The Samsung Galaxy A8 is a no-nonsense smartphone. All the good of a Samsung Galaxy, without paying the main prize. At least that’s the idea. But does that also come true?
- Building quality
- Front camera
- Not the latest Android version
Samsung Galaxy A8
- Price € 499, –
- Colors Black, gray, gold
- OS Android 7.1
- Screen 5.6 inch (2220×1080)
- Processor 2.2 GHz octa-core (Exynos 7885)
- RAM 4GB
- Storage 32 GB (expandable with memory card)
- Battery 3.000 mAh
- Camera 16 megapixel (behind), 16 and 8-megapixel dual-cam (front)
- Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 5.0, wifi, GPS
- Format 14.9 x 7 x 0.8 cm
- Weight 172 grams
- Other: Fingerprint scanner, USB-c, headphone port, waterproof
The Galaxy A8 looks modest, in terms of size and by leaving out fuss as a curved screen, dual camera, heart rate monitor, dedicated physical button for the Bixby assistant, a stylus and price. The device has appeared on the market for about 500 euros. That is still a lot of money, but a lot more reasonable than the less modest devices that in some cases are more than twice as expensive as this Galaxy A8.
For that money, you get a smartphone that has the look of a Samsung top device, although it is comparatively thicker. The device is waterproof and of solid construction quality, thanks to the metal edge around the device. There is a large screen in the device, but because of the minimal screen edges and the somewhat stretched aspect ratio, the size is not too bad. The A8 is about the same size as the Galaxy S8.
At the bottom of the device, we find a USB port, on which you can connect a quick charger. There is also just a headphone input at the bottom. It is strange that there are two sliders, one for the memory card and one for the double SIM card. Normally you place two tickets in the same slider. But because the A8 can carry two SIM cards and a memory card, the two sliders are needed.
As we are used to from Samsung, the screen quality is fine. The Galaxy A8 has a bright and colorful AMOLED panel with a full HD resolution. In almost every situation the screen is comfortable to read, but colors are a bit overdone.
Inside there is nothing that really stands out, in a positive or negative sense. An octa-core Samsung private label processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB (expandable) storage. That is enough to make heavy apps run smoothly. Due to the 3,000 mAh battery and economical chips, the battery lasts about one and a half days. The available storage space is a bit scanty, more and more smartphones in higher price ranges have twice as much, fortunately, space is simply expandable with a memory card.
Samsung has a good reputation when it comes to smartphone cameras, the A8 is not equipped with a dual camera. At least at the back. More and more smartphones have such a double camera at the rear, which you use to zoom in, not digitally, but optically. With the Note 8, Samsung is also active in this area. But the A8 does not have a double camera at the front, the single camera on the back is, therefore, less suitable for zooming, but does not compromise qualitatively. Photos come out clearly and in detail and as we are used to from Samsung, the colors of your screen clap. Nicer but less true to life than an iPhone camera for example.
Natural light, artificial light, and no light.
Even in more difficult lighting conditions, the camera of the Galaxy A8 shows quite a lot. Inevitably some noise occurs, but the details and colors remain pretty visible. Only in these circumstances, I had some problems with motion blur. The camera on the back is of acceptable quality but does somewhat less than the Samsung Galaxy A8.
The Samsung Galaxy A8, therefore, has more attention for the self-makers, with a double camera on the front. Because of his two eyes at the front, the smartphone is better able to estimate depth, making selfies where the background fades. Live focus is called this function. That sounds better than ‘bokeh effect’, as this portrait function is also called. The selfie cameras shoot remarkably good photos. You can also brighten up your selfie with childlike snapchat-like stickers.
The Samsung Galaxy A8 will drop stitches in the software field. Samsung is known to tinkle pretty drastically on Android. As I said, in the performance, I did not notice much of that directly. However, the device is full of bloatware. In the app overview, it seems to fall because everything is hidden in folders. In the Samsung folder many Samsung duplicates of standard Android applications such as an extra browser, application store, and health app. Microsoft has also pre-installed a range of apps, which also appear in the notification panel. There is also Samsung-marketing gapps present and there is the settings the tab Device maintenance, which is nothing more than misleading tools such as a McAfee security scanner and memory optimization. By moving it to the settings, Samsung camouflages this unalterable bloatware.
There is also Samsung’s own built-in assistant Bixby. This is processed in many places in Android. Until now, this has not come in handy for me, Samsung will still have a big job at Bixby. On the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, Bixby was even annoying, by a physical button on the left side of the device. When it was pressed, you immediately called Bixby. Even if your device was locked. This button has been omitted. Because of this, you do not call Bixby so easily by accident and only if you really need it. As a result, the assistant is in any case no longer annoying to me. Strangely enough, that is an improvement.
The last thing that Samsung drops is the fact that the Samsung Galaxy A8 does not run on the latest Android version, Android 7 instead of Android 8. That is a bit embarrassing since a competitor like Sony could do this in September. An update to Android 8 (Oreo) is coming and Samsung supports devices for at least a year and a half, so you are equipped with security patches and updates with the Galaxy A8 until July 2019.
Samsung smartphones drop in price relatively quickly. At the time of writing, the Samsung Galaxy A8 just appeared on the market for 500 euros and the Galaxy S8 is only seven tens more expensive. The Samsung Galaxy A8 can be somewhat difficult to justify for this price. If you want more value for money, then the few bucks for the S8 are worth the investment in terms of camera, specs, and screen. But in the same price range, you also buy a OnePlus 5T, which is more powerful or a Nokia 8 with a clean, recent Android version. But it is expected that the price of the A8 will drop relatively quickly, for about 400 euros the device jumps a lot more. So, if you have found an interesting deal for the Samsung Galaxy A8, then skip straight away. But for 500 euros you can get better right now.
If you are looking for a Samsung smartphone, but the best devices are a little too expensive, you can go to the Samsung Galaxy A8. Yet this device with 500 euros is too high priced for what you get in return. However, if you see an interesting offer for the Samsung Galaxy A8, then it is a good choice. The waterproof build quality, screen, and specifications are very positive. The battery life and camera are also acceptable. Only Android needs an update and a broom.