Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime Hands-On

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With smartphones transitioning to the size of tablets, it can be hard to navigate your way around one with convenience. It’s a petty complaint but if you have small hands, want to just check your phone, and reply quickly without having to fumble with both hands, you’ll get why.

Do I feel like the dinosaur in Meet the Robinsons? A bit. But to be fair, I sometimes still shop in the kid’s section of the clothing store, so this might not be a big deal to a lot of people.


Good specs in a smaller package

The Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime runs on Android Marshmallow; has 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, and up to 256GB expandable storage via microSD; is powered by a 2400mAh non-removable battery; and has a 5-inch display with HD resolution. It looks like the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime Mini-Me.

Besides the home button on the phone doubling as the fingerprint scanner, the Gorilla Glass protection on this phone can take some clumsy drops. Not to mention, the 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera are just like the J7 Prime with not as big a price tag on it.

The J5 Prime’s front camera even has the same gesture control as on the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime that scans for your palm with a five-second delay for quick and easy selfie snaps. Forget straining your arm to get everyone in the photo; you can use gesture control to take the shot.

Goodbye, single-SIM phones

Why keep two SIM cards on separate phones when you can have both in one? The Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime is dual-SIM, so both your work and personal numbers can stay in a single phone with less the bulk of two phones. This way, you don’t have to keep switching from one phone to the next when answering calls and replying to texts.

Can I play mobile games on it?

Yes, you can. The Galaxy J5 Prime is powered with an Exynos 7570 quad-core processor, making gameplay smooth on light to medium titles. There’s a ton of mobile games you can play on this phone. As for me, Hearthstone and Mobile Legends worked fine. However, there is no auto-brightness feature on this phone, so you might need to manually transition when you move around the house while playing.

That aside, the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime looks to have standard features with small interesting tweaks packed into a premium build. The phone looks and feels top-quality as well as it performs without such a fuss on an attractive display.

The Galaxy J5 Prime starts at INR 13,790 in India and PhP 9,990 in the Philippines. This phone looks like it delivers on design, battery life, and display.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) review

[irp posts=”13524" name=”Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) review”]

Hands-On

Nokia 3.2 Hands-On: Basic but classy

Nothing fancy but really speedy

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Nokia has been stepping up its lineup of budget smartphones. Early in 2019, the brand launched a plethora of budget smartphones that are under the Android One program. One of the budget-friendly smartphones introduced was Nokia 3.2. Eager to have that Nokia experience, I took the phone out for a spin.

It’s cheap… but classy

I had high hopes when I first got the Nokia 3.2 in its box. Seeing it earlier in MWC 2019 made me appreciate its look and vibe. Compared to other budget smartphones, it’s classier and sexier. However, the phone feels a little bit downgraded when compared to its predecessor.


Nokia the 3.1 with an aluminum frame, a plastic back, and corning gorilla glass while the 3.2 used only a polycarbonate unibody design. Its plastic back is smudgy and slippery, but the phone has a tighter grip, thanks to its subtle curved edges towards the front.

Even its buttons are subtly protruding on its sides. On the left is a dedicated Google Assistant button, and on the right are its power buttons and volume keys.

Found on its back are the 13-megapixel main camera, LED Flash, and fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, its top side features a headphone jack, while the micro USB port and speaker grilles are found on the bottom.

If the notch is troubling you, try hiding it with a wallpaper similar to what I did in the image above.

It also features a 6.2 inches LCD panel on its front display, with a tall 19:9 ratio. It might be disrupting, but the Nokia 3.2 still sports a small notch, housing its 5-megapixel selfie camera capable of AI face unlock. Even though it might be bigger and taller this time, the Nokia 3.2 is definitely a joy to hold.

Stock Android on a budget

The saving grace for Nokia’s disappointing build (at least for me) is its clean version of Android One. That means there’s no bloatware to take up your limited memory and storage.

Additionally, the Nokia 3.2 comes with Android 9 Pie out of the box. This makes it feel faster than its competitors in the budget segment despite having a 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Fortunately, it provides a microSD card slot up to up to 400GB of storage.

An entry-level performance

Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 429 processor, the Nokia 3.2 performs better compared to its predecessor which carried a MediaTek chipset. In addition, its GPU runs on Adreno 504.

This made the Nokia 3.2 handle graphic-intensive games like Mobile Legends even if it was set on the highest graphics setting possible. There were no delay and lag spikes, ensuring smooth gameplay all throughout.

Decent cameras for your everyday needs

Featuring a 13-megapixel main camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture, the Nokia 3.2 takes decent photos. Depending on the lighting, both of its cameras can either take a vibrant, lively reproduced color during daylight or a slightly desaturated photo on indoor and low-light conditions.

Of course, we can’t really expect budget smartphones to have flagship-like cameras. It won’t have quick auto-focus or any fancy features like blurring your background, but it’s the compromise we’re getting when we follow our tight budget. At the very least, make use of natural light and other camera tricks to improve your photos.

Lasts longer than your partner

If there’s one thing I enjoyed with this smartphone, it’s the humongous battery. Packing a 4000mAh battery, the Nokia 3.2 can definitely last a day on a single charge. It can handle your multimedia use and everyday tasks throughout the day, yet it will still have enough juice left to carry you through the night.

However, for a phone carrying a huge battery, it charges slowly at 10W. This phone might just be good for those who love to charge their phones overnight.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Nokia 3.2 is a contender in the budget segment. It might have a disappointing build and design, but the phone packs with power, performance, and speed, thanks to Google’s Android One program.

With a starting price of PhP 7,990 (US$ 154) for the 3GB/32GB model, Nokia loyalists will find this a real treat. For people looking for a secondary phone, or a primary phone with no frills and just functions to handle your everyday needs, the Nokia 3.2 could be your GadgetMatch.

However, there are still far better options in the budget category, like the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3. If Nokia wants to come back in its former glory and capture people looking for an affordable powerhouse, they need to join the battle and beat Realme and Redmi in their game, just like Samsung bending over to compete in the tough budget battlefield.

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Samsung Galaxy Fold Hands-on: The Redo!

Refined and ready for release

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This is our Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on! We revisit Samsung’s foldable phone as it relaunches and check out what’s new!

More on the Samsung Galaxy Fold: Global Availability | How Samsung Fixed it | A more affordable Galaxy Fold?


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Two Screens, One Phone: LG G8X Hands-on

LG is making dual screens their thing

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This is our LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen Hands-on.

LG’s answer to foldable phones? A phone with two screens! Well sort of. The LG G8X ThinQ comes with a Dual Screen case and it’s a pretty fantastic idea. Two screens on one phone is like smartphone multitasking on steroids!


WATCH ALSO: LG V50 ThinQ Dual Screen Unboxing and Hands-on

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