It gives me no pleasure to say this: Samsung could have done better with this year’s refresh of the Galaxy J3, and so can you.

Things you should expect from a super budget phone: it runs the current version of Android, takes pictures good enough for Facebook and gets through the day on a single charge. In those respects, the affordable Samsung Galaxy J3 for 2017 does fine.

Compared to last year’s J3, this update runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and doubles the upper limit of your microSD card (from 128GB to 256GB here). The processor also gets a slight boost. These are all good things. But Samsung doesn’t go far enough to make 2017’s J3 feel and act like a different, better phone.

In some ways, it’s actually worse. The new Galaxy J3 is frustratingly sluggish, even when navigating around. Its battery doesn’t last as long as last year’s model (just about 14 hours, versus 15 and a half). And there’s actually less RAM than 2016’s J3 (1.5GB versus 2GB).



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