Samsung introduced the Galaxy J series last year to target the budget-conscious consumers who were driven towards affordable Chinese smartphones from the likes of Xiaomi, LeEco, Gionee and others. Since 2014, the smartphone market in India has seen the uptake of online specific smartphones. Samsung realized that it was left behind by its Chinese rivals in the budget segment, who were tapping the market with their aggressively priced, online specific devices, and came up with Samsung Galaxy J3 (6) but with an additional feature.
The Samsung Galaxy J3 has been placed in the sub-Rs 10,000 category, and comes with specifications that are good for a phone in this price range. However, the key feature of the smartphone is what makes it different and help it score an extra point. We are taking about the Samsung's S Bike mode, which as per the company is a unique service that has been designed to make the motor-bikers' lives easy. As its name suggests, the feature lets two-wheeler riders set automated incoming call replies without actually taking the phone out of their pockets.
We went hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy J3 (6) smartphone and here are our first impressions of the phone and the S Bike mode.
Design and display:
The Galaxy J3 (6) smartphone is based on the design that has been used for the previous J series smartphones. It makes sense for Samsung phones to have a unified and familiar faux leather look across the product lineup to be easily identifiable among the crowd. The J3 (6) phone is dominated by plastic material with a metallic ring running across the side, but looks good for its price. It is light on hand and, thanks to the 5-inch display, is comfortable to be used single handedly.
The front adorns a 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, which offers good viewing angles and reproduces colours well. Above the display, there is a 5MP camera and below it, there is a physical home button, sandwiched between two capacitive buttons. The left has volume rocker, while right has the power button. The back panel of the phone is removable.
Samsung Galaxy J3 (6) is powered by a quad-core processor with clock speed 1.5GHz. It is paired with 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. In addition to that, you get an expandable storage of up to 128GB via microSD card. The overall hardware specifications seem nice for a Samsung phone. Though competitors have better processing units to offer, it will all depend on the performance of the chipset that will make a difference.
The 8MP rear camera on the phone is accompanied by an LED flash. During the brief hands-on period, we tried the camera and found it fine. However, neither the ambient lighting conditions nor the short time period were apt to test it and judge its performance. Up front, there is a 5MP selfie camera with f2.2 aperture.
The Samsung Galaxy J3 (6) runs Android 5.1 Lollipop wrapped under the company's native TouchWiz UI. The highlight of the software is that it features an Ultra Data Saving (UDS) mode which is capable of saving up to 50 percent on mobile data usage, as per company claims. The data saving mode is powered by Opera which compresses data in order to save overall mobile data usage.
S Bike mode:
The S Bike Mode is essentially the highlight of the smartphone. It is a feature that has been designed keeping the safety of two-wheeler riders in mind. The feature helps in responding to incoming calls with gesture or automated response, so that the rider doesn't get distracted by the call. The company has added smart reply feature to the app so that the user reply to an incoming call with ease, on the basis of its priority. For instance, when the user is riding the bike, the rider will not get vibration or ring alert while the caller will hear a pre-recorded message. The phone will not vibrate or ring, and the user remains unaware of incoming calls to avoid distraction while riding. However, the mode allows caller to choose to press 1 in order to reach the rider in case of emergency. The app also understands gestures.
The S Bike mode can be launched from the Quick Settings itself, which is handy and easily accessible. The company gives an NFC tag inside the retail box, which can be fixed to the fuel tank of a bike or on the helmet of the rider, for easy accessibility.
It has a simple interface and is pretty easy to use. The app supports 14 languages. It has been launched with the Galaxy J3 (6) but it will be coming to other J series smartphones sooner or later.
The Galaxy J3 (6) is Samsung's take on its budget rivals. The phone looks nice and packs in decent features for its price of Rs 8,990, but its highlight remains the S Bike mode, which can be its saving point against the specs heavy budget offerings from competitors. In terms of connectivity, it supports 4G LTE, dual-SIM, a microSD card, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. The phone houses a 2600mAh battery. The phone will be available exclusively via Snapdeal from April 7th.