Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 Unboxing And First Impressions - A Better Samsung Midranger?

Currently, Samsung is the leader in the world of smartphones today in terms of overall sales. Apart from their flagship portfolio that includes the Note 5 and Galaxy S7 series, a HUGE chunk of the profit they got came from their J series. Those devices packs most of the well known Samsung features in a more attainable price tag for the masses.
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 unboxing and first impressions
Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 unboxing and first impressions

This year, the South Korean smartphone giant gave the J series a major overhaul that improves its design, build, specs, cameras, operating system, and features.

One of them is the Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 that we have for review. It banners a "Designed for the Philippines" slogan that promises to be specifically curated with the conditions of our country. It has themes and wallpapers with artistic touch of the Philippines, Signal Max antenna design to give more signal, and Ultra data saving feature that educes data consumption up to 50%.

Given those features and innovations, is this new Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 worthy of your hard earned cash? Is it more than just a phone with great design? Find out as we go thru this review.

Disclaimer: This unit was provided by Samsung Philippines for an honest review

Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 Specs

Display: 5.2 Inch HD Super AMOLED 1280 x 720 resolution at 282 ppi
CPU: 1.2 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 410 quad core processor
GPU: Adreno 306
RAM: 2 GB
ROM: 16 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/1.9 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP f/1.9 w/ LED flash
Battery: 3,100 mAh
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/ TouchWiz UI
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, OTG, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM (micro)
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity
Others: Colors: white, black, gold, rose gold
Dimensions: 145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1mm
Weight: 159 g
Price: 11,990 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

The colorful box of J5 2016

The J5 2016 comes with not your common Samsung packaging, the company highlighted its "Made for the Philippines" slogan by putting a colorful artwork that showcased what Pinoy living is all about.


Upon opening its flashy package, you'll get most of the basic stuffs found on a phone: the sleek J5 2016 itself, 1.5A charger / adapter, not that long and flexible USB to micro USB data / charging cables, and paper documentations.
Charging cables and adapter
Charging cables and adapter

What's not found in its package is an earbuds w/ mic that can be used for calls. It would also be better if there's a free screen protector inside as Samsung failed to indicate if this has any sort of screen coating for protection against scratches.

Build Quality / Design

View at the back
View at the back, showing the brushed metallic back cover, speaker placement, and dual tone LED flash

Samsung's shift from plastic to metal is noteworthy and spectacular. Coming from the plasticky build of the old J5, the J5 2016 a solid metal chamfered frame that has identical tough feel and heft compared with G8.
Samsung's Galaxy J5 2016 boast a solid metal frame that's one of the toughest around!
It isn't all metal though, the brushed removable metallic plastic back cover is understandably made out of plastic and the inner body is crafted from a solid polycarbonate material. In front, the Super AMOLED screen is made out of glass that appears to have some sort of coating as protection against scratches even if Samsung didn't mention any.

For us, overall toughness is close to top notch which is impressive. As a matter of fact only the P9 Lite, F1, and V3 can claim that they're on the same level of craftsmanship 
at this price point yet.

Note: While we are sure that this phone can take few hard drops and bumps, proper care is still a must to ensure that it'll last. Installing a case and screen protection would still be better.

The overall feel of the phone is above-average in durability at this price point. We like its solid feel and good amount of heft It's also reinforced inclusions such as its nice type of TPU flexible case and clear type screen protector for your peace of mind.
Antenna lines, selfie camera, ear-speaker, sensors, and selfie flash on top
Antenna lines, selfie camera, ear-speaker, sensors, and selfie flash on top
Single mic, micro USB slot, and 3.5 mm audio port below
Single mic, micro USB slot, and 3.5 mm audio port below
Volume rocker on the left
Volume rocker on the left
Power button at right
Power button at right

In terms of looks, Samsung's Galaxy J5 2016 is a flashy phone. It resembles the slim modern frame found with their higher end offerings such as the A5 2016 and it looks very metal and shiny that's pleasing to the eyes. 
Style-wise, the J5 2016 is a head turner!
It's a 5.2 inch handset that's smaller than some old 5 inch phones, has nice curve at the back that reminds me of GR5 and Flash Plus 2, good semi rounded corners, and slimmer than most screen bezels with little black borders. There's just a camera hump at the back just like most Samsung phones.

Ergonomically, this phone was curated to provide one of the nicest hold around, and Samsung is correct with that claim. It sits in my hands with proper comfort, doesn't have sharp edges, and it isn't slippery too.

Buttons and ports placement is okay. The volume keys is located on the left side, power button at right, and 3.5 mm jack below.

To nitpick, I know that its Samsung's style to put a home button, but I don't find it efficient if it doesn't have a fingerprint scanner. The speaker placement at the back is a little odd too and would have been better if its located below or in-front of the phone.

As of the moment

Samsung's J5 2016 is a clear improvement over the old J5 last year. It now has a much better build, bigger screen size, and  has better specs on paper. We'll be using this as our daily driver in the next few days and report to you guys in a full review what we fully think of it.

For the full review: Samsung Galaxy J5 2016 Review - An Enough Improvement?
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