The Galaxy A6+ has a neat metal body, a great 18.5:9 display, and a promising camera, but is powered by an underwhelming Snapdragon 450 chipset. What's up?
The Samsung Galaxy A6+ launched in May along with its smaller sibling, the Samsung Galaxy A6, as a replacement for a couple of the previous generation of Galaxy A-series and J-series smartphones. The device looked clean and shiny in the hand as soon as I unboxed it. Its metal unibody construction became apparent within the first minute of holding it. As the phone booted for the first time, I set it aside on the table and took a closer look at the back of the box it was shipped in. Most of the specifications looked impressive, while one particular detail made me raise an eyebrow sharply.
The display is a 6-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED unit with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. The camera setup consists of a 16-megapixel sensor combined with a 5-megapixel sensor on the back, and an unexpectedly large 24-megapixel sensor in the front. Both sides have a camera flash. The phone’s price is Rs 25,990. Now the eyebrow-raising detail is the engine under its bonnet—powering the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset with an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. Samsung could’ve done with a higher-end chipset, but time will tell if it’s any good. Storage is in plenty as it offers 64GB of internal space and a microSD card slot for expansion.
Display: A Bright Super AMOLED Unit
The display on the Samsung Galaxy A6+, with a healthy resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels, looked crisp, bright, and colourful. Text in all the screens I opened looked pleasing to the eyes. The lock screen had Always On Display turned on by default, a feature that displays notification icons and the clock all the time, even when the phone is locked. It’s a battery-friendly feature that capitalises on the Super AMOLED display’s ability to power on individual pixels. Though the feature has been around for a while now, ever since Samsung's TouchWiz user interface evolved to Samsung Experience one and a half years ago in fact, it's the first time I got to experience some of its new features first-hand. Maximum viewing angles seemed quite wide horizontally and vertically.
'Always On Display' is turned on by default
Camera and Battery: Seems Promising
I found the interface of the default camera app from Samsung easy to use. The shutter button was quick to react and doubled up as a slider for zooming in and out. The Live Focus mode had an adjustment slider for the degree of background blur in Bokeh shots, which seemed to work seemingly without flaws in the first few shots. Time will telll how accurate the blurring is around objects. The Stickers mode allowed me to grow dog paws and a long tongue or don a hat and sunglasses virtually. There was also a Bixby Vision mode, which said it would let me find information online of the object viewed on the viewfinder screen. A review of the A6+ should put that to the test. The 3500mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy A6+ drained at a respectably slow pace when I used it for navigation. With Google Maps running continuously, the brightness turned up nearly halfway, WiFi turned on, and Bluetooth turned off, the battery indicator dipped from 67 percent to 51 percent in a period of ninety minutes.
Stickers mode in the camera brought out the humourist in me
If we forget the Samsung Galaxy A6+’s seemingly steep price of Rs 25,990 for just a minute, the new smartphone comes across as classy and capable. It differs from the smaller Galaxy A6 in that it employs not the usual Exynos chipset, but rather a Qualcomm Snapdragon unit. That said, the model used in it is the Snapdragon 450, which, on a phone of this price range is a little depressing. The coming days will tell if everything else the Samsung phone offers adds up to its final price.
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