The South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung has launched the 2018 version of its budget segment smartphone, the Samsung J2 Pro (2018). Samsung is an undisputed giant in the smartphone industry and commands the numero uno position in terms of the number of units sold worldwide.
However, over the past few years, it has been losing a significant share in the budget segment of the market as this segment has been flooded with cheaper phones from Chinese brands. Samsung still enjoys great brand loyalty owing to its superior build quality and the company seems to have made this its standout feature. In its budget offerings, such as the new J2 Pro 2018 Samsung seems to focus on build quality and premium feel rather than pure hardware specifications. While only time will tell whether this strategy will prove effective or not, we take a look at the newly launched J2 Pro 2018 and find out how it compares with the current version of the J2 Pro and other competitors.
The J2 Pro 2018 comes with a 5 inch Super AMOLED screen with a 540 x 960 resolution (qHD). As can be expected for a budget smartphone, it has a plastic construction and weighs 153 grams. As of now, the phone has been made available in Black, Blue and Gold. There is a physical home button and capacitive navigation buttons allowing for easy use. Performance and Configuration Powering the J2 Pro 2018 is a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor. Unlike the current J2 Pro, which has 2 GB of RAM, the 2018 version has only 1.5 GB of RAM. While the current J2 Pro also has a quad-core processor its cores are clocked slightly higher at 1.5 GHz. Internal storage is a mere 16 GB but there is Micro SD card support for up to 256 GB.
The J2 Pro 2018 will run Android Nougat 7.0 out of the box with Samsung’s proprietary UI skin applied on top. This is a disappointment, considering Android Oreo has been out for quite some time now. No commitments for a future rollover update to the latest Android Oreo 8.0 have been made by Samsung.
There are, however, some useful features implemented in the Samsung J2 Pro - 2018 version. One of them being dual messaging accounts, which enables you to simultaneously use two accounts in your favourite messaging apps. This feature depends on the messaging app and may not work with some messaging apps and in some regions. Another feature is the Secure Folder which allows you to keep your sensitive data in an encrypted folder that is only accessible by you.
For photography, the J2 Pro 2018 has an 8 MP camera at the back along with a 5 MP selfie camera with dedicated flash. The rear camera can record videos in full HD resolution at 30 fps. In the camera department, the new J2 Pro 2018 matches its predecessor’s specifications. The front selfie camera has a maximum aperture of f/2.2, this should allow it to perform well under low light conditions compared to its competitors.
To power the device Samsung has provided a 2600 mAh battery with the new J2 Pro 2018, once again matching the specs of the current J2 Pro. It is claimed by Samsung to provide up to 18hours of 3G talk-time, 60 hours of audio playback, 14 hours of video playback and 12 hours of 4G internet usage.
Like its predecessor, the J2 Pro 2018 is a dual SIM phone with support for all 4G bands. There is a Micro USB port for charging and data transfer and a 3.5 mm jack for plugging in your headphones. Apart from this, the J2 Pro 2018 is WiFi and Bluetooth enabled. The J2 Pro also packs in GPS, accelerometer and proximity sensors.
Overall the Samsung J2 Pro 2018 packs in a decent hardware as a budget smartphone. Samsung phones are known for their superior build quality and the J2 Pro 2018 is no exception. The Super AMOLED screen does make the phone feel more premium than its price and the camera performance is definitely one of the best at this price point. However, there is intense competition from the Chinese brands, the likes of Xiaomi and Lenovo and in the race of hardware specifications, it surely falls behind by some margin.