In the series “Can you survive using this phone” we take the most low end, low priced smartphones and study how many features do we essentially need to have a decent smart phone experience. This week we take a look at Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini Prime, the lowest end smartphone from Samsung.
The phone is mostly made up of plastic, unsurprising because of it’s 80 dollar price tag. However the back of the phone is textured and much like the Galaxy Grand Prime it does help in durability and keeping the phone scratch-less. The sides are made up of plastic but have a metallic finish to them very reminiscent of the much loved and popular Samsung devices like the Galaxy S2 and S3 of the past. A part from the screen being a little bit too small for my taste I didn’t have much problem with the overall build quality of this phone. With the smaller price tag you’re going to have to deal with some sacrifices and the phone does manage to have a decent build.
The buttons on the side are not too bad, they have plenty of travel and don’t feel like low quality. The headphone jack and the micro usb port also don’t feel cheap as they click in easily and don’t allow much outside disturbance after getting attached with their peripherals.
Overall I think that for the price the build quality is solid.
The phone has a 4 inch display panel which is a TFT screen with a resolution of 480 x 800. I’m glad that they went with that size with that resolution because 480p looks quite decent on that size. It’s very serviceable for Instagram, Facebook and other social sites. The brightness of the screen is quite good even in outdoors where there’s plenty of sunlight. The nerd in me keeps wishing for a slightly better screen maybe 720p however on a more realistic level it makes sense to put a 480p display to keep the price and the production cost less.
I don’t think you will necessarily have a bad time using the display, if you’re buying the phone for your child or if you’re not a tech savvy person then I’m quite sure you will be satisfied. For arcade games it’s pretty good and helps in keeping the battery usage to a minimum.
Cameras and cameras especially in smartphones can be pretty subjective, so when talking about the camera you have to keep in mind that this is a low end phone and the camera is certainly not going to blow anyone away. In my usage I found that the camera is quite decent, in good light it performs well but in low light it can only do so much. It’s a 5 mega pixel sensor one thing I liked about the camera is that the phone doesn’t do too much post processing on the phone. This makes the image look more real and it’s much less of strain on the processor.
The front camera is a VGA camera meaning it’s a 1.3 MP this made me remember my old, old phones where the main camera would be a VGA one and I would gush out on the quality. I’m not particularly fond of selfies or using the front camera even in high end phones so after a few forced attempts I didn’t use it much but if it’s any reassurance that is pretty much the case with all phones I use even the flagships like the S7 or the Mate 9.
I was actually quite surprised by the performance of the phone. I was expecting a lot of lag and stuttering issues but because of the 480p display the phone doesn’t have to do much rendering and Android has come pretty far in making every thing less intensive on the processor. Now a phone of this price and this processor can give out decent performance which was not possible a few years back. I remember I immediately had to root my HTC Explorer to make it somewhat usable.
The phone has a 1.5 Ghz quad core processor, it handles social media sites manly facebook, instagram and even snapchat (which is terribly optimized on Android) like a champ. However there is a little bit of lag when running multiple apps at once and switching between them. It handles games quite well as well so if you’re buying for your child he would be content with the processing package in this phone.
Battery and Connectivity
The phone is powered by a 1500 mAh battery which might sound less but packaged with the low powered processor and pretty low power demanding screen you end up getting really, really good battery life. It would last more than a day on medium usage which is pretty good battery life in my book.
Speaking of good things the connectivity in the phone is also pretty good, especially the microphone and the speaker. The people who are going to be buying this phone are the ones who mostly need a phone to talk and send messages through so it makes sense that this would have a fantastic microphone and speaker. I would even use the speaker over any other phone if I needed my phone just for calling.
I didn’t face any drop calls or unsent messages and even the wifi and bluetooth connectivity is strong and stable. There are not any issues I even used the phone as a hotspot and it served quite well.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini Prime is primarily a budget low end phone and there’s no denying it. It’s not made for tech enthusiast or professionals who need the best of the best. It’s made for people who don’t want to spend much money and want the phone basic tasks like calling, texting, facebook, whatsapp, snapchat etc. At those things the phone excels and performs really well. So you have to be very sure if you are that audience the phone is trying to pander to.
As for if I can survive with this phone? I would say a solid yes. I could easily read my email, read all the articles I normally would and generally had a good experience.
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