Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) review: Quality control

GSMArena team, 25 May, 2016.

Unboxing

The Galaxy J5 (2016) comes in an ordinary box, which doesn't contain much other than the basics. You get a handset and a moderately fast AC adapter (5.0V/1.55A) and a USB cable.

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) box content - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review
The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) box content

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 360-degree spin

As we said, the Galaxy J5 (2016) packs a slightly larger display than its predecessor and this has resulted in slightly larger footprint. The phone stands at 145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm, so the good news is Samsung managed to keep the thickness of the phone almost unchanged despite the increase in battery capacity.

However, the extra mAhs and the metal shell have added a bit of weight. The Galaxy J5 (2016) tips the scales at 159 grams compared to 146 grams of its predecessor. It's not unwieldy but you'll certainly feel its presence in your pocket.

Hardware overview

The Galaxy J5 (2016) comes with a much needed design overhaul - gone is the generic plastic, which was sturdy but not quite premium looking or feeling, to be replaced by a nicely crafted metal frame. In short, you wouldn't have bought the first-gen Galaxy J5 for its looks. The story with this new one is different.

The frame is chamfered at the front and back while the sides are finished in the phone's main color. They're also flat, for better grip. At first sight, you can't really tell that it's metal, though.

At the back, the plain plastic cover of yesteryear is replaced by one that imitates brushed metal. While there's a camera bump, it's not irritating. We like how Samsung tastefully designed the main speaker grille next to it, too. The LED flash on the right side of the camera has the same cutout like the grille.

Tastefully done camera and speaker layout - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review Tastefully done camera and speaker layout - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review
Tastefully done camera and speaker layout

Up front, the Galaxy J5 (2016) display is surrounded by some bezel, but nothing overboard. Below it, there's Samsung's traditional home button surrounded by a capacitive Task switcher on the left and a Back button on the right.

Above the display, there's a front-facing camera on the left with the LED flash unusually positioned on the opposite side. In the center, an earpiece, and a proximity sensor sit between them. Sadly, there's no ambient light sensor here.

The LED flash is hard to notice with our particular phone color - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review The LED flash is hard to notice with our particular phone color - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review The LED flash is hard to notice with our particular phone color - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review
The LED flash is hard to notice with our particular phone color

The power button is on the right while the volume rocker is on the left.

Power/lock on the right, volume rocker on the left. No surprises here - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review Power/lock on the right, volume rocker on the left. No surprises here - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review Power/lock on the right, volume rocker on the left. No surprises here - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review Power/lock on the right, volume rocker on the left. No surprises here - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review
Power/lock on the right, volume rocker on the left. No surprises here

At the bottom, you'll find the microUSB port, the main (and only) mic as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack. The top is barren.

 - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review  - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review  - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review

Removing the back cover reveals the 3,100mAh battery as well as the microSIM and microSD card slots. Notice the NFC chip on the back panel, as well.

The battery is removable - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review
The battery is removable

Handling the Galaxy J5 (2016) is a pleasure. Its metal frame and higher than average weight make up for a pretty nice feel in hand.

In the hand - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review In the hand - Samsung Galaxy J5 2016  review
In the hand