The latest member of the Galaxy J series is the first modern-looking smartphone in Samsung’s entry-level lineup
In an age where content is king, people want a phone that has a large screen, decent battery life, and a size that’s compact enough to fit in a pocket. If the Galaxy A6 (2018) is a bit too pricey, Samsung has a more affordable offering with the Galaxy J6. The latest model in the Galaxy J series has all three must-haves for a trendy smartphone in 2018, along with a Php 13,990 price tag—making it a few thousand pesos cheaper than the Galaxy A6 (2018).
Unfortunately, the Galaxy J6 doesn’t exist in a vacuum and is set for an uphill battle against several other phones set in the same price bracket. Does the Galaxy J6 have a spot in the lucrative mid-range segment?
What is it?
The Galaxy J6 is Samsung’s latest entry for the Galaxy J Series. A logical successor to last year’s Galaxy J7 Core, the Galaxy J6 is marketed as an entertainment-centric smartphone. To further strengthen its position, Samsung tapped Nadine Lustre as the endorser to the latest Galaxy J series phone.
Having Nadine as the phone’s endorser is logical, as the supposed target market of the Galaxy J6 includes young individuals who are a big fan of the multi-hyphenate actress.
How does it feel?
It is more streamlined compared to last year’s Galaxy J7 Core. Aside from having a polycarbonate unibody, the Galaxy J6 is the first model from the Galaxy J series to come with Samsung’s Infinity display and on-screen buttons.
The use of an Infinity display means that you get thinner bezels and more screen estate, resulting in a better experience especially in playing games or watching videos. While the resolution is a downer at HD+, it is sufficient enough for most multimedia needs. The switch to on-screen buttons makes the Galaxy J6 a trendy and stylish phone for young individuals.
Our review unit is the gold variant, and is resistant to fingerprint smudges, which is a plus for people who are a bit OC. Since it uses plastic instead of metal, the Galaxy J6 feels lighter compared to most phones in its price range. People may complain about the materials used for the phone’s body, but the Galaxy J6 does not feel cheap at all despite having a polycarbonate body.
The Galaxy J6 feels more compact than most, a good thing especially for those who prefer a smartphone that can easily slip into their jean pockets.
But it looks like the Galaxy A6 (2018)…
We definitely agree with that. We have the Galaxy A6 (2018) with us, and comparing the two makes us wonder why Samsung chose to use a similar aesthetic with the Galaxy J6.
They have similar button and port layouts too: you have your volume controls and SIM card trays on the left, power button and loudspeaker on the left, microUSB port, microphone, and headphone jack at the bottom, and a fingerprint scanner at the back.
Is it fast?
Not that much for 2018 standards. With newer processors like the Snapdragon 636 being prevalent in similarly priced phones in the market, the use of Samsung’s Exynos 7870 is a puzzling choice. While its internals (which include 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage) is sufficient for daily use, playing games with the Galaxy J6 is another story: You can still go on play games like PUBG Mobile, but you will need to bump down the graphical settings in order to enjoy stable and smooth gameplay.
One good thing about the Galaxy J6 is that it has a dedicated MicroSD tray in addition to the dual SIM tray, which is crucial for those who find the 32GB internal storage a bit too small for their needs.
How’s the rest of the phone?
Since it is closely similar to the Galaxy A6 (2018), you get almost the same suite of features for the Galaxy J6. You still have Dolby Atmos for a cinematic sound when using earphones, along with face unlock, fingerprint gestures for easier access to the notification panel, and Android Oreo.
Like the Galaxy A6 (2018), the Galaxy J6’s side mounted loudspeaker may be in an awkward position, but it makes sense when you use the phone in landscape mode. The audio output is decent, provided that you do not go beyond 70% of the maximum volume.
However, there are compromises made with the Galaxy J6. The fingerprint scanner is not as responsive as the one found on the Galaxy A6 (2018). In addition, it lacks a gyroscope and magnetometer. It also has no support for 5Ghz WiFi, which is a bummer if you want to enjoy faster data rates.
Are the cameras any good?
It’s quite so-so for 2018 standards. It has a 13-megapixel f/1.9 snapperis—the same one found on the Galaxy J7 Core—and an 8-megapixel f/1.9 snapper for the front camera.
The results are a mixed bag: while there are no questions with its performance in general daylight situations, the Galaxy J6 has a hard time balancing highlights and shadows in high-contrast situations, unless you shoot using HDR.
As for low light situations, camera performance dips, badly: Aside from the significant loss of detail in images, it is hard to get a blur-free shot unless 1) you use Pro mode and bump the ISO to 800, or 3) use a flash.
In general, you’ll have to maximize the Galaxy J6’s suite of camera features if you are raring for a great shot.
Can it last me the whole day?
Short answer? Yes. Considering you that the Galaxy J6 is using an HD+ panel, along with an old-yet-power-efficient Exynos 7870, its 300mAh can last at least a whole day on a full charge. The PCMark results we got mirror real-life usage: With a mix of social media, games, and web browsing, we managed to end the day with around 30% remaining on the Galaxy J6.
However, like the Galaxy A6 (2018), the Galaxy J6 does not have fast charging, which means you will have to wait for a while to top it up. It took us around two hours to fully charge the Galaxy J6 using a standard charger.
Should you buy it?
In all honesty, it’s hard to recommend the Galaxy J6, considering that it is almost similar to the more expensive Galaxy A6 (2018). While it may be a few thousand pesos cheaper at Php 13,990, you get a plastic build, downgraded cameras, and several hardware compromises on the Galaxy J6.
To make matters complicated, the aging hardware on the Galaxy J6 cannot match those found on the likes of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 5—both are cheaper than the Galaxy J6, offer newer and better internals, and come with a crisper Full HD+ display.
*Update: For the whole of July, the Galaxy J6 is Php 2,000 cheaper at Php 11,990.
Samsung Galaxy J6 Specs
- Exynos 7870 octa-core processor
- 3GB RAM
- 5.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity display
- 32GB of expandable storage (Up to 256GB)
- 13-megapixel f/1.9 rear camera with LED flash, PDAF
- 8-megapixel f/1.9 front camera with LED flash
- 3G, LTE
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
- GPS, A-GPS
- Fingerprint sensor, Face recognition, Dolby Atmos
- 3000mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo