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Review

Samsung Galaxy A6+ Review: A valiant effort, but consumers wish for more

Does the Galaxy A6+ manage to help Samsung take on its competitors? Let's find out in my review for the Samsung Galaxy A6+.

Samsung Galaxy A6+ (1)

Image credit: Rehan Hooda


Samsung Galaxy A6+ 3 5
BGR Rating :
3/5

Highlights

  • It comes with 6-inch Super AMOLED panel with FHD+ (2220x1080 pixels) resolution and 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

  • It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM, and 64GB expandable storage.

  • Samsung has added a 24-megapixel camera up front with a f/1.9 aperture with a dedicated LED flash for selfies.

Samsung India just launched one of its latest smartphone devices, the Samsung Galaxy A6+ in the market back in May. At the launch event, the company revealed its 2018 upgrades to the existing A series and J series. It also made clear its plan to take on the competition in the market with the help of an upgraded lineup. The company initially priced the Galaxy A6+ for Rs 25,990 while later reducing the price of the smartphone by Rs 2,000 to Rs 23,990.

With the price correction, Samsung India is keen on upping the pressure on its competition, hopes to attract users to its device lineup. I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018) for some time now, and here’s my review.

That humongous notch-less display

As soon as you take the A6+ from its box, you can’t help but notice its massive 6-inch display. It’s clear of a notch, but also lacks the near bezel-less design that’s the highlight of Samsung’s flagship devices the S9 and S9+.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Samsung does use the term “Infinity Display” – which was coined with the launch of Samsung Galaxy S8 – to describe the display on the A6+. On this device, you get a Super AMOLED panel with Full-HD+ resolution (2220×1080 pixels) and 18.5:9 aspect ratio.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

From a color reproducibility and the contrast level point-of-view, the screen is excellent. However, one area where Samsung can enhance user experience is by working on the ergonomics of the device, considering it offers such a large screen. Even with my comparatively large hands, it was a strain to reach the upper corners of the device with my thumb. Having said that, there are users who prefer a large screen for reading online.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Given the emerging trend in the industry, a near bezel-less display would have enhanced the offering of the device even further.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Besides this, Samsung has constructed a great smartphone with a metal back and a glass front that feels great to hold, and still maintains durability.

Performance and Samsung Experience UI

Under the hood, the Galaxy A6+ comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core chipset paired with 4GB of RAM, and 64GB expandable storage.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Now the device isn’t bad as such, but in a stiffly competitive market, competing products do offer impressive value for money with devices in the same price segment. In fact, you now can find similar hardware with devices below Rs 10,000 in the market.

In terms of performance, the device does seem sluggish while switching between multiple apps. That’s something one can live with had the device been priced at a lower segment, but considering its price of Rs 23,990, consumer expect much more.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

When you consider gaming performance, the device serves well for games such as Temple Run 2, but games such as Asphalt 8, and Modern Combat 5 throw up skipped frames. You would encounter that split second of a blank screen occasionally, when it redraws icons. Unfortunately, that’s enough to irk your gaming moment.

What did get me to notice the device, is that it didn’t heat up despite being pushed with heavy gaming sessions for hours together. It did get somewhat warm, but thanks to the all-metal back, heat is dissipated rather quickly.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Samsung has added the usual Android-based Experience UI with the A6+ along with a number of in-house apps such as the Themes app, App store and Samsung Mall in addition to the usual Samsung apps. The device also offers its Samsung Pay Mini that comes bundled along, but considering it doesn’t support NFC, the experience isn’t as impressive as that on the company’s flagship devices that offer wave to pay at a POS outlet. There’s also Bixby, Samsung’s assistant, but I personally prefer Google Assistant for any addressable tasks I may have. Despite carrying out optimization within Experience UI, there’s much to be desired.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Camera

Just in pure specifications, the smartphone is equipped with a rear dual-camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.7 aperture, and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor with f/1.9 aperture.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Samsung has added a 24-megapixel camera up front with a f/1.9 aperture with a dedicated LED flash for selfies. Moving to the camera software, the company has added a number of options in the camera software, some of which are meaningful for the users.

 

 

 

 

 

I wish Samsung further optimizes the experience to make it more user-friendly. The current UI can comes across as convoluted. But then, that could be the case due to my preference for a more vanilla experience. Subtle aspects include switching between  shooting modes on the camera. Ideally, it would help to simply swipe between photos and video. On the contrary, you need to switch to ‘Bixby Vision’ visual search inside the camera UI.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Talking about image quality, the device managed to take good images in proper light with good color reproduction, contrast, and sharpness. The device does fall short in dynamic range with blown out regions in the image. Low-light camera performance will need some attention to make this device a viable alternative to competition.

Battery

With a 3,500mAh battery, Samsung ensures that the device lasts you through a complete working day. It is likely that this is because of the power-efficient Full-HD+ Super AMOLED screen along with the low-clocked processor that is helping with the good battery backup. My typical use of the device involved 1-1.5 hours of gaming, close of 2 hours of music, taking about 15-20 photos, while continuously synching 3 email accounts, and constant chatter on WhatsApp and Telegram throughout the day. Despite this, the device offered me a little under 8 hours on a single charge.

Verdict: Is Samsung Galaxy A6+ worth the money?

The Samsung Galaxy A6+ sells for Rs 23,990. The price is consistent across its own online store, on Amazon India as well as offline stores.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

Nonetheless, here is my problem with the A6+. There’s a fair bit of difficulty in recommending the device, and while it has an impressive build quality, display, and even battery going for it, the innards need more firepower to take on what the competition offers. In addition, the camera could also do with some further optimization.

Image credit: Rehan Hooda

In conclusion, it makes sense to prefer the Galaxy A6+ if you have a high level of affinity for brand Samsung. Besides that, alternatives such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Note 5 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Moto G6, and the recently launched Huawei Nova 3i, are examples of aggressive value for money products currently available in the market.

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Samsung Galaxy A6+

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  • Published Date: July 27, 2018 11:25 AM IST