It’s impossible to ride two bikes at the same time and move without taking a tumbling hit. Unless you’re Ajay Devgan.
What I mean is that Samsung is catering to two ends of the spectrum in the smartphone market. The flagship and the budget segment. While the Galaxy S9 is sitting comfortably on our Top 10 list, the budget segment is somewhat a grey area for Samsung to grab a bite.
The J6 is not making any strides towards our list nor is it convincing enough to flip your pockets inside out. It’s not a bad smartphone, the problem is, it's not enough to convince us over the competition.
The polycarbonate unibody is not flashy like other expensive flagships or like the glass-back Moto G6. It isn’t bad either. I personally prefer this matte finish over glass because of how it feels while holding. Others in Stuff HQ love the mesmerising twinkle of glass back finishes and especially the light-reactive layer under the glass on Moto G6 which creates smooth S-shaped patterns across the rear.
The edges of the smartphone curve smoothly around the palm and the snappy fingerprint scanner sits under the single lens rear camera. It’s comfortable to reach as well.
Neat features like two SIM slots are always a blessing. Here you get one for a primary SIM and another for a secondary SIM and a MicroSD card so there’s no compromise on space and network possibilities.
The 720x1480 resolution is an odd number to see but that’s because of the elongated 18:5:9 screen ratio.
It’s a Super AMOLED display with good colour accuracy and great viewing angles. Honestly, it's packing that Samsung promise of delivering a quality screen. But even though this screen produces inky blacks and has an outdoor mode for super high brightness, that resolution can be slightly disappointing for some people.
Notches seem a bit absent on the budget side for now and the Samsung is no exclusive either. The 5.6in display is sized perfectly for the hand if you don’t want to lug around a 6in behemoth. Though we find it strange that the light sensor is absent here and everytime you sneak out of office for a quick tea break, the brightness needs to be adjusted manually.
Performance and battery
You get Android Oreo with Samsung Experience skin atop. It’s Samsung’s take on Android and it’s quite fiddle-friendly. Don’t like something? Chances are there’s a way to change it to your liking. That said, you’ll probably spend most of your time dumping Samsung bloatware into a folder to never use again.
The OS is closer to Samsung’s flagship experience too and this time it feels much more stable and battery efficient. During our daily use, the Exynos 7870 processor performed fairly good. It was snappy and could flip between apps really well. Although, if you’re looking for something closer to stock Android then the Moto G6 might be your calling.
The 3000mAh battery is exceptionally good, but that’s mostly due to a lower resolution screen. Watching the two hour long Baaghi 2 left enough juice in the phone to last more than half a day. However, when I was not watching Tiger Shroff break legs, it easily lasted an entire day. Maybe even went on till late at night when my use was limited to the usual run of social media apps, texting, a bit of PlayMusic and reading on the Kindle App.
There’s no USB Type-C here so you have good ol’ (read with sarcasm) Micro USB to charge the device. Fast charge is also absent here so overnight charging is the best option.
Samsung has decided to stick to a single lens rear camera when its competitors are plonking two in that spot. Even so, it's not half baked as you’d reckon. The rear camera was snapping wonders in bright light. I was surprised by the natural colours and detail under good lighting conditions. For a budget snapper, the rear 13MP camera gets a lot of things right.
Same can be said for the front 8MP camera as well. Selfies turned out nice and crisp while a front facing flash helps light up your face in a dimly lit pub. The bokeh effect on the front camera is a good feature to have as well.
However, low-light is a bit disappointing. The amount of light it picks up from low light conditions is poor. We were expecting a bit more detail in low-light shots given how well the day light pictures are. Even though low-light images came out darker than expected, noise reduction was kept in check.
The J6 is a brilliant smartphone but only if it was a bit cheaper. There’s a lot riding on Samsung to battle it out in the budget segment and the J6 is no messiah here.
That said, even if you bag this phone you won’t be disappointed by its quality, performance and snapping prowess. However, at the same price the Moto G6 offers a bit more. Primarily fast charge, a dual camera, a Full HD display and a much cleaner version of Android Oreo. All of which set a higher benchmark for smartphones in this category.
The Xiaomi Note 5 Pro is also a better specced option on paper, although we ain’t sure about its performance for now. We’ll have to review that one to bring you a proper comparison.