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The Samsung Galaxy J1 is a 4.3-inch smartphone that ships running Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Samsung Galaxy J1 falls among the many Galaxy J-series phones from Samsung that boast a strong specification sheet. It's also worth mentioning that the Galaxy J1 under review is the 2015 Verizon version and not the 2016 version. A noticeable difference between the two J1 versions is the 2015 version has a 4.3-inch screen while the 2016 version has a 4.5-inch display. 1.2GHz processor powers the Galaxy J1. Let's find out more as we get along in the review.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 is available from the Verizon website. The package ships with the following items; the Galaxy J1, battery, standard USB cable, wall adapter charger, Verizon activation service guide, and a quick setup guide.
As with most Samsung phones, the exterior design is quite impressive. The rounded edge and slim architecture complement its simple yet sleek look. The silver strip around the edge brings out the top-end Samsung phones appearance even though this is a very much low-end gadget.
The back has a soft-touch that offers a comfortable and ergonomic grip. You will notice the back camera lens protruding a little on the back cover which is normal on most Samsung phones. To the right of the camera is the dual LED flash and the hands-free speaker to the left.
The button arrangement along the edges is typical of Samsung phones. We have the power button on the right edge and the volume rockers on the left edge. A micro USB/charging port together with your mic are located on the lower edge. The upper edge has the headphone jack as well as the noise cancellation mic.
The front panel of the Samsung Galaxy J1 is a 4.3-inch display. The phone comes with physical navigation buttons; just below the screen, like most Samsung phones. The arrangement is such that; the recent apps button sits on the left, the home button at the center, and the recent apps button on the right. The upper part of the display has the earpiece, proximity sensor, and the front camera. That ends our tour around the device.
The lens on Samsung Galaxy J1 includes a 5MP back camera and a 2MP front camera. The camera performance is impressive. I liked the fact that the J1 is a budget smartphone and still the camera wasn't heavily compromised. Even in low-light conditions, I was able to take bright and sharp images with the rear-facing camera because of the availability of a LED flash.
Samsung always has a thing with cameras, and this is seen in the Samsung Galaxy J1 cameras. While the cameras are limited in physical specifications because of pricing, they have some of the luxurious high-end phone features. For example, there's a Gesture control feature, which lets you capture selfies by lifting your palm.
The camera has Auto Mode and Pro Mode. The default is Auto Mode, but if you would love to experiment with different settings, then you can turn on the Pro Mode. In pro mode, you can change settings such as White Balance, ISO, and exposure value.
Other features the camera supports include Panorama for creating wide scene still images. Continuous Shot lets you capture as many photos in a row as possible by tapping and holding the capture button. The camera includes several filters for applying to pictures before capturing so that you may see how the photo will look like.
I found it impressive that the video capture quality was 720p at 30fps. While you can't compare the J1's video quality to the videos captured by the top-end Samsung S-series phones, it's still nice to have such quality on a budget smartphone.
The display on the Samsung Galaxy J1 is a 4.3-inch WVGA screen with a resolution of 800x480 pixels. Samsung happens to have some of the best screen technologies. Rated at 217 pixels per inch, the vibrancy of movies, photos and documents is impressive. The wide 16:9 aspect ratio means a better viewing experience with more content fitting on the screen.
Indoor visibility is incredible. However, in bright sunlight, the screen tends to dim a little. With the ambient light sensor present, the screen becomes brighter when outdoors, making it a little bit easier to see.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 is fitted with a 1850mAh that gives it enough juice to survive a 10-hour talk time and up to 40 hours of music play. For a budget phone, I believe this is great.
The phone also comes with battery life extension features. The Power Saving Mode, when turned on, keeps your phone on for over a day, even with a critical low of 10% battery life. The giveaway is your internet and other non-essential apps will be shut off. But you will be able to receive calls and stay connected. The battery is also removable. In case you are going out for a longer period, carrying a spare battery is a very good idea.
Samsung Galaxy J1 comes with an internal storage of 8GB. Since the operating system takes 4GB, the remaining 4GB is available for a user. If you plan to install multiple games or have a lot of stuff on your phone, then 4GB would be quite limited. But this is a small giveaway for a budget smartphone. Luckily enough, the phone supports an external microSD card of up to 128GB. With a memory card installed, you can have as many files on your phone as it can allow.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 is an average performer in terms of resources it comes with. The smartphone ships running Android 5.0 Lollipop, which though not the latest, supports thousands of apps on Google Play Store. Android Lollipop also comes with improved user experience and better multitasking capabilities.
Navigating through apps and the operating system is quite fluid when you don't have many apps open in the background due to the limiting runtime memory. For a regular user, the phone will handle about every daily operation. However, the gaming department is limited due to the graphics and limited RAM. But I found it to handle casual games just well. This being on the lower end, it's totally understandable.
The phone is also 4G LTE enabled meaning fast internet load speeds. When paired with Verizon networks, you'll experience super-fast upload and download speeds. Other connectivity features on the phone include Bluetooth 4.1 for sharing files with nearby devices and Wi-Fi for connecting to hotspots to enjoy free internet. The phone also has accelerometer sensor for controlling game characters by tilting or shaking the phone.
- Wi-Fi/4G LTE/CDMA.
- 4.3-inch WVGA display.
- Android 5.0 Lollipop.
- Internal Storage 8GB. Supports external memory expansion up to 128GB.
- RAM: 512MB.
- Processor: 1.2GHz.
- Camera: 5MP rear with LED flash, 2MP selfie.
- Battery: 1850mAh Li-Ion removable battery.
- Dimensions in inches: 5.08 x 2.69 x 0.35.
- Bluetooth 4.1.
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity.
- GPS supported.
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