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Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/07/2017

Small but Galaxy. Samsung also has a 5-inch smartphone from the lower mid-range in its portfolio with the Galaxy J3 (2017) Duos. The models from last year's lineup were real top sellers and many of our readers showed interest. Thus, we are curious whether Samsung can meet the high expectations this year again.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)

For the original German review, see here.

All the hype around Samsung's successful high-end devices easily lets us forget that the manufacturer is also very successful in the mid-range. The Galaxy A series is a kind of mini offspring of the Galaxy S smartphones, while the Galaxy J devices are more autonomous and situated in the mid-range below the Galaxy A phones. Like in the A series, there are different sizes and configurations. The three models of the Galaxy J series are called Galaxy J7Galaxy J5, and Galaxy J3. The latter is the center of attention in this test. Since there have been several iterations of the J phones, Samsung has added the year (2017) to this year's smartphones. Samsung only sells this year's smartphones as dual-SIM models as the name affix "Duos" indicates.

The Galaxy J3 (2017) Duos is a 5-inch smartphone that comes with the usual configuration features for the 200 Euro (~$190) price range. We are curious to find out where the differences to the bigger Galaxy J5 are and how similarly priced devices, such as the Nokia 3Sony Xperia XA1, and Lenovo Moto G5, score in comparison. And it would of course be interesting to see how our review sample fares compared with last year's model. Can Samsung continue its prior success?

Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Galaxy J Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, PLS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 10.3 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 256 GB, NFC, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, Wi-Fi Direct, USB-OTG
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1800/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20/​B40), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.2 x 143.2 x 70.3 ( = 0.32 x 5.64 x 2.77 in)
Battery
9.1 Wh, 2400 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix f/​1.9, contrast-AF, LED flash, videos @1080p/​30fps
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix f/​2.2, LED flash
Additional features
Speakers: lateral mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, headset, charger, USB cable, SIM tool, Microsoft Office, meinGalaxy, S Health, Galaxy Apps, 24 Months Warranty, FM radio; bandwidth (download/​upload): 150Mbps/​50Mbps (LTE); SAR rate: 0.658W/​kg (head), 1.32W/​kg (body)
Weight
148 g ( = 5.22 oz / 0.33 pounds), Power Supply: 43 g ( = 1.52 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
219 (~$190) Euro

 

Case

The Galaxy J3 (2017) also follows the current Galaxy design language with rounded, organic shapes, its big, separated home button and pastel colors. In contrast to last year's Galaxy J3, the design is more homogeneous and makes a more balanced impression. Available colors are black, gold, and a bright metallic blue like that of our review sample. All three colors are quite restrained and the Galaxy J3 is thus not really an eye-catcher. Instead, it impresses with an impeccable build and its entirely glass-covered front with elegantly rounded edges toward the rear. The casing is only sensitive when high pressure is applied to the screen. The device cannot be warped in any way.

The battery cannot be replaced, thus the predecessor holds a big advantage over the 2017 model. Instead, the rear is non-removable, and the SIM and micro-SD cards are inserted via tray on the device's sides.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)

Size Comparison

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Connectivity

2 GB of working memory and 16 GB of data storage are very common in this price range. 10.3 GB of storage remain for personal use. The system reserves the rest. Buyers who are willing to spend a bit more can sometimes find 32 GB of storage, as in Sony's Xperia XA1, or 3 GB of RAM like in the Moto G5. Our review sample supports two SIM cards simultaneously and still allows inserting a micro-SD card. The micro-SD card cannot be formatted as internal storage, but apps can be moved to the external storage device.

A conventional micro-USB port is situated on the lower edge. The Galaxy J models do not yet have USB Type-C. The smartphone supports USB OTG, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Left: Volume controls, micro-SD slot, SIM slot
Left: Volume controls, micro-SD slot, SIM slot
Right: Standby button, speaker
Right: Standby button, speaker
Upper edge: No interfaces
Upper edge: No interfaces
Lower edge: Micro-USB, microphone, 3.5-mm headset jack
Lower edge: Micro-USB, microphone, 3.5-mm headset jack

Software

The Galaxy J3 (2017) Duos is shipped with the Android 7.0 operating system. The security patches were dated 1st June 2017, which was already over two months old at test time.

Samsung does not deliver its smartphones with a pure Android. It installs its own user interface called Samsung Experience. Although it is not much different from stock Android, it has some special features. For example, the settings are grouped differently and swiping to the right on the home screen opens an adaptable news overview.

Additional software, such as Microsoft's complete office suite, is preloaded. Samsung avoids having to pay patent fees to the software developers. Samsung does not install many of its own apps on the Galaxy J3 (2017): S Health is a fitness program and Galaxy Apps is an app store that uses data from Google's Play Store.

Software Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Software Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Software Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)
Software Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017)

Communication and GPS

A smartphone without LTE support is only thinkable in the absolute lowest price sector now. Thus, the Galaxy J3 (2017) Duos also comes with LTE support, but with a maximum download speed of 150 MBit/s. The Xperia XA1 already offers 300 MBit/s, and the Galaxy J5 also supports higher speeds. However, our review sample is on par with its bigger brother with seven supported LTE bands. The Nokia 3 presents its best side with nine LTE bands. The reception in the German D2 network in an urban area was also good indoors: We usually had the full signal in the LTE network.

The Wi-Fi of the Galaxy J3 has been slimmed down a bit: 802.11 b/g/n is the absolute minimum configuration. In contrast to most other devices in the comparison, the device cannot use the less frequented 5 GHz network, and it does not support fast 802.11ac networks. The Galaxy J5 supports both. The review sample's transmission rates are also at the far back in the standardized test routine. We had the full signal near the router and pages opened fairly quickly in practical use. 3/4 of the signal was still received at a distance of ten meters (~33 feet) and through three walls, and pages opened just as fast.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
278 MBit/s ∼100% +493%
Lenovo Moto G5
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
121 MBit/s ∼44% +158%
Sony Xperia XA1
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P20 MT6757, 32 GB eMMC Flash
108 MBit/s ∼39% +130%
Nokia 3
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
81.1 MBit/s ∼29% +73%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.9 MBit/s ∼17%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
281 MBit/s ∼100% +425%
Sony Xperia XA1
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P20 MT6757, 32 GB eMMC Flash
112 MBit/s ∼40% +109%
Lenovo Moto G5
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
110 MBit/s ∼39% +106%
Nokia 3
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
76.6 MBit/s ∼27% +43%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.5 MBit/s ∼19%
GPS indoors
GPS indoors
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

 

The GPS module could only locate us very inaccurately indoors. Many satellites were quickly found outdoors, but the accuracy did not drop below 13 meters (~42.6 ft), which is quite a poor performance.

We looked at what this means in practice on a mountain bike trip with both Samsung's Galaxy J3 and Garmin's Edge 500 (as a reference device). The measured route is equal - very good. Samsung's Galaxy J3 draws curves as sharp corners unlike Garmin's Edge 500, which is more accurate here. However, the Galaxy J3's tracking performance is overall very good. The device traces our route very accurately for a smartphone.

GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Woods
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Woods
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500 – Bridge
GPS Samsung Galaxy J3 – Overview
GPS Samsung Galaxy J3 – Overview
GPS Samsung Galaxy J3 – Woods
GPS Samsung Galaxy J3 – Woods
GPS Samsung Galaxy J3 – Bridge
GPS Samsung Galaxy J3 – Bridge

Telephony and Call Quality

Samsung has created its own phone app that offers a few more features than Google's stock app. For example, it is possible to fade out contacts without an assigned phone number in the overview, making the contact list more cleaned up. It is also possible to look for localities in the area and call them directly, which is convenient when looking for a restaurant. Short messages can be written or a video conference can be started directly in the app.

The call quality makes a mixed impression. On the one hand, we liked the earpiece's sound; the contact's voice sounds relatively clear and natural. On the other hand, the earpiece distorts in high volumes just like the microphone, which also transmits our voice slightly muffled. The speaker generally sounds good in hands-free mode, but the microphone again transmits our voice slightly muffled and hardly records anything when we speak quietly.

Cameras

Front camera photo
Front camera photo

Compared with the predecessor, the cameras have been upgraded considerably: 13 rather than 8 megapixels are now on the rear. This is not only the current mid-range standard, but even some premium smartphones do not offer more pixels. After all, the photo quality only depends on the pixel count to a certain degree. The Galaxy J3 proves this quite impressively: Its primary camera, which is lowered slightly into the casing for protection, takes sharp and quite detailed photos. The dynamics in bright and dark areas is decent. Only the colors sometimes look a bit cool. In total, the primary camera's photo quality very much appealed to us.

Videos can be recorded in 1080p at 30 frames per second. The smartphone adapts well to the environment although the photo is sometimes a bit too dark. The auto focus does a good job. However, focusing manually, which is also possible, confuses it and it then needs quite long to adjust the desired focus. The exposure can also be set manually.

The camera app that Samsung developed is relatively intuitive to use. It offers many settings and useful assistance. For example, the right aspect ratio for videos can be viewed beforehand so that objects can be placed properly or one of the installed filters can be used for photos.

Like the predecessor, the front camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels. However, it now has an LED flash. We liked the photo quality; the camera still manages to keep overexposure within limits even in very bright areas. Its sharpness is also good.

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

The primary camera did a good job in practice. But what does it look like under standardized conditions in the lab? In fact, details are slightly blurred; especially text on a colored background. Outlines of objects generally look a bit fuzzy and the sharpness decreases slightly toward the corners. Nevertheless, the overall photo quality here is good. The color reproduction is visibly too pale, and large, colored areas are sometimes a bit patchy.

ColorChecker: Target color is displayed in the lower half of each patch.
ColorChecker: Target color is displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Photographed reference card
Photographed reference card
Reference card details
Reference card details

Accessories and Warranty

Samsung puts a charger and USB cable in the box besides a headset and SIM tool. Two covers for the device can be purchased via the website: A dual layer cover in different colors (20 Euros/~$23) and a softer jelly cover (15 Euros/~$18).

Samsung includes a 24-month warranty on its devices.

Input Devices and Handling

Samsung has developed its own keyboard. It is the only keyboard preloaded on the smartphone. Of course, another keyboard can be downloaded and installed from Google's Play Store. The keyboard is very clearly arranged and resembles Apple's iPhone keyboard slightly. The app provides many settings, such as a one hand mode, can place punctuation marks semi-automatically or be used as a TrackPad for the cursor. Overall, it is possible to type well with the app.

As known from Samsung, there are many aids for impaired users. For example, the keyboard app can be zoomed and its contrast can be increased or flashing light shows notifications when the user has a hearing impairment.

Samsung has also come up with some special ideas. For example, the user is informed about missed calls or notifications when picking up the phone via automatic vibration. A multi-window function that runs several applications on one screen is also present. A basic mode is again available, which provides smartphone novices facilitated handling.

A physical home button and two touch-sensitive menu buttons below the screen are easy to use, but the "back" button is on the right and might need some getting used to. The standby button is on the casing's right and the volume control on the left. Both are easy to find and have clear pressure points, but they could both feel higher quality.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

Screens with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels are normal in this price range. Unlike the bigger Galaxy J models or its predecessor, the Galaxy J3 does not have an AMOLED panel but instead a PLS screen. The average brightness of 494 cd/m² is high and can even be increased for a limited time via the outdoor mode; here, we measured a maximum of 572 cd/m². The illumination of 89% is relatively homogeneous, and we did not see a brightness difference in large colored areas with our naked eye.

459
cd/m²
473
cd/m²
514
cd/m²
483
cd/m²
502
cd/m²
512
cd/m²
496
cd/m²
498
cd/m²
508
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 514 cd/m² Average: 493.9 cd/m² Minimum: 5.01 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 502 cd/m²
Contrast: 1434:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.6 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.5 | - Ø
99.9% sRGB (Calman)
Gamma: 2.29
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
PLS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
Super AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.2
Lenovo Moto G5
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Nokia 3
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Sony Xperia XA1
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
Super AMOLED, 1280x720, 5
Screen
18%
1%
-40%
-51%
-37%
Brightness
494
451
-9%
625
27%
469
-5%
499
1%
299
-39%
Brightness Distribution
89
91
2%
92
3%
84
-6%
92
3%
96
8%
Black Level *
0.35
0.29
17%
0.22
37%
0.74
-111%
Contrast
1434
2276
59%
2186
52%
705
-51%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.6
2.7
41%
4.9
-7%
8.1
-76%
4.2
9%
5.8
-26%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.5
1.6
36%
4.8
-92%
8.5
-240%
6.4
-156%
4.8
-92%
Gamma
2.29 105%
2.06 117%
2.18 110%
2.16 111%
2.18 110%
1.84 130%
CCT
6351 102%
6557 99%
7357 88%
9014 72%
7044 92%
6252 104%

* ... smaller is better

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 not detected

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8568 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Samsung's Galaxy J3 presents a decent contrast result: 1434:1 are not record-breaking but quite good. The black value of 0.35 cd/m² is just as satisfactory. The AMOLED devices with an absolute black reproduction have an advantage here, just like many of the comparison devices. It is pleasing that Samsung reduces the screen brightness without flickering; thus, the manufacturer does not use pulse width modification.

There are some predefined display modes for the reproduction. We analyzed these with our spectrophotometer and the CalMAN software and discovered that the cinema setting presents the most natural colors. We only found a bluish tint in the adapted screen mode that is to adjust to every app individually. According to the software that unfortunately does not measure very accurately, sRGB is covered by 99.9% and AdobeRGB by 89.3%.

Colorspace adapted
Colorspace adapted
Colorspace basic
Colorspace basic
Colorspace photo AdobeRGB
Colorspace photo AdobeRGB
Colorspace cinema
Colorspace cinema
Grayscale adapted
Grayscale adapted
Grayscale basic
Grayscale basic
Grayscale photo AdobeRGB
Grayscale photo AdobeRGB
Grayscale cinema
Grayscale cinema
Saturation Sweeps adapted
Saturation Sweeps adapted
Saturation Sweeps basic
Saturation Sweeps basic
Saturation Sweeps photo AdobeRGB
Saturation Sweeps photo AdobeRGB
Saturation Sweeps cinema
Saturation Sweeps cinema
ColorChecker adapted
ColorChecker adapted
ColorChecker basic
ColorChecker basic
ColorChecker cinema
ColorChecker cinema
 

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
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17 ms rise
↘ 11 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 57 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
37 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 16 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 30 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (42.5 ms).

The Galaxy J3 can be used well outdoors thanks to its special outdoor mode. It increases the screen's brightness considerably, but then also needs a lot of power. Therefore, it turns off automatically 15 minutes after disabling the screen. It remains active until deactivation otherwise. A bit of the screen's content can be recognized even in direct sunlight in outdoor mode, but looking at contents is not recommendable then because intense reflections strain the eyes anyway. It is possible to work with the Galaxy J3 easily in the shade. The device does not have an ambient light sensor, and thus the brightness has to be adapted manually.

Content remains clear even from the sides thanks to the PLS technology.

Outdoors – Outdoor mode
Outdoors – Outdoor mode
Outdoors - maximum brightness
Outdoors - maximum brightness
Outdoors - medium brightness
Outdoors - medium brightness
Outdoors - minimum brightness
Outdoors - minimum brightness
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

We know the Exynos 7570 Quad SoC from Samsung's Galaxy XCover 4. Its processor unit has four cores and clocks at a maximum of 1.4 GHz. This clearly outperforms the performance of the Galaxy J3 (2016) or even Nokia 3. Other devices, such as the Moto G5, offer considerably more power. We did not encounter stutters while navigating through the operating system in practice. The browser stutters to quite some extent when a game is running in a second window in multi-window mode.

In contrast to the Galaxy XCover 4, Samsung uses an ARM Mali-T720 MP2 graphics unit, which is the dual-core model with a maximum of 650 MHz, this time. The smartphone is again faster than last year's Galaxy in the benchmarks, but it clearly lags behind its bigger Galaxy J5 (2017) brother.

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
35669 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
45613 Points ∼20% +28%
Lenovo Moto G5
44653 Points ∼20% +25%
Nokia 3
27703 Points ∼12% -22%
Sony Xperia XA1
59082 Points ∼26% +66%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
24748 Points ∼11% -31%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3436 Points ∼33%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3889 Points ∼38% +13%
Lenovo Moto G5
3583 Points ∼35% +4%
Nokia 3
2568 Points ∼25% -25%
Sony Xperia XA1
Points ∼0% -100%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
5006 Points ∼59%
Lenovo Moto G5
4730 Points ∼55%
Nokia 3
3439 Points ∼40%
Sony Xperia XA1
4759 Points ∼56%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
3350 Points ∼39%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
662 Points ∼39%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
737 Points ∼43% +11%
Lenovo Moto G5
686 Points ∼40% +4%
Nokia 3
575 Points ∼34% -13%
Sony Xperia XA1
847 Points ∼50% +28%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
569 Points ∼34% -14%
Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
252 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
534 Points ∼6% +112%
Lenovo Moto G5
722 Points ∼8% +187%
Nokia 3
211 Points ∼2% -16%
Sony Xperia XA1
1016 Points ∼11% +303%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
158 Points ∼2% -37%
Memory (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1055 Points ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1249 Points ∼28% +18%
Lenovo Moto G5
538 Points ∼12% -49%
Nokia 3
703 Points ∼16% -33%
Sony Xperia XA1
1063 Points ∼24% +1%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
315 Points ∼7% -70%
System (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1395 Points ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
2218 Points ∼22% +59%
Lenovo Moto G5
1656 Points ∼16% +19%
Nokia 3
1081 Points ∼11% -23%
Sony Xperia XA1
2969 Points ∼29% +113%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
1134 Points ∼11% -19%
Overall (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
704 Points ∼19%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1022 Points ∼27% +45%
Lenovo Moto G5
815 Points ∼22% +16%
Nokia 3
551 Points ∼15% -22%
Sony Xperia XA1
1284 Points ∼34% +82%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
423 Points ∼11% -40%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1135 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
2332 Points ∼27% +105%
Lenovo Moto G5
1731 Points ∼20% +53%
Nokia 3
1045 Points ∼12% -8%
Sony Xperia XA1
2747 Points ∼32% +142%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1858 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3704 Points ∼15% +99%
Lenovo Moto G5
2563 Points ∼10% +38%
Nokia 3
1520 Points ∼6% -18%
Sony Xperia XA1
3621 Points ∼14% +95%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
634 Points ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
732 Points ∼12% +15%
Lenovo Moto G5
619 Points ∼10% -2%
Nokia 3
556 Points ∼9% -12%
Sony Xperia XA1
828 Points ∼14% +31%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
923 Points ∼30%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1727 Points ∼56% +87%
Lenovo Moto G5
1245 Points ∼40% +35%
Nokia 3
686 Points ∼22% -26%
Sony Xperia XA1
1804 Points ∼59% +95%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
63 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
185 Points ∼3% +194%
Lenovo Moto G5
243 Points ∼5% +286%
Nokia 3
85 Points ∼2% +35%
Sony Xperia XA1
574 Points ∼11% +811%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
79 Points ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
231 Points ∼6% +192%
Lenovo Moto G5
296 Points ∼8% +275%
Nokia 3
106 Points ∼3% +34%
Sony Xperia XA1
677 Points ∼17% +757%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
925 Points ∼30%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
1685 Points ∼55% +82%
Lenovo Moto G5
1243 Points ∼40% +34%
Nokia 3
745 Points ∼24% -19%
Sony Xperia XA1
1892 Points ∼61% +105%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
92 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
277 Points ∼4% +201%
Lenovo Moto G5
496 Points ∼6% +439%
Nokia 3
124 Points ∼2% +35%
Sony Xperia XA1
827 Points ∼11% +799%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
115 Points ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
340 Points ∼7% +196%
Lenovo Moto G5
572 Points ∼11% +397%
Nokia 3
152 Points ∼3% +32%
Sony Xperia XA1
945 Points ∼19% +722%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
11426 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
12605 Points ∼18% +10%
Lenovo Moto G5
9089 Points ∼13% -20%
Nokia 3
7925 Points ∼11% -31%
Sony Xperia XA1
16394 Points ∼23% +43%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
8322 Points ∼12% -27%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3725 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
7484 Points ∼2% +101%
Lenovo Moto G5
9617 Points ∼2% +158%
Nokia 3
3177 Points ∼1% -15%
Sony Xperia XA1
13125 Points ∼3% +252%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
3037 Points ∼1% -18%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
4381 Points ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
8227 Points ∼4% +88%
Lenovo Moto G5
9494 Points ∼5% +117%
Nokia 3
3665 Points ∼2% -16%
Sony Xperia XA1
13734 Points ∼7% +213%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
3535 Points ∼2% -19%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
6.8 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
12 fps ∼1% +76%
Lenovo Moto G5
16 fps ∼1% +135%
Nokia 3
6 fps ∼0% -12%
Sony Xperia XA1
22 fps ∼2% +224%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
4.6 fps ∼0% -32%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
11 fps ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
20 fps ∼4% +82%
Lenovo Moto G5
14 fps ∼3% +27%
Nokia 3
10 fps ∼2% -9%
Sony Xperia XA1
33 fps ∼7% +200%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
7.6 fps ∼2% -31%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2.6 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
5.1 fps ∼1% +96%
Lenovo Moto G5
7.1 fps ∼1% +173%
Nokia 3
2.2 fps ∼0% -15%
Sony Xperia XA1
9.6 fps ∼2% +269%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
5.4 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
10 fps ∼3% +85%
Lenovo Moto G5
7.4 fps ∼2% +37%
Nokia 3
4.5 fps ∼1% -17%
Sony Xperia XA1
19 fps ∼5% +252%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1.7 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3.2 fps ∼1% +88%
Lenovo Moto G5
4.6 fps ∼1% +171%
Nokia 3
1.4 fps ∼0% -18%
Sony Xperia XA1
3.4 fps ∼1% +100%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3.8 fps ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
7.4 fps ∼4% +95%
Lenovo Moto G5
5 fps ∼3% +32%
Nokia 3
3.2 fps ∼2% -16%
Sony Xperia XA1
15 fps ∼9% +295%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 Samsung Exynos 7570 Quad, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, ARM Mali-T830 MP1, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto G5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, Qualcomm Adreno 505, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 3 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia XA1 Mediatek Helio P20 (LP4) MT6757, ARM Mali-T880 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016 Spreadtrum SC9830A, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash

The Galaxy J3 (2017) is midfield in terms of Internet speed. Pages open with a tangible delay, but this can hardly be prevented in this price range. The sophisticated HTML5 flipper from letsplay.ouigo.com needs a bit of time to load and then stutters occasionally, which can sometimes lead to losing a ball. The performance improves after a while, and commands are implemented smoothly.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Sony Xperia XA1
28.45 Points ∼100% +66%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
26.37 Points ∼93% +54%
Lenovo Moto G5
20.36 Points ∼72% +19%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
17.17 Points ∼60%
Nokia 3
13.97 Points ∼49% -19%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
4968 Points ∼100% +70%
Sony Xperia XA1
3956 Points ∼80% +35%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2921 Points ∼59%
Lenovo Moto G5
2604 Points ∼52% -11%
Nokia 3
2269 Points ∼46% -22%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Nokia 3
16759 ms * ∼100% -31%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
12791 ms * ∼76%
Lenovo Moto G5
11358 ms * ∼68% +11%
Sony Xperia XA1
9506.4 ms * ∼57% +26%
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
6784.4 ms * ∼40% +47%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
80 Points ∼100% +33%
Sony Xperia XA1
78 Points ∼98% +30%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
60 Points ∼75%
Lenovo Moto G5
57 Points ∼71% -5%
Nokia 3
49 Points ∼61% -18%

* ... smaller is better

Unfortunately, the Galaxy J3 (2017) is a bit sluggish when accessing the storage in total. However, the Galaxy J5 was not convincing here, either. Accessing our Toshiba EXCERIA PRO M501 reference micro-SD card (with extremely high write and read rates possible) is relatively slow on the Galaxy J3 considering the card's potential. However, they can keep up with expensive mid-range devices by comparison.

Our review sample accesses the internal storage much slower than the Moto G5 or Xperia XA1. Sophisticated apps accordingly also need a certain time until they are loaded.

Samsung Galaxy J3 2017Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) DuosLenovo Moto G5Nokia 3Sony Xperia XA1
AndroBench 3-5
-0%
64%
-17%
72%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
59.6
44.21
-26%
57.98
-3%
62.9
6%
68.04
14%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
70.3
72.22
3%
78.51
12%
64.3
-9%
78.37
11%
Random Write 4KB
9.5
9.9
4%
37.9
299%
5.5
-42%
13.2
39%
Random Read 4KB
24
24.07
0%
37.6
57%
17.7
-26%
66.2
176%
Sequential Write 256KB
51
51.96
2%
45.6
-11%
34
-33%
127.8
151%
Sequential Read 256KB
177.7
204.45
15%
230.6
30%
181
2%
248.5
40%

Games

Details sometimes have to be reduced when playing demanding games, such as the racing game Asphalt 8: Airborne. Less demanding games like Angry Birds can be played without issues. Using the touchscreen and position sensor as controls function very reliably here.

Samsung also preloads its own game launcher and an overlay called Game Tools. All installed games can be collected and managed in one place in the Game Launcher. The Game Tools allow making screenshots or enabling a "do not disturb" mode, for example. This does not have an impact on the frame rates as we found out in the test.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Samsung Game Tools
Samsung Game Tools
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high14 fps
 very low30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emissions

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

Temperature

Although the casing heats up slightly, the user will hardly notice it. At a maximum of 32.5 °C (90.5 °F), Samsung's Galaxy J3 always stays pleasantly cool. Thus, it can be put into a pocket even after prolonged load without feeling unpleasantly warm.

We check whether prolonged load without throttling is possible with GFXBench. It is since the frame rates are just as high after thirty loops as in the beginning in the Manhattan 3.1 benchmark.

Max. Load
 31 °C30 °C29.3 °C 
 32.5 °C30.5 °C29.5 °C 
 32.5 °C30.7 °C29.8 °C 
Maximum: 32.5 °C
Average: 30.6 °C
29.7 °C30 °C29.8 °C
30 °C30.6 °C29.9 °C
30.1 °C31.4 °C31.2 °C
Maximum: 31.4 °C
Average: 30.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  34.2 °C | Room Temperature 22.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-350
Heatmap front
Heatmap front
Heatmap rear
Heatmap rear

Speaker

Pink Noise speaker test
Pink Noise speaker test

The little speaker is situated on the casing's upper right area. This is an unusual, yet not a bad position. The sound is acceptable. Trebles are very prominent and background noises sometimes dominate too clearly in songs and videos. The speaker at 80.9 dB(A) has an average loudness. The speaker in Samsung's bigger Galaxy J5 is much louder and its sound output is considerably more linear and more pleasant. Nevertheless, the speaker in the Galaxy J3 can be used for occasionally sampling a song or playing a video soundtrack.

Audiophile users will more likely rely on headphones or speakers. The included headset is decent to start with. The 3.5-mm jack transmits the sound clearly. Sound output also functions very well via Bluetooth.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.231.128.22530.330.130.33129.329.929.34033.634.433.6502834.6286327.229.327.28029.232.229.210031.934.131.912539.836.939.816036.423.836.420048.421.548.425051.720.951.731557.121.357.140059.819.759.850065.820.165.863067.618.567.680067.719.367.7100069.517.869.5125067.817.467.8160067.516.467.5200067.616.467.6250067.916.667.931507116.171400074.716.174.750007116.1716300611661800058.716.158.71000058.916.158.91250051.31651.31600039.81639.8SPL80.930.180.9N47.91.447.9median 61Samsung Galaxy J3 2017median 17.4median 61Delta8.73.78.731.63225.438.425.33432.93033.629.631.628.528.429.32731.820.834.92243.421.349.120.855.521.260.719.463.719.567.417.770.217.971.417.868.917.37017.472.616.775.117.277.418.278.117.981.417.676.717.775.417.874.517.970.518.161.818.258.43086.81.370median 17.9Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duosmedian 701.39.5hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 24% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 54% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.2% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 6% of all tested devices in this class were better, 3% similar, 90% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 36% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 57% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Samsung's Galaxy J3 (2017) does not present its best side when it comes to power consumption. It consumes considerably more power than Samsung's Galaxy J5 and considerably more than its predecessor. The average consumption in both idle and during load belongs to the highest in the comparison field. The device still drains power from the outlet when it is shut down. The device's absolute maximum consumption is 3.89 watts, which is still an acceptable rate.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.12 / 0.23 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.82 / 1.94 / 2.06 Watt
Load midlight 3.31 / 3.89 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2400 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3000 mAh
Lenovo Moto G5
2800 mAh
Nokia 3
2630 mAh
Sony Xperia XA1
2300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
2600 mAh
Power Consumption
38%
-4%
17%
38%
23%
Idle Minimum *
0.82
0.52
37%
0.73
11%
0.67
18%
0.64
22%
0.96
-17%
Idle Average *
1.94
1.17
40%
1.64
15%
1.35
30%
0.81
58%
1.14
41%
Idle Maximum *
2.06
1.24
40%
1.68
18%
1.39
33%
0.86
58%
1.23
40%
Load Average *
3.31
1.66
50%
3.46
-5%
3.1
6%
2.09
37%
2.45
26%
Load Maximum *
3.89
2.94
24%
6.13
-58%
4.02
-3%
3.31
15%
2.92
25%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The 2400 mAh or 9.1 Wh battery is quite small and even weaker than that of its predecessor. Nevertheless, the Galaxy J3 (2017) manages very good runtimes in the Wi-Fi test: It is possible to browse the Internet for just over 12 hours before the device is depleted. The energy management apparently functions very well considering that the consumption is relatively high. Thus, the smartphone will easily last a work day and two days of normal use should also be possible.

An energy-saving mode can be enabled. It has two different levels that modify the system to different degrees. While the medium mode limits background services and reduces the brightness, the maximum mode additionally loads a more basic launcher that is to save energy with a dark theme and limited options. Recharging the battery, with the included small power supply, takes 1:30 to 2 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
23h 45min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
12h 02min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
13h 39min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 05min
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2400 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) Duos
3000 mAh
Lenovo Moto G5
2800 mAh
Nokia 3
2630 mAh
Sony Xperia XA1
2300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J3 2016
2600 mAh
Battery Runtime
18%
-23%
-17%
-8%
-8%
Reader / Idle
1425
1564
10%
1243
-13%
1258
-12%
1433
1%
1212
-15%
H.264
819
917
12%
616
-25%
628
-23%
751
-8%
590
-28%
WiFi v1.3
722
738
2%
561
-22%
552
-24%
675
-7%
502
-30%
Load
305
449
47%
207
-32%
283
-7%
256
-16%
433
42%

Pros

+ solid, stylish casing
+ NFC, USB OTG
+ very accurate GPS module
+ cameras' decent photo quality
+ extensive control options
+ bright screen with outdoor mode
+ low temperatures
+ very good battery life

Cons

- non-removable battery
- no 5-GHz Wi-Fi
- slow Wi-Fi
- poor microphone quality

Verdict

In review: Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017). Review sample courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017). Review sample courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

Samsung has successfully managed to further develop its Galaxy J3 top-seller. The camera is great and its resolution has been boosted compared with the predecessor. Although the screen is no longer an AMOLED, it is brighter. The performance corresponds to the category, the software is extensive and stylish, the GPS module tracks us accurately, and although the casing's design is a bit restrained, it is elegant and solid. In addition to the dual-SIM support, it is possible to insert a micro-SD card as well.

Criticism can only be applied to details: The battery is now non-removable, which many users will dislike. The somewhat too many preloaded apps might also deter some buyers, but they can be uninstalled with a bit of patience. A 5-GHz Wi-Fi network would have been nice, and the microphone could make clearer recordings.

Samsung's Galaxy J3 (2017) Duos is a well-developed, overall good smartphone from the lower mid-range. The device offers a lot for little money.

In total, the Galaxy J3 leaves us with a high overall impression that involves restrictions typical for the category. Buyers cannot expect a high-end device for just over 200 Euros (~$190). However, Samsung definitely makes the most of the tight budget and offers a smartphone with a very good price-performance ratio.

Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 - 08/04/2017 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
89%
Keyboard
67 / 75 → 90%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
34 / 60 → 57%
Weight
93%
Battery
95%
Display
88%
Games Performance
6 / 63 → 10%
Application Performance
37 / 70 → 53%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Audio
54 / 91 → 59%
Camera
79%
Average
71%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-08- 7 (Update: 2017-08-12)