If you're looking for a smartphone from a major carrier on a budget, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy J3 Mission. An enticing balance between solid, mid-range specs on a large, 5" HD display at an affordable price.
Running Android's Nougat operating system, you can expect an optimized experience good (not great) for launching apps, running games, watching video, and surfing the web. Unfortunately, the J3 is bogged down by a few compromises in its software that makes it a less attractive choice.
Unless you desperately need a Samsung Galaxy phone for cheap or don't plan to use your phone beyond talk, text, and simple use, you might want to search elsewhere.
With that out of the way, let's talk about the good features of the Samsung Galaxy J3.
With a slim 8.7mm profile, the Galaxy J3 Mission fits comfortably in your hand and in your pocket. You won't have any trouble swiping between menus with one hand. The J3 is also quite lightweight and compact. The central select button feels good when you press it--it's responsive and snappy to the touch and has a pronounced click when pushed. However, the J3 eschews the fancy metal chassis of the higher end Galaxy smartphones in exchange for cheaper plastic. A cheap phone feeling like a cheap phone isn't exactly the end of the world, but it's a personal choice you may be discomforted by.
Specs-wise the J3 is fairly average. It has a 5", 720p HD display, which is rather low for modern phones these days but does the job. Pictures appear bright and with colorful tones, and there are a few settings to toy around with to change the color balance. The 5-megapixel camera takes decent photos that are adequate for sharing on social media, but images lack richness and backgrounds may appear washed out.
Performance is reliable if a little slow. The battery will last you long enough for a full day, but you may be frustrated by the sluggish 1.5GB RAM and questionable design tweaks. Unlike the Google Pixel series of devices, most third-party Android manufacturers tend to make their own tweaks to the Android OS. This often leads to a number of unnecessary "bloatware" preloaded onto your phone and a chore to uninstall.
Users familiar to Android will find features moved, altered, or outright changed--like the settings menu. However, Samsung has added a handful of actually useful features to the J3. Smart Alert will vibrate your device upon picking it up if you have any missed calls or messages, and Easy Mute will silence phone calls when the device is placed face down.
For the price, the J3 offers reliable service at decent specs. Don't expect anything flashy, but it is a solid choice for a budget phone.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 is a newer generation budget-friendly smartphone with some noticeable improvements--but a larger price tag. Go here to see more.