Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime First Impressions - A Speedy Budget Samsung Phone?

After the global success of the Galaxy J7 Prime, Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy J2 Prime in the Philippines. This time, the Korean Electronics giant aims to provide the masses a speedy device in the entry-level smartphone category.
Say hello to Galaxy J2 Prime, Samsung's newest budget wonder?

How? The Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime priced at PHP 5,990 at Lazada Philippines is equipped with the same chip found with the pricier ZenFone 3 Max, the 1.3 GHz 64 Bit MT6737T quad core processor paired with Mali T720 GPU. Having said that, this phone is expected to be speedy enough to compete with rival phones at this price point.

Is it more than just speed? Let's check it out!

Disclaimer: This Galaxy J2 is a loaner unit from Lazada Philippines for our honest impressions.

Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime Specs

Display: 5 Inch qHD TFT 960 x 540 resolution at 228 ppi
CPU: 1.3 GHz 64 Bit MT6737T quad core processor
GPU: Mali T720
RAM: 1.5 GB
ROM: 8 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 256 GB (dedicated)
Rear Camera: 8 MP f/2.2 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP f/2.2 w/ LED flash
Battery: 2,600 mAh
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/ TouchWiz UI
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, sound
Others: Colors: black, gold
Dimensions: 144.8 x 72.1 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 160 g
Price: PHP 5,990

Build Quality / Design

Faux leather like back cover design
Faux leather like back cover design showing the protruding main camera, LED flash, and speaker

The Galaxy J2 Prime is constructed just like the Galaxy J2 DTV except that it is bigger and doesn't have the antenna anymore. It's still made out of plastic materials with slightly curved and textured removable faux leather styled back cover. It has chrome painted sides and a TFT display on top.
There's dual micro SIM slots and a dedicated micro SD card slot!
Opened! There's dual micro SIM slots and a dedicated micro SD card slot!

At this price, that type of construction is still acceptable. However, we are living in an era where there are metal clad phones with solid glass protection at this price range. Having said that, taking good care of this phone is a must.
3.5 mm audio jack is visible on top
3.5 mm audio jack is visible on top
There's a single microphone and micro USB data / charging port below
There's a single microphone and micro USB data / charging port below
Volume rocker at left
Volume rocker at left
Power button at right

Aesthetically, the phone looks stylish enough in its all gold color glossy paint. It's curved corners, chrome painted sides, and faux leather styled back cover also added to its flare. At 8.9 mm it has the right amount of thickness as well. The camera at the back is just slightly protruded.

This handset also feels nice to hold (even for 1 handed use), doesn't have any annoying sharp edges, and has proper grip to avoid slips. Buttons and ports are also placed in familiar Samsung locations.

Initial findings

Antutu and Geekbench benchmark scores
Antutu and Geekbench benchmark scores

1. Unlike the regular J2 DTV or J2 2016, this handset isn't using an HD AMOLED screen. Instead, Samsung settled for the lower-end TFT panel with qHD resolution and 2 points of touch w/ no light sensor. Fortunately, it is still decent in the eyes, the touch response isn't the most accurate but serviceable, and has good enough brightness.
2. It's build is still made out of plastic. There's no glass protection as well.
3. The 8 MP main camera is decent even in lowlight. It also has limited manual adjustments. However, the selfie camera looks soft and takes blurry photos most of the time. It also has Flash as well.
4. The phone is speedy in real life usage, NBA 2K17 is playable in all low settings it's LTE connectivity is also good, and runs with the newer Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS.
5. It has OTG support for file transfers and use of other USB devices.


Camera teaser

Daylight shot after the rain
Indoor dim light sample
Indoor selfie test

As of the moment

Initially, we think that the Galaxy J2 Prime is a MASSIVE step-up in specs to price ratio against all the other current entry-level Samsung phones today. We find that to be a good thing as it translated to actual good performance during our short time with this phone.

It is the most affordable phone to load with the entry-midrange grade 64 Bit MT6737T quad core chip which is speedy in performance (for the price) and can run some heavy 3D games properly. It even has LTE connectivity and loads with a clean type of Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS out of the box.

However, in order to achieve that good type performance for the price, there are few compromises. It's build is still made out of plastic, the screen isn't the sharpest around, and its internal storage isn't as big as expected.

Nonetheless, if you are looking for Samsung phone on a limited budget, this is your best bet.
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