Galaxy J6: Samsung Galaxy J6 review: A budget-phone with great battery life, beautiful display, smooth performance


Price: Rs 13,990

Rating: ***

Specifications: 5.6-inch 18:9 super amoled display (1480 x 720 pixels), octa core Exynos 7870 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable, dedicated microSD slot, up to 256GB card), dual SIM slots, 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera with LED flash, rear fingerprint scanner, 4G with VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, 3,000mAh battery, Android 8.0, 154 grams

Pros: Compact and sturdy design, great amoled display, excellent battery life, wide angle selfie camera, above average rear camera

Cons: Face unlock is slow and won’t work in low light, HD resolution display, better hardware and features available at same/lower price, AF keeps hunting for a lock in video recording, no ambient light sensor (no auto screen brightness)

The sub Rs 15,000 segment has been one of the busiest this year for smartphones. Almost every brand has launched multiple devices in this price range and Samsung’s latest for the space is the Galaxy J6.

What makes the J6 stand out from the crowd is compact design. In this price range, the J6 is one of the smallest smartphones today. This is mainly because you get a 5.6-inch display with the popular 18:9 aspect ratio. The size of the phone is about the same as a phone with a 5-inch 16:9 display. We were impressed by the build quality of the phone too — it has a matte finish back panel that resists smudges and fingerprints. However, it is an all plastic body which is a shame considering you can easily get smartphones with metal body under Rs 10k now.

Keep in mind that this is Samsung’s cheapest phone with what they call an Infinity display. The other big thing about the display is its panel — Samsung has opted for a super amoled panel on the J6 while a majority of other smartphones stick to an IPS panel. Amoled tech delivers superior blacks and rich colours with the benefit of lower battery consumption. The flipside is that the display is not full HD. So you win some, you lose some.

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For hardware, Samsung has stuck to its Exynos 7870 processor — their preferred chipset for budget devices. It also has 3GB RAM and 32GB storage which again pales in comparison to the competition. Oppo’s Realme 1, for instance, gives you 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for the same price as this Samsung! Samsung is clearly banking on the strength of its brand to push these device.

Thankfully, the phone’s performance is good enough for most basic and mid-level users. It even managed to play Asphalt 8 with minimal frame drops (we had to kill all other background apps though). Battery life is one of the highlights of the J6 — even though it comes with a 3,000mAh battery, it easily managed to last close to two days with a single charge. With heavy use, the phone will still last from 9am to 9pm, which is impressive for the small size.

We found the camera performance quite impressive, as long as you stick to the outdoors in good light. It has a 13MP rear camera with an f1.9 aperture that delivers photos with good details and minimal noise.

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The budget nature of the phone is revealed in low light, when the camera starts adding noise. Video quality is good, but we often saw it hunt for a focus lock in video which is a letdown. Front camera fares much better — it has a wide-angle lens plus with a soft LED flash for low light use. Selfies captured have good details in the normal mode and you also get selfie focus mode which adds a bokeh effect to your selfies. Overall, the camera on the J6 is good you can also get much better for the price.

On the software front, the J6 runs Samsung’s own Experience 9.0 UI based on Android 8.0. It works smoothly and comes with a number of handy features including Samsung Pay Mini, Samsung Mall, one hand mode, multi window and smart alerts. There is also support for face unlock which we found to be slow to use in daytime and useless in low light. You’ll be better off sticking to fingerprint unlock on this phone. One very strange omission is the ambient light sensor — this means no auto brightness. You don’t realize how much of a pain this is until you have to do it manually several times a day.

Ultimately, if one of the main criteria for your budget smartphone purchase is compact size, the Samsung Galaxy J6 is an easy choice. Things it got going for it include great battery life, a beautiful display, smooth performance and good camera. It does take a hit when you talk about value for money. If you don’t mind the size, the Realme 1 offers 6GB RAM and 128GB storage with a large 6-inch full HD display for the same price. If its just compact size you want, do check out the Redmi 5 — at Rs 11k, you get compact design with 5.7-inch display, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and a 3,300mAh battery.









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