The use of metal began with the Galaxy Alpha, and was later extended to the Galaxy A series, with these otherwise mid-range smartphones featuring metallic unibody designs.
The latest addition to the Galaxy A lineup is bigger, but thinner and more powerful. The question is, in this highly competitive mid-range segment, is it worth the buy? We find out, in this in-depth review of the Samsung Galaxy A8!
As mentioned, the marked feature is slimness, the Galaxy A series is the full metal unibody design, and that continues with the Galaxy A8. Unfortunately, that also means the battery is not removable. Chamfered edges go around the entire frame, and the body has been mostly rounded off along the corners and the back. With a thickness of just 5.9 mm, the Galaxy A8 is Samsung’s thinnest phone to date, and the device is quite light, with a weight of 151 grams, despite its metal construction.
The Galaxy A8 is a fairly huge device and has very thin bezels, this makes the phone look more appealing. The metal build and extremely sleek profile is a great combination. That said, while it feels solid in the hand, the Galaxy A8 can still be pretty unwieldy at times, because of the large screen and the slipperiness of the metallic back.
A fingerprint scanner is also integrated into the physical home button of the device, and works just as well as it does on the Galaxy S6, allowing for a quick and simple way to unlock the phone
Looks top notch premium, feels top notch premium, still slippery and risky.
The Galaxy A8 comes with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 386 ppi. The large size of the display makes it great for watching videos, playing games, web browsing, and pretty much anything else you’d typically want to do on your phone.
The Galaxy A8 has great viewing angles, high brightness, good outdoor visibility, and vibrant, saturated colors that make the elements pop off the screen.
Performance and Battery Life
The Galaxy A8 packs an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, clocked at 1.5 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 405 GPU and 2 GB of RAM.
Everyday performance with the A8 was good, with everything running smoothly when browsing the web, multi-tasking, or playing graphic-intensive games.
The Samsung Galaxy A8 phone is smooth, quick and efficient at most tasks, from running just the UI to loading intensive apps and games. Basic functionality such as the camera and Internet-based services are quick to load and an absolute pleasure to use.
Despite how thin the Galaxy A8 is, Samsung was able to pack a large 3,050 mAh battery inside the device, and as expected, the battery life it provides is really good. No matter how heavy or light your use is, you should comfortably be able to get a full day of use, if not more, out of the Galaxy A8.
The rear camera is a 16 MP sensor with an f/1.9 aperture, just like what is seen with the Galaxy S6. The camera is decent in ordinary light and in bright settings. Sharpness, detail and colour reproduction are definite strong points. Zooming deep into pictures also tends to reveal a lot of detail.
The front-facing camera is a 5 MP unit with a wide angle lens that allows for some decent looking selfies, but the default beauty mode settings are a little too aggressive, and that’s something you’ll have to tone down to get a more natural looking image.
The images are colorful and saturated as you would expect from a Samsung camera, making for some very crisp and vibrant images.
On the software side of things, the Galaxy A8 runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, with Samsung’s typical TouchWiz interface on top. This the much leaner version of TouchWiz that was first seen with the Galaxy S series flagships, and as such, there is a lot less Samsung bloatware and unnecessary features.
The new themes engine that was first introduced on the S6 is also included on the Galaxy A8, to help you easily customize and change the overall look of the UI if you’re not a fan of the blue and green Touchwiz color scheme.
Summary : An excellent mid-ranger, but with a flagship price
In short, the Samsung Galaxy A8 is a few small steps short of the flagship experience at a price much lower than users are now accustomed to paying. This phone is a pleasure to use, and has no flaws apart from the TouchWiz user interface being slightly laggy. With other key aspects like performance being at par with most other mid-range smartphones out there that are available at far cheaper price points, the Galaxy A8 can be a difficult device to recommend.
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