Introduction


The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) is the successor to one of the more popular cheap phones out there: the J5 (2016).

And while it retains the form factor and some key specs — an equally-sized 5.2-inch HD display and just 16 GB of on board storage — it gets rid of the plastic build in favor of a sturdier, metal design and it adds essential features like a fingerprint scanner. With its minimal side bezel, it even looks fairly modern.

But what is the experience of using an affordable Android phone like the Galaxy J5 (2017) and is it worth getting one? Let’s find out.

In the box:

  • Phone
  • White earbuds with in-line mic
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • SIM cjection tool
  • User manual

Design

Sturdy and solid, but far from pretty.


The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) is made out of metal and feels reassuringly solid in terms of build quality. At 0.31 inches (7.9mm) of thickness it is neither too thin, nor too thick, and the curved edges and slight curve on the back make it fit comfortably in the hand. The most notable design element are the antennas on the back that extend like two halves of a curved rectangle, a look unlike that on any other phone. This is particularly noticeable on the pink and gold J5 (2017) models, where the antenna bands contrast more with the color of the phone, while on the black and blue models, the antenna lines are barely noticeable.

There is a single camera on the back, flush with the body of the phone. The other notable thing about the new J5 is that it has its speaker neither at the bottom, nor at the back, but on the right side of the phone (just like the Samsung A series from this year). This is actually not a bad place for the speaker: you're less likely to accidentally cover it with your hand.


The buttons are made of metal and feel clicky and responsive. There is now a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home key on the front. It’s definitely not among the fastest ones, but it is fairly accurate.

On the bottom, you’d find the microphone, a microUSB port for charging (no USB-C here, unfortunately), and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The J5 (2017) lacks any form of special water protection or other super-powers, in case you were wondering.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.3 x 71.3 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 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)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.75 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.3 x 71.3 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 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)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.75 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

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



Display

A 5.2” AMOLED display with an HD resolution in 2017 is a bit sad.


The Galaxy J5 (2017) features a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a 720 x 1280 pixel, HD resolution.

The display is properly laminated and features oleophobic coating, which might be a standard on pricier phones, but is not as common on affordable phones, so it’s nice that the J5 (2017) has this.

What is not so great is the resolution: it’s just low for today’s standards, even for an affordable phone. In practical terms, this means that you see some pixelization, especially noticeable when you read text.

Colors are set by default to a punchy, slightly oversaturated mode (“Adaptive display”) that most users really like. You can go into Settings > Display > Screen Mode, and choose a different one, with more toned-down, neutral colors. If you want to get slightly better accuracy out of the default Adaptive Display mode,, go into the Color Balance section and reduce the green and blue colors a couple of steps.

The J5 (2017) is also bright enough to be fairly legible even under direct sunlight which is nice. The phone also offers a blue light filter, which reduces the blue light emitted from your phone. This should help you fall asleep easier if you use your phone at night, as the blue light from the screen could mess up your sleeping cycle.



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22 Comments

1. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 300; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

A 5.2” AMOLED display with an HD resolution in 2017 is a bit sad. apple iphone se rated excellent by iphonearena has a less than 720p display...

2. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

I am perfectly fine with my 4" screen. At least my SE doesn't have a sh*tty camera and poor performance, let alone my camera can shoot in 4k.

3. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 300; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

HAHA se costs $449 j5 will be around 199...

5. kiko007

Posts: 7521; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

The SE is around 300 bucks lol. What country do you live in?

17. sgodsell

Posts: 7594; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple's own website in the US lists the iPhone SE for $399. In Canada it's $580 for that tiny fart of an iPhone SE. Although many places are offering BOGO deals, buy an iPhone 6s or 7 and get a free iPhone SE. But nowadays we are seeing buy an iPhone 7 and get a free iPhone 7 as well. I guess Apple has to get there market share up any way they can. Please buy our recycled icrap.

7. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Better to stick with quality than trash.

8. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

SE doesn't have "stuttery performance" lol.

4. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You can't deny the fact that a 720 Amoled screen is less sharper than a 720 lcd screen, especially if there is at least 0.5" in size difference.

9. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Even if I were a troll, I wouldn't defend trash.

10. Victor.H

Posts: 1098; Member since: May 27, 2011

Do you realize the difference between a PenTile display with a 5.2-inch size with HD resolution, and a full RGB display with a 4.7-inch resolution? If you did, you would know that the iPhone has a much sharper display.

15. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

Victor. H......hmmm.... again... stop being so pissy abt your real boss *Insert Fruit Here"..and act a bit professional.... dnt leave salty comments to ppl who provide traffic to this site...U have your opinion and u clearly mentioned it in your article...comments section is for the readers....otherwise disable comments and keep on praying to Apple !

16. g2a5b0e unregistered

It's quite ironic that you're the one who sounds salty here. It's not like he didn't say anything that isn't true.

19. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

yes...actually i was.... i am not getting paid by iphonearena to write an article...... Girl bye!

11. g2a5b0e unregistered

In all fairness, you're comparing a 4" screen to a 5.2" screen. The iphone screen clearly has a higher PPI. On top of that, it came out 1.5 years ago.

6. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

"Stuttery performance" Sounds like Samsung. They gotta get these lag issues fixed.

12. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 456; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

The cons on this review are a joke.

13. g2a5b0e unregistered

They all sound like legit knocks to me. And as someone who used a J7 for a weeks after I lost my Note 5, I can vouch for the validity of them. I'll never use another Samsung that isn't a flagship. That's for sure.

14. You_Dont_Say

Posts: 431; Member since: Jan 26, 2015

Stuttery performance is no laughing matter.

18. airoid

Posts: 132; Member since: Dec 13, 2016

I noticed that any phone that has better battery life than iPhone then PA doesn't put iPhone in comparison chart for you to compare hahahaa

20. cheetah2k

Posts: 2299; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Why bother scoring anymore itrollarena. I mean your scoring consistency is worse than the local weather man..

21. Stappy3

Posts: 108; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

How is an HD display for a pretty low priced budget phone sad?

22. madara82

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

what i dont like with this phone is lacks any form of special water protection or other super-powers, in case you were wondering. maybe atleast water resistant will be better.
Galaxy J5 (2017)
  • Display 5.2" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1600 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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