Samsung Galaxy J5, J7 (2016) launched: Redmi Note 3, Le 1s, and other competition.

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Samsung Galaxy J7, J5 (2016) editions have been launched in India; both smartphones are Flipkart exclusive. Samsung has continued with mid-range pricing that we saw in the previous J-series. The Galaxy J5 starts at Rs 13,990, while the bigger Galaxy J7 has a Rs 15,990 price-tag.

Samsung says that the J series is their largest selling smartphone one in India, and according to a recent IDC report, this brand has helped the company win over many first-time, and budget conscious smartphone users in emerging markets.

In India, the J7 comes with 2GB RAM and an HD display, not the full HD display and 3GB RAM we’ve seen in China or South Korea version. Both smartphones also run the latest Android Marshmallow OS, which is not so common in this price-band.

So what’s the competition like for the Samsung J7, J5 (2016) series in India? From Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3, Le 1s and Le 1s (Eco) and the Moto G Turbo, here’s a quick look at the competition based on specs.

Below is chart comparison of the specs for all the smartphones mentioned above.
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Samsung J7, J5 (2016 series): The 2016 edition of the Galaxy J5 and J7 features a metal frame on the side, and a more stylish design. The back cover, and battery is removable in both.

Galaxy J7 has a 5.5-inch HD AMOLED display, while Galaxy J5 gets a smaller 5.2-inch HD AMOLED display. Unlike many other phones in this price-band, the new J7 and J5 don’t have a full HD display. But based on our first impressions of the phones, we’d say the display is pretty sharp and vivid in both.

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Samsung Galaxy J7 is powered by an Exynos 1.6Ghz octa-core processor coupled with 2 GB RAM, while Galaxy J5 has a 1.2 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor paired with 2 GB RAM. Both the smartphones come with 16GB internal storage, further expandable up to 128GB via a dedicated memory card slot.

On the camera front, Samsung Galaxy J7 and J5 get a 13-mp main camera with a f/1.9 aperture and five-mp front camera. The smartphones come with front LED flash for selfies, which might appeal to selfie-fans.

Samsung Galaxy J7 is backed by a 3,300 mAh battery, while Galaxy J5 has a 3,100 mAh Li-Ion battery. There are also some features for India users like the Sbike mode, the My Galaxy App for better service, Ultra-Data Saving Mode app.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3: As we had noted in our review, Redmi Note 3 is one of the best options in the market right now. It has a vivid and crisp, full HD display for its price-range, works smoothly and comes with a 4050 mAh battery, which will last more than a day and half, even with heavy usage. We felt that the camera was a weak point for Redmi Note 3, even though it works okay in daylight.
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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 comes with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage space and expandable storage option, fingerprint scanner on the back. Xiaomi has given this one an premium all-metal body design.

Redmi Note 3 is now available on open sale on Mi.com, although getting the 32GB unit might not be that easy. Amazon India’s sale is still a flash sale, and users need to register to get the phone.

Read our full review: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review: A stellar comeback indeed

LeEco Le 1s: Another new Chinese entrant in India, Le 1s has a stylish aluminium design, a fingerprint scanner on back, 3GB RAM, and 32 GB storage space. The price is Rs 10,999 and Le 1s is Flipkart exclusive.

LeEco has also launched another version of the Le 1s called Le 1s Eco, which costs Rs 9999 and comes with the same specs.

The only difference: The Eco version has a LeEco Membership worth Rs 4900 for one year bundled with this smartphone. Users get access to Levidi app which has movies  in over 10 different languages, along with Eros Now Movies on Demand, and live TV channels powered by YuppTV.  The subscription also gives users access to 5-TB LeEco Drive cloud storage service.

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Le 1s has a full HD display with super thin bezel. The general performance of the smartphone is also quite good, although it does heat up at times.

In a separate one month review, we had however pointed out that there were network connectivity issues with the Le 1s, which users should keep in mind. Also it supports Type-C USB charging, meaning you can never forget the cable.

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Lenovo Moto G Turbo: Lenovo Moto G Turbo offers a solid performance, and is meant for those who love stock Android. Plus the Moto G series has also gotten the Android 6 Marshmallow update in India, which is another big plus.

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Moto G Turbo edition is also water and dust-resistant. There are not too many budget options in India, which offer this feature. The cameras, both the front and the rear ones, work great if you are using the phone outdoors with ample lighting or even in a well-lit room.

Like the J series from Samsung, the Moto G Turbo has a HD display, not a full HD one.

Conclusion 

If you go simply by specs, the Galaxy J5 and J7 appear to be more expensive compared to the rest of the competition. However, we know that specs alone don’t account for performance.

Samsung has added some features for its J series India users that they might actually use. In terms of the competition, all three phones are worthy challengers for the 2016 J series. But the South-Korean tech giant is the bigger and more well-known brand compared to the other players in India, which might appeal to some users.

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