So far, the entry-level smartphones from Samsung are infamously known for sluggish performance, cheap build quality, and a shorter battery life. Hence, the people who know even a bit about smartphones never buy an entry-level Samsung device. Which is why, the major market share of these smartphones is usually found in the tier-three cities, where people are not aware of newer and better-performing smartphones from other brands.
However, thanks to the recent internet accessibility drive after the entry of Reliance Jio in the telecom market, people even in tier-three cities are now getting aware of the new technology and the new smartphones. Hence, even they are preferring smartphones from brands like ASUS, Honor, and Xiaomi over phones from Samsung as they offer better performance and excellent value for money. Therefore, sales of Samsung smartphones have been dropping significantly. It is now time for Samsung to correct its act and improve its smartphones to keep up in the race. The South Korean brand is trying to do so with its new entry-level devices. The Galaxy J6 is one such new smartphone from the company, and it was launched in India alongside the Galaxy J8.
The Samsung Galaxy J6 starts at Rs. 12,999 for the 32GB storage variant and goes up to Rs. 14,999 for the 64GB storage variant. It is the first entry-level smartphone from the company in India to feature a bezel-less display. The smartphone also has Android 8.0 Oreo, Samsung’s new Experience UI 9.0 user interface, a metal body, a fingerprint scanner, and an octa-core processor. Is the Galaxy J6 worth buying? Or is it still a typical sluggish Samsung smartphone? Here is what I think after using the device for a couple of weeks.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Review: Design & Build Quality
Stepping-up from the plastic build, Samsung has used metal for the construction of the Galaxy J6’s body. The device feels solid. During my review, I accidentally dropped the device a couple of times, but the device survived the drops with any dents on it. The design of the device isn’t very attractive, though, mainly because it doesn’t come with a glass back unlike many recent smartphones. The volume buttons are placed higher than where they should be, making it a tad harder to reach. The placement of the loudspeaker is also not very well thought – it is placed on the right side of the device. Hence, while you are holding the device in the landscape position, you’ll end up covering it with your fingers, which will result in a muffled sound. Samsung has definitely stepped up, but it still needs to improve its design.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Review: Display
As I mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy J6 comes with a bezel-less display. However, the bezels aren’t as thin as they are on other competing smartphones like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 or the Huawei Honor 9 Lite. The display itself is a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED unit. Being an AMOLED display, it has good visibility outdoors and a vivid colour reproduction, which is on par with the device in its price range.
The resolution of the screen is a major concern though; it has HD+ resolution, which is inadequate for its size, and also quite unusual for a smartphone of this price as every other competing smartphone has a Full-HD display. Due to the lower resolution, the content on display looks pixelated, making it unpleasing to watch.
Another major issue with the display is the lack of automatic brightness, which is a shame for a smartphone of this price. Due to the lack of automatic brightness, you’ll have to set the brightness manually, which can become frustrating at times. Apart from these two major let-downs, the display also has issues with its black levels, colour saturation, and gamma levels. To know more about them, you can read our in-depth look at the Galaxy J6’s display.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Review: Camera
Unlike the other smartphones priced under Rs. 15,000, which come with dual-cameras, the Galaxy J6 only gets a single camera at the rear. Due to the lack of the dual-camera setup, there is no portrait mode. The camera also lacks the phase-detection autofocus – it uses the older contrast-detection autofocus, due to which the camera is slow to focus while taking pictures and even while recording videos.
Images captured with the Galaxy J6 in daylight conditions appear dull as the camera fails to capture enough amount of light. The colour reproduction is vibrant, but sometimes the highlights are blown-out, especially in macro images. The camera captures a decent amount of details, but for the price, it should have been better. The dynamic range is also poor, due to which, there is a significant loss of details in highlights and shadows. As for the low-light images, they contain a substantial amount of noise, lens flare, and purple fringing. The images captured using the Galaxy J6 in such conditions are low on details.
The secondary camera of the Galaxy J6 is an 8MP unit, and it does a very good job in daylight as well as indoors. The images come out sharp, vibrant, and detailed. Thanks to the LED flash, the lowlight selfies come out bright. The selfie camera also has a portrait mode, which doesn’t work very well, but it is decent for a smartphone of its price.
Though the selfie camera of the Galaxy J6 is good enough, its primary camera performance is very poor, and far behind from its competitors like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Xiaomi Mi A2, and the Huawei Honor 9 Lite. If you are one who uses the primary camera most, then you’ll be quite disappointed with the Samsung Galaxy J6.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Review: Performance
The Samsung Galaxy J6 features an octa-core Exynos 7870 chipset, and the device is available in 3GB and 4GB RAM variants. The Exynos 7870 packs significantly less power than the processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, both of which are generally found in smartphones priced under Rs. 15,000. Due to lack of enough processing power, the Galaxy J6 is slow and sluggish. The device takes a lot of time to open applications, and it also stutters during multitasking. Due to weaker GPU, it can not properly run graphics-intensive game titles. The storage of the device is also very slow, which further adds to the sluggish performance.
The device comes loaded with Android 8.1 Oreo wrapped under Samsung’s Experience UI 9.0. This UI customisation from Samsung looks very polished, beautiful, and futuristic. The UI also has tons of features over the stock Android UI. However, my favourite is the Secure Folder, where you can hide files and applications. These files and applications can be secured and accessed with fingerprint authentication. The UI of the Samsung Galaxy J6 is undoubtedly the best in its class.
The Samsung Galaxy J6 comes with dual-SIM card slot that support 4G LTE and VoLTE. However, only one SIM card can work on the 4G network at a time. The cellular connectivity on the device is excellent, and there are no issues with its network reception. The earpiece and microphone of the device also do a pretty good job – people on either side of the call can hear properly. Although the device has issues with Wi-Fi, it has a very slow speed; therefore, downloading apps and other items take up a lot of time.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Review: Battery Life
The device comes with a 3000mAh battery, which is significantly smaller than what its competitors have. On top of that, it doesn’t even come with fast charging. During the review period, I got around 24 hours of battery backup, with about 3 hours of screen-on time – this is not impressive but gets the job done if you’re a light smartphone user. If you are a power user, the Galaxy J6 is definitely not the one for you.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Review: Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy J6 is a better device compared to older, entry-level smartphones from the company. It now packs better features, which its predecessors didn’t. However, since we’re not living under the rock here, comparing the Samsung Galaxy J6 with the other smartphones in the price range like the ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1 (Review), Honor 9 Lite (Review) and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) makes it a bad value for the money. Other similarly priced smartphones offer significantly better display, camera, and performance than the Samsung Galaxy J6. The Galaxy J6 doesn’t even come close to the smartphones that are almost 30% cheaper. Here is my expert opinion – please don’t buy it. There are many better smartphones out there which you can buy for the same or even lower price.
Samsung Galaxy J6₹12,999
Design and Build Quality7.5/10
Value for Money5.0/10
What Is Good?
- Solid build quality
- Excellent selfie camera
- Best UI in its class
What Is Bad?
- Low-resolution display
- Below par primary camera performance
- Slow and sluggish performance
- Average battery backup
- Overly priced