‘A’s and ‘J’s, unite! We have for review the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) which takes the A8’s camera and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and fits them in a J5 (2017)-like aluminum body. Mind you, there’s also the J6 (no year) which is a lot like the A6 (2018), but minus the A’s cameras and with a plastic body. As if Samsung’s lineup could get any more confusing.
Straight out of the J-series comes the chipset – Samsung’s own Exynos 7870 which we really liked for its power efficiency all the way back when it was introduced with the J7 (2016). Hint, hint – it is a bit old. The base model comes with a pretty adequate 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage, though a higher-specced 4GB/64GB version is also available in some places. There’s a microSD slot too – a dedicated one regardless of SIM count.
The A8 (2018) lends its primary camera – the 16MP f/1.7 shooter replaces the J5 (2017)’s 13MP one. Same thing on the front – 16MP f/1.9 selfie cam is lifted off the A8 (2018), only there it was joined by a secondary 5MP module for depth detection. No such thing here, though, just the 16MP camera. And a flash, there’s a front facing flash.
There’s also a front-facing display – a rather orthodox arrangement. It’s a 5.6-inch SuperAMOLED panel, just like on the A8 (2018). Oh, but it isn’t – while the one on the A8 has a 1080p resolution, the A6 gets 720p, in a tall 18.5:9 aspect, of course.
Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) specs
Body: Aluminum back; 149.9 x 70.8 x 7.7mm, 159g; Black, Gold, Blue and Lavender color schemes (market dependent);
Display: 5.6″ Super AMOLED display, HD+ 1,480x720px resolution Infinity display (18.5:9 aspect ratio), 294ppi pixel density.
Rear camera: 16MP, f/1.7 aperture; phase detection autofocus; LED flash. 1080p/30fps video recording.
Front camera: 16MP, f/1.9 aperture; fixed focus; LED flash. 1080p/30fps video recording.
OS/Software: Android 8.0 Nougat; Samsung Experience 9.0 custom overlay.
Chipset: Exynos 7870: octa-core 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-T830 MP1 GPU.
Memory: 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage or 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage; dedicated microSD slot for expansion.
Battery: 3,000 mAh Li-Po (sealed).
Connectivity: Dual SIM; LTE Cat. 6 (300Mbps download); microUSB port; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n; GPS, GLONASS, Beidou; NFC; Bluetooth 4.2; FM radio.
Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader; single speaker on the side; 3.5mm jack.
There are no A-series goodies like water and dust protection, or fast charging. You wouldn’t expect them from a more affordable J-series phone, but with the A in the name comes a much higher price tag, and we start asking for things. And is a USB-C port too much to ask for?
In fact, even before we delve into examining the A6 (2018) up close, we feel that its price sets the bar too high and may end up being its biggest issue. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, and have a look at the design.