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Interface

TouchWiz is reasonably accomplished, but still poorly optimized.

While the Galaxy J5 (2016) ships with a dated Android 5.1 Lollipop version, it is treated to the latest security patches, which is fairly reassuring. It is skinned with Samsung's bespoke TouchWiz interface, which has evolved into a straightforward and visually cohesive, but ever so unoptimized user experience over the years.

While users will be missing out on Android 6.0 Marshmallow features such as Google Now on Tap, granular app permissions control, and Android Pay, the software's only significant flaw is performance. The Galaxy J5 (2016) lacks the fluidity and responsiveness of similarly priced devices running lighter Android builds. Your actions will be accompanied by light to obvious stutter, which is especially evident in animations and scrolling.

This unsavory part aside, we commend Samsung for not piling up bloatware applications on the handset. The little in the way of stock software, such as the Galaxy Apps store and the Smart Manager maintenance app, we find useful.

Processor and Memory

Underwhelming performance shows Samsung needs to step up the J series' hardware game.

The handset is based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 chipset, which is designed to be low-cost and energy-efficient. It's paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable internal storage. This provides the minimum amount of power for adequate casual use and very little beyond that. 3D games like Asphalt Nitro are playable, but image quality is downgraded and gameplay generally stutters. Less-intense titles like Candy Crush Saga will be good to go, though.


AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 28513
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 75698
Google Nexus 5X 53178
Honor 5X 35183
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 988.66
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 2574
Google Nexus 5X 2161
Honor 5X 1108
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 2076
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 4217
Google Nexus 5X 4220
Honor 5X 2327
JetStream Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 17.261
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 49.425
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 9.33
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 32
Google Nexus 5X 38
Honor 5X 15
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 3.9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 9.4
Google Nexus 5X 16
Honor 5X 6
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 555.66
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 1407
Google Nexus 5X 1537
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 475.33
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 1413
Google Nexus 5X 1179
Honor 5X 696
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 1431.66
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 3552
Google Nexus 5X 3379
Honor 5X 3028

Connectivity

No LTE in the States aside, the Galaxy J5 (2016) doesn't have significant shortcomings.

The Galaxy J5 (2016) is a dual-SIM handset that actually lets you use two SIM cards and a microSD card simultaneously, unlike many of its competitors. It's able to handle Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular's 3G WCDMA networks, but LTE is only possible over at Sprint's, and limited to Band 41. It is imperative that you consult your carrier before buying the Galaxy J5 (2016) unlocked.

Other than the limited network support, the phone presents a well-rounded connectivity package courtesy of its Qualcomm modem. The handset offers USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/Glonass/Beidou navigation, 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and NFC. It also features accelerometer, light, and proximity sensors.

Browsing on the Galaxy J5 (2016) is good for the most part. No matter if you're using the stock browser or the bundled Google Chrome, pages load reasonably fast and navigation is fairly smooth, considering the handset's limited performance.

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