Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro: Plans | Pricing | Specs
The Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro pairs a sharp 5-inch super AMOLED display with a capable 8MP camera at a very attractive price.
Power, storage and battery
|Launch price (RRP)||$229|
Released in 2018 as a refresh of 2016's Samsung Galaxy J2, the J2 Pro represents an affordable entry point into the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem suitable for those who only require basic functionality like calls, web browsing and social media.
- A clean and simple look, and the super AMOLED screen is a nice addition
- Supports 3.5mm headphones, expandable storage and most core smartphone features
As Samsung itself puts it, the Galaxy J2 Pro is "designed with functionality in mind." Breathtaking this smartphone is not. That said, it stays true to Samsung's slim and sleek aesthetic, with a curved backing to make holding the phone more comfortable.
That's where the curves end, though. Unlike the stylish curved display of the Samsung Galaxy S9 or the edge-spanning infinity display of the Galaxy A8, the Galaxy J2 Pro features a simple 5-inch super AMOLED display with a resolution of 540 x 960. In comparison, the screen on the Galaxy A8 clocks in at a resolution of 2220 x 1080, while the Galaxy S9 hits a whopping 2960 x 1440. If you're a stickler for visual clarity, bear this in mind when considering the Galaxy J2 Pro.
Onboard storage is typically on the low side in budget smartphones, and the Galaxy J2 Pro is no exception. It comes with 16GB out of the box, though only 9.8GB of that is actually usable – the rest is taken up by system files. Fortunately, the J2 Pro supports expandable storage via microSD cards of up to 256GB in size.
It's also nice to see that Samsung hasn't followed Apple and other smartphone manufacturers down the path of ditching the headphone jack just yet. The Galaxy J2 Pro includes a 3.5mm port as well as supporting wireless headphones via Bluetooth, providing plenty of options for listening to your tunes on the go.
One particularly interesting feature of the Galaxy J2 Pro is its adaptive Wi-Fi system. Since budget smartphones typically go hand-in-hand with low-data SIM plans, Samsung has integrated a feature that automatically connects and disconnects from available Wi-Fi networks when you're in range. So, if you frequently visit your local cafe and connect to its free Wi-Fi network, the J2 Pro will remember that and connect you whenever it's available. This saves you the hassle of remembering to switch off your 4G connection to save data and bypasses all that cumbersome fiddling with network settings.
- The 8MP rear camera is sufficient for taking decent photos
- The streamlined camera app makes a lot of sense in a budget smartphone
While you're not going to get a professional-grade camera system on a budget phone, the ongoing advancement of camera technology has made high-quality photography more accessible than ever. This is evident in the Galaxy J2 Pro, which sports an 8MP rear-facing camera with built-in auto-focus and the ability to record 1080p video at 30fps as well as a 5MP front-facing camera for snapping selfies.
Samsung has beefed up its camera app, too, streamlining many of its features to better cater to the average user. Switching between video and photo modes requires just a quick vertical swipe, while applying filters and effects is handled with a horizontal swipe. Actually taking photos has been improved as well, with the ability to drag the shutter button across the screen instead of fumbling wildly for it while you hold that perfect pose.
- Sufficient grunt for most simple, everyday tasks
- Serious mobile gaming is a no-go
At its budget price point, the Galaxy J2 Pro is never going to be a performance powerhouse. Its quad-core 1.4GHz processor pales in comparison to the eight-core monsters powering most modern smartphones, and its 1.5GB of RAM simply can't support the kinds of heavy multi-tasking and demanding 3D games that flagship phones can with their 4GB+ of RAM.
Nevertheless, Samsung has still given the Galaxy J2 Pro enough power to handle the needs of most budget smartphone users. Basic web browsing, general app use and other standard everyday tasks should pose no problem, especially since the relatively low-resolution screen reduces the strain placed on the quad-core processor. You can probably even get away with playing a few simple games, though don't expect to boot up Fortnite any time soon.
- Capable of up to 14 hours of continuous video playback, according to Samsung
- Can be removed and replaced, unlike in most modern smartphones
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