In order to retain its global crown and keep the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi at bay in budget-focused markets, Samsung has recently expanded and greatly improved the low to mid-end Galaxy J smartphone family.

But since Chinese OEMs are having trouble penetrating the US, local bargain hunters need to settle for modest, old fashioned devices like the Galaxy J3 Star instead of being able to officially purchase the more modern J6, J8 or J7 Duo.

Vaguely unveiled as the “new” Galaxy J3 a few weeks back, the J3 Star discreetly went up for grabs at T-Mobile under that pompous name ahead of this weekend. Unfortunately, none of the specs detailed on the “Un-carrier’s” official website justify the Star label.

There’s no fingerprint scanner, no facial recognition method, no dual cameras, while the “traditional” 16:9 screen is surrounded by traditionally thick bezels. Still, this is one of T-Mo’s most affordable Android handsets, at a full retail price of $175, and it does run 8.0 Oreo out the box, which may have felt obligatory, but it wasn’t a given until now.

The 5-inch Samsung Galaxy J3 Star is billed as an “easy-to-use smartphone designed for your lifestyle”, featuring “everything you want and nothing you don’t.” The former category includes LTE Band 71 support for access to 600MHz Spectrum, which guarantees “Extended Range” signal that reaches twice as far and penetrates walls for four times better coverage in buildings than before.

Bottom line, this is a very modest phone with an unnamed quad-core processor, 8MP rear camera, 5MP selfie shooter, 2600mAh battery, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage… and ultra-advanced cellular technology.




Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).

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