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Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 vs J5 2017 vs J3 2017: Which is best for me?

Samsung has updated the Galaxy J family of affordable smartphones for 2017, improving these wallet-friendly mobiles with fresh specs, camera tech and fingerprint sensors. The new Galaxy J3, J5 and J7 have their own distinct features, so our comparison review takes a closer look at which budget blower is best for you.

The battle of the budget Samsung smartphones is afoot for 2017 and there are three new Galaxy J Series handsets to choose from – but which is best? Specs, features, dimensions, camera tech and asking price all vary considerably between the Galaxy J3 2017, Galaxy J5 2017 and Galaxy J7 2017, so this choice isn’t as obvious as you might think.

If you need an affordable new handset to use everyday or a dependable secondary phone to take on the road, the updated Galaxy J phones are a solid choice. Here’s our full J3 2017 vs J5 2017 vs J7 2017 comparison, to help you decide which is best for you.

Check out our guide to the best Samsung phones in 2017 for more great Galaxy handsets.

Galaxy J3 vs J5 vs J7 2017: Specs

Phone Galaxy J3 2017 Galaxy J5 2017 Galaxy J7 2017
Screen size 5-inches 5.2-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 1280×720 1280×720 1920×1080
Water resistant? No No Splash resistant (IP54)
Fingerprint sensor? No Yes Yes
OS Android Nougat Android Nougat Android Nougat
Processor Exynos 7570 Exynos 7870 Exynos 7870
RAM 2GB 2GB 3GB 
Storage 16GB 16GB 16GB 
Battery 2400mAh 3000mAh 3600mAh
microSD? Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera 13MP 13MP f/1.9 13MP f/1.9
Front camera 5MP 5MP 13MP

Galaxy J3 vs J5 vs J7 2017: Design

The most obvious difference between these three Samsung Galaxy J Series phones is the size of them. They all retain the relative dimensions of last year’s handsets, so the Galaxy J3 2017 is the smallest of the trio at 5-inches. That’s followed by the 5.2-inch Galaxy J5 2017. Still quite modest, considering the slew of 5.5-inch and above handsets hitting the UK this year.

Samsung’s big momma is the Galaxy J7 2017, which at 5.5-inches is a bit more of a struggle to use one-handed. However, the J7 2017 is also the only phone here to boast splash resistance (IP54 rating).

Both the Galaxy J5 and J7 2017 sport a fingerprint sensor built into the home button, to quickly unlock each handset. That’s something missing from the dinky J3.

Galaxy J3 vs J5 vs J7 2017: Screen and media

The Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 is the most expensive handset here so, as you’d expect, it has a superior screen compared with the other two updated phones. The 5.5-inch display of the J7 offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 for Full HD visuals, offering crisp output.

By comparison the Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 has a smaller 5.2-inch screen with a lower 1280 x 720 HD resolution. Smallest of the bunch is the J3 2017, with a 5-inch display that also tops out at a resolution of 1280 x 720. Technically, therefore, the J3 actually puts out sharper images than the J5, due to the smaller panel size.

All three handsets come with 16GB of onboard storage, but they also have microSD slots allowing for further memory expansion. Up to 256GB, in fact.

Galaxy J3 vs J5 vs J7 2017: Performance

When it comes to processing power, both the Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7 2017 pack in Exynos 7870 processors. That should mean quick task execution, but also efficient battery management. The J7 tops the J5 for performance however, thanks to the 3GB of RAM stuffed inside. Meanwhile the J5 is limited to 2GB.

The Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 has a slower and less battery-friendly Exynos 7570 chipset, backed by 2GB of RAM.

All three handsets should run Android Nougat without much trouble, although anyone who wants to do more than message their mates or browse the web should look to the bigger blowers here.

Galaxy J3 vs J5 vs J7 2017: Battery

Samsung has opted to put varying batteries in the three devices here, although thanks to the change in screens that might end up near leveling them out for battery life.

The J7 2017 has a 3600mAh battery, the J5 2017 packs in a 3000mAh unit and the J3 2017 brings up the rear with its 2600mAh cell. The higher resolution and screen size of the J7 will of course suck more power, but at least the J5 and J7 2017 boast the more energy-efficient Exynos chipset.

So the ideal option here when it comes to battery life would likely be the J5 2017, which has the more efficient processor, smaller screen and lower resolution combined with that decent-sized battery.

Galaxy J3 vs J5 vs J7 2017: Camera tech

Once again the Samsung Galaxy J7 2017 tops the J range with the cameras it comes packing. The J7 has a rear-facing 13-megapixel shooter featuring an f/1.9 aperture, while the front facing selfie camera is also an impressive 13-megapixels and features an LED flash.

The Samsung Galaxy J5 2017 also has that 13-megapixel f/1.9 rear-facing camera, but on the front only offers a 5-megapixel snapper for your selfie needs. The Galaxy J3 2017 commendably offers the same camera tech, so you can capture decent snaps (hopefully) on a budget.

Read next: The best budget cameras right now

Galaxy J3 vs J5 vs J7 2017: UK price and release date

The prices of these handset reflect the specs so you can guess how that pans out. The J7 is the top of the bunch with J5 following and J3 cheapest.

The J7 will cost £299 here in the UK, while the J5 is £199 and the J3 is just $180 (roughly £150 – UK pricing to be revealed later).

You can grab the Galaxy J5 2017 from the end of the month with any luck, while the Galaxy J7 2017 follows close behind, launching in July. Lastly, the Galaxy J3 2017 is expected to reach these shores in August.

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