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Samsung Galaxy J1 review

 Review: July 2015  

Rating: 2 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung Galaxy J1 was originally released in India early in 2015 and is now available in the UK. It's a cheap, entry-level smartphone, but it cuts too many corners with its dual-core processor and tiny memory. We think it would prove to be a frustrating experience, and we'd recommend you avoid this one.


Samsung J1 review: Design & looks

The Galaxy J1 is a very typical Samsung phone, almost exactly the same size as the Galaxy Ace 4, but with a squarer shape. It's plastic of course, but solid enough, and of average thickness and weight. It's available in a choice of White or Blue.

The screen size is a generous 4.3 inches, and with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, it has a pixel density of 217ppi, which is typical for an entry-level phone.

Dual-core processor

It's quite rare to find a phone with a dual-core processor these days - most phones have 4 cores, if not more. The J1's twin cores run at a slow 1.2GHz too, so there's very little processing power here. Coupled with a tiny 512MB of RAM, this is one of the least powerful smartphones available, and is likely to struggle with more demanding apps.

The built-in memory of just 4GB is very small too, and only 2GB of this is available to the user. A microSD card slot is available for storing photos, music and so on, but the minimal onboard memory is liable to cause problems for users.

The J1 runs Android KitKat 4.4.4, with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. We think that the hardware isn't really enough to support a user-friendly experience, and users are likely to become frustrated when using this phone, even with basic apps.

5 megapixel camera

The phone has a 5 megapixel camera on the rear, and a 2 megapixel camera on the front. Both are basic cameras.

3G connectivity

The J1 runs on 3G and 2G networks only, with no 4G option.

It comes with GPS and GLONASS positioning, and in addition has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB, connections, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Battery life

The phone has a reasonably big battery, rated at 1850mAh. That's not huge by any means, but it's bigger than a lot of entry-level phones, and should enable most users to get a couple of days between charges, especially since the phone doesn't really lend itself to heavy use.


Samsung originally launched the J1 in Asian markets only. It's a smartphone that's stripped to the basics, and we fear that it's just too basic for the UK market.

Despite its low cost, there are actually better options available for the same kind of money, and we'd steer you in the direction of the Ace 4, Huawei Ascend Y550, or the Sony E4 instead. Alternatively, if you can afford slightly more, check out our Samsung J5 review.

Samsung Galaxy J1 features include:

User questions

Sorry - questions and comments on this page are now closed.

Does this phone do FaceTime?

Asked by Rua from Uk on 4th Oct 2016

Reply by Bobby from United States on 22nd Oct 2016
No, only iPhones do Facetime.

my phone does not work the side of google but iam entering ather side like facebook its woerk why?

Asked by bry from Tanzania on 16th Jul 2016
when iam wakeup early morning 04am its work all sites even google its open

I bought my Samsung j1 in Australia and now live in uk. Do i have to have it unlocked to put in a uk sim?

Asked by Doreen smith from Uk on 22nd Jun 2016

See all 7 questions

Samsung Galaxy J1 user reviews

Sorry - reviews and comments on this page are now closed.

Average rating from 46 reviews:

Reviewed by bonod chaudhary from nepal on 17th May 2017
It is not so bad. Still wotking as other samsung products.But i think bit things needs to be developed....then we can compare with other high samsung phones...thank you ...this phone is ok for me...

Reviewed by SDH from England on 24th Apr 2017
My Samsung Galaxy J1 has given me enormous pleasure and great satisfaction since I received it as a 2015 Christmas present.

Reviewed by abhinav from india on 25th Jan 2017
Worst phone of samsung it hang alot.

Reviewed by Kris from England on 8th Jan 2017
Cool phone no problem with it and i said that it looks like a ace4.

Reviewed by kavya from india on 2nd Dec 2016
Worst phone, all time hanging, very difficult to use don't buy this phone.

Reviewed by Kevin from UK on 23rd Nov 2016
The memory is nearly full of built in apps that I don't want or need and updates, not leaving much room for my stuff. It runs really slowly, it is difficult to transfer stuff to the SD card. The external speaker is terrible, distorted sound and low volume- can't hear it ring or hear alarm most of the time. Also the screen breaks really easily. OK for reading emails and a bit of web surfing. Predictive text is a waste of time as you have to type nearly all of the word before you get any suggestions. My best ever phone was a Sony that I got less than half price because it was ex display, but good as new until I broke that one as well.

Reviewed by Frank from South Africa on 21st Nov 2016
Worst phone I have ever owned.

Reviewed by Bret from South Africa on 23rd Sep 2016
I have had this model for 6 months now and have had Zero problems. Everything works 100%. It was a good buy.

Reviewed by Chiyoda from Philippines on 27th Jul 2016
After 1 month my phone Samsung J1 is not working the key back. I tried to get this back to the store where I bought and they forwarded my unit to Samsung Service center and advised me that the warranty for this unit was void due to water mark detection. I asked them what is their proof, they told me that it is microscopic and I cannot see it seen by my eyes, need a microscope. Its STUPID, they are asking me to pay 9k, the phone was just 5k plus and they are REALLY STUPID asking me of that amount. I did not pay them and I advised them to do something or else I will get back my money. Until now no feedback from them. It it took 2 months to them. VERY BAD Experience with SAMSUNG PHONE!

Reviewed by Mark from UK on 26th Jul 2016
Does what it says on the box, good value phone for those of us not obsessed with games, apps and selfies.

Reviewed by liz mcmanus from UK on 16th May 2016
Worse phone Ive ever had, The salesman never told me about the poor memory Ive now had to buy a memory card , It constantly crashes in the middle of doing things , If I want to read e mails it takes ages to update to latest emails and the photos are terrible quality
I am stuck with it for 2 years.

Reviewed by Martin from UK on 11th May 2016
This phone is one to be avoided at all costs. I bought it to get away from a 5 year old Motorola Razr-i which was beginning to struggle with the apps. This one is worse... after just 3 months I'm looking to buy a second hand phone just to get me to the end of my contract.
The apps crash, they are slow to open need i say more.

Reviewed by Lola from Sweden on 3rd May 2016
I think you shouldn't buy it.

Reviewed by Jordan from England on 2nd May 2016
I'm a student from Canada studying in the UK for half a year. So I bought a cheap phone to use. Everything in this review is fairly true.... it just all around sucks. It takes ages to do anything on the phone, especially using messaging apps like Facebook messenger, What's App, or especially Snapchat. Apps crash frequently. But the most frustrating thing is the keyboard. It often crashes and will not pop back up mid message, making typing difficult. The touch screen has had issues and occasionally even when plugged in and charging the battery will be depleting. I can't wait until I get back to Canada and get a new phone. Avoid this phone at all costs.

Reviewed by Cheryl from New Zealand on 15th Apr 2016
Re Samsung Galaxy Ace J1.... only had this 2 mnths and its currently dying as we speak. For 2 days it has indicated its running out of memory and to delete stuff - when it still has over half available!! The message just kept coming back, then couldn't get into px to delete them anyway (finally deleted them via usb on computer) - and only a few apps left now as well ! But none of that has affected the memory readings. Now messages coming through about Android process and media not working, one app at a time indicating not working - all relating to the memory (which in reality and status is fine)..... now can't receive message... I was really liking this phone until a couple of days ago...

Reviewed by ja from england on 11th Apr 2016
sorry this one should have stayed in india.

Reviewed by Lyn from Australia on 29th Mar 2016
How I wish I had read all of these reviews before buying this useless piece of machinery. Have been a long-time Nokia user and this is my first non-Nokia phone. Will probably be the last Samsung I ever buy. I can't have MMS and Internet usage at the same time, the phone is ridiculously slow, battery power is useless, and this morning the alarm didn't go off. Can't afford to lose a job over this piece of rubbish. Would throw it against the wall except I paid good money for it less than a month ago. DON'T BUY THIS PHONE! If I could give it 0 stars I would.

Reviewed by steve from england on 22nd Mar 2016
not good at all, dont buy.

Reviewed by Ellen from United Kingdom on 19th Mar 2016
Bought this for my 11 year old daughter as she wanted a modern phone for her birthday. I've always had Samsungs and never had problems so thought the J1 would be perfect for her first phone but its absolute rubbish. We took it back to store within 2 weeks as it has a mind of its own, flashing through apps, cutting off calls, deleting messages as shes typing them in, freezing. The list is endless. Definitely not a reliable phone for if she needed to get hold of me in an emergency. The staff in Tesco just restored her factory settings, we've since been in again and they did the same thing. It's not solving the problem and 6 months later were close to smashing it on the floor and jumping on it!! If you're thinking of getting a J1 then change your mind and Steer clear.

Reply by Ellen from United Kingdom on 12th Apr 2016
Update... its just come back after 2 weeks at the repair centre where they found no problem with it. Within half an hour It was doing all the things it did before. Aaarrrggghhhhhh.

Reviewed by Malcolm from U.K on 19th Mar 2016
Had the Samsung Galaxy J1 for 6 months now, really pleased with the phone, i mainly use it for taking photos, messaging, facebook, emails etc, 4Gb storage space is a bit disappointing but using an SD card makes a difference. Battery life is not brilliant but think this is a problem for most smartphones. This is my third Samsung phone and have never had any problems with their phones.

Reviewed by Leonard Griffiths from UK on 14th Mar 2016
I bought the SAMSUNG GALAXY J1 in the Philippines this year and have had nothing but poor to very bad issues, consisting of lack of internet coverage which I was promised would be excellent. Failure to connect to Facebook - Messenger - Google - Internet banking - cutting off while in conversation etc etc. I will give it away to some one who just needs a bad toy to play with and purchase some thing else. After saying all this I support the SAMSUNG make but fail to understand how a good company can put on the market under there name such a extremely bad phone. Sack the designer or the person who made such a STUPID decision to introduce a phone of such a low design and capability for new and valued customers. My earlier phone of many years ago was much better or are they reversing technology ????

Reviewed by marty from uk on 27th Feb 2016
Load of rubbish sent it back they say they can't find a fault with it and say we have put the latest software on it way a load of bull its still the same. Thanks TESCO can't wait till my contact is up!!!!!!

Reply by Jane from Uk on 16th Mar 2016
Take it back to Tesco, I have had my j1 repaired twice, given a new one and still no good. After repeated visits to Tesco I am finally getting a new phone (not j1), keep making a nuisance of yourself.

Reviewed by Jo from England on 26th Feb 2016
terrible and rips you off cheap low quality phone is a waste. Would not recommend even for young teen starter phones

Reviewed by Julia from Australia on 24th Feb 2016
Worst phone ever, it is driving me potty. Definitely not worth the $200 I paid, the cheaper Huawei would have been so much better.

Reviewed by Kyle from UK on 18th Feb 2016

Reviewed by Maddy from Australia on 10th Feb 2016
I bought this phone after my Nokia Lumia broke and honestly I wish I had done more research. I've had this phone for around six months now and it's a joke. It take hours to download MMS messages, frequently struggles with signal and phone calls often drop out even when they can hear me fine on the other side. It's not worth its cost. Even if I just wanted to do basic functions, it struggles to cope. Opening messages or loading apps like GPS just take far too long and if you have more than one thing open at a time it will begin to freeze up. Just don't waste you money. I'm going back to buy another Lumia.

Reviewed by Troy from Us on 28th Jan 2016
I love it!

Reviewed by David from Uk on 20th Jan 2016
This phone is terrible. The touch screen is unresponsive it keeps jammin (have to remove battery to release) also shocking sending messages bup to 45 min. Avoid buy something else.

Reviewed by anonymous from uk on 17th Jan 2016
Ridiculous is the word most people are looking for. Wanted a low spec phone, to mainly call and text (yes to do the basic thing any cell should do), have the odd app maybe. It doesn't even do that! It freezes regularly, crashes apps that work everywhere else, and to make the calls and type texts you wait and wait and then wait a little more.... Mr Samsung that was a shot in the dark.

Reviewed by Syed Golam Mahbub from Bangladesh on 3rd Jan 2016
I got this phone for my wife, thinking that it will be a decent low-end from a renowned brand. However, the call quality has been terrible, it loses network consistently. I think I'm done with Samsung. My Samsung laptop also broke pretty quickly, and my experience with phones has been pretty bad, even before this one.

Reviewed by Asenso prince from Ghana on 30th Dec 2015
The j1 ace is very good to because of it duos SIM. If there should be any improvement is should be on the ram and the internal memory. I love the shape as well. thank you.

Reviewed by Unknown from Switzerland on 25th Dec 2015
Friendly UI (User interference). Slim structure but my main concern is the storage 4gb is really low for me but other then that this phone is brilliant. Also I only use it for Phone calls , Listening to radio and sometimes social media This phone is probably not great for gaming big games (GTA SA , Fifa ect) but if you're looking for a cheap phone this is probably worth it.

Reviewed by Rosalyn from uk on 8th Dec 2015
Had this phone now for 3 months and after a couple of weeks i started to noticed how temperamental it was at times, very frustrating!!! Freezes alot on certain apps, sometimes dont even open the apps, calls cut off mid sentance aswell as cutting of as trying to ring out, text messages not showing up in the notifications, something every day.....if it was nt for the money i paid out i would be buying a new phone right now. maybe Santa will be nice to me this year ☺
Please just avoid this phone at all costs.

Reviewed by susie from South Africa on 4th Dec 2015
Upgraded from Samsung mini 4 to J1 (was advised by Vodacom that this was a brilliant new phone). Phone was not working after 10 days, sent for repair and came back still not working. To date, 4 months later, this phone has been sent for repair 3 times and is still giving problems. Vodacom are not interested and just want to send it again for repair (each time this takes about 3 weeks). I have now resorted to using my son's old Note 2 - I would strongly advise against buying the J1.

Reviewed by Joe from UK on 30th Nov 2015
Crashes most apps. "Entry-level" does not give you a licence to create and sell a product that does not work.

Reviewed by akash from india on 12th Nov 2015
Awsme phone with this rate

Reviewed by omurunga from kenya on 11th Nov 2015
Slim and easy to carry it has all that i needed in phone. smart on accessing the net and very fast on downloading items.

Reviewed by john from australia on 11th Nov 2015
good phone for the price

Reviewed by Jon Etton from England on 7th Nov 2015
Brilliant phone, I'd say outstanding only the memory lets you down.

Reviewed by Paul from Uk on 6th Nov 2015
I've struggled with this poor quality phone for 3 months - time to ditch it!

Reviewed by alex from uk on 31st Oct 2015
Worst phone I ever had. Brick phone is better than this slow useless piece of rubbish.

Reviewed by Annie from Uk on 28th Oct 2015
I am 3 months into a two year contract. It's driving me nuts. This phone is not fit for purpose. It has a mind of its own . It continually cuts off incoming calls. I find it hard to open email and it flicks all over the place. I know you get what you pay for but all I want is to receive and make calls and emails. I am not into gaming or social media. Keep away from this phone.

Reviewed by Jon from UK on 26th Oct 2015
Even brand new it's painfully slow opening any of it's basic apps, like messages, contacts list, emails. I find myself double tapping because you don't know if it's doing it or it didn't work the first time. I imagine in 2 years it'll barely function!

Screen lock is also pretty weak, I've done a lot of pocket dialling before putting a pin on it - now I'm just worried about ringing the police...

I'd definitely give it a miss, unless you're after a real basic model. It's cheap, and it reminds you why every second.

Reviewed by Malcolm from U.K on 15th Oct 2015
Got the phone from Tescos for 89pounds, quite pleased with it and is the type of phone that i wanted for taking photos, texting, emails, GPS use and the radio so yes i know there are better phones out there but it does what i need it for and at a reasonable price.

Reviewed by phill from England on 15th Oct 2015
This is the worse phone I've ever had
It's to slow to run most apps . Definitely will not recommend it to anyone.

Reviewed by mohan from india on 3rd Oct 2015
Very very bad no sound quality.

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