Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit Review: Pros and Cons

Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit review presents an in-depth assessment for one of the cheapest phones from Samsung. At $59.99 on TracFone, let’s see if Orbit is worth it.

Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit Review

As the largest manufacturer of smartphones in today’s world, Samsung surely doesn’t leave the budget market unexplored.

Mostly famous for its high-end phones such as the Galaxy S Series, Samsung also released a whole range of low-tier to mid-tier phones, which are more affordable. One of the options for is Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit, available at $59.99.

At such price, here’s what Samsung offers: a 5.0″ HD display, 1.35 GHz Octa-Core processor, and 2 GB of RAM. As for the camera, the phone has an 8 MP back camera and 5 MP front camera. Galaxy J3 Orbit also comes with a removable back cover.

Let’s do a complete Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit review and see how this phone performs in each of our assessment categories.

Key Specs

Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit key specifications:

  • Display: 5 inch TFT screen
  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 7884A, 1.35 GHz Octa-core
  • Storage: 16 GB, MicroSD slot
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Battery: 2600 mAh, Removable
  • Feature: Bixby Assistant, Accelerometer, Proximity, Gyroscope

Design

What we like about Samsung phones, even on their cheapest line, they still retain that high-end feel that separate them from other phones of lesser brands.

Galaxy J3 Orbit included, the front display looks shiny and premium with a glass finish. It’s beautiful to look at and doesn’t look cheap at all.

Although, the design is a bit old school since this phone uses a physical button for its Home button. The back cover is more matte than glossy. It has minimal design and exudes the same elegance, just like the display.

The thickness of this phone is average. The rounded edges make the phone feels comfortable to hold.

Carrying Galaxy J3 Orbit feels light since it has only 5.08 ounces in weight. It also fits nicely on the hand with its 5.62 x 2.76 x 0.35 inches dimension. This phone is pretty small compared to its newest competitor with bigger displays.

Samsung logo lies above the display, which means this phone has thick bezels. Galaxy J3 Orbit was released in 2018. It was before Samsung began to introduce edge-to-edge display on its low tier line.

The front camera lies subtly alongside the Samsung logo, as well as the proximity sensor, the notification light, and the speaker above the logo.

The camera at the back cover is protected with a glass frame. This kind of attention to detail is what makes Galaxy J3 Orbit radiates that sleek appearance.

The placement of ports on the four sides of the phone is also tidy. There’s nothing on the top except a tiny hole for the microphone. An additional speaker is located above the power key on the right side. The bottom comprises of USB port, headphone jack, and another tiny hole of a microphone.

We rated Galaxy J3’s design 4 out of 5. Considering the price too, we think that Samsung presents its best here in terms of design.

Although made from plastic, Samsung has somehow made the phone looking way above its actual price. Honestly, this is something we would expect when buying a product from a caliber brand such as Samsung.

Display 

One thing about the display is we wish it could be bigger. At 5.0 inches, display on Galaxy J3 Orbit is below average. Especially compared to many other phones within a similar price range that TracFone sells. As a comparison, Moto E5 has a 5.7-inch screen. Moto E5 is priced at $69.99.

At least Samsung installs an HD display on this model. Resolution comes at 1280 x 720 pixels (720p). What does HD mean for average users? 

An HD screen means details, and colors appear more vivid than on a non-HD screen. HD itself is an acronym of High Definition. An HD display has more pixels density; thus, the image comes out as close as what eyes would perceive the object in real life.

The higher the pixel density, the better it is. Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit itself has a pixel density of 294 pixels per inch.

Although 294 ppi may not a Full HD screen, the display provides a pleasant experience for daily usage browsing. And that what we experience on Galaxy J3 Orbit as well.

Everything on display is beautiful to look at. Viewing angles are wide enough, you can still see what’s on-screen clearly even when the phone is tilted sideways to up to 90 degrees.

We think that display is one of Galaxy J3 Orbit’s strongest suit. The display is as sharpest one could get at this price. Features that come with it also make this phone worth considering, such as adaptive brightness and one-handed mode.

Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit display also supports multi-window. You can open two apps simultaneously on one screen.

Camera

In our opinion, a combo of 8 MP primary camera and 5 MP front camera is what we can expect at this price. It’s not too low for a 2018 phone, and Samsung is known to have a decent camera even on their budget line.

Pictures come out with good detail, considering the lighting is proper. The same can’t be said for lowlight condition, although the results isn’t too bad either. We can say that lowlight quality is passable.

Both front camera and back camera are equipped with autofocus. The autofocus works pretty quick, although it struggles in a lighting condition where there is too much contrast.

As it’s always the case with every camera on a budget phone, overexposure is also Galaxy J3 Orbit’s problem. The sky looks too white, and the objects appear too dark.

Meanwhile, Taking a macro picture is possible, but there isn’t a portrait focus mode with a bokeh effect. Flash helps illuminating objects on lowlight, however only the back camera that has it.

Samsung’s built-in camera app comes with some exciting features. Although it won’t improve the picture quality in general, it increases user experience, which is a plus.

Stickers let users add fun cartoon or emojis on the camera screw directly when taking a picture. Another feature we like is Palm Shutter mode, where you can use a hand gesture to capture a photo.

There’s a pleasant surprise for video recording. Galaxy J3 Orbit lets users record HD videos both with the front camera and back camera. The highest setting available in 1080p.

With a 1080p setting, you can create a video that looks good on a big screen such as TV. There’s no stabilization technology, though. Results can come out shaky when the camera moves too much during recording.

Storage 

With the price tag, it’s not surprising that storage on Galaxy J3 Orbit peaks at 16 GB. Even many rival phones also have 16 GB for their internal storage.

For basic users, this capacity is enough, but soon data and files will add up until no more storage left. The real capacity itself is 9 GB, as the System takes around 7 GB.

Fortunately, there is an option for expandable storage; Samsung lets users add up to 400 GB of SD Card. The allocated capacity for expandable storage is quite impressive.

It also allows more freedom for storage management. For example, users can set default camera folder to external storage rather than to internal storage, therefore preserving the already limited space on the later.

Performance 

Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit uses 1.35 GHz Octa-Core processor as the brain of the phone. On paper, an octa-core processor sounds promising, although the number is pretty low.

A dedicated GPU is also available; the phone features GPU Mali for graphic processing. A GPU means better user experience on graphics-heavy activities such as video gaming. However, in a real-life test, our Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit review proves that Orbit J3 could have done better on performance.

On the first impression, everything looks smooth in the beginning. Setting up the phone for the first use is quick and easy. Launching an application feels fast, and so does bouncing from one app to another.

Lags start to be apparent when closing an app by pressing the home button to go back to the home screen. App icons noticeably take a longer time to load. Another issue comes when loading the camera app. Sometimes the camera loads with a delay.

The cause of these lags lies in RAM management. At only 2 GB, we can say that space is pretty tight there. Samsung’s UI also plays a part here. It’s not a secret that Samsung always equips its phones with its own launcher of Android.

It is known to eat up a considerable amount of RAM. On the bright side, Samsung custom UI is beautiful looking and comes with various choice of customization (themes, wallpapers, and icons).

Android version that comes with J3 Orbit is Android 8.0 Oreo. A fairly recent version of Android, Oreo equips the phone with the latest security patches as well as better management for apps and the phone overall.

As for phone locking, users will have to settle for the standard PIN or passcode as there are no fancy security features such as fingerprints or Face Unlock.

To enhance day-to-day use, Samsung also provides its own features, such as Bixby, Samsung’s smart assistant.

There are also an outdoor mode for better viewing, M3/T3 Hearing aid capability, and a dedicated management setting which lets user monitor battery, storage, and RAM usage in one place. Samsung also pre-install cools up, such as Secure Folder and Samsung Notes.

Overall, what we think about Orbit’s performance is, it’s fast and intuitive enough for average users. We can see this phone works wonderfully for people who only do basic tasks with their phones.

No significant issues for everyday tasks, as long as you can bear a little bit of lag every now and then.

Connectivity 

Call quality is something important when you choose a phone, no matter how inexpensive the phone is. Luckily, the Galaxy J3 Orbit doesn’t disappoint in this department.

The phone comes with 4G LTE; therefore, reception is better, and you’d get HD sound. If you’re upgrading from an older Samsung model such as Galaxy J3 Luna Pro, you’ll see how call quality greatly improved.

Aside from LTE, J3 Orbit still supports 3G and 2G, as well. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are at the ready, no worries about connecting to the internet and Bluetooth devices.

Browsing is so far a pleasant experience on J3 Orbit, although sometimes webpages taking a long time to populate (More of RAM problems than the network).

Connection to a charging port or computer can be done with a micro USB port at the bottom of the phone. No USB Type-C whatsoever, which is understandable, considering the price. GPS and location service are entirely accurate too.

To conclude, when it comes to connectivity, Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit simply works. No particular issue worth concerning about. Missing features such as NFC or USB Type-C are not a big deal.

To add icing on the cake, the headphone jack is still here, thankfully. Another plus side is the phone’s compatibility with Samsung smartwatch Samsung Gear. 

Battery

Considering the fact that Galaxy J3 Orbit features an HD display, a 2600 mAh battery looks alarmingly low. We had hoped that the battery was at least reaching 3000 mAh capacity.

However, Samsung has decided that the battery is where they cut back. Average daily consumption requires the battery to be charged more than once. The longest you can stretch the battery life is until the end of the day (13 hours), but nothing more.

According to Samsung, the battery is supposed to last up to 21 days on standby. Talktime is up to 19 hours. Galaxy J3 Orbit doesn’t support fast charging, although, on average, getting the battery to full requires less than 2 hours since the capacity is small anyway.

The good news is, the battery is removable. For some people who prefer a removable battery, this can be another upside to consider.

Wrap Up

Comparing with a phone on a similar price range, it’s hard to ignore the inferiority of Galaxy J3 Orbit. In our Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit review here, we compare the phone with Moto E5 ($69.99).

Although similar in several aspects such as performance and internal storage, J3 Orbit falls behind when it comes to display size and battery life. As a reference, Moto E5 comes with a 5.7-inch display and 4000 mAh battery. The price difference is not a lot either; Galaxy J3 Orbit is $10 cheaper. 

But we can see how Galaxy J3 Orbit appeals to a certain group of consumers. For some people, 5 inches is enough size and anything other than that is too big.

For example, when you want to buy the first phone for your young children, a 5-inch phone is sensible, not to mention an inexpensive choice. Another consideration is the removable battery; many still opt for a removable battery than a non-removable one.

Pros:

  • HD Display
  • Removable battery
  • Beautiful design

Cons:

  • Limited internal storage
  • Small battery

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