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Samsung Galaxy J1 (2015) review: This is no Moto E

Richard Easton
13 Oct 2016
Samsung Galaxy J1 lead
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
89
inc VAT

The Samsung Galaxy J1 is cheap for a reason and there are better options available if you don't want to spend much

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Specifications

Processor: Dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 , Screen Size: 4.3in, Screen resolution: 800x480, Rear camera: 5-megapixel, Storage (free): 4GB (2GB), Wireless data: 3G, Size: 129x68.2x8.9mm, Weight: 122g, Operating system: Android 4.4

Camera

There’s only a 5 megapixel camera on the rear and a 2 megapixel camera on the front. Neither are particularly good. Outdoor shots in afternoon sunshine looked underexposed and there was a surprising amount of noise considering the lighting conditions available and a lot of clipped shadow detail. You don’t get any advanced photography options like HDR, either.


Samsung Galaxy J1 outdoor test

Indoor photography didn’t fare much better with washed out colours and lots of noise with the flash off. A shutter speed of just an 11th of a second in usual test did not help its cause, as moving subjects will simply be blurs. With the flash turned on everything was given a very cold colour cast and the image still missed a lot of detail. Image quality fared considerably better with an external studio light turned on with a much sharper image and more detail captured. In short, it's pretty hopeless away from optimal lighting conditions.


Samsung Galaxy J1 indoor no flash

^Indoor images are noisy and soft without the flash


Samsung Galaxy J1 indoor flash

^But the overbearing flash gives everything a blue hue while still underexposing

There’s a palm detection mode for the front-facing camera that’s supposed to automatically trigger the shutter after a 2-second delay, but it was difficult to get working and I saw no reason to not just press the shutter button as normal. It would have made more sense for the mode to work with the superior rear-facing camera, so you could set it up for remote control shots.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy J1 has respectable build quality for a smartphone this cheap and the display was also a pleasant surprise, putting the low resolution aside. However, those are the J1’s only positive qualities. The Moto E 2nd Gen is available for a little less and is superior in practically every way. It’s quicker, runs a newer version of Android, has better battery life, higher resolution display, more storage, the list goes on. It’s still the budget handset to beat.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy J1 (2015) now from Mobile Fun



Hardware
ProcessorDual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7
RAM0.5GB
Screen size4.3in
Screen resolution800x480
Screen typeTFT
Front camera2-megapixel
Rear camera5-megapixel
FlashYes
GPSYes
CompassNo
Storage (free)4GB (2GB)
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11n
Bluetooth4.0
NFCNo
Wireless data3G
Size129x68.2x8.9mm
Weight122g
Features
Operating systemAndroid 4.4
Battery size1,850mAh

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