Samsung released the A-series as a strict competitor to mid-level smartphones from other brands. While we are very aware of the high price point of this series, Samsung commits that these mid-level smartphones can easily deliver what consumers want. One good example is the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018). Although it looks very much the same as its older brother, the Galaxy A8, the A6 is far from the latter in terms of the spec sheet. This is our review of the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018).
The Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) looks pretty much the same from the previous one but a lot thinner at only 7.7mm due to the use of aluminum instead of glass at the back portion of the device. It still has a solid build and the materials used are absolutely top-notch.
At the right side, the deep speaker grill can be located along with the power button. While at the left, you’ll find the volume rockers. The buttons are hard and palpable but clicky at the same time which is definitely a good thing.
For the back portion, the camera and fingerprint layout is exactly the same on the Galaxy A8. The 16-megapixel camera and fingerprint scanner are housed in a rectangular module with rounded edges. The prominent antenna lines at the top and bottom can also be seen here which is a good feature for some but not for me.
Now, let’s talk about the most important part of a smartphone: the display. We all have seen Samsung’s recent unveiling of top of the line resolutions on a smartphone. But not on this one.
Samsung Galaxy A6’s resolution is only at 1480 x 720 (HD+) which is actually quite a bummer. With this kind of pricing, we were expecting at least Full HD+ on its resolution. At the very least, this Super AMOLED screen still exhibits rich colors and good details. The Galaxy A6 also uses the same display ratio of the Galaxy A8 which is 18.5:9. The pixel density on this device is 294 dpi.
With this type of resolution, our eyes can get used to this until it reaches its sweet spot of comfortability. At daylight, the screen remains readable but users fond of screen technologies will definitely find this unappealing.
We spent some time on the Samsung Galaxy A6 and we can conclude that the A6 performs as expected from a mid-range smartphone. The processor – an Exynos 7870 (Octa-core), is in fact the best processor for this range. Pairing it with 3GB of RAM, the Galaxy A6 is decent in multi-tasking.
AnTuTu Benchmark: 63,360 points and GeekBench: Single-core: 726 points, Multi-core: 3646 points
Other than that, the Galaxy A6 also performs good on the graphics-intensive games like PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Asphalt 9. On this part, I haven’t experienced any lags on these games especially on the PUBG Mobile in which I played it on medium graphics settings. The 3,000 mAh battery included lasts for at least a day with gaming and web surfing and a day and a half for with more on idle time and surfing.
One of the features adapted from its older brother is the Face Unlock. It is very responsive when the subject is well lit but can be slow to respond in low light. With this kind of behavior of this feature, I often use the fingerprint scanner which is a lot faster than the Face Unlock.
The main difference of the more expensive Galaxy A6+ and the Galaxy A6 is that the latter only uses single rear 16-megapixel camera which is actually enough in taking shots. This rear camera provides good detail and sharpness on the subject but color accuracy doesn’t work sometimes but still bearable. Unfortunately, Samsung didn’t provide any Live Focus on the Galaxy A6 and software bokeh isn’t that accurate in blurring the background.
The front facing camera has feature called Selfie Focus. This mode adds a bokeh effect on the subject and performs better than the rear camera but still shows noticeable pixelation.
Software and User Interface (UI)
The A6 runs on the well-created Samsung Experience UI Version 9 on top of Android 8.0 Oreo. The experience is like holding one of the top of the line devices from Samsung enclosed in the body of Galaxy A6. This UI still looks very colorful with minimalism on the side. Plus, it also adapts features such as the game launcher which prevent you from getting notifications while in-game and you can also login to a second account on a specific social media app.
One bonus feature for the A6 is Bixby, minus the dedicated button. There’s also Bixby Vision which works very well on searching information based on where you’re pointing the camera.