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Samsung's New Galaxy J5, J7: First Impressions Review

The new phones bear the same names as their predecessors, but they come with improved specs that go into making them next-gen phones

Ankit Tuteja | News18.com@tutejankit

Updated:May 9, 2016, 8:42 PM IST
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Samsung's New Galaxy J5, J7: First Impressions Review
The new phones bear the same names as their predecessors, but they come with improved specs that go into making them next-gen phones
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Almost after a year, Samsung has introduced successors to its mid-range phones - the Galaxy J5 and the J7 - in India. The new phones bear the same names as their predecessors, but they come with improved specs that go into making them next-gen phones.

We got a chance to get our hands on the new phones under the Galaxy J series, which the company says is its largest selling smartphone series, and here are our first impressions of the new handsets.

From the appearances alone, the Galaxy J5 (2016) and the J7 (2016) look identical except for a noticeable difference in their sizes. The Galaxy J5 measures 5.2 inches - up from the 5-inch display on the last-generation J5. The J7, on the other hand, is slightly larger than the J5 and continues with the same display size of 5.5-inches as last year’s. Both the phones feature a Super AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 720 x1280 pixels, which have a good colour reproduction. Also the colours didn’t ever appear over-saturated during the time we spent with it.

Talking about their design, the J5 and J7 have a good build and offer decent looks. The metal phone that runs along the phones gives them a premium touch, but the back panels are made of plastic and feature a brushed metal finish.

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The Samsung Galaxy J7 features the rear panel.

Not only did we find them aesthetically pleasing, but the phones also managed to woo us in terms of weight and grip. Both the Galaxy J5 and J7 don’t feel heavy in hands. The slightly rounded edges on the phones add to the comfortable handling.

The phones may appear to be having a unibody design, but they aren’t. The back covers of the phones are removable and hidden underneath are the SIM card and microSD card slots (with support for up to 128 GB). Both the phones are 4G-enabled and support micro SIM cards.

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Two SIM card and a microSD card slots on the Galaxy J5.

All was going great for the phones until we turned on the cameras. The cameras on the new phones (13 megapixel on the rear and a 5 megapixel on the front), in the little time we used it, didn't appear to be up to the mark.

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The Samsung Galaxy J5 comes with a 13 megapixel rear camera.

Given that the demo zone was set up in a low-light area, we would like to hold on to our final verdict on them and would like to test them in different lighting conditions before coming to a conclusion. But in low-light environments, both the front and rear cameras on both the phones didn’t live up to expectations. The cameras didn't appear to capture enough light but also generated less-than-satisfactory results - both in terms of colours and details.

We expect the phone to perform much better in normal lighting conditions. The interesting bit here is that the front camera on both the phones come with an LED flash, which could come as a rescue for selfies in low-light conditions.

Also, the speaker on the phones which is weirdly located next to the camera lens didn’t impress us much - at least in noisy areas. We, however, are yet to test them in other less-noisy environments.

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Speaker on the Galaxy J7 (as well as on the J5) is located next to the camera lens.

Unlike the 8 GB inbuilt memory on the last-generation models, the new J5 and J7 come with an internal storage of 16 GB (with a microSD card slot for additional storage). There is also an improvement on the RAM front - which has gone up from 1.5 GB in the 2015 models to 2 GB in the latest editions. Batteries on the phone have also been enhanced in comparison to the last-gen models.

While the new phones may be more or less similar in terms of design and other features, one significant difference between the two is the engine powering them. The Galaxy J5 is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, the J7, on the other hand, has a 1.6 GHz octa-core Exynos processor under the hood. Also, both the Galaxy J5 and J7 run Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. The spec sheet may have got improvements, but how well the phones deliver in the real life is something we are yet to ascertain.

The Samsung Galaxy J7 and J5 are priced at Rs15,990 and Rs 13,990, respectively and will be available in 3 colour options - Gold, Black and White. The phones come with an offer for Airtel customers that allows them to get up to 30 GB of free data for up to six months . The new handsets will be available exclusively on Flipkart from May 10.

The company has no plans to discontinue the old models of the J5 and J7, said Manu Sharma, vice president, mobile business, Samsung India. This means, both the new and old models will be on sale. Though we expect a price slash for the older models of the phone, Samsung is yet to many any such announcement.
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