Samsung Galaxy A6+ Review
Samsung just launched their latest Galaxy A duo, the Galaxy A6 and A6+, in the Philippines about a week ago. One sits in a tight spot while the other is in a very dangerous position. What we’re taking a look at today is the one in danger, the Galaxy A6+. How so? Find out in our full review!
Design and Construction
The Samsung Galaxy A6+ retains much of the design of its smaller sibling except for the added secondary rear camera and bigger frame. The back panel still has that distinct top and bottom antenna bands that add to the appeal of the device. Overall, it’s a simple yet somewhat stylish looking phone.
Despite the 6.0-inch display, the entire frame of the Galaxy A6+ is actually smaller. Not to mention, it’s relatively slim and lightweight, making it a little easier to hold and store. The overall finish though makes it quite slippery, so handle it with care or simply buy a case for better grip. Thankfully, it feels solid and well-built enough to maybe take a few drops and hits, not that we recommend you to.
The button placements of the Galaxy A6+ are actually pretty weird and takes a little bit of time to get used to. Although once accustomed, you’ll feel that it’s actually logically placed and easy to reach.
We also get two separate slots — one for the SIM 1 tray and the other for the SIM 2 and the microSD tray. We can definitely see the convenience in the long run, especially for those who swap SIMS or SD cards a lot.
Another weird placement for the phone is its speakers. Instead of having it below or at the back, Samsung decided to place it on the right. We don’t know if they wanted to lessen the clutter at the bottom or leave the top free of a 3.5mm audio port. Either way, it didn’t affect our audio experience all that much. The source of the sound though feels weird.
Another nuisance we encountered was the size and position of the fingerprint scanner. While the added function is quite useful, more on that later, the placement makes it hard to reach for those with small hands. It’s situated a little higher than we wanted and will require a bit of effort and grip adjustment to reach. It also doesn’t help that it’s kind of rectangular instead of circular or blocky.
Sadly, the Galaxy A6+ still uses a microUSB port, which is a bummer. Especially at this price point where most of its competitors already have devices with USB Type-Cs.
Display and Multimedia
The device sports a 6.0-inch Full HD+ 18.5:9 Super AMOLED display. The screen itself is vivid and has punchy colors and deep contrast. The screen real estate and viewing angles are also more than enough to provide a good viewing experience. Outdoor operations won’t be that much of a problem either as screen brightness is more than enough. Direct sunlight though will hamper operations.
As for audio, the Dolby Atmos certified speaker did not disappoint. Highs and mids are great and lows are a bit present although lacking. Still the overall quality is good. It can also reach high volumes without much distortion or loss in clarity. It’s a perfect little speaker that can provide enough sound to a small room.
The Galaxy A6+ is equipped with a dual 16MP + 5MP rear camera setup and a single 24MP front. By the looks of it, Samsung wanted to give more emphasis on selfies. As for features, the rear duo has Auto, Pro, Panorama, Continuous shot, Night, Sports, Sound and Shot, Live Focus, a set of filters, Beautification, and Bixby Vision. The front, on the other hand, has single Selfie, Wide Selfie, Sound and Shot, Selfie Focus, Beautification, a set of filters, and Bixby Vision.
Rear shots are quite impressive in the right conditions. Daylight images have enough detail, vivid colors, and sharpness. Color reproduction and accuracy are also on point and exposure is well maintained. Night shots too, are acceptable, with little noticeable grain and noise. Although quality takes a hit and some details are now either blurred or lacking. Overall, it’s still a respectable set of cameras that can take great photos in the right conditions.
The front shooter is also quite impressive, selfies are clear, have good detail, color reproduction, and accuracy. Night time selfies are acceptable at the right angle and area, though strong light sources will overexpose the image. The LED flash also provides sufficient and controlled lighting. It will be more than enough for social media uploads and even group selfies.
Videos max out at 1080p, 30fps in MP4 format. Quality is just average with enough details, though colors are a bit washed out and autofocus is jittery. Audio pickup is good but the mic is very sensitive, so take care when taking videos as even the slightest brush of your fingers on the sides will be picked up.
OS, UI, Apps, and Storage
Like it’s smaller A6 sibling, the Galaxy A6+ runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung’s Experience UI, the operating system found on their more prominent flagships. It’s clean, fluid, and easy to use though it leaves the impression that it has more power under the hood, which sadly, it does not.
We get a few nifty features like One-hand operation, Game management, Multi-window, and Pop-up window. Including the added function of the fingerprint scanner we mentioned earlier, which is doubling as a gesture for the notification panel. The navigation bar can also be locked in place or hidden by pressing the leftmost dot and of course, we have the Always-on display and Bixby.
We have quite a set of pre-installed apps including a few homebrew and some Microsoft programs. Most of the pre-installed apps can be uninstalled, except for a few homebrews and, surprisingly, the Microsoft apps. Pair those with Google’s own apps and the system files and you’ll be left with about 24.2GB of usable space out of the initial 32GB.
Performance and Benchmarks
Sadly, this is where it turns downhill for the Galaxy A6+ as it comes equipped with the budget Snapdragon 450 chipset. While not a shabby performer, it’s in a territory and price point where other devices are usually equipped with an SD600 series. We’re actually a bit baffled with Samsung’s choice here, they could’ve easily gone for a better chipset, including their own mid-range Exynos chips. Either way, mundane tasks like browsing, social media consumption, and home screen navigation are smooth.
Multitasking won’t be a problem either thanks to the plentiful 4GB RAM. It becomes a different story though when it comes to heavy tasks such as gaming and intense multitasking. Light to moderate games like Candy Crush, Zombie Tsunami, and Mobile Legends are easily playable with little frame drops. However, more demanding games like Tekken, Asphalt 8: Airborne, PUBG Mobile and Iron Blade will put the device to its knees. See benchmark results below.
|3D Mark||-804 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1)
-395 (SSE – Vulkan)
|Geekbench 4.2||-751 (Single-Core)
|PC Mark||-4,488 (Work 2.0)|
|AndroBench||-300.12 MB/s (Sequential Read)
-108.79 MB/s (Sequential Write)
Call Quality, Connectivity, and Battery Life
The Galaxy A6+ has quite the set of connectivity features as it has WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC, and OTG. Call quality and signal reception are good, as long as you are in a serviceable area. GPS is also accurate and we had no problems with apps like Waze or Grab.
The device is rocking a 3,500mAh battery, which is quite average nowadays. Battery life is not that bad, considering the capacity. It lasts us about a day or a day and a half in light to moderate usage and about half a day in heavier tasks. PC Mark rates the device at 11 Hours and 3 Mins while in our standard video loop test (Playing a 1080p MP4 video in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and 50% volume with earphones plugged in) it lasted a good 17 Hours and 23 Mins, which is quite an impressive number.
So, does the Samsung Galaxy A6+ have more to it than it meets the eye? Well, you could say yes. It is an oddball of a device though — priced at the mid-range segment yet equipped with a budget chipset. Performance is not that bad but for the price you’re paying for, you’ll be left wanting more. Then again, if you can get past that bump, you’ll be left with an elegantly crafted device that has impressive speakers, cameras, and features. Question is, are those advantages enough for the Galaxy A6+ to pry consumers away from more powerful competitors?
The Samsung Galaxy A6+ will be available next month, June 9th, with a price tag of Php 22,990.
Samsung Galaxy A6+
|Specification||Samsung Galaxy A6+|
|Display||6-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2220) 18.5:9 Super AMOLED display|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 1.8GHz octa-core CPU|
|Storage||microSD up to 256GB|
|Rear Camera||16MP AF F1.7 + 5MP FF F1.9 rear cameras w/ LED flash|
|Front Camera||24MP FF F1.9 front camera|
|Connectivity||4G LTE Cat.6, 2CA|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4/5GHz)|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.2 LE, ANT+|
|GPS||GPS, Glonass, BeiDou|
|NFC||NFC (vary by country)|
|Audio||Speakers w/ Dolby Atmos|
|OS||Android 8.0 Oreo|
|Dimension||160.2 x 75.7 x 7.9 mm|
|Color||Black, Gold, Blue, Lavender|
What we liked:
- Immersive speakers
- Good display
- Impressive Cameras
- Stylish design
- Abundant features
- Acceptable battery life
What we didn’t like:
- Slippery finish
- Low performance for the price
- Hard to reach fingerprint scanner
- microUSB port