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Samsung Galaxy A8: Review

Catalogue
Samsung Galaxy A8: Review

Review

Updated

In the hierarchy of Samsung smartphones, the S and the Note series are the highest, and the J series is the lowest. Among them, you will find the Galaxy A series, which is aimed at moderately demanding users. The tested Samsung Galaxy A8 is at the top of the series, and it is natural to wonder what makes it different from other premium devices. You will find the answer to this, and many other questions, in this review.

Samsung Galaxy A8 Review

Samsung Galaxy A8 review, content

  1. Samsung Galaxy A8
  2. Samsung Galaxy A8 Processing and Ergonomics
  3. Samsung Galaxy A8 Display
  4. Samsung Galaxy A8 Performance and Storage
  5. Samsung Galaxy A8 Battery Life
  6. Samsung Galaxy A8 Operating System and Software
  7. Samsung Galaxy A8 Camera
  8. Samsung Galaxy A8 Rating

Samsung Galaxy A8 parameters

The Samsung Galaxy A8 carries a trend similar to the frameless phones of an upper mid-range, which fairly improves its appearance. In the tested black option, the A8 (2018) is simply shaped, rounded, with a 5.6" screen covering up to 75.6% of the phone. The frames are not as thin as they could be, but the manufacturer has chosen proportions that optically slim them.

Underneath the sleek coat, there is an octa-core Exynos 7885 processor, divided into two high-performance Cortex-A73 cores and six low-powered Cortex-A53 cores. The internal storage size indicates that Samsung counts on the use of a memory card. 32GB is not much, especially when only 20GB are available, while the rest is occupied by the system and the manufacturer's preinstalled applications, some of which cannot be deleted.

The parameter description can be finished by the camera description. The A series is mainly designed for young people, therefore a dual selfie camera with a f/1.9 luminosity is no surprise. There is a main camera on the back cover above the fingerprint reader with an high f/1.7 luminosity.

Samsung Galaxy A8 vs. Galaxy A5 (2017) vs. Galaxy S8

ParametersSamsung Galaxy A8 (2018)Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)Samsung Galaxy S8
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 7885
(42 × 2.2 + 6 × 1.6GHz)
Samsung Exynos 7880
(8 × 1.9GHz)
Samsung Exynos 8895
(4 × 2.3 + 4 × 1.7GHz)
Operating memory and storage4/32GB3/32GB4/64GB + microSD
Display and resolutionAMOLED 5.6"
(2200 × 1080)
AMOLED 5.2" Full HD
(1920 × 1080)
AMOLED 5.8" QHD
(2960 × 1440)
Cameras16MP + 16/8MP16MP + 16MP12MP + 8MP
Size and weight149.2 × 70.6 × 8.4mm, 172g146.1 × 71.4 × 7.9mm, 159g148.9 × 68.1 × 8mm, 155g
Battery3 000mAh3 000mAh3 000mAh
Operating systemAndroid 7.1 (Nougat)Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)Android 7.0 (Nougat)
PriceEUR 509.37/GBP 448.90EUR 352.87/GBP 310.90EUR 823.08/GBP 725.90

Samsung Galaxy A8 processing and ergonomics

Simplicity is power. Instead of experimenting with the design, the A8 has chosen to be a classical phone that decently adopts the current trends without the desire to absorb every trend. The base of the device is an aluminium frame, and the display and rear glass cover are fitted in it. Due to this, the phone reacts better to fingerprints. Most manufacturers choose glass to support wireless charging, however, the Galaxy A8 does not support this technology.

Instead, there is a USB-C connector on the bottom next to the headphone jack. It looks like Samsung is not getting rid of this music-friendly classic, and we can hope for one on the future S9.

So, where does the loud speaker hide? Surprisingly, you find it on the right side next to the power button. At first glance, this position does not make sense, but after a while you will realise that even if you hold the phone vertically or horizontally, you will not cover the speakers, and you can always hear the sound. It is ingeniously simple.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is a Dual SIM phone
Two nano SIM cards and a micro SD memory card can be inserted into the phone.

The combination of the supported cards is very interesting. The respectable standard is the Nano SIM format, and Samsung's honors its preference. Unusually, you will find the slot for the first SIM card on the left side next to the volume control button, while the other one for the micro SD memory card is on top of the device. If you change one card often, you can place it in a separate slot, so you do not have to worry about losing it. Who knows, one day we might get a phone with two memory cards. Even two slots do not undermine the addition of water and dust resistance. The A8 is waterproof according to the IP68 specification.

You could say that the back side of the phone is typically Korean. You can see the camera lens, a rectangular fingerprint reader and the Samsung logo, with a simple illumination diode on the side. We appreciate that all these elements are aligned with the rest of the surface and the phone does not wiggle on the desk. However, it is slippery because of the glass, so be careful or put your Galaxy A8 in a case.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 has a dual selfie camera
A dual camera on the front.
The Samsung Galaxy A8 is almost a no-frame mobile
The frames are pretty thin.

The front of the phone is even neater than the back. Most of it is occupied by a screen with rounded corners that copy the outline of the smartphone. A visible symmetry then creates the illusion of an infinite display, even though the frames (especially the side ones) are not the smallest. You will find the proximity sensor, the receiver, the two camera lenses, and the notification diode above the screen.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is very enjoyable, almost friendly. The surface does not slip in your hand, and even though it is a large phone, you can reach all the buttons and control the whole thing with one hand.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 lets you connect classic headphones
Samsung didn't forget about the popularity of the headphone jack.
The Samsung Galaxy A8 has a speaker on the side to keep it hidden by hand.
You will not cover the speaker with your hand.

Samsung Galaxy A8 display

Vivid colours are best displayed on an OLED display. Samsung has used it for a long time and did not change its habits even with the A8. The super AMOLED display with a 5.6" diagonal and a 2220 × 1080 resolution has high contrast, rich colours, and plenty of options to customise it. If check out the display mode setting, you'll notice that the AMOLED Cinema or AMOLED Photography modes have a red tone, but when you select Adaptive screen, you can combine colours manually.

The rendering of the display can also be changed from the status bar. You can also find the Blue light filter switch there. When you try it, you will realise that the blue light was responsible for your trouble falling asleep. When you are sleeping, the Galaxy A9 will not be, due to the Always On Display. Samsung often makes use of this feature, because OLED displays are made for this purpose.

Samsung Galaxy A8 display modes
Adaptive mode
Samsung Galaxy A8 display modes
AMOLED Cinema
Samsung Galaxy A8 display modes
Photography AMOLED
Samsung Galaxy A8 display modes
Basic colour profile

Unfortunately, there is still a little bit missing for the phone to be perfect. You can choose from several information formats (digital clock, analogue clock, calendar), but a notification preview option does not exist - you can only see the application icon. It is a shame that Samsung does not support waking up by tapping. You can tap the Home button on the navigation bar and the smartphone lights up, but when the ambient display is turned off, the response stops.

A small bonus is the resilience of the Gorilla Glass front and the newly added support for the virtual reality Gear VR, which was previously not supported by the A series. Hopefully, the 441 ppi screen will suffice.

To unlock the display, you can use the fingerprint reader located on the back, underneath the camera. Simply use the scanned finger and unlock the phone. The sensor is tiny, but the response, speed and reliability are great. In order to get a good scan, you must scan your fingerprint in several different ways using different angles and in different positions. An alternative to fingerprints are facial scans. It works just fine, but it does not work well in low-light. Wearing your glasses will not fool this face recognition.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is a handy phone to enjoy.

Samsung Galaxy A8 performance

The hardware of this device can be evaluated in two ways: by comparing it with the competition and by the results from using it. The simplest comparison offers benchmarks:

Results of the Antutu benchmark

  • Total score: 78,104
  • 3D: 16,975
  • UX: 24,557
  • CPU: 28,100
  • RAM: 8472

The performance test numbers show that the Exynos 7885 is not very fast, and the core distribution from one quarter for power and three-quarters for energy saving corresponds to that. If you compare the values ​​to the Galaxy S8 or the recently reviewed Oneplus 5T, the A8 results are barely half. 

We must note that the benchmarks only present half of the truth, because you can play graphic demanding games, such as Real Racing, very well on this mobile phone. We tried to push the phone to its limit with intensive games like a tower defense game, and the Samsung A8 did really well. The Game Launcher function allows you to set up a performance profile, mute the sounds or disable notifications by running selected games.

i The performance of most mid-range and top-range smartphones is enough for playing games. Although the Galaxy A8 does not have a high benchmark score, it does not have any problems. Its hardware is one step ahead of the mobile application demands for this year.

Samsung Galaxy A8 battery and battery life

If you could remove the back cover of the Galaxy A8, you would find a 3000mAh Li-ion battery. It charges only through a USB-C 2.0 connector. This is a unique combination, but the Dash Charge charger designed for the Oneplus 5T did not work after connecting it to Samsung. While most phones respond by slowing down the charging process, the A8 has not even recovered the maximum capacity percentage.

We could only test the charging using a non-original charger with a 1.8A and a 5V output. Unfortunately, under such conditions, the charging process took a really long time. 3 hours is simply too much time. On the other hand, the power consumption is not extreme, but the battery dropped from 100% to 62% in 34 hours. The display was responsible for 11% of that, as it was active for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

This can be extended by using the two different power-saving modes: while for the remaining 62% of the charge was estimated at 33 hours, it last 40 hours at the average level of the saving mode, and 120 hours using the maximum power-saving mode at the cost of reduced speed.

Samsung Galaxy A8 Device Management Tools
Phone management tools
The Samsung Galaxy A8 is always on display
Always On Display setting
Samsung Galaxy A8 Sleep Mode
Power-saving modes are also available.

Samsung Galaxy A8 operating system and software

Despite the experiments with the Tizen platform, Samsung is using the Android operating system on most of its smartphones. The graphics extension is called Samsung Experience, and even though it is far from TouchWiz, the simplicity of the pure Google android is still sufficient.

Both Android versions are very similar when it comes to their functions: they allow you to rearrange the fast switches in the notification roulette, divide the display between two apps, or change the navigation bar. The Samsung Galaxy A8 can also use graphic themes, block accidental screen touches or reduce the display size so you can reach even the farthest corner with one hand.

i Pure or modified Android? Samsung Experience will always have the Always On Display, the power-saving mode, graphical themes, battery-killing apps, and updates ... Pure Android will not, but you can completely overlook some functions due to that.

Most "enhancements" come from using the Samsung applications. Apart from a few exceptions, they are duplicates of pre-installed Google applications: Picture Gallery, Calendar, S Voice, Samsung Health, Notes, Bixby Assistant... You will not get rid of these applications, even though they are not bloatware in its true sense. We believe that many users do not care if they use a gallery from the manufacturer or other developer to manage their images, but a lot of space could be saved if we had a choice.

In some areas, Samsung prioritises its services. Examples include the graphical themes. Some would like to personalise the phone with their image, but will be forced to create another Internet profile, as if Google, Twitter, Facebook and many others were not enough.

Samsung Galaxy A8, screenshot, domovská obrazovka Samsung Galaxy A8, screenshot, horní lišta Samsung Galaxy A8, screenshot, navigační tlačítka Samsung Galaxy A8, screenshot, grafická témata Samsung Galaxy A8, screenshot, ovládání jednou rukou Samsung Galaxy A8, screenshot, velikost paměti
Many features make it easy to customise your phone according to your taste and style of use.

Samsung Galaxy A8

While the distance behind flagship performance is understandable, messing up the camera of a stylish phone could disqualify the Galaxy A8. First, let's talk about the facts.

Samsung uses a 16MP sensor with a native 4:3 aspect ratio. In this format, it can take images at 4608 × 3456px. If you prefer a 16:9 ratio, the maximum becomes 12MP, and the resolution is 4608 × 2592px. These values ​​make the A8 a regular mobile phone. Its  f/1.7 luminosity promises admirable results in worse than ideal conditions.

The emphasis on taking selfies with a blurred background is highlighted by the use of the dual front camera. It has a resolution of 16 and 8MP at a f/1.9 luminosity. This is not a bad number.

If you wonder about the quality of the video recordings the Galaxy A8 takes, then you will be slightly disappointed. This phone does not record at 4K, and the maximum resolution is 2224 × 1080px, which reproduces the aspect ratio of the display. In this format, the electronic stabilisation does not work. You can't use it for square videos or with VGA resolution either.

These limitations are compensated by the application itself, as it offers a number of adjustments that can affect the images. We do not mean using different labels and frames, but mostly voice control, dividing lines for an easier composition, several HDR modes, or a quick launch.

However, we would call the resulting image quality average. A cloudy winter sky does not allow for the bright colours to stand out. The capture of the image itself seems fast at first glance, but when you check your gallery, you will find that the phone often did not have enough time to focus. The Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) is capable of macro details, but only if you give it three seconds to prepare.

Some images are also blurred at the corners of the shot, which makes them look watercoloured, while the centre of the shot is perfectly sharp and detailed. While the colour rendering would be evaluated as a B, the thumbnail and focus quality would hardly get a C. We hope that the future updates will fix these issues and also add a slow-motion video recording option.

Test image gallery

Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, makro Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, příroda Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, exteriér
Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, interiér, umělé osvětlení Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací snímek, exteriér, celek Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, jídlo
Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, noční foto Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, exteriér, umělé osvětlení Samsung Galaxy A8, testovací fotografie, místnost, zářivky

Samsung Galaxy A8 evaluation and comparison

The Samsung Galaxy A8 looks like a more affordable version of the S8. The design of this piece is really nice to look at and touch. The ergonomics and style are probably its two strongest features that this smartphone can boast against its opponents.

It will not be easy because there are many opponents in this smartphone price category. Namely the aging, yet still highly praised, Samsung Galaxy S7. Many parameters are similar to the ones the A8 has, but a curved QHD display, a more powerful chip and a camera with optical stabilisation are worth testing.

The LG G6 will also be an honourable opponent. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 is more powerful, and just like Samsung relies on a frameless design - its screen occupies 78% of the area compared to 75% for Samsung. A major competitor could be the Huawei P10. It is powerful enough, and the dual camera will make you happy. The only problem is the screen is not as good as the screen of the Galaxy A8.

Why choose the new Samsung over the aforementionted smartphones? You can think of it as an impulsive decision, when the heart has won over reason, but we simply like the Galaxy A8. It does not hold back.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Samsung Galaxy A8

Mobile Phones

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a smartphone that boasts a sleek design and is easy use. Although it is not as powerful as other smartphones in the same price range, it provides the ability to play games. However, the greatest advantage of this mobile phone is its design, which transforms an upper mid-range phone into a stylish accessory that you will love.

Pros

  • Waterproof according to IP68
  • Great design with thin frames
  • AMOLED screen
  • Dual SIM
  • Graphic themes

Cons

  • Weak camera
  • Higher price
  • The manufacturer applications cannot be uninstalled

Samsung Galaxy A8 (PREVIEW)

Updated

Samsung has surprised everyone by the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy A8 mobile phone. Originally, the new smartphone was supposed to be unveiled at CES 2018. To be exact, we are talking about two models, namely the Galaxy A8 and the larger A8+. The Galaxy A8 boasts a dual front camera, a gorgeous, yet flat Infinity screen and an enhanced durability. What other technological upheavals has the manufacturer prepared for us and when does this mobile phone arrive?

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is made of glass and an aluminum perimeter frame

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is based on the Galaxy S8, which is not surprising because they are similar. However, the front is dominated by a straight, not rounded display, and the frames around the display are not as small. Still, they are relatively thin, so the fingerprint reader had to be moved to the back of the phone, unlike the previous A series phones. We praise Samsung for its  fingerprint reader location, not next to the camera like S8 or Note8, but below it.

Samsung Galaxy A8, černý Samsung Galaxy A8, šedý Samsung Galaxy A8, zlatý

The three Samsung Galaxy A8 colour options come in the spirit of thin frames. You will be delighted by the fingerprint reader located below the camera on the back of the phone.

The Galaxy A8 is all made of glass as the S8, but it has an aluminium frame. It is missing a special Bixby button on the left, but we don't really care about that. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A8 is a nice phone that can remind you of the Galaxy S8 and also the LG G6.

i Samsung Galaxy S9
A fingerprint reader placed under the camera and a glass frame with even thinner frames than those of the Galaxy S8 are expected to be found on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9.

It is dominated by the Infinity display

The display is one of the greatest advantages of the Samsung Galaxy A8. The Super AMOLED screen has a 5.6" diagonal and a resolution of 1080 x 2220px and a Full HD+. That is, same as for the first Samsung Galaxy A phone, enough to support virtual reality through Gear VR glasses. The Always On function is also included, as it allows for viewing the current time or calendar even when the screen is turned off.

Samsung Galaxy A8, displej

The Infinity display of the Galaxy A8 occupies a large portion of the front of the mobile phone, even though it is flat and not curved.

The display aspect ratio of 18.5:9 is entirely in the spirit of today's trends. The device will have a large display, yet it will be comfortable to hold ue to the compact size. Despite the smaller display, the Samsung Galaxy A8 is larger than the Samsung Galaxy S8. This only proves that Samsung's last flagship was a real champion in this respect and it is currently really hard to find a competitor.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 has a dual camera with a great luminosity

The rear dual camera is nowadays a standard of more expensive phones. However, the Samsung Galaxy A8 is a bit different. The configuration is swapped and the front camera becomes dual, not the rear one. A pair of sensors with a 16 and 8MP resolution and a very good f/1.9 luminosity allow you to take selfies in a portrait mode, with a focused foreground and a blurred background. The absence of optical stabilisation is a shame, as the camera only has a digital stabilisation.

Samsung Galaxy A8, fotoaparát Samsung Galaxy A8, obrazovka Samsung Galaxy A8, noční focení

Only a handful of phones boast a dual front camera. The Samsung Galaxy A8 is one of them.

You can switch between cameras, using the bokeh effect, which allows you to play with the depth of field. Choose a photo that is defocused over the entire area, and add the blurred background with Live Focus after you have taken it. Another special feature of the Samsung Galaxy A8 is the face detection technology when unlocking the phone. The rear camera, which does not lack an optical stabilisation, has a 16MP resolution and an excellent f/1.7 luminosity.

i iPhone X
Unlocking your phone using a face scan can be aslo found on iPhone X.

The Galaxy A8's performance makes it a mid-range phone

How does the Samsung Galaxy A8 do on the performance side? Not at all bad. The computational operation was taken over by the Samsung Exynos 7885 processor with two powerful 2.2GHz and six 1.6GHz power-saving cores. The RAM has remained unchanged at 4GB despite any speculations. This is a decent value and the phone should run smoothly even while multitasking. The new one will be produced in two capacity options - a 32 and a 64GB storage. Demanding users will be able to increase their capacity by up to 256GB with af microSDXC memory card.

Samsung Galaxy A8, paměťová karta

If the capacity is not enough, you can use a memory card.

The mobile phone Samsung Galaxy A8 will run on an Android 7.1.1 operating system, a Nougat with a Samsung Experience extension, not on an Android 8 Oreo. The phone will be updated on the latest Android version later, but the exact date is not known. The durability of  the mobile phone with a 3 000mAh battery is expected to be one day of normal use. The double-sided USB-C connector with a fast charging support will be used for charging. Conservative users will enjoy the headphone 3.5mm jack.

Samsung Galaxy A8 price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy A8 smartphone was supposed to be introduced in January 2018 at the CES conference in Las Vegas. However, the manufacturer decided to present it earlier and it will enter the market on January 19, 2018. The Samsung Galaxy A8 will cost EUR 509.37/GBP 448.90.

i The Samsung Galaxy A8 can be booked now. Choose from black , grey and gold.

Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8 + parameters

While looking at the table, we can see that there is only a few differences between the two options. In addition to a larger display and dimensions, there is a 500mAh larger battery and the option to choose a larger RAM. The display resolution and durability are the same on both Samsung Galaxy A8 phones.

Parameters/modelSamsung Galaxy A8Samsung Galaxy A8 +
Display5.6" (1080 × 2220px), Super AMOLED6" (1080 × 2220px), Super AMOLED
ProcessorSamsung Exynos 7885 (2 × 2.2GHz, 6 × 1.6GHz)Samsung Exynos 7885 (2 × 2.2GHz, 6 × 1.6GHz)
RAM4GB4GB/6GB
Rear camera16MP, f/1.7, OIS16MP, f/1.7, OIS
Front camera16 + 8MP, f/1.916 + 8 MP, f/1.9
Storage32/64GB32/64GB
Battery3,000mAh3 500mAh
Water and dust resistanceIP68IP68
Fast charging
Dimensions149.2 × 70.6 × 8.4mm159 × 75.7 × 8.3mm
Weight172g191g
Colour optionsblack/grey/gold-
PriceEUR 509.37/GBP 448.90-

Who will be competing with the Samsung Galaxy A8?

Who will be a Samsung Galaxy A8 competitor? One of them will certainly be the Huawei Mate 10 Lite, introduced in autumn 2017. It has a larger (5.9") screen and a dual camera. The Samsung Galaxy A8 is water and dust resistant.

The Honor 7X has very similar parameters to the Huawei Mate 10 Lite. That is why it has the same pros and cons. It is probably even cheaper than Mate 10 Lite.

The LG G6 also has a large dispay and is sold at a very nice price. Even though it had an older Snapdragon 821 processor at the time of its introduction at the beginning of 2017, it is still a great device. It has a high-quality dual camera, and it also meets the durability IP68 certification. The Samsung Galaxy A8 has a dual front camera and is almost a year younger.

Samsung Galaxy A8, zlatý

The side of the Samsung Galaxy A8. Notice the symmetrical design and graceful curves.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is an exciting new addition to mid-range smartphones. It stands out with a large, high-quality display, and a front camera that none of the main brand competitors can boast. The manufacturer has applied a fairly confident price, therefore the Samsung Galaxy A8 review and the interest of the customers will show if it succeeds.

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