Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) review



The Galaxy J5 (2016) is the centerpiece of the company’s mid-range portfolio for the year. With its predecessor becoming a huge hit in developing markets, the company really needs the 2016 model to come out good and help keep Chinese makers at bay.

A quick glance at the specs sheet shows that Samsung followed the “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” saying to the letter. With the internals mostly unchanged, Samsung chose to focus on the design instead, hoping that the metal body will help its offering stand out.

You also get a bigger battery and the screen grew by .2″, but that’s mostly it with other changes being so minor that they mostly fall in the adjustments category. Here’s the full scoop.

galaxy j5 review

Key features

  • Aluminum frame around plastic body with an exchangeable back cover
  • 5.2″ Super AMOLED display of 1280 x 720px resolution; 267 ppi
  • Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 chipset; quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU; Adreno 306 GPU; 2GB of RAM;
  • 16GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
  • 13 MP main camera with f/1.9 aperture; phase detect autofocus; LED flash; face detection; 1080p video recording
  • 5MP front-facing camera with f/1.9 aperture; LED flash
  • Cat. 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS/GLONASS/BDS; microUSB; NFC
  • 3100mAh Li-Ion battery, user-removable

Main disadvantages

  • Entry-level chipset
  • No noise canceling mic
  • Only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

The metal frame gives you a piece of mind as well as a nice feel in the hand. We’d certainly appreciate a bit of premium feel in an otherwise mid-range offering. However, it would mean nothing if it comes at the expense of proper smartphone experience. And since Samsung didn’t feel the need to change the processing power from the previous generation Galaxy J5 we’d be sure to carefully check that. Perhaps supplying the newer Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and bumping the RAM to 2GB is all it took to keep the J5 (2016) relevant.

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Stephen is the Editor-in-Chief @DroidAfrica. He has been in the tech space for over 6 years helping mobile technology users to understand more about their very own devices. His work on DroidAfrica is born out of a pure passion for tech, especially as it relates to smartphones.


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