Slim and light, the Galaxy J3 is one of Samsung’s newest additions to the budget smartphone market, and has lots to offer anyone looking for a decent and affordable pre pay upgrade. We recently got hands on with the J3, here’s what we thought.

Samsung Galaxy J3 frontThe Galaxy S7 might be Samsung’s flagship for 2016 but that doesn’t mean the South Korean company doesn’t have a few surprises up its sleeve for the lower-end market, case in point is the Galaxy J3.

Design and display

Undeniably, a key feature of the J3 is the 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display. Very few smartphones in this price bracket offer AMOLED and this really adds to the overall experience and performance.

Similarly, the J3 is lighter than your average 5-inch smartphone, coming in at 138g; and easier to hold and manage in one hand. The J3’s lack of weight is mainly due to its wraparound plastic body, which Samsung users might find reminiscent of the Galaxy S5. However, even though it’s plastic, the J3 still feels like a premium device. The smooth, pearlised finish – which is particularly noticeable on the white and gold versions of the J3 – is also a nice touch.

Samsung Galaxy J3

Performance and battery

In terms of power, the J3 performs well. Running a quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A7 processor, we found opening apps to be smooth and fast, with slightly more lag than you’ll experience on the phones with the spec of the S7, but when you consider the price difference we didn’t view this as a bad thing for the J3.  

We were also impressed with the J3’s 2,600 mAh battery, which Samsung claims will last on standby for 349 hours. Again while it is larger than many of its competitors, powering that 5-inch screen takes a lot of power.

Camera capabilities

The 8MP rear camera performs well, again assisted by that AMOLED display, while the 5MP selfie-facing camera was a pleasant surprise. We found the selfies we took on the J3 to be clear and non-pixilated; plus users will also find a good flash and features like beauty filter and effects on the J3 to improve those selfies further.  

The Samsung Galaxy J3 is available now at Carphone Warehouse, starting from €174 on iD prepay, which includes 30GB of 4G data.