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Samsung Galaxy J3 still needs work

Samsung's inexpensive J3 continues the company's disappointing midrange trend.

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Lynn La
Samsung Galaxy J3 phone
1 of 9 James Martin/CNET

The Galaxy J3, also known as the J3 Star (with T-Mobile), J3 Achieve (Sprint) and Amp Prime 3 (Cricket Wireless) is available for about $130 to $210 depending on the carrier. Though inexpensive, it doesn't add much from last year's predecessor. (In the UK and Australia, that price converts to about £98 to £159 and AU$175 to AU$282, respectively.)

For more info, read CNET's Galaxy J3 (2018) review.

Samsung Galaxy J3 phone
2 of 9 James Martin/CNET

The Galaxy J3 has a 5-inch display with a 720-pixel resolution and 293 pixels per inch.

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3 of 9 James Martin/CNET

On the back you'll find an 8-megapixel camera. For selfies, you'll get a 5-megapixel shooter.

Samsung Galaxy J3 phone
4 of 9 James Martin/CNET

The phone runs Android 8.0 Oreo. It has an familiar Galaxy look, including the oval-shaped home button.

Samsung Galaxy J3 phone
5 of 9 James Martin/CNET

Besides a bump in megapixels for its cameras, an (expected) Android OS update, only a 0.5GB increase in RAM and more expandable memory, everything else remains the same. That includes the same screen size and resolution, internal storage, processor and battery as last year.

Samsung Galaxy J3 phone
6 of 9 James Martin/CNET

The J3's camera isn't terrible. Pictures taken in ample lighting, both indoor and outdoor, are clear enough to make out. But finer details are muddled and washed out. White light also look blue and dimly lit objects are often blackened out and hard to distinguish.

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7 of 9 James Martin/CNET

The phone features a 1.4GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos 7 processor and a removable 2,600mAh battery.

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8 of 9 James Martin/CNET

The phone has some unique software features including an outdoor mode to view your screen in sunlight, and Bixby.

Samsung Galaxy J3 phone
9 of 9 James Martin/CNET

In general, the Moto G6 Play is markedly the better phone than the J3. (Unless you count its lower expandable storage capacity, which is 128GB compared to the J3's 400GB… though this shouldn't matter.) And if you have extra dough to spare, consider the slightly pricier $249, £219 and AU$399 Moto G6. It edges out the G6 Play with a faster processor, more storage and has two rear cameras for a portrait photo effect.

For more info, read CNET's Galaxy J3 (2018) review.  

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