Samsung vs Motorola, Galaxy J2 vs Moto E

At the weekend I bought my first Samsung phone, a Galaxy J2. I mainly got it because I needed 8 GB of memory instead of 4 GB, so as to be able to install more apps. So I have been able to put on Twitter which I was really after at the time, all the Facebook apps, and a few more besides.
The issues with buying a Samsung phone or the Galaxy J2 to date are as follows:
  • The amount of memory used by the system is higher than stock Android. So while adding 4 GB of memory should theoretically give you 4 GB more than what the Moto E makes available, that isn’t the case. I went from about 2.2 GB left for apps to about 4.2 GB, so the extra Samsung software and built-in apps that you can’t remove (or even disable) swallow up another 2 GB on top of Android and what the Motorola apps in the Moto E used.
  • Things like priority timers aren’t available even though they are part of regular Android. On the Moto E when you press the volume controls you get offered the ability to set the priority to a lower level and have it restored to full level after a certain period of time. All the J2 has on it is buttons to make it vibrate or silent and turn on DND mode. There is no timer as there was on either the Moto E or various Nokia feature phones I used to own years ago. There is just the DND timer which you set at night to turn off emails and texts so you can get some sleep.
  • Some of the Samsung apps are not very good. I thought the email app seemed to be quite useful, until it started draining my battery. Its power usage is very high through using a lot of resources. Switching to Gmail, as I used on the Moto E, saw a huge drop in power consumption for the phone and that is how it will stay for now. 
The phone itself appears to be quite well designed, but as far as I can tell accessory shells are not available which is somewhat disappointing. There are the usual range of clip on covers, but as I only want to replace the back cover for something more personalised, that doesn’t seem to be an option for this phone model.
Overall I am quite pleased with the phone once these beginning issues are resolved. I am up for question as to whether Samsung will release Android 6 for this phone. There is a 2016 update of the J2 due for release soon and it will come with 6, while from looking at leaks on the internet it looks like Marshmallow is due to be released for the 2015 J2 sometime later this year.

Once I changed all my emails over to Gmail and therefore stopped the built in email app from working the gain in battery life was immediate and huge. The system now uses 50% less juice in a day so the battery will last twice as long. Google doesn’t state what the sync frequency is for Gmail accounts but it seems to work quite well with messages popping up almost as soon as they come in. I had thought of using the Outlook app to separate personal and work accounts as I did when I had the Moto E but the design of the current Outlook for Android app is really off putting. MS has decided to hide the technical settings such as account security and sync frequency completely away from the user. It means I can’t be confident my Vodafone account is using secure transmissions at all and neither do I have a choice of how often messages are synced or how far back they go. MS is getting really patronising like this in the design of their apps and operating systems where they are focusing on chopping out settings and hiding them from the user interface so this is hardly a surprise.

I am overall very pleased with the design of the phone and how well it is working. Samsung haven’t skimped on the design of this phone as much as I expected; it is quite classy compared to the Moto E although a different coloured back would be nice. Overall I tend to think a lot more highly of it than the reviewers who are slating Samsung for turning out a pile of phones that all look and feel the same.