy A3 may become a little annoying is of auto-focus. Many times the phone is capturing the image even before the camera focus settles on the subject.
Good Connectivity Options and Manageable Battery Life
This smartphone comes with all the connectivity features you will ever need. It is a dual SIM phone and also supports 4G networks.
I would like to point out though its hybrid SIM slot will disappoint some customers. You can either use two SIM cards or one SIM and a microSD card on the Galaxy A3.
As this smartphone has a low-resolution display, its 2300-mAh will easily provide a full day usage. With a 2-AMP charger, the juicy battery will take around 1 – 1.5 hours to get fully charged.
- Mind blowing design
- Super AMOLED display panel
- Quad-core processor
- Captures decent images
- Has a camera bump on the back
- Glass can easily break
- Not a gaming device
- Screen resolution could have been higher
For people who are not just obsessed with gaming, the Galaxy A3 will prove to be a great phone. Samsung has done a great job of designing this smartphone; nevertheless, there is still some room for improvement. It would be great if the future version of the Galaxy A3 features a full HD display and 2GB of RAM.
|Features||Android Lollipop, Dual SIM, GSM+GSM, FM Radio|
|Display||4.7 inch, HD(720×1280), 312 PPI, Super AMOLED|
|Processor||64-bit, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Quad core, 1.5 GHz|
|Memory||1.5GB RAM, 16GB Internal Memory, 128GB SD Card Support|
|Camera||13MP, BSI Sensor, 1.9F, LED Flash, ISO control, HDR, Digital image stabilization, FHD @ 30 fps; 5MP|
|Connectivity||1G, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, GPS, BT 4, Wi-Fi, microUSB 2.0|
|Body||132 grams; 7.3 mm thickness|
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
The last Samsung phone, we have selected for this list is Galaxy J5, currently available for an amount of 13,990 rupees. My team was highly excited for testing it because on paper, J5 offers so many unique features. Our real experience with the phone, however, was not as impressive as we had expected. We did like some features of this phone although on many other fronts it has greatly disappointed us.
An Incomplete Upgrade of Body
Samsung has a long history of not using good quality build materials while making smartphones. Well, the brand is trying very hard to change this situation.
Just like the Galaxy A3, this phone also flaunts a metal frame. Samsung has used high quality and durable materials for making the power key and volume rocker. These buttons give a great feedback upon pressing.
The back panel of the Galaxy J5 still features a cheap plastic material. Its design is not refreshing at all. In my opinion, this phone still needs some improvements.
Low Resolution but High-Quality Display Panel
Smartphone lovers praise super AMOLED Display is no hidden fact. Samsung is doing a highly appreciable job by offering the display technology to its budget smartphones. Thanks to AMOLED display, the Galaxy J5 effectively generates vibrant colors and ultra-wide viewing angles as well.
The HD screen resolution of this smartphone is quite disappointing. Since its display measures 5.2-inches diagonally, the pixel density drops to a much low level. Samsung should have blessed Galaxy J5 by an FHD display at least. As I said in the beginning of this article, almost every smartphone manufacturer nowadays is giving full HD displays to their smartphone if that belongs to price segment – above 10000 rupees.
Below Average Performance
I am yet to figure out why Samsung always limits its budget phones on the front of performance. If it will remain ignorant about this in the coming years also, then other willing manufacturers will wipe out its fortune totally from the budget segment.
What is the point of giving a 1.2 GHz processor (Snapdragon 410 chipset) on a phone priced at 15,000 rupees? You cannot expect this Galaxy smartphone to run any intensive game fluently at the highest graphic settings. Its 2GB RAM although is a great relief as that offers ample space for Snapdragon processor to maneuver. Currently, the smartphone is up for sales in 16GB variant that is expandable up to 128 GB.
After initial disappointment in terms of performance, our opinion about Galaxy J5 slightly changed following a surprising performance by both cameras.
Front and rear cameras of the Galaxy J5 offer a fast shutter speed; therefore, the phone captures images within a blink of an eye. The sensor, which Samsung has used inside the 13MP rear camera unit, is good at collecting photons. Colors do pop out when ample amount of ambient light is present.
Even in low lighting conditions, you can capture a well-lit selfie with the Galaxy J5’s front 5MP camera as it features a front LED flash as well. The camera app allows users to play with some manual controls.
Other Important Features of the Galaxy J5:
- Sports a massive user-removable 3100-mAh battery
- Dual SIM slots with 4G support, no hybrid system
- Runs Android Lollipop
- Metal frame
- No hybrid SIM slot
- Long battery life
- Great cameras
- 2GB RAM
- Plastic back panel
- Mediocre processor
The below average processor of this phone has greatly disappointed me. For casual users, though this will not be much problem. The Galaxy J5 will impress on the optical front as it captures sharp and detailed images. Even its battery backup is highly appreciable.
|Features||Android Marshmallow, Dual SIM, GSM+GSM, FM Radio with RDS|
|Display||5.2 inch, HD(720×1280), 282 PPI, Super AMOLED|
|Processor||64-bit, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Quad core, 1.2 GHz, Adreno 306|
|Memory||2GB RAM, 16GB Internal Memory, 128GB SD Card Support|
|Camera||13MP, CMOS Sensor, 1.9F, LED Flash, ISO control, HDR, Digital image stabilization, FHD @ 30 fps; 5MP, 1.9F, LED Flash, Wide Angle Selfie|
|Connectivity||1G, 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, NFS, GPS, BT 4, Wi-Fi, microUSB 2.0|
|Body||158 grams; 8.1 mm thickness|