Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy J6 Hands-on: When you want a trusted budget phone

Lives up to expectations, but also lacks in certain aspects

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The popular J-series from Samsung has a new member, and for loyal fans looking for a new budget-midrange phone, the Galaxy J6 is a viable option. It’s got everything users need in an everyday phone, plus premium features.

A well-crafted phone

Despite having a plastic body, the Galaxy J6 doesn’t feel cheap at all. It lacks the metal unibody of the Galaxy J7 phones but, thanks to the matte paint of the back panel, has a good feel in the hand. It doesn’t attract fingerprints much which avoids the need to constantly wipe the phone.

In front is the tall display along with the earpiece, front sensors, and selfie camera. There’s no branding here making the phone look clean and stylish, especially when placed flat on a table. Keeping up with the trend, the bezels of the Galaxy J6 are minimal, but still there just like most budget phones with tall aspect ratios.

There’s no display notch on the Galaxy J6 — something Samsung dislikes on their phones. I guess that’s a good thing, right?

Samsung made the left side of the Galaxy J6 really busy by putting most of the phone’s physical features on this side. There’s a couple of buttons for adjusting the volume and two card slots are placed right below them. The first slot accepts a nano-SIM card labeled as SIM1, while the other slot is for the second SIM card and the microSD card. It’s good to see a dedicated card slot for expanding storage.

On the right side are the loudspeaker and the power button. Ever since the Galaxy J7 Prime was introduced, Samsung’s midrange and budget phones have always had their loudspeakers on the side. It’s fantastic compared to a bottom-firing speaker, to be honest, since you won’t muffle the speaker when holding the phone in landscape orientation with two hands.

Sitting at the bottom of the Galaxy J6 is the micro-USB port, microphone, and 3.5 audio port. Samsung is yet to introduce USB-C ports for their budget phones just like OPPO and Vivo. It’s about time to make USB-C truly universal though, and there are already a number of USB-C cables available for cheap.

The rear is pretty basic with just the main camera positioned above the fingerprint reader. There’s also a single LED flash beside the camera while the Samsung logo is debossed onto the plastic black.

Overall, the Galaxy J6 is a simple-looking phone that gives a bit of value for money by copying the design of more expensive Samsung phones. If you’re already spoiled by the cold and solid feel of aluminum, you could check out the Galaxy A6 which is only a little more expensive.

Amazing display, decent camera, old processor

Being a Samsung phone, the Galaxy J6 has a vibrant Super AMOLED display — not just another LCD panel. The phone’s display measures 5.6 inches with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The Infinity Display usually found on premium Samsung phones is now made available to its budget devices, sans the curved edges and high pixel count.

It features most of display features too, but it doesn’t have Always On which is a bummer since it’s already an AMOLED display. Other display features include an outdoor mode for increased brightness, blue light filter to reduce eye strain, and multiple screen color modes including adaptive display.

The cameras on board the phone are single shooters, but with large aperture openings that help to see more in low-light environments. On the back is a 13-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 opening while the front has an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 opening, as well. Here are some samples for reference:

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Samsung’s familiar camera launcher is present here, along with a few camera modes including Pro (manual mode with very few controls), Night, and HDR. Both the front and rear shooters support AR stickers, while only the front shoots portrait photos.

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In terms of performance, the good old Exynos 7870 processor takes care of things along with 3GB of memory and 32GB of expandable storage. A 3000mAh battery keeps the lights on and it runs Android 8.0 Oreo skinned with Samsung Experience.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 13,990 in the Philippines, there are more powerful options available in the market, but they don’t have certain Samsung traits when it comes to build and design. The best-selling feature of the Galaxy J6 is its Super AMOLED display which is a rare sight in this price segment. The display alone could convince people to purchase one, even though the phone sports a pretty old processor.

For everyday usage, the Galaxy J6 is a capable phone. It’s not a gaming smartphone, but it was never meant to be one. You’ll get the Galaxy J6 for its looks, display, camera, and Samsung label.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A6 Hands-on: Repackaging the older series

Hands-On

Dyson Airwrap hair tutorial and real-life hold test

Is it hard to use? Does it really work?

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The Dyson Airwrap, ever since its announcement, has been the stuff of hairstyle dreams and legends. The high-tech curling iron revolutionizes the way we do our hair!

But, does it really work? Can a normal girl like myself actually get her hair to look as fab with this new-fangled hair gadget? I put it to the test.

In the video above, you see me doing my hair and the final looks. I try a total of two styles — curly and straight — and take my ‘do out and about to see if my hair would hold. And yes folks, this was only the second time I used the Airwrap on myself, ever.

The results impressed!

If you’re having trouble viewing this video, click HERE to watch

Stay tuned for the full review of the Dyson Airwrap on Her GadgetMatch. For similar topics and features, visit the website here.

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All the fun things you need to know about the OPPO’s RX17 Pro

Here’s what it can do

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My smartphone is the one thing that I hold most on a daily basis — more than my boyfriend’s hand or my pet dogs. This device is almost always on my body. That being the case, whatever phone I use automatically becomes an accessory. I want my phones bright and beautiful. If you’re anything like me, a fan of pretty things, continue reading.

This is the OPPO RX17 Pro that was just unveiled in Milan, Italy. It’s one eye-catching device.

To get the confusion out of the way: Yes, the OPPO RX17 Pro is the same phone as the R17 Pro.

First of all, let me state on record: This is one pretty phone. The gradient back is actually made of matted glass (apparently that’s a thing now) and that gives this device an extra oomph. It also means this thing feels great in your hands: Premium with just enough heft.

This right-to-left gradient look, named “Radiant Mist” by the Chinese smartphone company, is tantalizing to say the least. I couldn’t stop staring at it!

This phone will not match all your outfits, though. Even better, it will make all your outfits. It’s the perfect statement piece.

But, as in all things, we all know that looks aren’t everything. What else can this thing do?

I spent some time with a test unit in Milan, and here are my main takeaways. Take note, however, that this particular device isn’t running on final software yet so there might be a few minor differences when the actual units ship out.

Now, without further ado:

Its screen invites attention

That 6.4-inch AMOLED screen looks bright and crisp — great for watching YouTube or for Netflix and chilling. 👀

And look, ma! A notch that isn’t as obtrusive, thank heavens! That tiny teardrop up top is actually something I don’t hate. You sort of forget it’s even there.

This almost all-screen design insists on having it all: There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner on this phone. Simply press your finger to that fingerprint design on the display and voila! That’s not all, though. It’s also capable of face unlock and it’s pretty smooth.

Custom beauty mode and more

Being a smartphone from Asia, the RX17 Pro has a built-in beauty mode on its 25-megapixel selfie camera.

They take it a bit further with not just AI beauty mode (which was previously on R-series devices); there’s also a custom beauty mode which allows for facial adjustments depending on your own personal preferences.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: OPPO’s beauty mode is one of the best out there — if you add these on with moderation.

Stickers, stickers, and more stickers

On to the fun stuff… there are also built-in stickers and so many of them! Here are just a few cute examples as there are pages and pages of them.

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You can also create your own Omoji — think Samsung AR Emoji, OPPO style. Basically, you make sticker avatars based on your face, dress the sticker up then send to your friends as GIFs or videos.

I can’t say it will turn out looking really like you, though, because mine didn’t. See example below:

There are also pre-set AR stickers and those are pretty cute and very fun — I had a blast “testing” these out.


It raises the bar

The Smart Bar, that is.

This added feature is a hovering bar on the screen that brings you to a mini menu for faster access to certain apps.

You can customize apps that go on here and even move the bar around on the screen at your convenience.

More and merrier cameras

There are three cameras on this phone’s back: The main shooter is a 12-megapixel dual aperture camera (that just means the camera adjusts to different lighting scenarios to get the best-possible photos), a second 20-megapixel shooter, and a 3D TOF camera. That last camera supposedly allows for 3D and AR capabilities, but that feature wasn’t ready on this test device.

There’s a Portrait Lighting feature, much like Apple’s, on this phone. As my patient boyfriend has so willingly shown below, there are many different photo styles you can get. The cutouts, despite the busy background, looked pretty good.

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This phone highlights its low-light capabilities with a new “Night” feature. AI combined with optical image stabilization ensures better photos in scenarios that aren’t so well lit. I put it to the test at the RX17 Pro launch event:

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Like the previous R-series phones, there’s also AI built into the camera that automatically adjusts settings depending on the scenario for optimum photo results. All that’s left for you to do is keep shooting and photos turn out like this.

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Of course, I’d have to spend more time with this camera, but these initial samples have pretty much impressed.

All other things

Other notable features include a Snapdragon 710 processor with 6GB memory and 128GB storage which makes for a smooth running phone. And as a first for an R-series phone, it’s equipped with a USB-C port and SuperVOOC charging. Yep, that’s the same one on the OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition which zooms to full charge in 35 minutes.

For more details on this phone’s specs, you can watch GadgetMatch’s full hands-on here.

A day and a half with the RX17 Pro and it’s performed pretty well. Not to mention, it totally looked good with my outfit.

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Hands-On

Apple iPad Pro Hands-on: Can this replace your laptop?

Apple says it’s like a computer, but unlike any computer

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We go hands on with the new iPad Pro and give you our first impressions. Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet is available in two sizes,12.9 inches and 11 inches, but they’re even smaller than previous models because the bezels have been reduced.

Two other big changes to the iPad Pro are the omission of Apple’s signature features: the home button that enables Touch ID, and the Lightning port. In their place are the new TrueDepth camera technology first seen on the iPhone X and a USB-C port — the latter opening up so many possibilities for the iPad Pro.

Special thanks are in order to the following people who made this video possible:

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