In our previous articles of the Galaxy J6 multi-part review, we had a look at the phone’s design, build quality, display, and performance, and the device failed to impress us so far. In this part of the review, we will take a look at the Galaxy J6’s imaging capabilities, and see if it at least excels in this performance aspect.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Camera: Features, Specifications
The Samsung Galaxy J6 lacks a dual-camera setup, which is kind of disappointing since every other smartphone in the same price range has the feature. The Galaxy J6 features a 13MP camera sensor, featuring 28mm lens, f/1.9 aperture, LED flash, HDR mode and 1080p video recording at 30fps. At the front, there’s an 8MP camera with f/1.9 aperture, fixed focal length and single-LED flash.
If the absence of dual-camera setup was not disappointing enough, think about this – the camera also misses out on phase-detection autofocus mechanism. Yeah, that’s right, the Galaxy J6 still uses the old, contrast-detect autofocus technique, which is quite slow and clunky. Keeping aside the real-world performance of the Galaxy J6’s camera, even the on-paper hardware specifications are quite disappointing. Let us have a look at the camera’s real-world performance now.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Rear-Facing Camera: Image Quality
The images captured with the Galaxy J6 in daylight conditions appear dull due to lack of enough brightness. The colours are vibrant, but highlights are often blown-out. Images have a decent amount of details, but the level is still not up to the mark for a smartphone of this price.
The camera has a poor dynamic range and on top of that, there’s no Auto HDR feature in the phone to compensate for the limited dynamic range. If you want to take images in the HDR mode, you will have to shift to the HDR mode manually, but even then, the camera is slow to capture HDR images which usually results in softer and shaky images. The noise, however, is contained well, and there isn’t visible oversharpening.
Coming to the camera’s image quality in low-light conditions, the Galaxy J6 does a terrible job. Images have a lot of noise. The fact that Samsung has used a cheap quality lens also comes into the picture, resulting in a substantial amount of lens flare. The camera fails to capture an adequate amount of details – noise and lens flare further downgrade the image quality. Budget smartphones aren’t very good at low light photography, but the Galaxy J6 performs worse than it should for its price. Purple fringing is visible too.
The primary camera of the Galaxy J6 also comes with a panorama mode. Images captured in this mode have a maximum resolution of 4.2 megapixels, which is very low and the amount of detail captured is lower as well. The exposure composition feature in the panorama mode doesn’t work very well; hence the images have a poor dynamic range. The image quality in the panorama mode is so bad that I doubt you would ever want to use it.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Rear-Facing Camera: Video Recording Performance
The Galaxy J6 misses out on 4K video recording as well, which is a huge let-down. The camera can only record Full HD resolution videos at 30 frames per second. However, even the Full HD videos have poorer quality. Videos come out shaky due to the lack of any form of stabilisation, be it OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) or EIS (Electronics Image Stabilisation). Not only that, videos are jittery. As the camera uses the contrast-detection autofocus, the focusing in the videos is slow and inaccurate.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Front-Facing Camera: Selfie Capturing Performance
Selfies are handled by an 8MP camera which is aided by an LED flash. The image quality is actually very good. Images are bright, sharp, and vivid. Thanks to the LED flash, low-light photos are also detailed and bright enough. The selfie camera does have a portrait mode, but it doesn’t always work properly since it’s assisted by software algorithms and not a hardware depth sensor for achieving background blur. While blurring the background, it also blurs the edges of hairs, which becomes quite evident. Nonetheless, the portrait mode is decent for a smartphone of this price range. Selfie lovers will have no complaints with the Samsung Galaxy J6.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Camera Review: Verdict
Due to the lack of a dual-camera setup, the Galaxy J6 misses out on the portrait mode. Well, that wasn’t a show stopper. The actual deal-breaker is the fact that the image quality from the primary camera is quite disappointing. Other smartphones in the same price range such as the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 (Review), Honor 9N (Review), Honor 9 Lite (Review), and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 do a far better job at capturing moments. You would be better off with those devices rather than the Samsung Galaxy J6 if image quality is your concern while buying a smartphone in this price range.