Samsung Galaxy J1 review
The king of budget
The Samsung Galaxy J1 is without doubt the king of budget smartphones and it is available now on a series of ridiculously good value price plans. Stripping away technology that most don’t use or need, Samsung have created a smartphone that isn’t overpowered yet still has plenty of features.
|✓Cheap as chips||✗Small user memory|
|✓Plenty of features||✗Low capacity battery|
|✓Samsung App Store|
In the hand, the Samsung Galaxy J1 fits like a glove with rounded edges and a sizing that places it into the mini-sized category of smartphones. The edges are accentuated with a chrome trim and encircles other features such as the camera lens and flash.
The Galaxy J1 is a true featherweight, weighing in at only 122 grams with a thickness of 8.9mm. On the front we find a physical home button that is sided by virtual back and recent apps keys.
The microUSB port and 3.5mm audio jack are positioned where they should be, at the bottom and top respectively. The rear mounted speaker is located on the back and while this positioning may slightly muffle the sound when held, you do at least get to feel the thump of beat directly through your hand.
The 4.3” WVGA display is rather small but we are categorising this a a mini smartphone. The resolution is 480 x 800 pixels and there us an Outdoor Mode that improves readability when you need it most.
Looking for a larger screen? Check out the Acer Liquid Jade Z review or see all smartphone reviews here.
This mobile phone is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 500MB RAM and while this is just about the least power we see used today, we still have to remember that desktop computers were running with this kind of processing power only a few years ago. The internal memory is small at 4GB, so do plan on using a microSD card soon after purchase. Memory cards with a value of up to 128GB are compatible.
Phone Set Up
The first thing to do after unboxing the Samsung Galaxy J1 is to set up a little security. Three options are available; PIN, password or pattern.
Next, it is time to get familiar with the phone and its Android KitKat operating system. Apps can be placed into folders, widgets can be added to the home screen and the notification/settings panel can be dragged down from the top of the screen
Because Samsung chose a Google OS, there are plenty of apps pre-installed. These include the Chrome browser, Gmail, Google+, Google Maps, Play Music, Play Movies & TV, Play Books, Play Newsstand, Play Games, Drive, YouTube, Hangouts and Voice Search.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 smartphone has GPS navigation, wireless Bluetooth and 3G (HSPA+) or Wi-Fi internet connectivity. The phone can be used to create a mobile hotspot, which allows other devices to use the internet connection. It is also Wi-Fi Direct enabled so files, photos and videos can be exchanged with other smartphones without using a Wi-Fi router.
Samsung apps that are ready to go and include the S Planner calendar app for adding events and tasks and the Memo app for voice recordings with the option to insert images. The media player handles music and videos well, while live music can be enjoyed via the FM Radio app.
Camera & Video
The main camera has very respectable 5MP resolution and there are a variety of shooting modes. These include Panorama, Best Photo, Continuous Shot, Night and Sports modes.
For those who want a little more control, auto can be turned off, grid lines can be shown for levelling and applying the rule of thirds and the Exposure Value, White Balance, ISO, and Metering Modes can all be adjusted manually.
The camera can be launched from the lock screen by adding a shortcut to it and Tap To Take Pics enables activating the shutter with a tap anywhere on the screen. Video can be recorded at a quality of 720p.
The selfie camera has a 2MP resolution and has its own set of enhancing features. These include Beauty Face, which lightens faces and smooths out skin tones and Palm Selfie, which enables the shutter to be triggered with a simple gesture.
The 1,850mAh battery is small but then again so is the Samsung Galaxy J1. Under normal conditions the battery will supply up to 10 hours talk time or 12 hours of Wi-Fi, 9 hours of video playback or 40 hours of audio playback.
If the power situation becomes critical then Ultra Power Saving Mode can be switched on to make the remaining reserves last as long as possible. It does this through restricting access to apps, shutting down background processes, using only grey tones on the screen and by deactivating mobile data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Written by: Michael Brown