Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime Review: Middle Child of the J Series

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The Middle of the Mid-Ranged Galaxy J Series

Samsung hot ticket item these days may be their flagship devices, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but they’re definitely not forgetting about their mid-ranged segment; after all, that’s where the bulk of sales come from for any smartphone brand these days. They introduced their fair share of J series smartphones, starting off with the J2 and going all the way up to the J7. While we’ve already given you our quick review for this device, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the middle child of the J series, the J5 Prime, to see if it’s worth its asking price.

Specifications

  • 1.4GHz Exynos 7570 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Mali-T720 GPU
  • 5.0-inch HD PLS LCD display; 1280×720 resolution
  • 16GB of expandable storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/1.9 aperture, AF, LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera, f/2.2 aperture
  • 3G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 2400mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Familiar Looks, Familiar Feel

If you skipped over our quick review for the Galaxy J5 Prime, we mentioned that it looks a lot like similar offerings from ASUS or other Chinese manufacturers that made for familiar look and feel for the device; at least when you’re looking at it from the back. While this may be the case, the signature button layout on its chin — not to mention the branding on its forehead, is a telltale sign that this a Sammy device through and through.

A quick note about that home button. No surprise that Samsung has embedded it fingerprint scanner here, but expect to wipe it down from time to time to ensure that it can read your bio-metrics properly; especially on hot and humid days we’ve been having recently.

Most mid-ranged devices nowadays are built using mostly metal with a bit of plastic to make sure there isn’t any interference with the phone’s antenna and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with the J5 Prime as well. The mix of materials fit as snug as a bug in a rug and overall build quality is as expected from the Korean firm. No flex. No play. All good.

Since you’ve got a screen size of 5-inches, the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime also fits in the hand rather well; whether or not you’ve got man-sized mitts like most of the team or if you’ve got daintier hands. There’s no problem using the device with one hand and maintaining a grip on the J5 Prime is definitely easier than most of the phones we’ve handled recently that have bigger screen sizes and dimensions.

Mediocre Media Experience

Speaking of the 5-inch screen, the J5 Prime has a PLS display in HD, which is a bit of a bummer since its competition are running Full HD displays. It may have been a decision made as to not tax the J5 Prime’s SoC and make it last a little longer, but for YouTube video junkies it can be a bit of deal breaker. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a decent display with great viewing angles and does well outdoors but competition is tight in this segment and Sammy gets minus points on this front.

The J5 Prime has its speaker mounted on the right side of the device, which we once found odd, but makes sense since most the content we consume or games we play have us tilting our phones in the landscape orientation. You can get a fair amount of volume out of that lone speaker and the quality is pretty good too.

Needs a Bit More Oomph

If you’ve been a long time reader or just happen to be addicted to tech like we are, then a quick peek at the spec sheet of the Galaxy J5 Prime should say a lot of its performance. While it can handle simple tasks like browsing through the web or your social media feed with no problems, it will give you trouble if you need to multitask like we often needed to do. We had to constantly clear out the apps running in the background to ensure the phone ran smoothly; making it clear that 2GB of RAM just wasn’t going to cut it.

In terms of gaming, we tried Asphalt 8 and you’re going to have to bump it down to its lowest settings to make sure that it runs without any frame rate drops. This means that you won’t be running anything graphically intensive, but if you’re a fan of Mobile Legends we’re happy to report that it runs without a hitch.

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An Okay Camera, All Things Considered

Let’s talk about the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime. You have a 13-megapixel rear camera with an aperture size of f/1.9 and is equipped with autofocus and a LED flash; nothing fancy here. The images the rear camera produces are good enough for posting on social media, but you may want to pop on a filter if you want colors to pop because they tend to be a little washed out. The autofocus on the rear camera can be a little hit or miss, plus it may take awhile to pin down what exactly you want in focus. Most photos taken with mid-ranged phones tend to fall apart when lighting isn’t too good and that’s the case with the J5 Prime as well.

It’s the same case for the 5-megapixel front camera too. If you’re looking to use it to make a lot of video calls to relatives here or abroad, or just want to see your BAE while you talk, then we suggest that you make sure that your room is lit well.

Enough Juice to Last

This is where the smaller screen and the lower screen resolution pays off. Battery Life. The J5 Prime may have a smaller battery than we’re accustomed to seeing on most device — we’re talking 2400mAh here — but it had enough juice to last the day with mobile data up and running for the greater part of it. Synthetic battery benchmark tests, via PCMark Benchmarks, also had it clock in a time of 9 hours of 17 minutes. Bring a power bank to be safe, but if you manage your usage correctly you might not even need it.

Verdict: Stacked Up Against Tough Competition

If you’ve been on the hunt for a mid-ranged smartphone at around the Php 8k/$160 to Php 12k/$240 price point then you know how stacked the competition is. You’ve got really good options with Huawei’s GR3 2017, the 5.5-inch Zenfone Max, or all the other phones we may have mentioned in our article for the Top 5 Smartphones Under Php 10,000/$200. This puts the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime, which is priced at Php 9,990/$200, in a really tough position when compared to other offerings from different brands and within Sammy’s own pool of J series phones.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/Jk7K0Z)

 

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