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Samsung Galaxy A8 Review

by Content Editor LucyS ‎2018-05-22 03:44 PM
Posted by (Content Editor)
22nd May 2018, 3:44pm
LucyS

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Don’t be fooled by the A-series name, the Samsung Galaxy A8 is like a mini-flagship smartphone with all the best features packed in.

 

This little pocket rocket comes loaded with an impressive camera (more on that below), Samsung’s trademark edge-to-edge “infinity” display and is also dust and water resistant.

 

So let’s get into the specifics...

 

Unboxing

 

Pleasant packaging with no space wasted. What’s in the box? Headphones, a charger, plastic protective case, USB converter and a SIM key. I’m reviewing the Black version of the Samsung Galaxy A8.

 

Design

 

Now this is where the Samsung Galaxy A8 sets itself part from other A-series smartphones. The design is much more aligned to the flagship Samsung phones with its metal and glass styling, curved edges and that gorgeous 5.6” edge-to-edge full HD Super AMOLED display. Screen resolution is bold and punchy, making it great for Instagramming, Netflix marathons and gaming (or so I hear from @AlistarS. I’ve never played a game on a phone except for that one time I got addicted to Candy Crush). There’s no home button either which adds to the phone’s sleekness. This may be a mid-range phone but its certainly got a premium look and feel.

 

Samsung have moved the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy A8 so it is below the camera. It takes some getting used to (I still have a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with home button) but give it a few weeks and you won’t notice the difference. Interestingly the speaker is on the side of the phone above the power button where usually they’re placed at the bottom next to the USB port. I’m not sure whether this impacts sound quality (the speaker isn’t incredible if I’m honest) but who really listens to music via a phone speaker these days?

 

Camera

 

I’m a sucker for a good camera and on a mid-range smartphone?! YES PLEASE. The Samsung Galaxy A8 has a dual-selfie camera which is very interesting. What does this mean? Having a dual selfie camera allows you to get what Samsung are calling “Live Focus” or selfies with depth of field (foreground in focus, background blurry). It’s so fun to play around with and as someone who loves to snap everything, I found this feature an awesome addition. You can also play around with “Beauty Mode” which gives you a #flawless look and “Wefie” (wide selfie) which allows you to get all your mates in one shot.

 

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The rear camera is an impressive 16MP so naturally the photos you can take are beautiful, crisp and clear in almost all levels of lighting. Unfortunately, there’s no Samsung “Auto Focus” but some things must be saved for the flagship.

 

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Other features

 

The Samsung Galaxy A8 has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance which basically means it will endure the odd dunk, splash or spill and if you do drop it in the pool, it can survive for up to 30 mins at a depth of 1.5m.

 

Lastly this Samsung smartphone comes with 32GB or 64GB of storage but you can load it with up to 400GB of expandable storage on a Micro SD card (sold separately), which if you’re a gamer, take lots of photographs or need to download huge files, you just might need to do.

 

Love

 

  • Design - this is one of the most premium-looking mid-range phones on the market
  • Camera – y’all know I love a good selfie and that Live Focus feature is <fire emoji>
  • Durability – that IP68 protection on a mid-range smartphone could be life-saving

 

Not-so-sure about

 

  • Operating system - bit gutted the Samsung Galaxy A8 isn’t launching with the latest Android OS (it’s launching with Android 7.1.1 aka Nougat)
  • No “Auto Focus” - I would love to see this feature on the Samsung Galaxy A8’s rear camera as it’s one of my favourite things about the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. However, I realise that’s a bit cheeky to ask as this is a mid-high range phone and we can’t have everything

 

Verdict

 

This is a Samsung Galaxy S8 mini in all but name 😉 and you’d be mad not to consider it if you want all the best features but aren’t fussed about the (sometimes gimmicky) bells and whistles on flagship smartphones.

 

So is there anything I've missed that you'd like to know about? Just ask me in the comments below. 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above review are my own and do not represent those of Optus or its staff.

Comments
Dan_C
by Moderator Dan_C
‎2018-05-26 01:49 AM

Do I dare@ SillyGogo? My contract has a couple of more months left. I'm still juggling between the GS9+ or iPhone X. We'll see what September has in store, maybe I'll be razzle dazzled by Apple's new flagship. 

 

But what about my MacBook, iPad & Apple Carplay? Would @LucyS be so kind?  

 

My last droid experience was a few years back. From memory it was the Sony Z2. I actually really enjoyed that phone.

 

 

SillyGogo
by Crowd Champion SillyGogo
‎2018-05-26 07:48 AM
@Dan_C. "But what about my MacBook, iPad & Apple Carplay?" You have been looking at the woman in the Red dress for too long. You have a very valid point, one of Apple's strength is to able to lock you in with its ecosystem. With each devise linking to each other, even in the early days of the Ipod that can only works with the iMac. I do not own a Macbook so not sure what sort of intergration that you will be missing out with an Android. Always, wanted to get a Mac in the past but out family could not afford it. I have a couple of iPads and the only thing that I link it with my iPhone is internet hotspot, Android can do that but not as seemless. I have used both Apple Carplay and Android Auto, I prefer the Android version more but at the end of the day, I can do most of the things with my car system. The connectivity would be for live traffic update. As for other stuff, I have turned it off and concentrate on the driving or scenery. Who know what Apple will bring out in Sept, maybe a finger print scanner on the back and a normal headphone jack. For me I still have my iPhone 4s, 5s and 6s, I am waiting for the 7s. Couple of months contract left? I am sure your provide can give you an early upgrade, but there isn't much out there at the moment, waiting till Sept isn't a bad idea. @LucyS surely wouldn't mind lending US her spare phones.
Dan_C
by Moderator Dan_C
‎2018-05-28 05:00 AM

@SillyGogo

Haha, Matrix references are so versatile Smiley Very Happy

 

You're completely right though. For me, it's familiarity. I know exactly what's out there, but I've been content in remaining plugged in (another Matrix reference for any lurkers).

 

Making the switch can be daunting. I guess there's a perceived idea that it's harder than it really is. Samsung have made things easier with their Smart Switch App. Apparently, there's even a list of all your old iOS apps, that way you can install the Android variant of all your fave apps. 

 

I do have Android auto compatibility built into my head unit, so that's not a huge issue. I do see Apple shifting towards the rear finger print scanner. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the X was dropped in favour of facial recognition, but I'm sure we'll see the return of the fingerprint sensor. 

 

"And a normal headphone jack" - Please make it so. 

 

We'll see what happens come September, maybe you'll see a, “switching from iOS to Android write up in the future

@LucyS

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the above post are my own and do not represent those of Optus or its staff.

 

 

Yeldarb
by Crowd Champion Yeldarb
‎2018-05-31 10:07 AM

It was a drone pic 

Felicity_YC
by Online Community Manager
‎2018-06-01 12:19 PM

@Yeldarb it really is a great shot. 

Yeldarb
by Crowd Champion Yeldarb
‎2018-06-02 10:54 PM

Yep good old Bonnie Doon never looked so good. Smiley Very Happy

 

 

charliet100
by Occasional Contributor charliet100
‎2018-06-05 04:15 PM

Is the camera better than an OPPO R9? Thinking about upgrading but want a better camera.

Dan_C
by Moderator Dan_C
‎2018-06-05 04:29 PM

They're actually quite comparable.

 

We don't stock the R9, but I've compared the camera specs of the 2 devices.

 

Oppo R9:

Primary Camera: 16 MP (f/1.7, 1/2.8", 1.12µm, Dual PDAF), phase detection autofocus, LED flash.

Secondary/front facing: 16 MP, f/2.0. 

 

Samsung A8:

Primary Camera: 16 MP (f/1.7, 1/2.8”, 1.12µm), phase detection autofocus, LED flash.

Secondary/front facing: Dual: 16 MP (f/1.9, 1/3.1”, 1.0µm) + 8 MP (f/1.9, 1/4.0”, 1.12µm), 1080p

 

I'm a big fan of the dual selfie camera! Let us know what you end going for @charliet100