In an attempt to withstand the competition from Chinese players in the smartphone industry, Samsung has been aggressively refreshing its mid-range lineup with new surprises and has recently launched the Galaxy J6+, an upgrade to the already existing J6 lineup.
The phone is priced at Rs. 33,000 in Pakistan and comes in a variety of colors including Black, Red, Gray, and Blue.
It seems as if Samsung feels compelled in pushing such new phones in the market or else it may lose its ground to the more competitively priced phones from Chinese brands like Huawei, Oppo, and Others.
Let’s find out in our real life review whether the J6+ is convincing enough to make its place in the densely crowded market of mid-tier phones.
Since the phone released in 2018, we were expecting to carry the same design language we earlier saw in the likes of Nokia 6.1 Plus or at least the much cheaper phones like Huawei Y7 Prime 2018, but we see an apparently cheap plastic build on the device, which is honestly not quite impressive.
One look at the phone and you might think to yourself “I am not buying that in 2018”. Adding to the plastic injury is the cheap finish of the plastic frame. We were honestly expecting more of Samsung.
On the back, a vertical dual camera setup resides along with the flash and a Samsung logo in the center. On the right side, you get only a power button. In contrast with the glossy look of the frame, the button comes in matt finish and also acts as the fingerprint reader.
We honestly don’t know why Samsung experimented with such a weird placement. I, personally, was unable to reach the fingerprint scanner with my thumb, in the way I usually hold the phone. You might need to adjust the way you hold your phone to access the sensor easily. More horrendously, it would be a nightmare for left-handed people. Other than the fingerprint scanner, you get a speaker on the right side of the phone.
On the left side, you get a volume buttons separated by a space and on the lower portion of the phone, two SIM trays, one of which only sport a SIM while the other has a slot for microSD card along with SIM 2 slot.
The phone is too big and thick to manage with one hand which makes the volume rocker and the power button substantially out of proportion in placement.back to menu ↑
The screen on the Galaxy J6+ measures 6-inches with a resolution of 720 x 1480 pixels. The device doesn’t pack the AMOLED panel like the more expensive phones from Samsung. Its an IPS LCD panel with 18.5:9 aspect ratio.
For some reason, Samsung decided to call this display and all others in its midrange devices as the infinity display even though it doesn’t curve from the sides and even more irritating are the huge bezels on the sides, bottom, and top of the screen.
Don’t get us wrong, the screen looks vibrant and vivid but suffers regarding sharpness, and that is evidently because of the low resolution. The J6+ comes in a price segment where you can easily get phones with higher screen resolution at the same price as the P20 Lite or the Oppo F7 Youth.
On the positive side, both phones’ screens were quite good for watching videos on. They’re bright enough to use under sunlight, and colors do pop nicely. Even in direct sunlight, the videos are punchy and quite popping.
Samsung Experience, previously known as the TouchWiz, is the custom overlay that comes on top of Android 8.1.0 on the phone. A pretty infamous skin for its excessive bloatware and unwanted apps, the Experience has transformed itself into a minimalist software over a period of time.
Almost every other manufacturer is going from densely congested skin towards a subtle and stock Android like experience which not only looks clean but is also less heavy on the phone’s resources as compared to the app-packed skins.
The Experience 9.5 also has a Game mode that provides you with extra features. However, the most unusual thing was that we were not able to locate Asphalt 9 game even after extensive search on the Play store. It seemed like the game was blocked from being installed to this phone by the company.
A secure folder is also present like the one we usually see in Huawei phone as the ‘Safe.’ You can put your important files here and secure them with a lock. Other than that, the software is heavily customizable. From icon packs to wallpapers and fonts, you can find everything that will transform your phone screen’s look into something different entirely.
Apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and social media apps such as Facebook and LinkedIn were already installed on the phone and the most annoying thing is that you can’t uninstall them which is totally crazy because Android is all about giving you control over your device and in this case you just have to keep these apps whether or not you want to.
Samsung has its own version of mobile assistant known as Bixby. Personally, I would prefer Google Assistant any day. The AI on Bixby has much room for improvement along with its integration to different platforms.back to menu ↑
Performance & Battery
The Galaxy J6+ packs a Snapdragon 425 chipset. Adreno 308 GPU backs up the processor for graphics processing. A RAM of 3GB along with 32 GB internal memory sits in the heart of the phone.
Sadly the said spec sheet is not enough to justify the price of the phone. Other phones like the P20 Lite and even the last year’s Mate 10 Lite had better chipset than the J6+.
Our real-life tests prove that the phone is nothing more than a failed attempt from Samsung to infiltrate the midrange market. The above-stated specs are that of lower mid-range phones that come at half the price of Galaxy J6+.
Its real-life performance, our rhetoric is justified, as the phone performs below average in our tests. Even at completing the setup for our new unit, the phone started to experience lag and it got gradually worse after stuffing up the memory.
Though our moderate usage tests mainly include calling, texting, browsing social media and snapping a shot or two via camera, the phone showed not only traces of lag but responded slowly to touches.
Snapdragon 400 series processors are not generally capable of extreme gaming and resource-intensive usage and can show significant hiccups. That’s what exactly happened with the Galaxy J6+. Opening 2 heavy games simultaneously in the background along with a number of other apps choked the phone and in response, we had to wait for almost 5 minutes for the game deer hunter to load and run.
RAM management is poor on the phone which results in apps restarting when you multitask, especially the games. The quality of the side-firing speaker on the phone was noticeably average, though we have seen better singly firing speakers on Huawei phones.
On 1 hour of moderate usage, the phone ate up 16% juice despite not being warm due to usage. Heavy usage is where the battery consumption got out of the proportion. Galaxy J6+ consumed 25% battery in 1 hour of extensive usage that included heavy gaming and multitasking between different social media and video playing apps.
All the tests were performed on 4G LTE connection while both the SIM cards were utilised on the phone.back to menu ↑
Galaxy J6+ comes with a 13MP + 5MP dual camera setup on its back. The main 13MP sensor is a 28 mm wide angle lens while the second lens is a depth sensor. On the front, you get an 8MP lens with f/1.9 aperture.
The camera app is somewhat complicated and non-friendly. If you want to toggle the HDR, you’ll have to go to the settings.
However, the camera grabs some great shots in bright outdoors with good detailing and colors, while the low-light shots were a mixed bag. The color reproduction in outdoor pictures was close to natural but in some scenarios looks washed away.
Thankfully, there was no automatic beauty filter or enhancement feature at work here that make the pictures look artificial. The HDR clearly makes a difference in pictures and pops out highlights in the pictures. The best part about Galaxy J6+ camera is capturing the details.
With a low light scenario, there is a noticeable loss in detail in the pictures, however, at this price, we can’t expect the camera to produce a flagship camera performance.back to menu ↑
Galaxy J6+ is a mixed bag of compromised choices and sacrifices. If you opt the phone for its camera, you’ll have to bear with the mediocre display and if you buy this phone for its screen size, you’ll definitely have to compromise on the sheer heft of the phone.
All in all, though Samsung wanted to make a splash in the mid-range category, we really think that the J6+ is not the right kind of offering that can turn heads around especially when Samsung is up against the likes of Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi, brands that use mid-range segment as their major tool to capture maximum market share.
Check out our review of the latest Galaxy J6+ from Samsung to get a better idea of whether the phone can make a breakthrough in the mid-range market
- Good camera
- Big screen size
- Refined software
- Mediocre display
- Awkward placement of fingerprint scanner for left-handed people
- Too much bulky
- Poor value for money
- Plastic build feels cheap