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Samsung Galaxy J3 review

We make the Samsung Galaxy J3 the best value Samsung phone, but is it the best budget smartphone for you? Find out in our review - and check out today's best pay monthly and SIM free deals

With a stellar battery life, bright screen and sharp camera, the latest Samsung Galaxy J3 ticks most boxes for the average phone user.

It’s one of the bestselling budget smartphones today and you’ll be hard pressed to find better value for money from a leading phone manufacturer like Samsung or Apple.

Here we’ll explain everything you need to know to decide if the Samsung Galaxy J3 is right for you: all its tech specs and features, including real user reviews.

Plus, we’ll link you to the best SIM free and pay monthly deals out there today, so you save a bundle on what’s already a great value smartphone.

✔ PROS – Great battery, stunning display, sharp photos, top value
✘ CONS – Slow charge, processor not for gaming
★ VERDICT – The best value Samsung Galaxy around

In this Samsung Galaxy J3 review we cover:

Samsung Galaxy J3 pros and cons

The good

  • Stellar battery life – Get up to 19 hours (depending on your phone addiction).
  • Impressive display – 720 x 1280 resolution is generous for such a budget phone.
  • Decent photos – The 13 Mp rear LED camera is nice and detailed.
  • NFC – Near-field communication lets you pay with your phone.
  • Great price – Pick up this Galaxy from just £13 a month or under £150 new.

The less good

  • Slow charge – Expect to wait at least three hours to charge fully.
  • Processor will struggle with heavy gaming – It’s fast but not the fastest.

Samsung Galaxy J3 pricing

RRP £190

Best SIM free deals

Best pay monthly deals
Samsung Galaxy J3 user ratingsStartups rating
★★★★ (4.3)Build ★★★★ (4)
Speed ★★★★ (4)
Screen ★★★★ (4)Battery ★★★★★ (4.5)
Camera ★★★★ (4)
Value ★★★★★ (5)
Customer feedback★★★★15 customer user reviews on Carphone Warehouse

  • Speed: “Samsung’s TouchWiz interface flows so well and is very quick.” – Lilacwhisper84
  • Design: “Bought a few months ago, it’s a perfect phone, amazing battery life.” – Robyn111
  • Specs: “It runs so smoothly, the camera quality is excellent and the features on it are helpful.” – Daniel I
  • Value: “Brilliant for the price!” – Luke1848

Samsung Galaxy J3 user experienceSlick designThe Samsung Galaxy J3 full metal body feels like premium quality and is comfortable to use thanks to the smooth plastic cover and curved 2.5D glass screen.Speedy processorIf you’ve had a previous version of an Android smartphone before, you should be impressed with the Android 7.0. The Galaxy J3 is perfectly speedy at web browsing and everyday tasks, but of course for heavy duty gaming, you’ll struggle at the budget end.
Samsung Galaxy J3 tech specsSamsung Galaxy J3 features explainedHD screenThe five-inch HD touchscreen is sharp and easy on the eye. Generally, phone screens are harder to read under bright daylight, but the J3 does as good a job as you can expect without shedding out on one of the most expensive flagship smartphones.Good sound controlsThe sound quality is nothing exceptional, but very reasonable for this price tag. The volume control is good, but some voices can sound a tad muffled on the phone.Smart batteryThe battery on the J3 is exceptional! You’ll get nearly 12 hours of web browsing and around 19 hours of calls when fully juiced. What’s more, Samsung’s handy Power Saving mode will give you a 15% boost.More expensive Samsung models can charge more quickly, but 15 minutes plugged in will get you around an extra hour of life, which can come in handy for those mornings when you forgot to put the phone on charge.Improved cameraThe 13-megapixel camera with a large f/1.9 aperture is a generous amount of detail for a budget phone (the iPhone X has 12 megapixels) and photos come out clear and well balanced. Just make sure you’re getting the 2017 edition of this model (links below), or the rear camera will only reach 8 Mp.Low lighting is always a challenge for budget smartphones, but even the 5 Mp front camera does just fine here. Plus, the Samsung special effects modes and LED flash will help you take an extra flattering selfie.


The camera on the J3 is hard to beat at this price.

Expandable storage16 GB may not seem like much, but you can always expand your storage with the micro SD card slot of any size up to 256 GB – so there’s plenty more room for your photos and apps.Anything else?You can even save time using contactless payments with the Galaxy J3, since it’s got NFC (near-field communication).
VerdictThe best value Samsung Galaxy smartphoneIf you’re on a budget, but still want a reliable smartphone you can feel proud to whip out, the Samsung Galaxy J3 is a top option with a good battery and decent camera. Just make sure you’re getting the 2017 model (not the 2016), as the specs are much improved and there’s nothing in the price.
Samsung Galaxy J3 best deals todayBest pay monthly dealsThe best pay monthly deals with leading UK phone networks like EE, O2 and Vodafone are often only on phone comparison sites.We found that’s the case with the J3. Right now, it’s cheaper to get your phone on any of these network contracts at the Carphone Warehouse than on the provider sites themselves.We’ve found the best Samsung Galaxy J3 deals available today for our readers:Best SIM free deals (unlocked Samsung Galaxy J3)The best SIM free deals means you get an unlocked phone, so you can pair it with whichever SIM and contract you like. Appliances Direct are currently selling the cheapest Samsung Galaxy J3 for just £128 new and unused.

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£128.00 Appliances Direct
From £11.00 / month Free phone
From £12.99 / month Free phone Carphone Warehouse
OS Android 7.0
Internal memory 16 GB
Screen size 5″
Weight 142g
Screen resolution 720 x 1280
Rear camera 13 Mp
From £11.00 / month Free phone
From £12.99 / month Free phone Carphone Warehouse
£128.00 Appliances Direct
£139.00 Debenhams Plus
£149.99 Carphone Warehouse
£159.00 Samsung UK

Bryn Glover
Bryn Glover


As Editor of Startups, Bryn runs content strategy and our annual campaigns. A lover of small business, you can find him writing about exciting entrepreneurs and UK industry trends.

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