Samsung Galaxy J4+ review: Feature heavy, but camera, display found lacking

Samsung J4+. Photo: Shubham Nagpal
Samsung, a South Korean electronics major, is one of the few premium smartphone brands that has an established line-up of smartphones across different segments. The most interesting of them are the flagship S-series and budget J-series smartphones. The company launched a refreshed line-up of the Galaxy J-series, with premium features like 18.5:9 aspect ratio screen, durable polycarbonate body and bright camera. The latest addition to the line-up is the Galaxy J4+.

Priced at Rs 9,990, the Galaxy J4+ is aimed at price-conscious smartphone buyers. The J4+ has a big 6-inch screen, a bright camera of f/1.9 aperture and a 3,300 mAh battery. Although a budget smartphone, it comes packed with a lot of features such as infinity screen (18.5:9 aspect ratio), Dolby Atmos for surround sound experience through wired headsets and 'emotify'' that turns your face into cartoon avatar.

Though the phone has a lot to offer in terms of features, can it contest with Chinese rivals in the budget smartphone segment? Let’s take a look:

Design and display

The phone’s back could well be mistaken to have a metal finish. However, the phone has glass-finish that looks sleek and adds a premium touch to its overall aesthetics. The metallic chassis of the phone has a dedicated dual-SIM slot, memory card slot and two volume buttons on the left side. The efficacy of having two separate buttons for volume is questionable, especially when brands like Xiaomi can make do with one pretty fine. Also, cramping everything on one side and leaving the other with just power button and mono speaker makes it look cluttered.

The Galaxy J4+ has a compact form factor for a 6-inch screen smartphone, thanks to 18.5:9 aspect ratio. However, the phone could have even a better form factor had the borders around the screen were compressed. This would also have saved the phone from screen bezels, which the J4+ has across sides.

The Galaxy J4+ has a TFT screen instead of an AMOLED unit that has been there in most of the recent Samsung’s budget offerings. The screen has HD+ (720 x 1480 pixels) resolution, which renders good colours and has satisfactory sunlight legibility. The brightness level, on the other hand, could have been better.

Samsung J4+. Photo: Shubham Nagpal

Performance

The Samsung J4+ is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 system-on-chip (SoC), paired with either 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. The phone boots Android Oreo-based Samsung’s Experience user interface, which comes loaded with a lot of bloatware.

Speaking of performance, the phone handles day-to-day tasks with ease and faces no trouble managing multitasking. The processor’s weakness props up when the phone is used for processor intensive applications. Considering the fact that the phone is a budget device with an entry-level processor, it is best suited for day-to-day operations than playing games or performing any other processor intensive tasks.

Interestingly, the phone does not have a fingerprint sensor. The phone relies on traditional screen unlock mechanisms such as pin and pattern, along with face recognition, which is neither fast nor accurate.

Camera

The J4+ has a 13-megapixel camera on the back and a 5MP camera on the front. Both the camera modules have a dedicated LED flash. Though the rear camera seems to be a capable unit, it fails to perform in low light. The camera requires steady hands to capture proper frame as the autofocus speed slows down during low light conditions. As for the front camera, the 5MP unit lacks auto-focus, therefore, is best suited for portrait shots.

Battery

Powered by a 3,300 mAh battery, the phone goes on for a day of normal use on a full charge. The phone does not support fast charging, therefore, the charging is slow and takes around two hours to replenish the battery from zero to 100 per cent.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy J4+ has a mammoth 6-inch screen, swift operating system and tons of value added features. The fact that the phone seldom gets hanged or experiences lag is a big plus for the J4+. However, it could have been an all-rounder in the budget segment with a better camera module and an AMOLED display, which has been part of Samsung’s other budget smartphones.



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