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Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016) Smartphone Review

Expensive entry. Samsung launches a 2016 update of its entry-level device Galaxy J1, but the price was increased. Samsung is once again not very generous in terms of features. Can the smartphone justify the additional price, or should you have a look at the rivals?

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For the original German review, see here.

The previous Samsung Galaxy J1 was a very decent entry-level device. For little more than 100 Euros (~$109), you got a compact smartphone with good core features. The current model on the other hand is much more expensive at an RRP of 159 Euros (~$174), but it only offers a bit more memory and a slightly bigger display at a first look. However, Samsung now also equips the smallest device from the J-series with a Super AMOLED screen. The screen size is 4.5-inches, so the Galaxy J1 is still one of the more compact devices. Samsung also doubled the memory equipment, because this time we get 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage.

The current price of the Galaxy J1 is around 130-140 Euros (~$142 - ~$153), so the entry-level device has a lot of rivals. This includes, for example, the LG K7Honor 4X and the Microsoft Lumia 650. Another interesting comparison is with other Samsung devices, because you can already get the old Galaxy J5 for this price, which offers more features. Or should you get a slightly more expensive and modern smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy J3 or Honor 5C?

Samsung Galaxy J1 2016 (Galaxy J Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.5 inch , 800 x 480 pixel 207 PPI, capacitive, 5 touch points, SAMOLED, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 4.3 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Audio, Card Reader: microSD up to 128 GB, NFC, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, position, WiFi-Direct, Head-SAR: 0.994 W/kg, SAR Body: 1.17 W/kg
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, 2G GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), 3G UMTS (850/900/1900/2100 MHz), 4G LTE (800/850/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.9 x 132.6 x 69.3 ( = 0.35 x 5.22 x 2.73 in)
Battery
7.9 Wh, 2050 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 12 h
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix (f/2.2, AF, flash, [email protected], 30 fps)
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix (fix focus)
Additional features
Speakers: Mono at the rear, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, PSU, battery, USB cable, headset, quick-start guide, warranty information, Smart Manager, Galaxy Apps, my Galaxy, Google Apps, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
131 g ( = 4.62 oz / 0.29 pounds), Power Supply: 33 g ( = 1.16 oz / 0.07 pounds)
Price
159 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Because of the bigger screen, the new Galaxy J1 is also a bit bigger. It is, however, still one of the most compact smartphones in this comparison at 13.2 x 6.9 cm. The design differs from the predecessor. Samsung now uses a similar design this year; the Galaxy J1 and Galaxy J3, for example, look almost identical except for the dimensions. We get a very simple plastic chassis with a silver-colored frame and a removable rear cover. The corners and edges are slightly rounded to improve the handling. The test model feels good in the hand and can still be operated comfortably with one hand. Fingerprints are not a big problem for the plastic surface. In addition to our black test model, the Galaxy J1 is also available in the colors gold and white this year.

In terms of stability, the device benefits from its compact dimensions. There is not much to criticize here, because we could not notice any problems except for some creaking when we try to twist it. The rear cover can be removed and grants access to the replaceable battery, the microSD slot as well as the Micro-SIM slot. The latter, however, can only be accessed after you remove the battery.

Connectivity

Samsung equips the Galaxy J1 with a quad-core SoC, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage, so the 2016 model is superior to the predecessor (512 MB/4 GB), but it is still not very generous. After the initial setup, you can use about 4.3 GB, but only 3.4 GB was available after all preloaded apps were updated. It is therefore recommended to use a microSD-card to expand the storage. You can use cards with a capacity of up to 128 GB and compatible apps can also be transferred to the card, but they cannot be directly installed there.

The Micro-USB 2.0 port unfortunately does not support USB-OTG or MHL, but Samsung does at least implement NFC. Connections with other devices can also be established via Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi Direct. You once again get an FM radio, which works in combination with a headset. The quality of the provided headset is still not very good and you should primarily use it to make calls.

Bottom: Micro-USB 2.0, microphone
Bottom: Micro-USB 2.0, microphone
Right side: power button
Right side: power button
Left side: volume rocker
Left side: volume rocker
Top: 3.5 mm audio
Top: 3.5 mm audio

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Software

Samsung still ships the Galaxy J1 with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. There is currently no information about an update to Android 6 Marshmallow, but it is pretty improbable. Samsung also uses its own TouchWiz user interface that we already know from other smartphones from the Korean manufacturer.

Users get the usual preloaded apps from Google and tools from Samsung, including the calendar (S Planner), the app store Galaxy Apps and also the Smart Manager, which gives you quick access to important functions like security or battery settings. There was no unnecessary bloatware.

Home screen
Home screen
Preloaded apps 1/2
Preloaded apps 1/2
Preloaded apps 1/2
Preloaded apps 1/2
Smart Manager
Smart Manager
Software information
Software information
Stagefright Detector App
Stagefright Detector App

Communication & GPS

Contrary to the old Galaxy J1, the new model now also supports LTE connections (Cat.4) with transfer rates of up to 150/50 Mbps (downstream, upstream). We listed all supported bands at the beginning of this article. In addition to our test model, Samsung also offers a dual-SIM version with the designation Galaxy J1 (2016) Duos. The signal quality was okay in general in the metropolitan T-Mobile network, but the test model switched to the slower Edge network sooner compared to a simultaneously used Huawei P9 Plus.

Nothing changed in terms of wireless network capabilities, because you are still limited to the standards 802.11 b/g/n in 2.4 GHz networks. We had no problems with our two test routers ASUS RT-AC56U and Fritz!Box 7490, but the smartphone often indicated one bar less compared to other smartphones. Subjectively, the performance during downloads and web browsing was still decent.

GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: outdoors

The Samsung Galaxy J1 can locate position via GPS and GLONASS. This already works indoors, at least when you are close to a window. However, the accuracy is not very good in this case at 24 meters. The situation is better outdoors, where the location is accurate down to 8 meters after around 20 seconds. We also check the performance on a short bicycle ride and compare the results with the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500. The entry-level device once again performs well. We can see a small deviation in the overall distance (12.12 vs. 11.94 km on the Galaxy J1), because the smartphone does not locate the position as often and therefore takes some "shortcuts". Still, there should not be any problems for normal car or bike navigation purposes.

Samsung Galaxy J1: overview
Samsung Galaxy J1: overview
Samsung Galaxy J1: crossing
Samsung Galaxy J1: crossing
Samsung Galaxy J1: turning point
Samsung Galaxy J1: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: overview
Garmin Edge 500: overview
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: turning point

Telephone & Voice Quality

Phone app
Phone app

The phone app is easy to use and is dominated by the large numbers pad. You also get access to the call history, contacts, and favorites. The voice quality itself left a better impression compared to the old model. There were no problems during normal calls and voices were loud and clear on both sides. The position of the speaker at the back can be a problem when you use the hands-free feature, because you can cover it pretty easily. You also have to talk directly into the microphone otherwise your voice will be too quiet. The provided headset does its job. Contrary to our review of the bigger Galaxy J3, we did not have problems with poor intelligibility.

Cameras

Picture front camera
Picture front camera

The camera equipment was not changed compared to the predecessor. Samsung still uses a 2 MP sensor at the front, and the results are blurry even under good lighting conditions. The camera is definitely not suited for good selfies. You should not use the front camera for videos, because the resolution is limited to VGA (640x480 pixels). 

At the rear is once again a 5 MP camera (f/2.2), which is supported by an LED flash and an autofocus. We can basically repeat the results from the old review: The camera is sufficient for snapshots in good lighting conditions, but you will notice the comparatively low resolution when you zoom in and the colors look a bit pale in comparison as well. This is also the case for low-light situations (Scene 3), but you can still see all the details. Compared to our other comparison devices, however, the picture is not as sharp. Videos can be recorded in the HD resolution at 30 frames per second. The sensor can also handle fast movements and the overall quality is okay.

Camera modes
Camera modes
Resolutions main camera
Resolutions main camera
Settings
Settings
Settings
Settings

We can notice a slight improvement for the trigger. Its speed can still not compete with really fast devices, but subjectively, the new Galaxy J1 is faster than the 2015 model. The camera app is easy to use and once again offers a Pro mode, where you can adjust many settings. All in all though, Samsung missed the opportunity to improve the cameras of the new Galaxy J1.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
ColorChecker Passport: The actual colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
ColorChecker Passport: The actual colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.

In addition to our normal test images, we also check sharpness and colors under controlled lighting conditions. We take pictures of the ColorChecker Passport and our test chart, and the results are not edited afterwards. The color reproduction is handled pretty well by the smartphone, and only a handful of colors are a bit too pale. The white balance is a bit too warm as well. This supports our subjective picture impression. Many rivals have oversaturated colors, but this does not necessarily affect the final result. The test chart shows a slight red hue and the sharpness drops towards the edges. The camera still fares pretty well in the center, despite the low resolution.

Accessories & Warranty

The box of the Samsung Galaxy J1 only includes the usual accessories like the power adapter (with a fixed cable), the battery, an additional USB cable, a headset and service brochures. Samsung does not offer dedicated accessories for the device.

The warranty period is 2 years, but the accessories are only covered for 6 months.

Input Devices & Handling

The touchscreen of the Samsung Galaxy J1 offers decent gliding capabilities and supports up to 5 inputs simultaneously. Because of the small screen, however, this is not a big issue in practice. Inputs are not always executed instantly, but this is mainly caused by the performance. The overall handling is pretty sluggish, and there can be longer waiting times when you use complex apps or during multitasking.

The virtual keyboard is the normal model from Samsung, which supports all common features. It is also possible to adjust the height of the input to a certain extent (see screenshots). The keys are pretty narrow, particularly in portrait mode, and they require some time before you hit them reliably. The physical buttons are well integrated into the case and do not wobble. The Android control elements are implemented as sensor buttons below the display, but they are unfortunately not illuminated.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode (minimum height)
Keyboard portrait mode (minimum height)
Keyboard portrait mode (maximum height)
Keyboard portrait mode (maximum height)

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

Probably the biggest difference compared to the predecessor is the display, because instead of a normal IPS screen, Samsung uses a Super-AMOLED screen for the new model. The size was also slightly increased from 4.3 to 4.5-inches, but the resolution is unfortunately still pretty low at 800x480 pixels (WVGA). The pixel density is therefore only 207 PPI. The sharpness is still okay, but you can clearly see a difference compared to higher-resolution panels.

The display can also beat its predecessor and many of the rivals in our measurements. We can measure a maximum luminance of 319 cd/m² (303 cd/m² on average, brightness distribution 91%) on a pure white picture, and a very good 382 cd/m² in the more realistic APL50 test (even distribution of dark and bright pictures content). The Galaxy J1 also has a special outdoor mode, where the luminance is increased to an enormous 552 cd/m² for a limited period (up to 15 minutes). Thanks to the black value of 0.0 cd/m², the contrast ratio is extremely high.

317
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 319 cd/m² Average: 303.1 cd/m² Minimum: 4.28 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 301 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.9 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 2.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.02
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
4.5, 800x480, SAMOLED
LG K7
5, 854x480, IPS
Honor 4X
5.5, 1280x720, IPS
Microsoft Lumia 650
5, 1280x720, OLED
Samsung Galaxy J5
5, 1280x720, Super AMOLED
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
5, 1280x720, Super AMOLED
Honor 5C
5.2, 1920x1080, IPS
Samsung Galaxy J1
4.3, 800x480, TFT
Screen
-148%
-10%
17%
-6%
-20%
-23%
-33%
Brightness middle
301
308
2%
522
73%
349
16%
349
16%
295
-2%
515
71%
370
23%
Brightness
303
300
-1%
514
70%
353
17%
353
17%
299
-1%
498
64%
364
20%
Brightness Distribution
91
93
2%
89
-2%
92
1%
93
2%
96
5%
93
2%
95
4%
Black Level *
0.26
0.62
0.49
0.63
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.9
12
-145%
6.36
-30%
2.6
47%
5.22
-7%
5.8
-18%
6.2
-27%
5.99
-22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.6
25.3
-233%
8.2
-8%
8.6
-13%
11.4
-50%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.5
15.3
-512%
6.51
-160%
1.8
28%
3.96
-58%
4.8
-92%
7.4
-196%
7.28
-191%
Gamma
2.02 109%
2.15 102%
2.17 101%
2.06 107%
2.08 106%
1.84 120%
2.28 96%
2.59 85%
CCT
6314 103%
22440 29%
8044 81%
6542 99%
7308 89%
6252 104%
8664 75%
7949 82%
Contrast
1185
842
1051
587

* ... smaller is better

Grayscale (picture mode Simple, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (picture mode Simple, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (picture mode Simple, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (picture mode Simple, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (picture mode Simple, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (picture mode Simple, target color space sRGB)
Colorspace (picture mode Simple, target color space AdobeRGB)
Colorspace (picture mode Simple, target color space AdobeRGB)
Grayscale (picture mode Cinema, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (picture mode Cinema, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (picture mode Cinema, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (picture mode Cinema, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (picture mode Cinema, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (picture mode Cinema, target color space sRGB)
Colorspace (picture mode Cinema, target color space AdobeRGB)
Colorspace (picture mode Cinema, target color space AdobeRGB)
Grayscale (picture mode Photo, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (picture mode Photo, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (picture mode Photo, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (picture mode Photo, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (picture mode Photo, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (picture mode Photo, target color space sRGB)
Colorspace (picture mode Photo, target color space AdobeRGB)
Colorspace (picture mode Photo, target color space AdobeRGB)
Different picture modes
Different picture modes

Samsung also implements different picture modes for the Galaxy J1, so users can adjust the picture. The most accurate presentation is provided by the mode "Simple", where our measurement software CalMAN determines average DeltaE-2000 deviations of 4.9 (colors) and 2.5 (grayscale). These are very good results for an entry-level device in particular and are also convincing within our comparison group. Only the Lumia 650 from Microsoft manages even lower deviations. The AMOLED typical rich colors are provided by the Cinema mode, while the Photo mode is designed for a wide AdobeRGB coverage. The display will automatically select the mode based on the content by default.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
20 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 19 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
20 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 238.1 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 238.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 238.1 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8781 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Thanks to the enormous brightness in the outdoor mode and the very high contrast ratio, the Galaxy J1 does not have any problems outdoors. You can still see the display content even in very bright environments, but there is no ambient light sensor, so you always have to adjust the brightness level manually. There is no criticism for the viewing angles, either, and the picture is visible even from extreme angles.

In the sun (with reflections)
In the sun (with reflections)
In the sun (without reflections)
In the sun (without reflections)
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

While the old Samsung Galaxy J1 was equipped with a dual-core SoC, Samsung ships the new 2016 model with its own quad-core Exynos 3475. It consists of four Cortex-A7 cores (32-bit) as well as the GPU ARM Mali-T720. The performance is lower mainstream, but the results are actually not that bad within our comparison group. The predecessor is particularly beaten in the multi benchmarks and the difference to the larger Galaxy J3 is generally not that big. The old Galaxy J5 is usually still the fastest device in the CPU benchmarks. Samsung actually did not change the SoC for the 2016 Galaxy J5, so there are just minor performance differences between the two models.

The situation is better for the graphics performance, because the Mail-T720 can usually beat the Galaxy J3 in the Graphics sub-scores, only the two smartphones from Huawei and the 2015 Galaxy J5 have an advantage. The system benchmarks like PCMark determine average results, which are also confirmed in practice. We already mentioned the sluggish handling, and switching between apps or exiting apps can result in delays.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
1280 Points ∼100% +9%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
1171 Points ∼91%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
567 Points ∼44% -52%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
405 Points ∼100% +16%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
350 Points ∼86%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
312 Points ∼77% -11%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
3914 Points ∼100%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
2151 Points ∼55%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
1425 Points ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
1403 Points ∼36%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
1171 Points ∼30%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
906 Points ∼100%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
541 Points ∼60%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
473 Points ∼52%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
464 Points ∼51%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
350 Points ∼39%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
53143 Points ∼100% +176%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
31844 Points ∼60% +65%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
27232 Points ∼51% +41%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
24748 Points ∼47% +29%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
23997 Points ∼45% +25%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
19253 Points ∼36%
BaseMark OS II
Web
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
707 Points ∼100% +31%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
615 Points ∼87% +14%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
592 Points ∼84% +10%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
569 Points ∼80% +6%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
551 Points ∼78% +2%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
546 Points ∼77% +1%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
541 Points ∼77% 0%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
541 Points ∼77% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
539 Points ∼76%
Graphics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
814 Points ∼100% +309%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
314 Points ∼39% +58%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
312 Points ∼38% +57%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
268 Points ∼33% +35%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
207 Points ∼25% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
199 Points ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
158 Points ∼19% -21%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
145 Points ∼18% -27%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
65 Points ∼8% -67%
Memory
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
1504 Points ∼100% +175%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
643 Points ∼43% +18%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
597 Points ∼40% +9%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
575 Points ∼38% +5%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
546 Points ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
399 Points ∼27% -27%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
315 Points ∼21% -42%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
189 Points ∼13% -65%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
185 Points ∼12% -66%
System
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
2600 Points ∼100% +155%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
1355 Points ∼52% +33%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
1134 Points ∼44% +11%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
1060 Points ∼41% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
1058 Points ∼41% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
1019 Points ∼39%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
1011 Points ∼39% -1%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
552 Points ∼21% -46%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
551 Points ∼21% -46%
Overall
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
1225 Points ∼100% +148%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
598 Points ∼49% +21%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
585 Points ∼48% +18%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
534 Points ∼44% +8%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
494 Points ∼40%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
435 Points ∼36% -12%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
423 Points ∼35% -14%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
350 Points ∼29% -29%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
245 Points ∼20% -50%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 battery life
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
473 min ∼100%
Work 2.0 performance score
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
2913 Points ∼100%
Work performance score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
5120 Points ∼100% +58%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
4126 Points ∼81% +27%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
3966 Points ∼77% +22%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
3350 Points ∼65% +3%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
3241 Points ∼63%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2553 Points ∼50% -21%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
1998 Points ∼39% -38%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
19 fps ∼100% +245%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
9.2 fps ∼48% +67%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
5.5 fps ∼29%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
5.2 fps ∼27% -5%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
4.6 fps ∼24% -16%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
4.3 fps ∼23% -22%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
3.25 fps ∼17% -41%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
20 fps ∼100% +33%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
15 fps ∼75% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
15 fps ∼75%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
10 fps ∼50% -33%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
9.7 fps ∼49% -35%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
7.6 fps ∼38% -49%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
5.67 fps ∼28% -62%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
7.9 fps ∼100% +316%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
1.9 fps ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
1.8 fps ∼23% -5%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
1.8 fps ∼23% -5%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
0 fps ∼0% -100%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
fps ∼0% -100%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
8.4 fps ∼100% +6%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
7.9 fps ∼94%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
3.8 fps ∼45% -52%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
3.8 fps ∼45% -52%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
0 fps ∼0% -100%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
fps ∼0% -100%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
1440 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
303 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
367 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
1418 Points ∼100%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
317 Points ∼100%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
383 Points ∼100%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
1418 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
734 Points ∼52%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
709 Points ∼50%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
480 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
42 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
42 Points ∼9%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
Points ∼0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
563 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
53 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
53 Points ∼9%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
Points ∼0%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
13588 Points ∼100% +58%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
9079 Points ∼67% +6%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
9022 Points ∼66% +5%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
8913 Points ∼66% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
8594 Points ∼63%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
8322 Points ∼61% -3%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
6861 Points ∼50% -20%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
11319 Points ∼100% +258%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
4997 Points ∼44% +58%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
3838 Points ∼34% +21%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
3782 Points ∼33% +20%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
3162 Points ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
3037 Points ∼27% -4%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2473 Points ∼22% -22%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
11755 Points ∼100% +220%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
5318 Points ∼45% +45%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
4400 Points ∼37% +20%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
4345 Points ∼37% +18%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
3679 Points ∼31%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
3535 Points ∼30% -4%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2946 Points ∼25% -20%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
8732 Points ∼100% +16%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
8471 Points ∼97% +12%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
7841 Points ∼90% +4%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
7773 Points ∼89% +3%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
7558 Points ∼87%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
6434 Points ∼74% -15%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
3411 Points ∼100% +75%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
2193 Points ∼64% +12%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
2191 Points ∼64% +12%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
2000 Points ∼59% +2%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
1953 Points ∼57%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
1661 Points ∼49% -15%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
3809 Points ∼100% +63%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
2631 Points ∼69% +13%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
2623 Points ∼69% +12%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
2397 Points ∼63% +3%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
2338 Points ∼61%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2013 Points ∼53% -14%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
8697 Points ∼100% +13%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
8542 Points ∼98% +11%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
7751 Points ∼89% +1%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
7686 Points ∼88% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
7670 Points ∼88%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
6531 Points ∼75% -15%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
3859 Points ∼44% -50%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
5562 Points ∼100% +37%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
4740 Points ∼85% +17%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
4692 Points ∼84% +16%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
4050 Points ∼73%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
3453 Points ∼62% -15%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2499 Points ∼45% -38%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
1957 Points ∼35% -52%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
5752 Points ∼100% +27%
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 2048
5260 Points ∼91% +16%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
5227 Points ∼91% +16%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
4525 Points ∼79%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
3938 Points ∼68% -13%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2940 Points ∼51% -35%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
2213 Points ∼38% -51%

We performed most of the browser benchmarks with the preloaded Samsung browser, which is based on Chrome 38. Only WebXPRT2015 repeatedly crashed, so we switched to Chrome 51 for this test (also preloaded). The Galaxy J1 is definitely not one of the fastest smartphones for web browsing, and there will be delays or stutters on complex websites in particular. This is also supported by the benchmarks, where the Galaxy J1 is usually average or slightly below average within the comparison group. At least the old model is clearly beaten.

Octane V2 - Total Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
4188 Points ∼100% +80%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
3038 Points ∼73% +31%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
2842 Points ∼68% +22%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
2574 Points ∼61% +11%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
2323 Points ∼55%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2280 Points ∼54% -2%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
1857 Points ∼44% -20%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
19283.7 ms * ∼100% -17%
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 2048
18885.1 ms * ∼98% -15%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
18237.4 ms * ∼95% -11%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
16486 ms * ∼85%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
14579.1 ms * ∼76% +12%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
14074 ms * ∼73% +15%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
13701.5 ms * ∼71% +17%
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
9111.2 ms * ∼47% +45%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
73 Points ∼100% +70%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
52 Points ∼71% +21%
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1024
52 Points ∼71% +21%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
43 Points ∼59%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
39 Points ∼53% -9%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
39 Points ∼53% -9%
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 512
28 Points ∼38% -35%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 2048
27.934 Points ∼100% +86%
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1536
18.424 Points ∼66% +23%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1536
16.2 Points ∼58% +8%
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 1024
15 Points ∼54%
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 1024
14.369 Points ∼51% -4%

* ... smaller is better

The internal eMMC storage with a capacity of 8 GB does not set any new performance records, but the performance is good within the comparison group. Only the more expensive Honor 5C with 16 GB storage performs much better. We check the performance of the SD-card reader with our reference card from Toshiba (THN-M401S0640E2), which can reach transfer rates of up to 95/80 MB/s (read/write) according to the manufacturer. We determined almost 65 and 44 MB/s, respectively, so the reader in the Galaxy J1 is one of the faster modules.

Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
8 GB eMMC Flash
LG K7
8 GB eMMC Flash
Honor 4X
8 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J5
8 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
8 GB eMMC Flash
Honor 5C
16 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J1
4 GB Flash
AndroBench 3-5
-42%
-30%
-8%
-32%
66%
-60%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
43.56
19.27
-56%
18.7
-57%
24.21
-44%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
64.43
37.84
-41%
20.82
-68%
51.93
-19%
Random Write 4KB
9.92
5.33
-46%
3.83
-61%
7.2
-27%
9.43
-5%
15.7
58%
1.5
-85%
Random Read 4KB
17.27
15.63
-9%
19.47
13%
19.25
11%
16.82
-3%
61.7
257%
13.76
-20%
Sequential Write 256KB
40.91
8.2
-80%
19.02
-54%
39.4
-4%
41.4
1%
75.5
85%
11.3
-72%
Sequential Read 256KB
164.14
128.21
-22%
136.13
-17%
145.47
-11%
64.42
-61%
263
60%
59.72
-64%

Games

The Galaxy J1 is not the perfect smartphone for gaming. This is a result of the low performance and the accompanying enormous waiting times (also see video above with Asphalt 8) as well as the comparatively small screen. Asphalt 8: Airborne did not run smoothly even with low details, and we could only select medium graphics settings in the ego shooter Dead Trigger 2, but it was not smooth with this setting, either. We therefore switched to the racing title Real Racing 3 for our benchmark test, but 15 fps was not really enjoyable. Another problem is the small storage, which makes it hard to install bigger games. You should therefore focus on simpler titles. The sensors worked reliably during our tests.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high12 fps
 very low16 fps
Real Racing 3
 SettingsValue
 low15 fps

Emissions

Temperature

The Galaxy J1 is always a cool device, and we can only measure average temperatures of around 32 °C under load. The hottest point only reaches a little more than 33 °C, so there are no limitations in practice. As expected, the smartphone does not have any problems in maintaining its performance under sustained load. The performance graph from the GFXBench Battery Test, which repeats the T-Rex test 30 times, might look a bit wild, but the differences are within one percent.

GFXBench Battery Test
GFXBench Battery Test
Heat development front
Heat development front
Heat development rear
Heat development rear
Max. Load
 30.5 °C
87 F
32.3 °C
90 F
33.3 °C
92 F
 
 30.9 °C
88 F
33.1 °C
92 F
33.3 °C
92 F
 
 30.6 °C
87 F
32.9 °C
91 F
32.8 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 33.3 °C = 92 F
Average: 32.2 °C = 90 F
31.1 °C
88 F
31.9 °C
89 F
30.8 °C
87 F
31.5 °C
89 F
31.7 °C
89 F
31.6 °C
89 F
31.6 °C
89 F
32 °C
90 F
31.5 °C
89 F
Maximum: 32 °C = 90 F
Average: 31.5 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  31.3 °C = 88 F | Room Temperature 21.9 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.2 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 33.3 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 32 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 34.3 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.8 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

The mono speaker is located at the rear of the device next to the camera. Because of the position, the sound is slightly muffled when the device is lying on a table, or worse, on a soft surface (blanket). The small module is still decent and also sufficiently loud at more than 85 dB(A). It is also good enough for some background music. The speaker still tends to distort at higher volumes and there is almost no bass at all.

Better sound quality is possible via headphones or external speakers, which can be attached via 3.5 mm stereo jack, Bluetooth or NFC. Music does not sound very good with the provided headset, but the playback from the stereo jack is at least noise-free. The connection with out Bluetooth speaker Denon Envaya Mini was no problem and the range was inconspicuous as well.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Thanks to the small AMOLED screen, the comparatively low resolution as well as the low performance, the Samsung Galaxy J1 is by far the most frugal device within our comparison group. Our measurements also show well why the very bright outdoor mode is only available for a limited time, because the idle consumption is increased from 1.17 to 2.84 Watts. A permanent use would hurt the battery runtime significantly. The provided 5-Watt power adapter with a fixed cable has no problems with the maximum consumption of around 3 Watts (outdoor mode: ~4.6 Watts). A full charge of the battery takes around 2.5 hours when the device is turned on.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.06 / 0.22 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.44 / 1.1 / 1.17 Watt
Load midlight 2.31 / 3.04 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
3475 Quad, Mali-T720, 800x480, 4.5
LG K7
MT6580M, Mali-400 MP2, 854x480, 5
Honor 4X
Kirin 620, Mali-450 MP4, 1280x720, 5.5
Microsoft Lumia 650
212 APQ8009, Adreno 304, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J5
410 MSM8916, Adreno 306, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
SC9830A, Mali-400 MP2, 1280x720, 5
Honor 5C
Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2, 1920x1080, 5.2
Samsung Galaxy J1
SC8830, Mali-400 MP2, 800x480, 4.3
Power Consumption
-27%
-69%
-34%
-111%
-26%
-79%
-34%
Idle Minimum *
0.44
0.61
-39%
0.8
-82%
0.7
-59%
1.5
-241%
0.96
-118%
0.89
-102%
0.8
-82%
Idle Average *
1.1
1.36
-24%
1.7
-55%
1.1
-0%
2.2
-100%
1.14
-4%
2.07
-88%
1.5
-36%
Idle Maximum *
1.17
1.38
-18%
2
-71%
1.18
-1%
2.4
-105%
1.23
-5%
2.15
-84%
1.7
-45%
Load Average *
2.31
3.11
-35%
3.6
-56%
4.04
-75%
3.5
-52%
2.45
-6%
3.46
-50%
2.2
5%
Load Maximum *
3.04
3.59
-18%
5.5
-81%
4.07
-34%
4.8
-58%
2.92
4%
5.18
-70%
3.4
-12%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Power-saving mode
Power-saving mode
Ultra power-saving mode
Ultra power-saving mode

Samsung also uses the slightly bigger case of the current Galaxy J1 to increase the battery capacity a bit. Instead of 7 Wh, the replaceable battery now has a capacity of 7.9 Wh (2050 mAh). Even though some rivals have much bigger modules, the test model obviously benefits from the previously described low consumption values.

Our WLAN test with an adjusted brightness of 150 nits runs for almost 9 hours. This is a very good result and is only clearly beaten by the 2015 Galaxy J1 within our comparison group. Even better is the stamina during video playback (150 nits), because a loop of our test video Big Buck Bunny (H.264, Full HD) runs for more than 12 hours.

We did not have any problems in managing a full business day, and even two days should be possible with moderate use. If you still need more stamina, you can use the two familiar power-saving modes. The normal power-saving mode slightly reduces the performance and activates some other power-saving features, but the usability is not affected. The ultra power-saving mode on the other hand clearly limits the functionality with a black/white user interface.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
20h 42min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 38)
8h 55min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
12h 18min
Load (maximum brightness)
6h 55min
Samsung Galaxy J1 2016
7.9 Wh, 2050 mAh
LG K7
8.1 Wh, 2125 mAh
Honor 4X
 Wh,  mAh
Microsoft Lumia 650
7.6 Wh, 2000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5
10 Wh,  mAh
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
9.88 Wh, 2600 mAh
Honor 5C
11.4 Wh, 3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J1
7 Wh,  mAh
Battery Runtime
-30%
-23%
-36%
-8%
-6%
-23%
-8%
Reader / Idle
1242
1000
-19%
1105
-11%
910
-27%
1292
4%
1212
-2%
997
-20%
1262
2%
H.264
738
311
-58%
373
-49%
510
-31%
657
-11%
590
-20%
602
-18%
512
-31%
WiFi v1.3
535
453
-15%
569
6%
345
-36%
495
-7%
502
-6%
584
9%
648
21%
Load
415
299
-28%
267
-36%
213
-49%
350
-16%
433
4%
156
-62%
321
-23%

Pros

+ sturdy and compact chassis
+ good SAMOLED screen
+ replaceable battery
+ SD reader
+ long battery runtimes
+ LTE & NFC

Cons

- low performance in general
- sometimes sluggish handling
- no ambient light sensor
- Android buttons not illuminated
- low display resolution
- cameras were not improved
- only Android 5.1.1
- no 5 GHz WLAN

Verdict

In review: Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016). Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.
In review: Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016). Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.

The Samsung Galaxy J1 model year 2016 left a somewhat mixed impression in our review. Samsung improved the entry-level device at some points. This clearly includes the SAMOLED screen, which can convince in all areas except for the low resolution. Samsung also tweaked the performance and the features, because this time we get a quad-core SoC, LTE, and even NFC.

The Galaxy J1 is still an entry-level device, which is, among others, also confirmed by the camera equipment. Samsung still uses the modules from the predecessor, probably to keep the distance to the Galaxy J3. This brings us to the biggest problem of the Galaxy J1, the price. The RRP of 159 Euros (~$174) is too high in our opinion. The current street price is about 130-140 Euros (~$142-~$153), but the bigger Galaxy J3 with a bigger screen, higher resolution, more features, and better cameras is only a couple of Euros more expensive. 

Samsung improved the Galaxy J1 (2016) in some important areas, but it is still clearly an entry-level device. The biggest problem is Samsung's own Galaxy J3, which is currently hardly more expensive and therefore offers the better price-performance ratio.

Besides the cameras, you also have to make compromises in terms of performance and memory equipment. The Galaxy J1 still does not support 5 GHz WLAN. Positive aspects are obviously the long battery runtime and the compact and sturdy chassis. You cannot go wrong with the 2016 model in general, but we would still wait with the purchase until the price has dropped a bit.

Samsung Galaxy J1 2016 - 07/18/2016 v5.1
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
35 / 60 → 58%
Weight
94%
Battery
92%
Display
84%
Games Performance
6 / 63 → 9%
Application Performance
27 / 70 → 38%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Audio
50 / 91 → 55%
Camera
53%
Average
67%
80%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016) Smartphone Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2016-07-22 (Update: 2016-07-23)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.