The Samsung Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J5 did tremendously well for Samsung last year, and today, the company introduced upgraded 2016 models in India to provide more tier -1 branded options for budget buyers. Specs-wise, they are definitely subservient to analogous Chinese offerings and (Like always) seem to primarily leverage Samsung’s tier-1 brand value above all else.

But are they any good in person?

Well, we briefly examined them at the launch event and here is what we felt.

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Key Specifications And Features of Samsung J7 and Samsung J5:

Model Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
Display 5.5-Inch, HD, Super-AMOLED display 5.2-Inch, 720 HD, Super-AMOLED display
Processor 1.6GHz Exynos 7870e processor 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor
RAM 2GB 2GB
Internal Storage 16GB, microSD slot for expansion 16GB, microSD slot for expansion
Software Android-based TouchWiz Android-based TouchWiz
Primary Camera 13MP sensor, LED Flash 13MP sensor, LED Flash
Secondary Camera 5MP sensor, LED Flash 5 MP sensor, LED Flash
Dimensions and Weight 151.7 x 76 x 7.8mm and 170 Grams 145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1mm and 159 Grams
Battery 3300 mAh 3100 mAh
Others Dual SIM, 4G LTE, NFC, Ultra data saving mode, S Bike mode Dual SIM, 4G LTE, NFC, Ultra data saving mode, S Bike mode
Price 15,990 INR 13,990 INR

Bring much needed design improvements

The Galaxy J7 and J5 last year were among the first few affordable Samsung phones which didn’t completely suck. That chunky, glossy design, however, felt cheap. The new Galaxy J7 and J5 (2016) bring some much needed design improvements.

To start with, the Galaxy J5 is compact with a more manageable display, but the Galaxy J7 won’t stretch your mitts too far either. Both handsets are available in Gold, Black and White colors.

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The metallic side frame (with design semblance to recent models like Galaxy J3, and even Galaxy S6) flaunts what Samsung calls “diamond cut” edges. Basically, the top surface of the metal frame has been grinded to sit flush with the touch glass. It looks good.

The back cover is plastic, but has a brush-metal texture that is way better than glossy plastic. Another strength is the use of good quality AMOLED panels that dominate the front of Galaxy J7 and J5. Full HD resolution would have been better at these prices, at least for J7, but the lack of pixels shouldn’t be discernible to everyday buyers.

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Camera performance seemed decent

As far as camera hardware goes, Samsung isn’t discriminating between the two. Both handsets include 13MP rear camera with wide f/1.9 aperture lens on the rear and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. Oh, there are LED flashes on front and back too.

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We clicked a few snaps from the front and rear camera in low lighting and in sun, and the result looked pretty decent, at least on the respective Amoled displays. The focus didn’t feel very snappy though. It’s too soon for any sorts of conclusions just yet, and we will explore camera quality further in our detailed review later.

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Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) Camera Samples

Performance expectations

This is where we expect a significant difference between the two siblings. While the Galaxy J5 is powered by entry level 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 quad core, the Galaxy J7 houses Samsung’s own Exynos 7870 clocked at 1.6GHz, which is also the first 14nm FinFET process based mid-range processor which has fared well on GeekBench and should also be more power efficient (30% more according to Samsung).

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Both processors have same 2GB RAM + 16GB Internal storage, but unfortunately the 3GB RAM Galaxy J7 (2016) variant which was launched in China won’t be coming to India.

For now, the new Galaxy J5 feels befitting only to basic users, while the Galaxy J7 (2016) is where we pin our hopes for decent and durable performance. Both handsets are also running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, so you won’t me missing out on current features like Now On Tap.

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Samsung has also added perks like S Bike mode, but utilities like Fingerprint sensor are still missing.

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Conclusion

The next iteration of J series devices bring forth much needed design improvements and also list some promising camera hardware – the two things conventional consumers care for the most. In terms of Raw horsepower, the ‘J’s might not be as appealing to anyone inclined towards heavy usage. Also, absence of Fingerprint sensor can be a deal breaker for many in 2016. You might consider them overpriced, but the premium you pay here is for Samsung branding.

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