by Stacey Nduta

My Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 restarted itself for the 5th time at 9am. I genuinely felt like flinging it to the wall but I needed it.  I said a silent prayer for providence; when I got the Samsung J4. Relief is pretty much an understated emotion. Routinely, reviews are meant to mention all the specs but it doesn’t truly tell you if two months down the line you’ll love the phone as much as you did the first couple of days.

Price comparison

Here is a wider spectrum of criteria to help you decide on Samsung J4 2018. Or you can skip ahead to compatibility.

The price varies from:

Shop Price Extra
Jumia Ksh 15,999 Dual sim, 2year warranty, Black only
Phone Place KSh 16,300
Phones Store Ksh 16,400 Gold
Phones Point Ksh 16,500 Silver

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General features

Specifications

Display 5.5 inch 720p Super AMOLED display 16:9 Aspect ratio
Cameras 13MP Rear camera
5MP front camera
Processor Exynos 7570 Quad-core 1.4GHz
RAM and Storage 2GB RAM; 16GB internal storage
Battery Removable 3000mAh battery
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo
Network 4G/LTE
Extra _

The J4 is an average phone with a comfortable screen size of 5.5”, 16:9 AMOLED screen display. The front features a 5MP camera with an LED flash and a proximity sensor. At the base of the screen, there’s a physical home button and interestingly drawn navigation buttons that don’t light up. At the back, the 13MP camera and LED flash light are in a vertical module and right next to it is the speaker. The cover is removable which makes the 3000mAh battery accessible and removable. It’s has a single micro-SIM slot under the Micro-SD card slot. Although I was disappointed about a single SIM slot I’ll explain a feature later that pacified me.

Its total capacity is at 16GB with 2GB RAM, it runs on Android 8 OS and has a 1.4Ghz quad-core processor. It provides a host of connectivity options in terms of 3G, 4G, GPS, Wifi Bluetooth capabilities. Thankfully the Wi-Fi direct that has become a common feature on phones allowed a smooth transfer of most items such contacts and media

Compatibility

Personality and lifestyle may differ from person to person thus this review looks further deeper in the search glass to help you decide.Sometimes we may be psyched to buy a device because of its specs but really a device is what you make of it…here’s a breakdown of a few lifestyle specific traits.

Serial texter/caller

Communication is a basic to most people. But we have individuals who basically hit a high when a notification comes in. The J4 supports all networks except Faiba which the only line that would support the phone’s VoLTE features. There’s support for all languages on the Keyboard and one can also use Google Voice Input which is a bonus for when driving or when your hands are engaged elsewhere.

Personalisation which is facilitated by activating a Samsung account allows you choose themes, icons or wallpaper that resonate with you better. I chose this dark theme, which is pretty ok.

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Social media guru

For those that love their social media, the phone has enough space for your apps and data. However, I did experience a slow down of the system once I used up half of the 16GB space. You can routinely check up on your settings to clear up RAM and memory for any junk files. Thankfully, you don’t have to download any performance boosting app because it’s included in settings. Furthermore, accessing various social media would mean memorizing a ton of passwords but you can opt to save them on Google. Something I found interesting was the Samsung Max, (read Opera Max but Samsung’s take originally meant for the Indian market) that is an inbuilt VPN. VPN are important and prevent potential hackers from accessing your networks or from anyone basically seeing your footprints of the sites you visit. It also has a bonus feature of anti-virus software.

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Business person

Being an Android phone, it features Gmail which upgraded recently to support most mails thus making emailing configuration a smoother process. This will assist you to access all mail via your device. The phone also features a suit of document editing apps such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF. The dual messenger is what pacified me; it’s common to have a personal line and business line to avoid awkward scenarios of your clients watch you binge drink on your WhatsApp status. The dual messenger enables you to use two versions of an app under different accounts without them interferring with one another. Previously I was using an app known as Parallel Space for this.

Blogger/Photographer

Ordinary camera with extraordinary but expected functionality. The rear camera is HDR enabled. It also features modes such as Pro, Panorama, Beauty, Stickers, Auto, Night and Continuous shots. The last one is my favourite because you can quickly edit pretty much anything to a gif/boomerang. The wide screen captures group selfies or scenery better. Unfortunately, it heavily relies on natural lighting. You get access to OneDrive and Google Drive cloud storage which is essential so as to backup all your posts/research/photos.

Traveller

Although most phones at this price range have a battery capacity of about 4500mAh, but 3000 is good enough with its fast charge ability to get to 30% in about 10mins. The Samsung Max I mentioned earlier is able to crunch and compress data and thus limit data usage. The phone is of average size and weight, without being bulky . If you love your device rugged, then you’ll need to get a back cover as the finish is smooth plastic. The home screen features a forecast widget and indicates notifications of expected weather every morning. Emergency mode is another interesting feature that allows you to limit the phone so as to save up charge especially when you may travel to places that don’t have access to electricity. Emergency mode also facilitates a person to easily access your Emergency contacts and details such as full name, face, allergens or blood type. It also has an emergency alarm. If it so happens that you do lose your phone, find your mobile can help you locate and control it. Google assistant can also help you identify eateries or popular tourist attractions if you’re new to an area.

Gamer

Personally, I’m a gamer and a quad core processor translates to a better gaming experience. However, if many apps are running, not everything will be smooth, causing the game to hang and controls to act up. Nevertheless the large screen and quick multi touch response is a bonus to an amazing gaming experience.

Introvert

I’ve had a Galaxy Tab for 4years… so to find out I had to download a media player was quite the shock. Nonetheless, it features radio which connects clearly despite living in the outskirts of Nairobi. You get Dolby Surround inbuilt, though this is only usable when you’re using earphones/headphones. You also have a secure folder that requires a password to access and encrypts any data stored. By introvert, I’m talking to people who prefer their own company to humans.

There is a Bixby feature which basically allows you to access important widgets and items such as news, reminders, schedule etc with one swipe to the right. You can engage Google assistant as well for jokes, traffic updates or responding to texts.


In conclusion, I generally feel like Samsung have a brand name to protect and are trying to stoop lower so as to capture the larger market segment that looks at price more than features. They should probably take a leaf out of Trannsion’s book and develop a similar brand such as Infinix which features both price and abilities that wow us.

I would give the phone a 3 out 5 rating. Is there anything I’ve mentioned that’s debatable or something I left out? Feel free to comment or email me at ndutah@tech-ish.com.