7.8
Score

Pros

  • Amazing Built Quality
  • 18:9 FHD+ Display in a smaller body
  • Great Performance with Exynos 7885
  • Dual Front Facing Camera works fine
  • Rear Facing camera takes good Image
  • Repositioned Fingerprint Sensor

Cons

  • Too Prone to Scratches (Not Corning Gorilla Glass)
  • Still runs Android 7.1.1
  • Monotone Flash

Last year, Samsung unveiled their A series and Malaysia was one of the first country to get the device. Following the 2017 lineup, we know for a fact that the 2018 lineup is around the corner. There were rumors that Samsung will be unveiling their A8 & A8+, two new additions to the lineup for 2018. But we here at The Adventures of Vesper are lucky enough to be the chosen one to review it. With that, this is the Exclusive Review on the Samsung Galaxy A8.

Design & Build Quality

1/6

In terms of design, the Samsung Galaxy A8 has been upgraded in lot of ways compared to the previous A Series which came in a more rounded off design. This time, it feels like a flagship series. More like the Note series, I’d say because of it’s rectangular shape with curved edges. On the front and back, it’s covered by glass and metal rails on the side. One other noticeable change is the fingerprint sensor. If you remember the Note8 or the S8, it took a lot of negative comments due to its fingerprint position located at the side of the camera. Well now it’s located at the bottom of the camera, making it easier to reach with two hands and not smudge the camera lens.

When it comes to build quality, the phone sure is built really well. It feels solid. Has a balanced weight across the phone which I personally like and the feel in the hands are amazing. Only thing with the glass finish is that it’s too prone towards scratches. So, I suggest you get a protective film for both front and back glass. The rear panel is no longer flashy like the S8, it has a more stealthy look, just like the Note8.

Specification & Benchmark

In terms of specification, the Galaxy A8 runs Samsung’s in-house processor, Samsung Exynos 7885 with 4GB of RAM under the hood. It also comes with Bluetooth v5.0 and has support fot 802.11 ac WiFi band. Below you can check out the benchmark scores. Do take note that these benchmark scores does not add up to day-to-day use.

Display

The Galaxy A8 packs a 5.6″ FHD+ Super AMOLED Display on the front. It packs 441 pixels per inch, making the display sharp. Just like any other Samsung flagship, the display looks crisp and the colors pack a punch. Unlike the previous A Series which came with a 16:9 ratio, this time Samsung went with a 18:9 aspect ratio, also known as the Golden Ratio. It’s longer and it has a bezel all around the display. The front glass gives you an illusion of the display being curved, but it isn’t.

It’s surprising to see how far smartphone has come, where you have more display in a smaller body. Feels sureal. Watching content on this display is simply amazing because of its color enhancements. I enjoyed watching content from Netflix and so on. Even watching videos on Youtube was nice. It’s just that, now you’ll have to go though the option, whether you want to fill the entire screen with the video for immersive experience or you want to watch it in the traditional letterbox ratio. I personally enjoyed watching Ash Tailor’s video because of his amazing ratio that fits the display really well. Also, the colors from his video popped on the A8’s display, showing it’s dynamic coverage.

P.S. Check his content out.

Performance

This is possibly the first device to run Exynos 7885. This processor is Samsung’s competitor to the Snapdragon 660 Series, which is also a Mid-range processor. I used the device as my daily drive, which involves me spending more time on work than gaming. It handled pretty well. For some weird reason, it went into reboot twice when I was using it for the first three days, but after that it was totally alright. Thanks to the 4GB RAM, it holds up memory of previous application really well.

I played Need for Speed: No Limits during my free time and the game was pretty smooth. One of the games that took complete advantage of the bigger aspect ratio. Other games work fine as well like Limbo, Riptide GP and so on. You can never go wrong with the performance. It sure can handle day to day task really well.

Battery Life & Charging

Looking at the dimension, gave me the thought that Samsung might have included a smaller battery but it came with a 3000 mAh battery. I’d say the battery life was decent. Under the normal use, the A8 was able to last almost a day with 4 hours of screen on time. On standby inactive mode, the phone is really good in saving its battery, thanks to the 14nm architecture that’s found under the smartphone.

These battery also went through a series of 8-point battery test, to make sure that it’s capable of handling everything the way it should. So, don’t worry about the battery as it’s all good.

Camera

Front Facing Camera

This is Samsung’s first attempt in making their first Dual Camera setup. The front facing primary sensor packs a 16MP sensor with aperture of f/1.9 whereas the secondary sensor is 8MP with aperture of f/1.9 as well.  I’d say the camera does a great job in taking selfies. The colors look vibrant. It suffers shutter lag in low light. The secondary sensor also helps in creating the depth effect, which gives a bokeh behind the subject. You can check out some of the selfies that was taken using this camera. The camera tends to beautify skin tone, which I am not a huge fan of. Good thing its possible to disable it via the settings.

Rear Facing Camera

The rear facing camera features a 16MP sensor with an aperture of f/1.7. For a mid-range device, it takes amazing pictures during the day. The colors look vibrant and the detail is great. Zooming into the picture shows that the subject is sharp and it doesn’t look over sharpened. In low light, the picture looks decent and sometimes there’s a loss of detail. Good thing is that the images doesn’t look grainy. So expect to pull out some really good shot at night as well. Below are some of the sample shots taken. Sadly the camera doesn’t have an OIS, which means you have to make sure that you hold the camera steady.

UI & OS

The Samsung Galaxy A8 gets the same treatment when it comes to UI. It gets the same Samsung Experience that we’ve been seeing with the rest of its siblings. It runs on top of Android 7.1.1. Hopefully it gets an update to 8.0 in Q1 of 2018. The experience is pretty much the same where you can customize the way you want and also it comes with Bixby. The camera supports Bixby Vision where you can snap an object and find out what it is by performing an image search. The whole experience is fluidic, smooth and fast as well.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is definitely an interesting addition to the A lineup. With a new Exynos Processor, great battery, dual front facing camera and more, it’s a package that I did not see it coming from Samsung. It has everything a user want. To me, the Samsung Galaxy A8 feels like a S8 with no edge display, because of it’s premium nature and the power under the hood. Good thing is that they’ve moved the fingerprint sensor to the middle where everyone finds it reachable. I am quite surprised to see how powerful it is, considering the fact that it’s competing among the mid-tier device. It looks like a clear winner and its going to be exciting to see how it will be competing with the rest of the market.

If you are one of those, who wished for a non-curved S8, this is the device you’re looking for. While it may take time for people to adapt to the 18:9 aspect ratio, it sure is a joy when you get more display in a body that’s small and gives you a sense of home. It’s a cub that that roars loud.

Pricing & Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A8 will only be available in January 2018. It will be available in 3 colors. Black, Orchid Grey and Gold respectively. We have no concrete information on the pricing but we’ll let you guys know as soon it’s out. That will conclude whether the phone is worth ot or not.

Update: The Samsung Galaxy A8 Will be sold for RM 1,799 whereas the bigger brother Galaxy A8+ will be available for RM2,499. It’s about time you hear to your nearest store and grab your hands on one of these. 😀

Share it with your friends and wish you guys a Happy New Year. 🙂