Samsung Galaxy J1 is one of the worst phones ever

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Nine months ago I wrote an article titled Why You Should Buy Samsung Galaxy J1. Today, I have a different opinion about the phone and it’s not rosy at all. The first few days after I received the phone, its features were the talk of town. Every advertisement agency, every PR firm, and every tech site including ours praised  the phone’s abilities, talked about its amazing first charging feature and the 4G connectivity. By that time, we had not used the phone for long. After nine months, I have a new verdict, Samsung Galaxy J1 is the worst phone ever!

After using the Samsung Galaxy J1 for close to nine months, I can confidently state that the experience is pathetic. I know some people love the phone because of its price, but Infinix Hot 2 is cheap and has amazing features that have incredible performance.

Now, here is a rundown of a few features that are a letdown on Samsung Galaxy J1:

Operating System

Samsung Galaxy J1 runs on Android 4.4, the Android Kitkat that is supposed to smoothly run even on phones that have less RAM – RAM that is as little as 512MB. Before acquiring the Samsung Galaxy J1 I used to dislike my Nexus phone, but I consoled myself that the old Nexus was running on Android Jelly Bean – that once I upgraded to something better like Android Kitkat, my disappointments would vanish. This was true for the first few months of using Samsung Galaxy J1, but little did I know that I was in for worse disappointments.

Samsung Galaxy J1 hangs – no, it freezes. Apps stop working whenever they feel like. Text input declines to respond more often than not, and in some cases, you’ll be forced to remove the battery in order to restart the phone. Woe unto you if that happens in the middle of an important call, or in the middle of an online game you were just about to win.

Worst still is the fact that you cannot upgrade the KitKat OS to something sleeky like Android Lollipop or even the latest Android Marshmallow. The real problem with the Samsung Galaxy J1 is the fact that it has such a small RAM to support Apps that continue to upgrade – and with each upgrade, the Apps require more RAM that the J1 does not offer.

Memory and R.A.M

Normally, a faster CPU results into a speedier operations like opening apps. In addition, more RAM results into better multitasking because frequently used apps and app data is stored into RAM.

J1 doesn’t have a RAM, or rather a good RAM despite selling for Shs. 9,000 on Jumia Kenya. If you compare the phone with Infinix Hot 2, you will be blown away because Infinix Hot 2 goes for Shs 7,000 only and the RAM is 1GB. I know somebody might say that Samsung is a big brand and Infinix started yesterday, but brands don’t mean a damn thing when the product is hogwash. A smart consumer is the one who cares less about brand but looks out for value – value for money.

In addition to having the yesteryear RAM, Samsung Galaxy J1 also has a useless Internal storage space  of only 4GB. Who uses 4GB? To store what? With a storage space of only 4GB, every photo snapped will cause anxiety. Every song stored will make you wonder what to delete before the next file is received. Together with the meagre RAM, Samsung Galaxy J1 demands that you never multitask.

For example, on my phone you can’t minimize one social media account and open a text from ‘Messages’ or WhatsApp. The other day I was going through my Instagram then a friend sent a text on WhatsApp. I knew I couldn’t open the text, but that was an important text which I couldn’t ignore. On the other end, I was unable to immediately close Instagram as the vine I was watching turned out to be very funny. Then for some reason I decided to just open the WhatsApp message; a decision that made my display to turn white. It didn’t just turn white, it turned white and stayed that way for close to thirty minutes. I have had lows in life but believe you me, that was my lowest moment ever.

The only upside of the 4GB memory is that is is expandable.

Other regrets Galaxy J1 will give you

What do you do with a phone that can’t open a SIM toolkit? What that means is that you can’t use services like MPESA – meaning if you are Kenyan you can’t survive for a week. At one point I thought doing a Factory reset would resolve the SIM toolkit nightmare, but apart from not resolving the problem, the factory reset only managed to erase all my precious data and Apps – taking me back to ground zero.

For shs 9,000, at today’s standards, the other features like the processor and camera are way below value for money. Maybe the only things that are great with Samsung Galaxy J1 is the brand and the fact that it offers access to Google Play.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Erick Vateta
Tech Editor at Kachwanya.com
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Erick Vateta is a lawyer by training, poet, script and creative writer by talent, a model, and tech enthusiast. He covers International tech trends, data security and cyber attacks.
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