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...
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.