Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review

GSMArena team, 16 June 2018.

Software

The Galaxy A6 (2018) one-ups its higher-end sibling A8 and comes with Android 8.0 out of the box (okay, technically 0.8.9-ups it, the A8 came out with 7.1.1 Nougat on board). The version of Samsung Experience is also the latest 9.0 vs. the A8's 8.5, though it hardly a night-and-day difference. If anything, it's pretty much the same, and it's also not very different from the S9's look and feel - minus a bunch of features, obviously.

Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review

For one, it's missing an AOD. Couple that with the lack of a notification/status LED, and you end up having no way of knowing if you have any new notifications without waking up the phone. Boo, Samsung.

The fingerprint sensor is always on, at least that, and it's reasonably quick to unlock. The setup is lengthier than most other devices, but that ensures you'd be able to unlock at different angles and with a larger area of your finger - always a good thing.

Fingerprint enrollment - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Lockscreen - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Homescreen - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Folder view - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review App drawer - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review
Fingerprint enrollment Lockscreen Homescreen Folder view App drawer

Nothing has really changed on the lockscreen, homescreen, or the notification shade. The task switcher (now with optional list view) is the place where you can initiate multi-window or pop-up apps - Samsung's really unmatched in the versatility of its multi-tasking implementation. Even the App pair feature from the S9 is here.

Notifications - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Quick toggles - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Task switcher - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review List view - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Multi-window - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review
Notifications Quick toggles Task switcher List view Multi-window

Just like other Galaxies, the A6 (2018) supports themes, and there's a ton available in the store. 'Secure folder' is also present on the A6, and it's where you can keep files, memos, and apps away from prying eyes. Then there's Game launcher to keep your games in one place, and in-play Game tools to disable notifications and the nav bar as well take screenshots or record gameplay.

Theme store - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Secure folder - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Game launcher - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Game launcher - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review
Theme store Secure folder Game launcher

Samsung is using its own Gallery app where the Pictures pane is a timeline of photos and screenshots, while Albums has them sorted by origin instead. Stories is Samsung's take on shareable collaborative albums, which we'd be surprised if anyone uses. There's a powerful editor on board for when you're away from a PC.

Google Play Music is the default player for your tunes, not Samsung's own Music. The sound settings are proprietary though, with either a simple two dial adjustment or a proper 9-band equalizer at your disposal. Especially useful is the Adapt Sound feature which tunes the EQ to your hearing and your particular pair of ears and headphones by playing multiple frequencies and asking how well you hear them.

An FM radio receiver is also available.

Gallery - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Editor - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Google Play Music - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review Sound settings - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review FM radio - Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review
Gallery Editor Google Play Music Sound settings FM radio

Synthetic benchmarks

The Galaxy A6 (2018) is powered by the in-house Exynos 7870 chipset - a great SoC when it came out more than two years ago, but perhaps a little long in the tooth today - notably, in a phone in this price bracket. Don't get us wrong - its 14nm fabrication process was ahead of its time back in the day, and it is nothing to frown upon in the midrange. But the lowly clock rate cap of 1.6GHz for the 8 Cortex-A53 cores and the GPU that was underpowered from day one leave a lot to be desired regarding performance. The bump in RAM to 3GB is appreciated, however, and those looking for even smoother operation could look for the 4GB version that comes with twice the storage (64GB vs. our review unit's 32GB).

Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) review

Neither of these matters in GeekBench, where competing 600-series Snapdragons and even the Kirin 659 quickly show their superiority. Only the Snapdragon 430 in the Moto G6 Play loses to the Galaxy A6 (2018)'s Exynos in the single-core test. The Galaxy's beating continues in the multi-core part, though admittedly the Kirin-powered Mate 10 Lite and P20 Lite aren't any better here.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    1532
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    1329
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
    1327
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    938
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    913
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    882
  • HTC U11 Life
    873
  • Motorola Moto X4
    866
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    865
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    848
  • Motorola Moto G6
    754
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    733
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)
    731
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    639

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    4918
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
    4696
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    4418
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    4313
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4225
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    4215
  • HTC U11 Life
    4140
  • Motorola Moto X4
    4136
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3972
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    3756
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3718
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)
    3667
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    3603
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    2328

Antutu isn't much more flattering on the Galaxy A6 (2018) with only the Moto G6 Play left trailing. The Snapdragon 630-powered Nokia 6.1 can be had for less, yet offers more oomph, and that's before we even go into Redmi territory.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    115195
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
    107737
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    90918
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    87431
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    77488
  • Motorola Moto G6
    70845
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    63632
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    58757

Graphics benchmarks don't bring any surprises and the A6 is again towards the bottom of the charts. The single-core Mali-T830 MP1 can only do so much when it comes to raw power, but at least the 720p resolution of the Galaxy gives it a slight edge over Huawei's 1080p competitors in the onscreen tests.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    10
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    9.9
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    9.9
  • Motorola Moto X4
    9.8
  • HTC U11 Life
    9.6
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    9.6
  • Motorola Moto G6
    9.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    9.1
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    6.4
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    5.1
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    4.8
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    4.6
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)
    3.3
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.2

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    14
  • Motorola Moto X4
    11
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    10
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    10
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    10
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    9.7
  • HTC U11 Life
    9.6
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    9
  • Motorola Moto G6
    8.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    8.7
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017)
    7.4
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    6.7
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    4.9
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    4.6

We knew it just by looking at the specs, but the benchmarks proved it - the Galaxy A6 (2018) could have benefited from a more powerful chipset. The Exynos 7870 is fine, but for the price, you can find significantly better performance elsewhere. On the positive side, the phone runs cool at all times and loads, and there was zero throttling.

Reader comments

  • Galaxy A600F/DS 4GB

GOOD

  • A6

A6

  • vickrant

also this is 2018 phone...wait by november or december to get 9.0 os...as i got 8.0 to my j7 pro(2017 phone)on 2018 november!!!