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Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) review

7.9/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) currently has an Informr score of 7.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 7 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Excellent battery life
  • Beautiful and vibrant screen
  • Decent performance
  • Removable battery
  • Great build quality

What's bad

  • Poor camera
  • Cannot handle more recent games
  • Plastic frame looks cheap

Most of Samsung’s smartphones manage to get a lot of good and bad press. The outlier, however, is the Galaxy J5. This budget device received so little attention Samsung’s own PR team had no idea about it. Yet despite the budget price tag and lack of marketing, the J5 is quite a capable smartphone. While at first glance it might look like the S5, upon closer inspection the differences are much more noticeable. The plastic frame does not offer any water protection and many reviewers call the look and feel “tacky” especially after handling the metal frames of the A series. Despite this, they add it’s very well-made with no flex or creaks. The curved sides and slim dimensions also made it easy for them to grip.

The 5-inch display offers a resolution of 1280x720 for a pixel density of 294 pixels per inch. In comparison to many other smartphones on the market, it’s quite low. However, it makes up for it in other areas such as max brightness. More importantly it manages to cover the entire color spectrum, something other budget rivals don’t do. Critics have nothing but praise for the screen calling it “vibrant” and “incredible.” And since it uses Super-AMOLED technology, they had no complaints about the viewing angles or bright light legibility.

If you’re looking for a very fast phone, it’s best you look elsewhere. The J5 offers a quad-core 1.2GHz processor and only 1.5GB of RAM. As expected, experts noticed some slight hiccups when multi-tasking or playing graphics-intensive games. Still, during basic tasks it ran smoothly with some slight stutters when trying to load image heavy web pages. Battery life is where it excels. Armed with a 2,600mAh battery the J5 managed to provide reviewers with just over 17 hours of life. What’s better, you can replace the battery so you never really have to worry about your phone dying again. Unless you forget to charge the batteries of course.

Perhaps the area where the J5 really shows its budget roots is with the 13MP rear camera. While on paper it sounds like it should take some good pictures, the problem lies in the sensor. Experts found it could not manage different lighting situations often overexposing scenes that had too much light and obscuring details when there was not enough. With that said, when the conditions are just right, they did manage to take some excellent images with high detail and vibrant colors.

Despite the weak camera, experts have no qualms suggesting the J5 to people on a tight budget. IT-Pro states, “It’s an excellent choice for anyone who’s looking for quality on a budget.” Alphr adds, “It’s smooth, stylish, and performs nicely with a bright screen and incredibly battery life.”

Operating system
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
13+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

Know Your Mobile

Really quite an impressive low-cost smartphone with a lot of bang for your buck. Arguably one of the best budget handsets on the market thanks to Samsung's mastery of Super AMOLED display technology and some sterling battery performance, both of which put it ahead of rivals such as the Moto G, while...

- Paul Briden, Know Your Mobile
IT Pro

The third-gen Moto G just retains its place in our budget smartphone affections thanks to its classier looks and build quality as well as its clean version of Android and waterproofing. Even so, the J5 has a lot going for it and is a very good alternative if you want a better looking screen and a re...

- Adam Shepherd, IT Pro

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) is a smartphone of reasonably good quality. It looks elegant and its screen is fairly pleasant. Its software experience is well-accomplished and its camera can land surprisingly good shots. While the Galaxy J5 (2016) does cover the essentials, it does so with the absolut...

- Luis D., PhoneArena

In terms of hardware the Galaxy J5 (2016) feels like a pretty minor update. The bigger screen and battery are always a good way to lure customers in, but the chipset is feeling decidedly dated at this point. And the camera certainly can't live up to the promises that its specs make.

- GSMArena team, GSMArena

Samsung's Galaxy J5 (2016) is not perfect, but it is a really good smartphone from the lower mid-range.

- Florian Wimmer, Notebookcheck

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Samsung released the Galaxy J5 (2016) on April 1, 2016.

Samsung backs up the Galaxy J5 (2016) with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Galaxy J5 (2016) has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.


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Screen Size

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)'s screen size is 5.2 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

1.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 Quad core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat) operating system (OS).

13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3100 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 1260 minutes, 840 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy J5 (2016) Specs

Release date April 1, 2016
Regions available Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
2100/800/850/900 /1800/2600 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (Update Available: 7.1.1 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 Quad core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.45 W/kg
Body: 1.17 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3100 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 1020 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 840 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1260 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 10 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black, White, Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.6 x 7.2 x 0.8 cm (5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 159 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 285 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
13+ megapixels
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, White balance, Exposure value, Sound & Shot, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, FLV, AVI, MKV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
5+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AMR, AMR-WB, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, ASF, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MKV, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung SM-J510

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) Reviews
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