Samsung Launches First Smartphone With Built-in Digital TV Tuner

Before you get too excited, it's probably never going to be available outside the Phillipines

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In July, Samsung released a sequel to last year’s Galaxy J2 smartphone. Normally, the Galaxy J2 and other members of its extended J family don’t have much going for them as they are mainly targeted at the low-end segment of the market where a strong match between the features on offer and the price has to be made and often results in unsavoury compromises. That is not the case for a new smartphone that Samsung is offering in the Philippines for about $150.

The Samsung Galaxy J2 DTV (that stands for digital TV) has a digital TV tuner built in to allow its users access to a broad range of local television channels. But while we are allowed to get a bit excited, that might not be the case for likely buyers of the device as the Philippines is said to be using a different digital broadcasting standard. If you’re a Kenyan, you will notice that locally, we use the DVB-T2 standard after the much-hyped and often misunderstood digital migration finally happened. The Philippines uses the ISDB standard.

Other features of the device include a 4.7-inch qHD (540 x 960 pixels) Super AMOLED display, 1GB RAM, 8GB onboard storage (expandable up to 128GB via microSD), a 5-megapixel camera at the back and a 2-megapixel selfie camera, a quad-core Samsung Exynos 3475 chip clocked at 1.3GHz and a 2,000mAh battery which means that even if one were to get it, it wouldn’t substitute their living room TV entirely as the battery is unlikely to last long. Just to remind you what you are dealing with, there’s Android Lollipop onboard.

There’s almost no chance this device will ever be available in your country if you’re not in the Philippines but if it ever does, it will be joining a big number of no-name entry-level smartphones from China that have included a digital TV tuner for so long. For Samsung, it is its first. Will we be seeing more of these from the company, then?

For everyone else, one can buy a digital TV tuner which can be connected to a smartphone’s microUSB port for accessing free-to-air (FTA) TV channels on the go. In Kenya, these don’t cost more than Kshs 4,000 and can be easily obtained from the various e-commerce platforms available.

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