Samsung Galaxy A8 Review – In the current hierarchy of Galaxy smartphone range, Galaxy A phones come in third, after Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. The phones offer good looks, decent performance and most importantly, are affordable. Samsung’s Galaxy A8 is no different. But does Samsung’s offering stand out in the sea of smartphones available in India right now? Let’s find out.
First glance at the phone and you’ll realise how slim it is. Samsung has done a commendable job to shrink the phone under 6mm (5.9mm to be precise) yet packing some noteworthy hardware. It’s clear Galaxy S6 was the inspiration for Samsung while designing the Galaxy A8 because the phone boasts a similar unibody design crafted metal sides. Samsung has replaced the glass on the back of the Galaxy S6 with plastic and has a very thin 1.2mm bezel around the display. In short, the Galaxy A8 does not look cheaply made which was the common complaint with many Samsung phones in the past — but a premium-looking phone.
If we talk about the placements, the power button is placed on the right hand side whereas the volume up and down button is placed on the left along with the dual SIM slots. The microUSB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the bottom.
Samsung still maintains a physical home button but this time, the button also doubles up as a fingerprint scanner.
The display on the Galaxy A8 measures 5.7-inches with full resolution support (1920×1080). Samsung uses its signature Super AMOLED panel that makes the colours look vibrant and blacks, deep. The brand does not offer a lot of customisations when it comes to the perfect colour and saturation but Samsung has a mode called Adaptive Display that automatically optimises the colour range, saturation and sharpness to offer the best quality picture.
Now we turn to the things that are under the hood. Galaxy A8 comes with Samsung’s own Exynos 5430 octa-core processor that boasts a clock speed of 1.8GHz for big cores whereas the little cores are clocked at 1.3 GHz. Coupled with the octa core SoC is 2GB RAM and both work well to offer a decent performance. While we may not term speedy or flawless, the combination works well to give a satisfactory performance.
One good thing about the Galaxy A8 is the ample storage. Samsung sells Galaxy A8 with 32GB internal storage and it’s a good way to go, considering 16GB internal memory does not cut it for many consumers these days. 32GB is less for you? Fret not, because Samsung has also come up with a way to integrate a microSD card slot. While users can expand the storage to up to 128GB, there’s a trade-off to achieve the expansion of the storage. The phone comes up with a Hybrid SIM slot that allows to use the phone to accept either an additional SIM to act as a dual SIM phone or use the slot as a microSD slot. The idea is novel but may disappoint consumers who want the best of both worlds.
The phone excels in multimedia playback and supports a variety of file formats. It can also play 4K videos with ease.
Samsung has also concentrated on making the picture taking experience better on the Galaxy A8. While you won’t find a dedicated camera button, you can activate the camera by double clicking the home button. This is a good way for users to get to click pictures as it takes just 0.9 seconds to start when the phone is unlocked or about 1.7 seconds to start from sleep. The rear-facing camera features a 16MP f1.9 sensor and it takes some good quality pictures. The noise is kept in check and outputs good colours with contrast. On the video side, the phone can record in up to full HD resolution.
The front-camera boasts a 5MP f 1.9 sensor that also allows to take wide-angle 120-degree selfies. The camera also has a Beauty mode to remove blemishes from the face in real time and supports full HD video recording as well.
The last piece of noteworthy hardware present in the Galaxy A8 is the fingerprint scanner and it’s certainly an improvement from Samsung’s first generation implementation. Unlike the swipe, which users previously had to do, this phone requires one to place their finger to unlock. The success rate with unlocking the device has also been improved as it can detect the finger at different angles but still misses out sometimes. The fingerprint can also be used to login into Samsung account and even be used to sign-in to websites. The only gripe we’ve in addition to occasional wrong detection is that it requires one to turn on the display and then unlock it.
Samsung has also managed to fit in a larger-capacity 3050 mAh battery in the slim shell of the phone. In our regular usage with a single SIM and a screen on time of about three hours with 4G connectivity, we got around 14 hours of run time before finding its way to the wall socket.
The Galaxy A8 runs Android 5.1.1 with TouchWiz UI on top of it. Despite some disatisfaction for Samsung’s customised user interface amongst consumers, the company has been improving it and has made it considerably faster on the Galaxy A8. We did not find the interface to lag or slow down during our usage. Samsung has also added Themes support to enhance the visual appeal, which can be downloaded from Samsung’s dedicated theme store. Additionally, the phone retains the nifty Ultra Power Saving Mode that changes the screen to greyscale and restricts the use of apps for an extended battery life.
The Galaxy A8 is the result of Samsung’s effort in the last one year. With good-looking devices like the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is rolling down its design expertise into the lower priced phones. In fact, the Galaxy A8 is better in some aspects to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S range with better battery life and memory expansion slot. Add to it, an affordable price tag as well.
- Cool Design
- Long Battery life
- Fingerprint scanner
Samsung Galaxy A8 Specifications
- URL www.samsung.com/in
- SCREEN SIZE 5.7-inches
- DISPLAY Super AMOLED
- RESOLUTION 1920×1080 pixels
- DIMENSIONS 158.0 x 76.8 x 5.9mm WEIGHT 151g
- FRONT CAMERA 5MP
- REAR CAMERA 16MP
- STORAGE 32GB
- RAM 2GB
- BATTERY 3050mAh