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Samsung Undercuts New iPhones with Sub-$400 Galaxy A6

If you're put off by the ever escalating cost of smartphones, Samsung might just have what you're looking for — a midrange device that borrows some of the features from its more expensive flagships while keeping the overall price tag low.

And it's a phone that's going to launch just as Apple unveils what figures to be a pricey found of updated iPhones.

Galaxy A6 (Credit: Samsung)

(Image credit: Galaxy A6 (Credit: Samsung))

Samsung's new Galaxy A6 isn't going to compete with Apple's upcoming iPhones — or even the company's own Galaxy S9 and Note 9 devices — in terms of features. But Samsung is betting that the $359 A6 will have enough appeal to satisfy people who don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a phone.

Start with the A6's display, a 5.6-inch panel with 1480 x 720 resolution. Samsung calls this an Infinity Display, though it doesn't stretch edge to edge like the screens on the S9 and Note 9 do. The A6 has noticeable bezels on its top and chin. But it is an AMOLED panel, and that figures to help the A6 stand out from other phones in the sub-$400 price range.

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Samsung borrows a few other features from its flagship Galaxy devices for the A6. In addition to a fingerprint reader, you'll also have the option to unlock the phone using facial recognition. The A6 also ships with Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant, which you can use along with the phone's camera to handle tasks like translating text and identifying objects you want to shop for online.

Speaking of the A6's cameras, the rear shooter has a 16-megapixel lens with an f/1.7 aperture. That's not quite as impressive as the variable aperture on the S9 and Note 9 which can widen to f/1.5 when lighting is scarce, but the A6's camera should be able to handle low-light situations better than many phones in this price range. The front camera on the A6 also uses a 16-MP sensor.

The Galaxy A6's other specs are decidedly midrange. The phone runs on Samsung's own Exynos 7884 processor; for context, the Galaxy S9 uses an Exynos 9810 (at least on models sold outside the U.S.). The A6 has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, though you can add up to 400GB via a microSD card. The phone features a 3,000 mAh battery.

Samsung will start selling the Galaxy A6 through its website on Sept. 14 — that's just two days after Apple's upcoming iPhone launch event. Samsung says the A6 will also be available through carriers soon after its debut.