Our chums across at GSM Arena have received a tip showing off the Samsung Galaxy J1, a new entry-level handset and the first in the new Samsung J-Series. The J1 is based around the Spreadtrum Pike chipset, which is a dual-core, 1.2 GHz processor paired up with 512 MB of RAM. It has a 4.3-inch screen of 480 by 800 pixel resolution and has 4 GB of internal memory, but it’s unclear how much of this is available to users at first set up. As with most Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy J1 includes a MicroSD card that can take cards up to 64 GB in size. Samsung have provided a 5 MP rear camera complete with a LED flash, a 2 MP front facer and an 1,850 mAh battery, which I’d suspect is replaceable but we don’t have confirmation of this. Nor do we have confirmation of the respective cellular networks and frequencies that the device has, but it’s a fair bet that this is a 3G-only device. The rumored specification sheet highlights that the device has 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS, which is the standard set of wireless radios for devices these days. The J1 will run Android 4.4 Kit Kat under what we suppose is a Samsung TouchWiz interface.
Although the J1 isn’t the most exciting of devices, Samsung switching to the Spreadthrum Pike chipset is interesting. This processor is based around the ARM Cortex-A7 processor, so it’s the older generation, 32-bit core designed more with a lean towards power and cost efficiency than performance. What will have a more significant impact on performance, however, is the limited amount of memory available at just 512 MB. However, we know that Android Kit Kat has been designed to run reasonably well on lower memory devices so I would expect the J1 to be usable. What we may not see, however, is the device upgraded to Lollipop (in breach of Google’s Android upgrade policy) with perhaps Samsung citing the (lame) “this device doesn’t have enough memory to run Android Lollipop well” statement. We’ll watch this space.
To put the J1 into context, in terms of specification it’s somewhere between the original Galaxy S and the Galaxy S2, at least on paper. If you took this handset back to this time in 2011, it would be close to a high-end device (again, on paper). If you made me use a 2011 flagship device or an entry level 2015 device, I would have a hard time picking between the two! We don’t yet know the price or availability of the J1, but on paper it looks primed to compete with the Android One devices, trading some processor power for Samsung’s custom interface.