Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 – Review

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The new Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 Edition I really do enjoy because of it’s premium build quality. The aluminium unibody is really a nice step up from the boring plastic feel from Galaxy J5 2016. This new model feels more like Samsung’s A5 series. Which always has been a bit more premium feel segment.

The last year’s A5 was kinda in a bad shape I think. I hated the glass back, Samsung still have glass back on the new 2017 edition but it is way more smooth rounded on A5 this year. Which makes it feel better.

But the new J5’s aluminium unibody feels even better! And it’s the perfect material if you would drop the device by accident. Because there is no glass back that would break as with the A5 series.

This phone comes packed with the latest Samsung UX, and Android 7.0. Which means it has some UI features designed the same way as the high-end Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus. The display is fairly large at 5.2″ with 720p Super AMOLED Screen. I’m not sure if I enjoy that. Even the cheaper phones constantly getting bigger. I would like to see more phones at 4.3″ again as the Galaxy S2 had.

The J5 has a fingerprint reader and Samsung Pay. The chipset is also good; Exynos 7870, 14nm: octa-core 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 CPU. The GPU is Mali-T830MP2. The Mali GPU performs well with Android’s GTA games. The camera is primary 13MP and a secondary 13MP as well. And Samsung is delivering good quality with the camera!

 

There are some bad things you still have the old microUSB port so it charges slower. And no Always-on Display feature, the A5 series have Always-on Display. And some people think 16GB is too low these days.

But then again this device is a mid-range smartphone. And of course you cannot remove the battery. The good old days with that feature with Samsung phones is more disappearing. You also don’t get a notification LED for new messages.

How does this phone compare to other popular phones? I have done some videos like Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 vs. Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 and there is very little difference between them. A5 Glass Back, J5 Aluminium. A5 IP68 Water and Dust resistant, J5 no IP-rating! A5 Always-on Display so you can see notifications even when the display is turned off, J5 no feature like that so you have to wake up the device old school way.

Is there any good cases available for the J5 2017 edition? Yes in fact Spigen premium case maker have made two nice cases. One is called Liquid Crystal. This case is a see through case. If you want a clarity case. If you want a case with better grip they have also released a case called Liquid Air Armor which is using a premium TPU layer.

How does the J5 compare against Samsung Galaxy S8? S8 got 570 ppi pixel density, almost double the J5’s 282 ppi. S8 is using Exynos 8895 and it’s Geekbench score is 6375 in multi-core. The J5 global is getting 3766 in multi-core. So the S8 is around double in terms of processor speed. S8 will come with Samsung DeX (desktop experience support). You need to buy a external gadget for around 100 euro to get DeX. It will turn your phone a bit into a laptop by using a bigger display. S8 also has faster battery charging (Quick Charge 2.0 with Type-C 1.0).

Then S8 has IP68 certification just as the A5 series. One of the big difference is how S8 comes with 64GB internal storage and 4GB ram. The only J5 2017 that comes close is the J5 Pro which has 3GB ram and 32GB storage. But the standard J5 the global edition comes with only 16GB of storage and 2GB of ram. So you will only be able to install a couple of high-end games like GTA San Andreas.

S8 also has a more beautiful edge-to-edge display and slimmer in width which gives it a more premium feel. But it also has a badly placed fingerprint sensor on the back which many times won’t recognise your finger. Or it can be hard to reach it. With the J5 the fingerprint reader is on the front so easier to get it right the first time.

It is also true that the Galaxy S8 has 4K video recording capabilities and some other features. But really who records video in 4K that much? The J5 can record in Full HD. The S8 cost almost 3-4x as much depending on the region you live in. Is it really worth it? The J5 is a great deal for the price it cost. I’m glad Samsung has brought out such a premium device at such an amazing price range.

It is even cheaper than when Samsung released the Galaxy S4 Mini for around 350 euro a couple of years back.

In terms of build quality as you can see my Galaxy S8 from a drop test the glass got shattered very badly. If it would have been a drop test with the J5 the back wouldn’t have gotten destroyed. So you even get a overall better build quality on the J5 it’s amazing. The S8 features Gorilla Glass 5 on front that might be stronger than the J5’s front. But if you buy a screen protector for J5 you can get decent protection fast.

Overall there is very little to complain about with this phone. I just want to say that Samsung did a really good job here. And I hope it won’t start to lag 6 months in. As Samsung’s Galaxy S6 lineup has suffered lot’s of problems with software that is slow.

Even my S8’s software is pretty badly optimised and I can detect lag in the photo gallery app. I hope Samsung works out their hardware and software failures which happens from time to time. Like with the Note 7 fiasco.

Best Regards,

Adrian

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