While most American mobile consumers are likely oblivious to the existence of non-flagship Samsung phones, the Galaxy A, E and J families have achieved moderate success in many emerging European and Asian markets this year.
The decidedly mid-range, mainly lackluster J5 even made Google’s 2015 global top ten search list for gadgets, edging out Nexuses, premium metal-constructed HTCs, Sony Xperias and several other higher-profile handhelds.
Of course, it’s not time for a Galaxy J5 sequel yet, but the lower-end J1 may spawn a redesigned follow-up in a matter of weeks, with marginally improved features on deck. According to a Vietnamese publication that managed to get hold of a very advanced Galaxy J1 (2016) prototype somehow, this should double down on memory and storage space, replace the dual-core Spreadtrum chip with a quad Exynos 3457, and preserve the modest 5 and 2MP cameras.
The worst part is the 4.3-inch WVGA display will apparently jump to a 4.5-inch diagonal while once again settling for a disappointing 800 x 480 pixels resolution. Meanwhile, Android 5.1 Lollipop enters the equation to take 4.4 KitKat’s place, though seeing as how we’re talking a 2016 device here, we can’t help but dream of a 6.0 Marshmallow update before or shortly after the commercial launch tipped for January.
All obvious flaws aside, at least the Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016) looks arguably better than its predecessor, with a stylish two-tone face, curvier silhouette, and ever so slightly slimmer bezels. Let’s just hope the price is right.