Samsung Launches Mid-range Galaxy J5 and J7 Smartphones in Kenya


Samsung Galaxy J5

Samsung introduced its latest mid-range smartphones, the Galaxy J5 and the Galaxy J7 into the Kenyan market. The two devices which first appeared in the Chinese market back in June have since been introduced in other markets like India and Malaysia and Kenya is one of the very first African countries to get it.

The Galaxy J5 and J7 are meant to bring the experience a user gets when they purchase high end Samsung devices like the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 4 to the customer who is on a budget. According to GfK data, 27% of smartphones sold in Kenya in the last few months have 5-5.6 inch displays. With the trend in the Kenyan smartphone market being in favour of devices with big screens, the Galaxy J5 and J7 come in 5 and 5.5 inch sizes to better compete with other competitively priced devices. Their strength does not lie in the big screens alone, they have been competitively priced and pack desirable specifications as well.

Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7 Launch - Techweez
(Left)Iddah Rasanga, Samsung Mobile Product Manager and Simon Kariithi, IT and Mobile Business Leader at Samsung Electronics East Africa at the launch.

The Samsung Galaxy J5 and the Galaxy J7 are both 4G-ready as they support LTE Cat4. Samsung’s low end market best seller, the Galaxy J1 was popular not just because of the pricing but because it also had a 4G LTE variant and with LTE uptake in the Kenyan market being on the rise, Samsung hopes that the Galaxy J5 and the J7 will become the go-to smartphones for Kenyans looking for affordable LTE devices. This space has been a preserve of Microsoft in the local smartphone market since its Lumia smartphones in the Ksh 20-29,000 range are 4G-ready. Samsung is counting on its extensive retail network that consists of 28 brand stores all over Kenya to play a key role in availing the two to customers.

The biggest feature on the two devices is the camera. Both devices feature what is likely a first for a quality device in its price range in the Kenyan market: front-facing LED flash. The wide-angle 5 megapixel front-facing camera is accompanied by the flash for better selfies in low lighting. The main camera located at the back of the two devices also takes in low lighting situations in mind it’s a 13 megapixel camera with a f/1.9 lens. The selfie camera features Palm recognition which means that the camera will recognize any raised palms to signify a user’s readiness to capture a shot and do exactly that. This also means that there’s no need to walk around with a walking selfie stick. We’ve seen this before on other Samsung devices (high end) where raising your fist bump produced a similar result.

Samsung has also partnered with Microsoft to offer buyers of the two devices up to 100 GB free storage space on OneDrive. Microsoft’s partnership with Samsung has been in place since the launch of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge early this year but this is the first time that free OneDrive storage is bundled with a non-high end Samsung smartphone. You’ll need to buy a high end Samsung device in order to benefit from other perks of the collaboration though but since Microsoft is offering its mobile applications for free on Android (which the two devices run on), you’ll still not be missing much.


Detailed specifications of the two are as follows:

Galaxy J5 Galaxy J7
Display 5.0” HD Super AMOLED 5.5” HD Super AMOLED
Processor Quad-core Snapdragon 410 clocked at 1.2GHz Octa-core Snapdragon 615 clocked at 1.2GHz
Memory 8 GB internal memory + micro SD card slot (expandable upto 128 GB), 1.5 GB RAM 16 GB internal memory + micro SD card slot (expandable upto 128 GB), 1.5 GB RAM
Camera Rear: 13 MP with LED Flash and f/1.9 lens: 5 MP wide-angle with LED flash Same
OS Android 5.1 (Lollipop) Same
Battery 2600 mAh 3000 mAh
Network 2G, 3G, LTE Same
Connectivity USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, NFC, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz/5GHz Same
Others Dual-SIM Same
Colours White, Black Same

The Galaxy J5 will cost Ksh 21,000 while the Galaxy J7 will go for Ksh 27,000. The two devices are available in all Samsung brand stores and other retailers across the country. Also on sale alongside the two devices are their accessories. Whilst the two have Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving Mode as a built-in feature and beefier batteries that should last a whole day, Samsung is also selling portable chargers for those who will need them. There are also flip covers available for the two devices.

Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7 Launch - Kenya - portable charger - Techweez
One of the portable chargers that Samsung is selling