Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) - the best mid-range smartphone today

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) is more premium than before and sets new standards in the mid-range smartphone league

Samsung Galaxy J5 2017
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) is my new personal smartphone and today I will be sharing my first impressions with it. It replaces a phone that I really liked - the 2016 version of the J5, which served me well for around a year. Honestly, it was a tough decision selling my previous J5 but I don't regret it, the extra money is well worth it.

So, what is new and what is different in the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) edition?
  • Improved Selfie camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Premium Full-metal construction
  • Light sensitivity sensor
  • Faster octa-core processing
  • Latest Android OS
Samsung J5 2017 - in the hand
J5 2017 stands good in the hand thanks to its proper dimensions

original Samsung J5 case
The original Samsung case fits just perfect

Samsung J5 (2017) display
The display is big enough for most daily tasks
charging Samsung J5 2017
Charging the 2017 Ssamsung J5 takes about hour and a half (fully charged)

Fingerprint sensor

The latest generation Galaxy J5 has a new feature for 2017 - fingerprint scanner for improved security and quick access to your phone.

Full metal

The previous generation J5 which I happily used looked well but the 2017 edition is entirely made of metal. It looks premium, thin but feels solid in the hand. I bought the black version of the J5 which looks very stylish, Unfortunately, all that changed when I applied the original Samsung case that I bought ($20) and the glass screen protector - they made the phone a bit dull and it lost some of its premium feel.

Octa-core processor

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) has a much faster 1.6GHz processor, the same that you will find in the latest generation J7. Just to remind you, J5 (2016) had an average performing 1.2GHz quad-core processor which was OK and never had any issues with it (I never used my phone for gaming or anything else that requires advanced graphics and processing).

Samsung J5 (2017) or J7 (2017) – which is better?

13MP Selfie camera

Now the J5 (2017) has improved front-facing camera, a 13 MP one. It lacks auto-focus but produces some great selfies when used in good light conditions outdoors. The main rear camera is also 13 MP but it is just slightly improved since last year with better f1.7 aperture (f1.9 for the front camera).

sample photo J5 (2017) - camera test
Sample photo taken with the main J5 rear camera

The screen size and resolution, storage space and RAM remain the same as the 2016 model. Battery capacity dropped for the new model from 3100 mAh vs 3000 mAh for the new model.

I have only used the new J5 for couple and I can confirm that this is the new leader in the mid-range smartphone segment. Galaxy J7 (2017) is premium looking, very fast and responsive phone with great super AMOLED display and compact sizes. And while the new J7 2017 has even more improvements the J5 is still very well priced around $50 less than its bigger version.

Price - I purchased my J5 2017 for $250 which is a great price for what this phone has to offer. Unfortunately I never got the discount that my carrier promised. The 2016 model was a bit cheaper than that but it is well worth the upgrade.