Samsung Galaxy J1 looks to be a budget-friendly Android

After focusing so strongly on flagship handsets like the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, Samsung is watching its top-selling smartphone crown start to slip. The company has always offered a range of devices but never aggressively marketed them; perhaps that will change with the rumored Galaxy J1, which SamMobile says could be priced like the low-cost Galaxy Y phones but offer a better experience.

Photo by Kif Leswing/Gigaom

Super high end: Galaxy Note Edge

Benchmarks for the J1 have appeared and an unidentified source told SamMobile what to expect. The phone will reportedly run on a Marvell Armada PXA1908 system on a chip (SOC), with uses a 1.2 GHz quad-core 64-bit processor that’s “targeted for the mainstream smartphone and tablets platforms,” according to the chip maker. The PXA1908, announced last month, also supports 5-mode LTE mobile broadband.

While the chip is 64-bit capable — as is [company]Google[/company] Android 5.0 — SamMobile says it will run on Android 4.4, which is a bit surprising. I suspect that for early hardware testing purposes, Samsung is using KitKat, and that the phone will launch with Lollipop.

Less surprising is the reported 4.3-inch display resolution of 800 x 480, still common on low-cost devices. Other expected hardware includes a 5-MP rear camera, 2-MP front camera, 4 GB of internal storage, 1 GB of memory and a generous 1,850 mAh battery.

Unfortunately for Samsung, even though the low-end of the smartphone market is where all the growth is, the company is competing against many more companies that are creating budget-friendly but capable Android phones. And the profit margins on such devices aren’t nearly as high as they are on the flagship handsets, so turning to these now won’t likely do much to turn around Samsung’s falling profits in mobile.