Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 (I do not approve of this nomenclature) has finally arrived in Kenya four months after it was released back in January 2016. Given that it is the first phone to be named Samsung Galaxy J3, and that there are so many J series (another series for Samsung’s range of affordable smartphones that include the A series, and the C series), I wouldn’t say that Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 is the successor of Samsung Galaxy J2. It is also worth to note that Samsung Galaxy J1 (which Erick Vateta condemned the other day in the article Samsung Galaxy J1 is one of the worst phones ever) has a successor named Samsung Galaxy J1 2016 and a mini version named Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini.
Now that Samsung Galaxy J3 has arrived in Kenya, should you consider buying it? Foremost, you need to check your wallet to consider if the retail price of Kshs 18,299 is affordable enough. You should be able to buy the phone at that price in all approved Samsung dealer shops across the country. Next, the the basic features that come with the phone include 4G (LTE) capability supporting some 6 bands capable of up to 42.2 Mbps download and 5.76 Mbps upload. The phone also supports the traditional 3G and 2G networks.
The phone is generally made of plastic apart from the screen protector that has not been specified. The screen size is 5 inches offering a 720p HD resolution at 720 x 1280 pixels. The RAM which is a serious issue with Samsung Galaxy J1 is 1.5GB and this should be sufficient to enable a fluid experience with the Android 5.1.1 that comes with it out of the box. For storage, the phone allows for the addition of expandable memory up to 128GB, so that even the 8GB version should be sufficient. There is also a 16GB version that I would highly recommend.
By pixels I don’t think the rear 8 MP rear camera is good enough considering that 13MP has become the standard pixels for cameras on mid range devices, although its f/2.2 should suffice for day to day photography. The selfie lovers however have a reason to smile as the front facing camera is packed with a 5MP sensor that should take great snaps in good lighting. Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 shouldn’t disappoint in Apps execution speeds has it has 1.2GHz quad core processor from Spreadtrum code named SC8830. The GPU is the Mali-400.
Finally Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 is powered with a 2600mAh battery that according to Samsung, should allow up to 22 hours talk time. When we get our hands on the device we will put it to test to see how long on average it can last on one charge under normal use especially on 4G network.
Accompanying the announcement that Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 is already on sales in Kenya was a press release that read as follows:
Samsung Electronics East Africa has introduced the J1 mini and J3 (2016) smartphones in the market, offering consumers on feature phones an affordable avenue to experience the 4G LTE network internet speeds. The two entry level smartphones combine both quality and affordability, two of the main factors that are shaping the mobile devices business in East Africa.
Vice President and Managing Director of Samsung Electronics East Africa, Jung Hyun Park said, “We understand the dynamics of the emerging and developing markets, where we have to create a balance between the entry level and flagship models. A look at the statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) indicates that more Kenyans are accessing internet through their mobile phones. And as a manufacturer, we would like to play a role in encouraging consumers on feature phones to take the jump to smartphones affordably.”
According to the second quarter statistics for 2015/16 financial year, mobile data accounted for 23.7 million subscriptions of the total 23.9 million internet subscriptions. This has been attributed to the increased affordability of data bundles offered by various service providers.
“The increased penetration of the 4G LTE network also informed our decision to introduce entry level smartphones that cater for this developing technology,” added Mr. Park.
The Galaxy J3 (2016) comes with smart features that enhance its performance and mobile experience, including an expanded internal memory of 1.5GB RAM as well as a Smart Manager that keeps the device operating optimally. The enhanced 2600mAh battery provides longer-lasting usage.
Galaxy J3’s compact design, cutting-edge display, and well-rounded performance places it at the level of any of the middle level device. With a 5.0” screen size, the narrow bezel gives a gorgeous impression of display reaching from edge to edge, as well as enabling a comfortable fit for one-handed use.
The Galaxy J1 mini takes up a more compact design with 4” inch display that also includes a narrower body and bezel, as well as rounded edges, providing a better grip. The new black frame around the front screen makes the display appear larger and offers a wider viewing experience. It comes with a 5MP camera back camera and a VGA Front Camera.
In addition to the other improved features, the device enables the consumer to enjoy faster processing speed following the introduction of an augmented quad-core AP. The RAM and ROM memory size has also been increased to 1GB and 8GB respectively, ensuring better multitasking and a smoother UI transition.
The Galaxy J1 mini and J3 (2016) are available in the market, at a recommended retail price of Ksh 8,4999 and Ksh 18,299 respectively from Samsung authorised dealers countrywide.