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 Plus, an upgrade to the already existing J6 lineup.
The phone’s launch price is PKR. 33,000 in Pakistan, and it comes in a variety of colors, including Black, Red, Gray, and Blue.
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.
Galaxy J6 Plus specs
- Display: 6 inches
- OS: Android 8.1 Oreo, One UI
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
- RAM/ROM: 3GB/32GB
- Camera (rear): 13 + 5MP
- Camera (front): 8MP
- Battery: 3300 mAh
Design and Display
Samsung Galaxy J6 Plus is a good looking smartphone, but at the same time, it pales in comparison with the likes of Nokia 6.1 Plus or the much cheaper phones like Huawei Y7 Prime 2018.
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 which comes in a matte finish and also acts as the fingerprint reader.
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, and you will need to employ both hands to operate this device.
The Galaxy J6+ comes with 6-inches of IPS LCD display with a resolution of only 720 x 1480 pixels, which is quite disappointing given the price of the smartphone. Many other phones like P20 Lite or the Oppo F7 Youth in the same price segment offer 1080p screen resolution, which makes Galaxy J6+ a rather unattractive device.
Despite the lower resolution, the screen looks vibrant and vivid but lacks sharpness. On the positive side, the phone’s screen is bright enough to use under sunlight, and colors do pop nicely. Even in direct sunlight, the videos are punchy and easily visible.
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 while.
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.
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 games even after an extensive search on the Play store. It seemed like the game was blocked from being installed on this phone by the company.
A secure folder is also present like the one we usually see in Huawei’s 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 crazy. Android is all about giving you control over your device, and in this case, you have to keep these apps on whether or not you want to.
Samsung has its own version of the 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.
Performance and Battery
The Galaxy J6 Plus 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 Plus. Opening 2 heavy games simultaneously in the background along with several 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 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 a 4G LTE connection, while both the SIM cards were utilized on the phone.
Galaxy J6+ comes with a 13MP + 5MP dual-camera setup on its back. The primary 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 nature, but in some scenarios, it 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 photos and pops out highlights in the images. The best part about Galaxy J6 Plus 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.
Galaxy J6+ is a mixed bag of compromised choices and sacrifices. If you opt for 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.