Samsung may have made a bang with the Galaxy S9, S9 Plus and their dual aperture capabilities, but the Korean tech-giant has been losing it's market share in India continuously in the past two quarters.
Chinese smartphone manufacturers like Xiaomi and Motorola have captured the budget segment by offering high end specs at lower prices while brands like Oppo and Vivo dominate the mid-range segment with selfie-centric offerings.
This year, Samsung had announced that they would be launching four budget phones targeting the largest demographic in India, the millennials. The Samsung Galaxy J6 is the cheapest of those four at Rs 13,990. The question is, is it worth it?
Samsung Galaxy J6 price and availability
Samsung's new budget smartphone comes in two variants. The 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM option costs Rs 16,400 while it's cheaper counterpart with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage is priced at Rs 13,990.
Online, the phone will be available exclusively through Flipkart once it goes on sale on May 23. Offline, the Samsung Galaxy J6 will available at all Samsung stores as well as their partner stores.
What we like so far
If you want a phone that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand without you having to strain your thumb, then this device is what you might’ve had in mind. The Samsung Galaxy J6 isn’t a phone that screams of a big screen or of a dual camera or even an iPhone X-type notch.
The neat, understated little device has a classy and compact build. And, despite its 5.6-inch size, doesn’t feel all that flimsy. You’d be tempted to call it durable if it wasn’t so obvious that the back is made from plastic.
All in all, it’s practical. Not too big, not too small while weighing just the right amount to seamlessly drop into your pocket.
Now, let’s talk about the phone’s ‘Infinity Display’. The Samsung Galaxy J6 boasts of a Super-AMOLED (S-AMOLED) display with a 720 x 1480 resolution. In the short time that we’ve had the phone, the colors are vivid and the contrast is on-point. It’s a flagship feature that you don’t normally see on a budget phone.
Also, audiophiles can breathe a sigh of relief. The 3.5mm jack made it on to the new handset. Your favorite pair of headphones can still be plugged in without investing in an adapter or a new wireless headset altogether.
Moving onto what’s on the phone, Samsung’s own user interface (UI) is layered on top of Android Oreo 8.0 and so far, the phone’s performance has been decent. It hasn’t shown any signs of lag or exhibited any frame drops.
You can get rid of all the clutter off the homescreen, with the handy app drawer feature in Samsung Experience 9.0. It’s actually quite similar to the app drawer you find on Stock Android phones, expect instead of a Google Search tab on top, there’s an app search bar instead.
Features that are yet to prove themselves
Under normal circumstances, the lack of USB Type-C port may have proven to be disappointing but considering that the Galaxy A6 Plus doesn’t feature the port either while being priced at Rs 25,990, it’s not altogether surprising.
Also, the budget smartphone houses an Exynos 7870 under the hood which is a, more or less, entry-level chipset. Though we hadn’t had the chance to test it extensively, it’s doubtful that the phone will be able to handle power intensive tasks too well. There might even be issues when playing graphic heavy games.
But at least the camera is awesome, right? Well… How much can you really expect from a 13MP lens? It performs decently enough under well-lit conditions but we really doubt how the phone would perform in low-light situations. There doesn’t seem to be any image stabilisation either, in-built or otherwise, which creates issues when trying to capture a moving target.
On the other hand, the 8MP front camera seems more capable. It’s color reproduction is accurate while allowing you to choose the level of beautification you want to apply. The latter option is vital to keep pictures from looking over processed.
Lastly, the phone has 3000mAh battery which should ideally provide enough juice for the phone to last a day. Under light usage, the phone’s actually managed to last 48 whole hours, but it was hardly used for anything more than making calls and sending messages. A intensive usage test will speak true of the battery’s real might.
Overall, the phone's build and it's screen are the only redeeming qualities. An S-AMOLED display is definitely a boon, but if it so happens that the Exynos 7870 can't handle heavy tasks, then there's a lot less to enjoy on that display.
Bells and whistles only make sense when the foundation of the phone is strong. And so far, the Galaxy J6 is all bells and whistles.