Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review: Value driven

Value driven

GSMArena team, 17 July 2016.

Gallery

The Gallery on the J3 (2016) has been borrowed from last year's Galaxy flagships, but with a slightly reduced feature set. The default view shows photos grouped based on time. Thumbnails are shown on a clean white background and you can change their size with a pinch zoom.

Gallery - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Gallery - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Gallery

Editing tools include simple things like cropping and making collages. There's no support for online galleries though.

The Share button allows you to send a photo to a wireless printer, but the DLNA/TV sharing functionality is missing.

Editing a photo - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Editing a photo - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Editing a photo - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review sharing a photo - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Editing a photo sharing a photo

Only Google Play Music

Samsung's TouchWiz music player was one of the most feature-rich apps, but Samsung dropped it in favor of Google Play Music, at least in the budget-friendly "J" family, that is. This means no Sound Alive, not even an equalizer. But if Google Music is good enough for the Nexus phones, it should be good enough for the Galaxy J3 (2016).

Only the standard Google Play music is provided - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Only the standard Google Play music is provided - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Only the standard Google Play music is provided

It's a capable player for offline music play, it does online streaming too. You can bolster your music collection with stuff from the Google store too. And, if you prefer streaming, but don't want to necessarily pay for a subscription, Google allows you to upload your own MP3s to the cloud and enjoy them on the go.

Shopping for a new album - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Shopping for a new album - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Shopping for a new album

The Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) also features an FM radio. It offers a clean dual-color interface and features RDS and recording. Although the latter is subject to local laws and regulations.

FM radio with RDS and broadcast recording - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review FM radio with RDS and broadcast recording - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review FM radio with RDS and broadcast recording - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review FM radio with RDS and broadcast recording - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
FM radio with RDS and broadcast recording

Video player

The video player is similar to the gallery. It supports all kinds of video file types and codecs, but don't count on the SC9830 too much for high resolution video. It feels comfortable at 720p and you should probably leave it at that. As usual, multi-channel audio (AC-3, DTS) is not supported out of the box and the same goes for DivX.

The pop-up video player is gone, but you can still beam audio over Bluetooth. There are extensive subtitle settings with adjustable font and text size, text color, edge and background. Multiple presets are available and you can make your own.

Browsing videos - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Subtitles and other settings - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Subtitles and other settings - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Subtitles and other settings - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Browsing videos Subtitles and other settings

Audio output is solid

The Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) started off well in our audio quality test. The smartphone achieved excellent scores for clarity when hooked up to an active external amplifier and had above average volume levels - it's more than we actually expected from it.

The headphones test brought some intermodulation distortion and stereo crosstalk, but neither is too bad so we'd call this another good showing by the entry-level device.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) +0.04, -0.24-92.492.50.024 0.023-91.3
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) (headphones) +0.37, -0.04-88.590.60.045 0.226-56.9
Sony Xperia E5 +0.14, -0.81-92.392.40.0072 0.0093-91.9
Sony Xperia E5 (headphones) +0.15, -0.88-89.588.90.0090 0.370-50.7
Motorola Moto G4 +0.02, -0.07-92.492.50.0028 0.0084-92.1
Motorola Moto G4 (headphones) +0.04, -0.08-92.092.00.0073 0.070-63.8
Sony Xperia XA +0.01, -0.18-93.690.60.0030 0.010-91.7
Sony Xperia XA (headphones) +0.85, -0.18-87.187.80.018 0.327-54.9
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus+0.02, -0.08-93.892.80.0037 0.034-91.3
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (headphones)+0.09, -0.03-93.592.60.070 0.075-49.0
Huawei Honor 5X+0.02, -0.08-93.490.10.0028 0.012-93.4
Huawei Honor 5X (headphones)+0.10, -0.03-92.989.80.0048 0.071-78.2
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)+0.02, -0.07-94.392.20.0065 0.010-95.0
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) (headphones)+0.42, -0.01-93.487.10.029 0.254-53.0

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) frequency response
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • VaporeonPL

worst phone ever, avoid or destroy it if you have this trash

  • Jack

I'm experiencing touch challenges on my J3 and galaxy core

  • tt2

slow to charge after a year