With dual front camera and Infinity Edge screen, the Samsung Galaxy A8 sets the scene on OnePlus 5T
The annual CES technology exhibition is usually not a big show for smartphones. The bug weapon usually survives for MWC in February to launch their flagship handset but usually you get a strange new phone and this year's CES mobile phone is Samsung Galaxy A8.
The salient feature of this 5.6in phone is the dual front-facing camera for selfies and one of the new extra wide aspect displays. This addition is the first for the Galaxy A series.
Samsung Galaxy A8 hands-on: Main Specs
- Display: 5.6in FHD + (1,080 x 2.220) Super AMOLED, aspect ratio 18.5: 9, 441 ppi density
- Processor: 2.4Ghz octa-core Exynos 7885
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 32GB (global), 64GB (Middle East, Brazil); up to 256GB via microSD card
- Rear camera: 16 megapixel f / 1.7 with phase detect autofocus (PDAF)
- Front camera: dual 16 and 8 megapixel f / 1.9
- SIM: Single SIM (Nano-SIM) in Europe, Dual SIM (Nano-SIM) from around the world
- Dimensions: 71 x 8.4 x 149mm (WDH)
- Weight: 172g
- Android: 7.1.1 with Samsung TouchWiz
- Battery: 3,000 mAh
- Other: fast charging, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C
Samsung Galaxy A8 hands-on: UK release price and date
Unfortunately, Samsung has not revealed the UK price for the A8 but it will not stop me taking educated guesses. You can reach the Galaxy A7 2017 for £ 355, so I expect the Galaxy A8 to get a higher price because of its edge-to-edge sceen.
The initial price is unlikely to be as high as Samsung Galaxy S8 when it was first launched, so I would say that A8 might be launched at the same price to OnePlus 5T, around £ 450. As for the release date, the A8 will be launched in April 2018.
Samsung Galaxy A8 hands-on: Specs
Samsung Galaxy A8 comes with a 5.6-inch Super AMOLED screen, 1.080 x 2.220, 4GB RAM and 32GB storage, expandable up to 256GB via microSD. Turning on the handset is an Exynos 7885 2.4Ghz octa-core processor. The phone also has a 3,000 mAh battery.
I can not put it through its steps with benchmarks but on first impressions, the phone feels sharp and responsive and able to handle light multitasking without slowing down.
As for the software, Samsung Galaxy A8 runs on Android 7.1.1 with Samsung TouchWiz overlay above. That's right, this 2018 smartphone does not have Android 8 Oreo, a rather special decision considering most of the budget and mid-range smartphones now come with the latest Google operating system.
Camera-wise, the A8 has a 16 megapixel f / 1.7 unit at the rear complete with phase-detect autofocus, along with a dual f / 1.9 camera on the front, a bit like the new Sony Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra. The front-facing camera is a 16 megapixel snapper while the second one is 8 megapixels. Secondary camera is used for depth detection, which allows you to stay-preview selfie with bokeh portrait effect.
As for video recording, both front and rear camera can record up to 1080P at 30fps with, strangely enough, no support for 4K.
Samsung Galaxy A8 hands-on: Design and key features
In the first series of A-series, or anything outside the Samsung flagships, Galaxy A8 2018 has a 5.6-inch edge-to-edge display with an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9. Bezels are not as slim as the Samsung Galaxy range, though , with different black borders still running around the edge of the screen. Actually the front of the phone is more reminiscent of XL Pixel 2 XL than its more glitzey Samsung siblings.
This is more familiar from the back. Where you will see the square camera housing that is now familiar; However, different is the fingerprint reader now makes sense, just under the camera, not on the right as on Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Note 8. Elsewhere, you will find the volume rocker on the left. edge, and power buttons on the right, while the Type-C USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack sit at the bottom.
In the UK and Europe, Galaxy A8 will be available in three colors: black, gold and gray orchids. The back of the phone is made of coated glass, which feels good in the hand, though very easily smudged. And like the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) the A8 is IP68 dust and waterproof and can be submerged to a depth of 1.5m for 30mins. It also has NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
As well as edge-to-edge screens, there is now also support (for the first time in mid-range Samsung) for the company's Samsung Gear VR headset, though because the resolution density and pixels are low enough, the image will not be visible. near crisp through high-tech goggles as they do with Samsung's pricier phones.
Samsung Galaxy A8 handset: Early verdict
A series of Samsung phones have been an excellent choice these days to appeal to Samsung fans on a budget and the A8 appear to be thrown from the same mold, even though it is in a rather awkward place.
With the Samsung Galaxy S8 now available around £ 500 since and the excellent OnePlus 5T is available for £ 450, both offering faster processor, excellent rear camera and Android 8.0 Oreo, Samsung should lower the A8 price; the problem is, i do not think it will.
However, the Galaxy A8 presents a decent first glimpse of what Samsung has planned for 2018 and I hope I will look back on the long list of outstanding handsets from Korean companies this year next year.