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Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 Review

Sajid Ayaz Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5

Samsung broke new grounds in the line of budget devices with its J series in Asia this past year. It seemed only necessary that they give their esteemed J line a decent follow up this year to pay them homage and to uphold the family name. All of Samsung’s last year’s devices are getting their worthy descendants but the new Samsung  J5 2016 and J7 2016 are stirring whispers among the masses and for all the right reasons. 


With this year’s design Samsung has revised its design a lot keeping hold of what it deemed worthy and letting go of the bits that weighed its killer project down. The new J5 2016 is in all aspects what you could say… a more premium built. Samsung has added a much needed matte finish metallic rim to its budget smartphone in place of the plastic one from J5 (2015). You’d know how much this phone, or for that matter, any phone needs it the moment you’ll get your hands on it. Need we say that we don’t get the glass back like other flagship devices, in this price tag? What this device does inherit however, from S6 and S6 edge is a slight curve to its back panel which makes this phone a little more comfortable in your hand. Samsung has also removed the cheap looking gloss finish off of J5’s back panel in favor of matte finish. To sum it all up, the metallic rim, curvy back and matte finishes to both the rim and the back add a bit of premium feel to this device that is fit to its price tag. All the hardware buttons have retained their positions the way they were in J5 (2015) and are sturdy and responsive. This phone is 145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm which is just a smitch bigger and bulkier than its previous version. It weighs around 159 grams and has both single and dual sim versions that support micro Sims. It is highly likely that Asian release would be the dual sim variant. 


This is one of the few downgrades we have managed to spot in this device as compared to its older version. The pixel density has dropped down a mild 12 PPI and is now 282 PPI. Though it is not much different from last year’s 294 PPI, 720 × 1280 resolution is nowhere near anyone’s good books these days. The Super AMOLED screen size has expanded 0.2 inches and is now 5.2 inches and detects up to five multiple fingers. It’s a pity Samsung didn’t give much thought to adding Corning Gorilla Glass protection to their budget smartphone series like Motorola did to theirs. We sure would have liked that. 


This is by far the most applause-worthy feature of this cell phone. It comes with a humongous 3100 mAh removable Li-Ion battery. Couple this with the fact that the meagre display and processor, few sensors and a more optimized UI are not a huge drain on battery and you get 2 straight days of heavy usage out of this phone. If you’re always on the go and can’t take breaks to charge your device, or you simply need a backup budget device, then this is just the phone for you. 


The new galaxy J5 2016 does not come housing a lot of sensors much like its ancestor but then again: it’s a budget device and can be more than forgiven for that. There are just 2 sensors, an accelerometer for gaming, and a proximity sensor. 


This is where the J series triumphed over all of its rivals: camera. As was expected, the new J series upheld this very feature their line were held dear for. The J5 2016 came with the same 13 MP shooter from the past year’s variant with dual LED flash at the back and a 5MP shooter accompanied by a single LED flash at the front. Also accompanying the back camera are f/1.9 lenses from past year’s S6  which is a significant improvement over the J5 2015. 


It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset which to some may seem a little outdated. Though it may not carry out some strenuous tasks easily but coupled with a quad core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz and an Adreno 306 GPU, you get what many may call a purely lag free experience. Despite the outdated chip, I’d say it’s a steal in this price range if you’re a Samsung fan. 


Galaxy J5 2016 comes with Android 5.1 pre-installed but has a promised upgrade to marshmallow on the way. Some variants even come with android M pre-installed. The stock android has a Samsung UIs topping which they won’t call Touchwiz anymore. You have the option to enable or disable app drawer and access Flipboard the way Nexus devices access Google Now or LG devices access LG health: by swiping left on the extreme left home screen. There are other significant improvements in the UI as well. For example it’s not a burden to your RAM too, and strives to have its fill in a relatively smaller portion of the RAM.



As of now, there is only one version with 16 GB memory, but you get an external SD card slot that supports memories of up to 128 GBs. It also comes with a stunning 2GBs of RAM which is more than sufficient to satiate an average consumer’s needs. 


With a price tag of 19,999 PKR we would say that it sure is a bang for your buck. You get seamless performance with that magnanimous heap of RAM Samsung has managed to let out, great cameras, and the necessary chipset, GPU, CPU that an average user requires to carry out average tasks in a price that short. This phone is sure as heck cheap when you dive into the details of what this phone has to offer. 

Final Verdict

The device deems itself worthy to stand amidst the best of today’s market. Samsung has always stood atop shocking everyone by producing phones with incredible specifications on paper. This device is no exception. With as low a price tag as this, you get anything and everything that classifies the device to be the best. Sure there are other phones in this price bracket creating hype in the market right now, but they don’t promise the handy insurance that comes with the Asian variants of J5 and none aren’t as snappy when it comes to cameras. In the long run J5 2016 has the last laugh over them and is sure ruling the market like a boss.

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