The Samsung has launched a new smartphone to its “A” series line up exclusively available in the selected market China, India and Korea. The new Galaxy A8 is a metal built has slimmer, bigger and powerful profile than the predecessors.
Samsung has ditched plastic completely, which used to be main design concept up until last year. The A8 reflects a complete shift by Samsung in terms of built, design and modules particularly in the premium price segment.
The Galaxy A8 is packed in a uni-body metallic shell has a massive 3050 mAh battery, 16MP camera, super AMOLED display, and TouchWiz user interface mounted over Android lollipop. Despite all intrusive premiums, the Galaxy A8 with classical retro look sports a very thin profile weighs just 151 gram and only 5.9 mm in thickness. This is the slimmest Samsung Android smartphone to the date.
In India, Samsung went back to the regular root of online offline sales after a failed association with Flipkart for the Galaxy J5 and J7 sales. Thus, the A8 model is available in India at both online and offline retail outlets. The price of 32500 rupees at Amazon and Flipkart come after a whopping discount for Indian market from the official MRP of 35500 rupees.
The Samsung smartphone although is not a flagship, but its looks, features and performances is not less than any flagship smartphone. Most of features are a reminder of Galaxy S6 that comes with much cleaner interface for easy access.
- Uni-body Metallic Built
- Indian 4G Support
- Dual SIM
- OTG support
- 16 MP Primary (with Aperture f/1.9) and 5MP front facing camera
- 3050 mAh battery
- Fingerprint scanner
- Super AMOLED display
- Octa Core Processor
Head SAR – 0.100 W/kg
On a payment of 32500 rupees, Samsung India ships a blue box contents some magical gadgets. Besides the A8, there is
- Earphone: Gold plated, MIC and control buttons to accept and reject call
- Travel Adapter: 5V – 2Amp does very fast charging
- USB Cable
- SIM tool
- An extra pair of ear buds
Much like the galaxy S6, the A8 is allowing a secure access with a fast fingerprint scanner. Up to four copies of different fingerprints can be stored in the phone database. To enter fingerprint, user needs to rub a finger on the home button key until the “success” alert is displayed. The fingerprint is further secured with a password key. Once the fingerprint access is enabled, user needs to rub the finger on home button for a secure unlock. The entire process is really easy and quick to set up and use.
Even though biometric technology considered secure to prevent unauthorized access, but it is not free from usability concerns especially in Indian context. Phone processor, RAM and battery have to get on work to scan, verify and accept a fingerprint access request.
Consider a more likely situation you are in a no electricity zone and want to make an urgent call, but the phone is running really low in battery. While you try to access the phone, good amount of battery fuel will be lost in verification process. Eventually, you wouldn’t have sufficient battery power left to complete an urgent call.
Built and Design
This year Samsung has moved away from more plastic built to robust metal widely exhibit in the Galaxy A8.
The A8 is based on a uni-body premium robust metallic built widely rounded off around sides and edges. This is a slim design resembles quite closely with Galaxy Alpha in terms of looks and the Galaxy S6 in terms of features and applications.
Buttons placement is at identical locations quite similar to other Android devices from the brand. This is like any other typical Samsung Android phone as far as outside look goes. Noise cancellation MIC goes to the top, power button on the right; USB and audio port with primary MIC are placed at the bottom. Volume keys are chocked up to the left that is not very easy to reach in single hand usages. On the left is dual SIM phone port, one of which doubles as microSD card storage for memory expansion.
Metal built and super thin profile makes the Galaxy A8 an awesome compact device in use. Samsung delicately ensure for easy operation as the A8 carries very thin sides bezel that helps manage it in one hand easily. But single hand operation isn’t secured- quite possible to slip out easily as its rear is bit slipper.
The Galaxy A8 sports a 5 inches Super AMOLED display in FHD resolution mounted over excellent 386 PPI. Large size phablet type screen is quite good for watching movies, gaming, web browsing and pretty much anything else you want to do on a phone. Samsung’s signature TouchWiz brightness is visible at every pixels of the display. Very good viewing angles, excellent outdoor visibility, vibrant saturated colour reproductions all makes screen appear live. This is a very good display for enjoying contents or reading news. Yes, 10 point multi-touch is supported.
Driving over an Octa core processor, which divides into two quad core processors clocked simultaneously at high to low 1.8 GHz and 1.3 GHz, the A8 bump ups with brilliant performance for games, multitasking, OTG media playback and certainly web reading. Good thing to notice, despite a metallic Uni-body built, it does not heat up even after hours of hardcore gaming or intensive multitasking.
This phone has a pretty balance integration of software and hardware. In fact, the A8 is one of the best results of Samsung depth in smartphone designing and integration. Yes, integrated software is talking to inbuilt Hardware, which results into
- AnTuTU Score – 50295
- NenaMark2 – 59.8 fps
- Geekbench3 – 947 (Single Core), 3298 (Multi core)
- Quadrant Standard – 26040
For the Indian market, The A8 32GB variant offers a user share of 25GB from internal storage and only 721MB from 2GB RAM. Once again Samsung dare to share a small bite of RAM for the end user. Adding USB OTG support indeed helps memory management and expansion on demand.
The Super AMOLED 1080P display flaunts a feel of mini theatre that you cannot enjoy as the main speaker is very low in audio output. This is one big disappointment makes it uneasy to user for audio and video contents. You barely hear any audio in outside ambient. I do not entirely blame speaker driver rather the sound application encounters some integration issue. Hopefully Samsung will do something to address this problem. A classical FM tune is present to enjoying live local entertainment 24 by 7.
The A8 has a long list of connectivity options for easy and a secure communication. OTG, Indian 4G, Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5GHz), USB, Bluetooth, Screen mirroring are some of popular connectivity features are making headline here.
As I already mentioned, in terms of design ergonomics, new trend exhibited by Samsung more exclusive in the premium segment. Sealed battery is one up trend continue to follow in low, medium, premium and certainly in flagship segment. 3050 mAh battery is made out of lithium-ion gets recharged much faster thanks to 5V-2 ampere charger. Battery backup is excellent delivers 4 to 5 hours of active screen against hard usages. With basic usages, battery fuel rose up to 2 to 3 hours of extra in active screen. I trust this 3050 mAh battery for very good long backup on casual usages.
The Camera application is neat, easy and offers all quick settings on one click. There are few advance options hidden inside two to three steps do hurt if you try for quick photography. One of them is switching between HDR and non-HDR mode.
The A8 camera configuration reflects new strategic of Samsung where a clear shift visible in terms of movie away from a dedicated Sony image sensor to more robust arrangement. Aperture F/1.9 with ISO self technology backup by high-speed shutter does work for the A8. Auto focus is pretty fast, camera application is easier and image quality is mind-blowing. You can capture HD images in utmost clarity. The main camera in 16MP mode shoots only 4:3 ratio video. For 16:9 ratio video, change the mode to 12MP.
Yes, The A8 with 16MP Sensor should be considered an alternative for a premium DSLR. Samsung gets big credit for an easy camera interface that delivers much better in reality.
The front camera is no different story than the main camera. It features 120 degree wide lens that makes a wide coverage of your group selfie. However, the default setting is bit aggressive so in order to avail more natural output, spend some time to reset for a perfect selfie.
After reviewing the main and front camera, I can say Samsung has done mind-blowing job in camera management in the Galaxy A8.
Operating System and UI
Very familiar arrangement, not many change in the typical TouchWiz user interface mounted over Android Lollipop 5.1 for the Galaxy A8. The Smart manager comes in foray for better control over RAM, internal storage, battery and device security. Most of enhancement stuff is borrow from the flagship Galaxy S6.
- Theme Support – A galaxy of newly designed themes to make user interface much better looking.
- Ultra Power Saving Feature – Improve battery backup with a custom setting
- Screen mirroring – Telecast the display content via wireless to a Wi-Fi display gadget
- Multi windows – Very popular multi windows features for better usages of phone in real multitasking
- Keypad – Smart keypad with number rows for fast typing and chatting
- Super AMOLED 1080P Display
- Excellent Processor speed
- USB OTG Support
- 32GB Internal Storage
- Dual SIM
- 16MP and 5MP Camera
- Powerful 3050 mAh battery
- No LED notifications
- Very poor main speaker
- Poor RAM space for user
I have been very critical to Samsung for robbing customer with a vivid TouchWiz user interface. However, the A8 manage to do all good in every aspect. However, Samsung is Samsung so it cannot hand over a smartphone without doing fun. A 32500 rupees phone has only 711MB user RAM – a joke from Samsung.
The main speaker is utterly low fails to deliver loud audio. In fact, audio output is hollow and doesn’t feel coming out of a premium smartphone. I am really disappointed with main speaker and RAM Space. However, I cannot write off a basic fast, the Samsung Galaxy A8 is all good and worthy smartphone at a price of 32500 rupees.
|Magic Box||Handset with Battery, 2A Charger, Earphone, USB Cable|
|SIM||Dual, GSM, 4G/3G+2G|
|Processor||Quad core, 1.8 GHz + Quad core, 1.3 GHz, Exynos 5 Octa 5430|
|Memory||2GB RAM, 32GB Memory, 128GB SD card Support, USB OTG|
|Screen||5.7 inches, FHD, 1080×1920 Pixels, Super AMOLED, 386 PPI|
|Camera||16MP[P], 5MP[F], LED Flash, ZOOM, FHD Recording, F/1.9|
|Battery||3050 mAh, Li-Po|
|Connectivity||BT 4.0, USB 2.0, FM, 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS, OTG|
|Body||151 gram[W], 5.9 mm[Th]|
|Sensors||Proximity, Compass, Accelerometer, Fingerprint ID, Light|