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Review 5 min read No comments

Samsung Galaxy A6+ hands-on: a bit of this, a bit of that

Samsung's new Galaxy A6 and Galaxy A6+ bring some interesting options into the mid-range which should manage the balancing act between the entry-level class and the premium class. In our first hands-on review of the Galaxy A6+, we'll give you an overview of whether the glass in the Galaxy A6+ is half empty or half full.

Samsung Galaxy A6+ release date and price

Samsung introduced the new Galaxy A6+ and the smaller counterpart on May 2. Both models are available in the three color versions Black, Gold and Lavender, but unfortunately neither has made it to the US yet. EU pricing has been confirmed for the A6 and A6+ at €309 and €369 (roughly £270/$363 and £325/$434) respectively. But you also get a smartphone that can hold both two SIM cards and a microSD card. 

The soul of the A-class in the J-class body

Galaxy S8Galaxy S9+

Samsung has very practically equipped the Galaxy A6 + two SIM card slots, with the first slot for a MicroSD card for memory expansion. The second SIM card can be placed in a separate slot.

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The Galaxy A6 + is more reminiscent of the Galaxy J-Class. / © AndroidPIT

Finite Infinity Display

On the front, the Galaxy A6 + shows that the user can access with a 6-inch display based on the Super AMOLED technology. Sure, there are bezels and they are slightly wider above and below the screen. But the sideways curved infinity display is reserved for the Samsung Galaxy S-Class and the Note.

Bezels or not, the built-in Super-AMOLED panel with 1,080 x 2,220 pixels (Full HD+) shines with bright colors, good brightness and high contrast. In our first hands-on with the Galaxy A6+ we can call the display one of the highlights of the device. Whether in low light or bright daylight, the Super AMOLED panel in the A6+ can consistently shine in any lighting environment. 

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The 6-inch display in a 18.5:9 format with Super AMOLED Panel is probably the highlight of the Galaxy A6+. / © AndroidPIT

Two obvious weak points

The choice of the processor is somewhat strange. Samsung has opted for a Snapdragon 450 SoC in this model, probably to push the costs down a bit. In addition, in some markets, the Galaxy A8+ (2018) is offered in parallel with the Galaxy A6+ (2018) and there must be a noticeable difference in terms of performance. Nevertheless, it is a pity that Samsung has not installed the more potent Exynos 7885 in the A6+. 

In terms of RAM and internal memory, the European versions carry 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of flash memory, but other markets will also get a 4 GB / 64 GB variant. The storage, as already described above, expands without losing  dual-SIM capability by up to 256 GB. In terms of performance, the Galaxy A6+ should be in the regions of a similarly equipped Motorola Moto G6.

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Where is the USB-C, Samsung? / © AndroidPIT

As with the processor choice, we would also have wished for a more modern choice of USB port from Samsung. Instead of the more powerful USB Type-C connector as in the Galaxy A8 and A8+, the Galaxy A6+ only has the MicroUSB connector. Too bad.

Oreo on board

As antiquated is the choice of USB port and processor on the Galaxy A6 +, the software experience is more up to date. Samsung is shipping the Galaxy A6 + with Andorid 8.0 and Samsung Experience 9.0. That's good, when you consider the Galaxy A8+, which was a few months younger, and was still shipped with Android 7.1.1 Nougat. 

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The Galaxy A6 + comes with Android 8.0 and Samsung Experience 9.0. / © AndroidPIT

Dual camera is moving into Samsung's new middle class

In terms of camera equipment, the Galaxy A6+ can boast at least in the hardware installed. The dual main camera on the back consists of a combination of a 16MP and a 5MP unit, both of which have a large aperture of f/1.7. This is an ideal combination for the middle class to provide good portraits with bokeh effects. 

The front camera consists of an image sensor with 24 megapixels and a f/1.9 aperture and a separate front flash. Samsung also uses the front camera for the current face recognition trend as an alternative unlocking mechanism. You can use the front camera funny AR masks on selfies, but AR emoji remains an exclusive Galaxy S feature.

In our final review, we will be able to tell you more about the camera and its video quality.

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New in the Samsung middle class is the dual camera. / © AndroidPIT

The battery of the Galaxy A6 + is relatively large with 3,500 mAh. It could well be that Samsung will improve endurance in the mid-range segment of smartphones, but this also remains to be tested in the long-term.

Early Verdict

The Galaxy A6 + keeps a respectful distance from the top smartphones from the Galaxy S series while at the same time boasts a few features other mid-range devices lack. The very good display with Super AMOLED technology exudes a touch of Galaxy S9 and the dual camera is quite good for this price range.

The Galaxy A6 + is a cause for criticism during our hands-on only in the almost year-old Snapdragon 450 and the absence of USB-Type C. 

Once we have completed our final test, we will expand our review here with the detailed findings.

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