Introduction


When we think of Samsung, it's usually the flagships like the Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy Note 5 that immediately come to mind. However, it's not really these flashy and expensive models that sell by the buckets. Rather, it's the less design- and specs-intense ones from budget series like the Galaxy J and Galaxy A that make up the bulk of Samsung's smartphone shipments.

Despite enjoying top priority at Samsung's manufacturing lines, it's not easy to be a Galaxy J these days, as first-time and budget-minded smartphone buyers in developing markets are wooed by numerous low-margin vendors that supposedly offer more value for less money. Can the new Galaxy J5 (2016) convince you to pick it up instead of a comparably priced handset by the brands above? Well, we'll have to see about that!

Design

An elegant smartphone whose budget origins aren't immediately obvious.

With its symmetric and tastefully sculpted metal frame, the J5 (2016) is worthy of the Galaxy branding. While the removable plastic back panel does reveal the handset's cost-efficient origins, nothing about the construction feels like an afterthought. The handset feels tightly put together and reasonably comfortable in the palm with its sculpted edges and balanced weight. We think the power and volume keys are placed a tad too high, but we can live with this. The keys handle fine, and so does the Home button below the screen, which doesn't contain a fingerprint sensor, but it can swiftly launch the camera app in two quick presses.


True to Samsung form, the Home button is accompanied by capacitive keys – 'Menu' on the left and 'Back' on the right. Also of note is the presence of an actual LED flash next to the selfie camera. Very few smartphones offer that, and we'll tell you more about it later. On the back panel resides a bumpy camera with a single LED flash on the right, and speaker holes placed to the left. The latter looks out of place, but the decision probably has more to do with sound quality than aesthetics.

Below, we find a mic, a microUSB port, and – praise the skies – a 3.5mm jack. This completes the Galaxy J5 (2016)'s favorable, but not class-leading appearance.


Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.74 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.99 x 0.34 inches

150 x 76 x 8.65 mm

Weight

5.78 oz (164 g)

Google Nexus 5X

Google Nexus 5X

Dimensions

5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches

147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.80 oz (136 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.74 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.99 x 0.34 inches

150 x 76 x 8.65 mm

Weight

5.78 oz (164 g)

Google Nexus 5X

Google Nexus 5X

Dimensions

5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches

147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.80 oz (136 g)

Honor 5X

Honor 5X

Dimensions

5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches

151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Despite its low resolution, the screen offers very good image quality.


A 720p-resolution screen like the one on the Galaxy J5 (2016) doesn't sound very compelling in the age of ubiquitous 1080p screens. But tell you what, this 5.2-inch Super AMOLED looks surprisingly good. Image quality is sharp and clear, while the various display modes let you quickly switch between color-accurate or larger-than-life hues. Although colors are close to home, the screen does exhibit unremarkable contrast, with whites being brighter than needed and causing a slightly washed-out look. The maximum brightness output isn't strong enough for comfortable usage in bright sunlight, and different viewing angles tend to skew the colors. Still, the J5 (2016)'s screen performs admirably for the price point.



FEATURED VIDEO

36 Comments

1. Unordinary unregistered

iPHONE UHRENA. EYEPHONE UHRENA. I HJATE EYEPHONE UHRENA OH MY GOD BIAS BIAS BIAS THE AUTHORS ARE SO BIAS EVEN THOUGH THIS PHONE HAS FLAWS THAT IM TOO BLIND TO SEE UGH I HATE MY LIFE AND EYEPHONE UHRENA!

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Did you guys just compare the J5 to the Redmi Note 3 and Nexus 5X? Are you serious?

5. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

lmao exactly what I said!

11. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Nexus 5X 32 GB costs double of J5

25. garret1976

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 27, 2013

All the phones are more expensive and bigger. Moto G should be a better choice price wise.

28. perry1234

Posts: 648; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Redmi Note 3 pretty much costs the same as Galaxy J5. But yeah , no security updates translates to no buying for me. So J5 > Note 3.

34. Rutin

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

His position on many of the Smartphone market is crowding out Uhans A101s.

3. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

This j5 is pure s**t!! Yes s7 line-up is best but other thn that every other sammy handset is pure s**t with many compromises and only one good feature!

12. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Lol no. Have you actually used any for somee time? I imagine you said that S7 line to push your image out of Samsung haters list but you really have not tried A8, A9, J7 etc. Also they target specific users. Not everyone can own anyone.

21. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Yeah thats what i said they are only good for a specific user not every1 !! But s7 is good for every1!!! A5 have low cpu!! Glass design no no!!

4. Tronlol

Posts: 35; Member since: Feb 06, 2015

Good review thanks PA

6. Kumar123 unregistered

Phonearena is too generous with scoring.This phone shouldn't score more than 3.

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I give you a 10 for being the biggest Samsung hater on PA.

13. Kumar123 unregistered

I give you 20 for being the biggest Samsung arse kisser on PA.

19. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I give you two over 9000 for being the worst biased trolls on this site.

7. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

Did you just seriously look for a fingerprint scanner in a budget smartphone? Only con I found here is its use of the antique SD410 and mixing up 5.2 inch screen with a 720p resolution.. Again this is a budget smartphone, why set the bar too high?

9. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

J series are the top selling phones in third-world countries.

10. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Only demerit is SD 410. Camera is superb. Display is Nice. For non heavy users, its a nice phone. 6 is well deserved.

14. TechieXP1696

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

Samsung is my life, this phone should be a 10.5. This phone is better than any iPhone, ever.

16. Hanno

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 20, 2016

We have been trying for weeks to get a Samsung Galaxy repaired, which is under warranty. They wanted a copy of the bill of sale; we've E-Mailed and Faxed this with a covering letter and called them many times; However, the mailing label they promised to send so we can ship them the phone never came. Many phone calls were made but we were "cut off' during the last hour long call. The agent who apparently hung up on us while claiming he was getting a supervisor was Hendrick, ID@ 10106783. Worst company for customer service, ever.

20. TechieXP1696

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

You must be mistaken. Samsung calls ME every weekend to make sure my phone is in working order. You're just an Apple fanboy, hater.

27. Hanno

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 20, 2016

Go hide back under your rock, troll kid.

17. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Meizu M3 Note get 7/10 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3get 6.5/10.. and since this phone slower than both of them, this one get 6/10, lol... I guess no one deserve 8+ PAscore on $0-$250 price range, lol...

18. alexvv

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

Try to explain how can the j5 make a 6.0 score and the redmi note 3 a 6.5 and the m3 note a 7.0. No, i don't own a xiaomi or meizu. I'm beyond words. You can be harsh all you like. but if 6.5 is a fair score for the redmi note 3 then the 6s/plus should get around 8 and the j5 2016, less than 4. I don't wanna swear and shout iphonearena with a lot of exclamation marks but your reviews are laughable compared to gsmarena. You are probably being paid, us readers have no way of confirming or denying that but try to be a little more discreet doing that.

24. garret1976

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 27, 2013

Where I live, the J5 (2016) is the cheapest phone at 220,- euro. Nexus 5x, Redmi Note 3 and Honor 5X are more expensive and they are 5.5" phones except the nexus. I would rather compare the J5 to Moto G or G4, HTC Desire 626 or huawei GR3. These are all 5" phones and the same price range. If you compare the J5 to the phones above, than it performs much better. The Moto G4 is maybe the best but if you're fan of AMOLED than it's a easy choce.

26. newsamsungphone

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

very good phone according price phoneshut.com/samsung-galaxy-j1-review.html

29. davidpaul

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 05, 2016

First things first. The biggest factual error on this review is the info on the OS. I just bought a J5 2016...it comes with Android 6.01.

30. afzi786

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 05, 2016

Hi everyone, here is a full comparison video for Uhans A101s and Galaxy J5 2016, including detailed comparison of design, specifications, hardware performance and camera performance. youtube.com/watch?v=1HT5bmoN-o4&t=41s

31. msq31leo

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 06, 2016

good smartphone but i checked the video of Uhans A101s and J5. Uhans A101s much better, cheaper, smater than J5.

32. Ahtisham_Ali

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

after checking the video youtube.com/watch?v=1HT5bmoN-o4&t=41s i cant believe the quality and performance.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Galaxy J5 (2016)
  • Display 5.2" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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