Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review: Value driven

GSMArena team, 17 July 2016.

Samsung Browser and Chrome

While Samsung dropped its music player, it kept its custom browser. It supports multiple tabs (including incognito ones), but the option to sync tabs between devices is gone. There's no fingerprint sign-in either (obviously, since there's no fingerprint reader).

The Internet app - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review The Internet app - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review switching tabs - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
The Internet app switching tabs

Chrome comes on most Androids as part of the Play Services package. It can sync tabs (based on your Google account) and has the data-saving option of compressing pages before they are sent to the device. It will even automatically detect foreign language sites and offer to translate them. In recent versions, Chrome abandoned the concept of spamming tabs within the app switcher and now they are back within their own little interface.

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

Other preinstalled apps

As already mentioned, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft and offers a few preinstalled apps that you can't uninstall either. There's OneDrive to handle cloud-syncing needs (including photo backup). You get 100GB worth of bonus free space with your phone. OneNote for a more advanced note taking and syncing experience than the Memo app offers. Next, there is Word, Excel and PowerPoint. And finally, Skype is also on board to handle instant messaging and Internet calling.

100GB free with OneDrive - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Office suite - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Office suite - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Skype - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
100GB free with OneDrive Office suite Skype

Smart Manager is a one-stop shop for maintenance of your device. It's divided into four parts. Battery shows estimated battery life remaining/time until charged and will warn you of abnormal battery usage. The Power saving and Ultra power saving modes can be activated from here.

Smart Manager - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Battery use - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Ultra power saving mode - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Smart Manager Battery use Ultra power saving mode

The Storage section leans on Clean Master to free up some storage by deleting unnecessary files. RAM closes running apps to free up RAM.

Cleaning up the storage - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review freeing up RAM - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Cleaning up the storage freeing up RAM

The fourth section is Device security. It offers My KNOX, which create separate working spaces for personal and work apps (think BlackBerry's Balance). KNOX Active Protection promises to safeguard you against hacks - it's disabled by default for casual users and enabled for enterprise users.

It slows down performance a bit and adds a few seconds to the boot time. What you get is verification that the system apps haven't been tampered with and has real-time kernel protection to avoid unauthorized access from apps to the core of the operating system. There's also a McAfee-powered malware scanner on board.

KNOX can balance work and personal apps, protect you from malware and hacks - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review KNOX can balance work and personal apps, protect you from malware and hacks - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
KNOX can balance work and personal apps, protect you from malware and hacks

S Planner is the familiar Samsung replacement for the Google calendar. Tapping on a day shows in Month view a preview of the scheduled events for that date. You can add a 7-day weather forecast and multiple calendars.

S Planner - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review S Planner - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review S Planner - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review S Planner - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
S Planner

The My Files app is the built-in file browser. It's beginner-friendly with its Category view (e.g. view all photos), but you can browse the whole internal storage)

There's no Google Drive integration like in other versions of this app and no OneDrive integration either (despite the 100 gig bonus).

My Files handles local and cloud (Google Drive) files - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review My Files handles local and cloud (Google Drive) files - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review My Files handles local and cloud (Google Drive) files - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
My Files handles local and cloud (Google Drive) files

The Voice recorder app features a single mode - voice notes. The option to automatically transcribe them has been cut. You can write down notes yourself with the Memo app, which lets you add checklists, images and voice memos.

Voice recorder app - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Memo app - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review Memo app - Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) review
Voice recorder app Memo app