Samsung presents the Samsung Galaxy A8 like a nice mid-engine. A midrange device with an attractive price – but is that also the case? The device has a premium look and is provided with reasonable specs, but is it its suggested retail price of 499 euros worth?

With the Samsung Galaxy A8 Samsung tries to transfer a number of premium features and design to a midrange device. That is the company – so at first sight – still succeeded. The question, however, is how much you are prepared to pay for this and whether you can not better buy a cheaper device that offers almost the same functionalities, but has a less clear screen. A suggested retail price of 499 euros is still a lot of money – for example, you can do just that OnePlus 5T from buying.

Samsung Galaxy A8 specifications

Samsung Galaxy A8
Screen 5.6 inches, 2,200 by 1,080 pixels
Digitizer No
Processor Samsung Exynos 7885
RAM 4 GB
Storage memory 32 GB
SD Yes
HDMI No
USB Yes, usb-c
GPS Yes
3G / 4G Yes
Bluetooth Yes, 5.0
NFC Yes
Cameras Eight and sixteen megapixels before, sixteen megapixels behind
Battery 3000 mAh Lithium Polymer

Specs

Samsung delivers reasonable specifications with the Samsung Galaxy A8. 4 GB of memory is generous, but 32 GB of storage seems to be a wrong cut. Fortunately, you can expand that memory with a micro SD card, but then you should have it. The Samsung Exynos 7885 is not a wrong chipset: the processor is far removed from for example the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, but then again more powerful than a Snapdragon 625. The maximum clock speed is 2.2 GHz.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

Samsung Galaxy A8 – hardware and design

In recent months, Samsung has been bumbling with the placement of the fingerprint scanner. It was of course very long that the scanner was on the front of the device, but since last year it is on the back. But that placement was not very nice, because the reader sat next to the camera. One of the first things that immediately stands out on the back of this device is the placement of the fingerprint reader. That is now under the camera, in the middle, so you can just get much better.

Furthermore, the Galaxy A8 looks like a regular version of the Samsung Galaxy S8 . The screen has a ratio of 18: 5: 9 and is equipped with rounded corners, just like on the Galaxy S8. Unlike the smartphone, the screen edges do not run across the side, so you actually have 0.2 inch of screen space less. This design also means that you can not accidentally touch the touch screen with the palm of your hand, so that an unintentional action is not secretly registered.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

Compared to the S8, the A8 has slightly thicker edges at the top and bottom and the device is slightly higher and slightly thicker – but fortunately it is nothing to worry about. The design also premium and so the outside also feels. Furthermore, we find the following things: a dual-front camera, on-off button, volume button, headphone jack, a USB port and a speaker. That speaker is not on the bottom this time, but on the side. In addition, the smartphone is provided with an IP68 certificate.

Display

The screen of the Samsung Galaxy A8 is 5.6-inch in size. The resolution is 1080p and that’s more than fine. The amoled screen can conjure up beautiful colors and make black really black. Fortunately, the screen can also be set very bright, so that you can continue to look at it outside – in the sun – without irritation. In addition, there is support for the always-on-display, so you can continue to view notifications and time. But you can also deactivate this type of screen if you find it necessary.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity you can expect a few things from a Samsung smartphone and this model does not disappoint. There is, for example, space for two SIM cards and that is always welcome, especially if you do not want to walk around with two smartphones and still want to be both business and private. In addition, there is usb-c for charging and the Galaxy A8 has bluetooth 5.0, nfc, gps and of course wifi. The device is therefore equipped with all kinds of basic elements, with here and there an added extra.

Speaker

The speaker of the Samsung Galaxy A8 is on the side. Now the previous model had this too, but that does not make it any less strange. The position takes some getting used to, and the fact that the sound comes from there too. But this is a place where you do not easily suffer from stashed quality. In terms of sound quality you do not have to expect too much. It suffices. The higher tones come through reasonably well, while the lower tones are virtually absent. But it is fine for a short video or hands-free conversation.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

Cameras

On the back is one sixteen megapixel camera. It makes beautiful pictures with the interface known to Samsung users. The images do not look grainy at all or something like that and they look pretty sharp. There is also a lot of detail and the colors come out well. What is striking is that the detail is in the shadow of a high level. Despite the fact that you have a midrange device in your home, you do not necessarily get a bad camera. We are more impressed by this camera than from the camera on the OnePlus 5T.

The selfie camera on the front has two cameras, sixteen and eight megapixels. This camera system does not have autofocus, but has some other useful tricks in store. For example, before or after taking the shot, you can adjust the focus, but you have to do that manually. The dynamic range seems to be very good, so the colors really splash off the screen. In addition, the front cameras also capture a lot of detail. It may cost a bit more work here, but the result may be there.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

Battery life

In the Samsung Galaxy A8 there is a battery of 3,000 mAh. That is just as much as in the Samsung Galaxy S8, which you spend more than a day. The Galaxy A8 also lives up to that promise, and depending on usage you might just be able to get the two days. However, it is more realistic to think that you will last a day and a half with this battery. In addition, it is good to know that in about one and a half hours, maybe just a little more, you can fully charge the device. So there is a fast charging option available and that is a very welcome addition.

Samsung Galaxy A8 software

Because Samsung was not yet ready with Android 8.0 Oreo for its own devices before this smartphone was released, the device is still supplied with Android 7.1.1 Nougat . That is still a recent and widely used Android version, so there will be a broader support (the next two years also). The Android security patch that Samsung delivers is on December 1, 2017, so there is still a backlog. We hope that this backlog is quickly made up by the manufacturer.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

About Android 7.1.1 is Samsung Experience 8.5. This is the Android shell of Samsung, which gives it its distinctive appearance and software options. In comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S8 you can not expect new things. This device has every trick you’ve seen before and that is good news in our opinion. For the latest software you do not necessarily have to purchase an expensive device, since Samsung also installs on the somewhat cheaper models that come out later.

Samsung Galaxy A8 – in use

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is a smartphone that is really good in the hand. The corners are nicely round and fall well into your palm. That being said, it is unfortunately the case that the back is pretty slippery – a problem that we encounter more often at Samsung – and that it can sometimes slip out of your hands. So if you want to prevent it falling out, consider buying a good case. Because of its handy size, the buttons, both left and right, are also easily accessible. And the same applies to the fingerprint reader.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

In addition to protecting your phone with a fingerprint or pin code (or any other known method), you can also choose to use a face scan. You take a picture of your face and on that basis the phone will know that you are trying to unlock the thing. This works just as well as on a Samsung Galaxy S8; you therefore have varying degrees of success. The darker it gets, the lower that conversion rate becomes, so you can not assume that this always works. Only using the scanner is also fine.

Performance

In terms of performance you can not expect big miracles. You will notice that when you just do your daily things (calling, e-mailing, sending messages, etc.), the smartphone is capable enough and has no hitches. If you expect something more from your phone, and want to play on it for example, then we have bad news: this processor is not really intended for that. Nevertheless, that 4 GB of memory makes a lot of good and you can use many apps at the same time (and next to each other), if necessary.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8 - expensive midranger without added value

Samsung Galaxy A8 – conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A8 is not a special smartphone. For a midrange device that does not really, because you do not pay just as much as for a flagship. But for about 500 euros we can not recommend the device. And that is not only because the OnePlus 5T, which can be bought for the same amount, offers much better specs and has a lot of possibilities. It is also true that the Galaxy S8 is cheaper and this price point is approaching, so you can wonder what the added value of the A8 is.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 may bring the famous Infinity Display to the midrange market, but it is not the first device that does this. LG already started with the LG Q6 last year and OnePlus released the 5T last year. In addition, you also get little internal storage space for this amount. In short: the Galaxy A8 is not a special device, but works properly and as you might expect. But for the recommended retail price of this smartphone, you can and should expect more nowadays.

Negatives

  • Too expensive
  • Not special
  • Little storage

Pros

  • Premium design
  • Beautiful screen
  • Space for two SIM cards

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