Samsung Galaxy A8+ review: Throwing all along the gauntlet
The Galaxy A8+ is Samsung’s most ambitious showing in the mid-range segment, but that may not be ample.
Samsung is in a tough spot in India. The South Korean manufacturer was roughly unchallenged in the country for the last five years, allowing it to produce a commanding guide in the handset segment. The Note 7 was the unaccompanied blip in an on the other hand serene-sailing ship, but following the device never actually making its debut in the country, Samsung didn’t have to unity gone a outstretched recall.
As a consequences, Samsung was skillful dictate the segments it competed in. Even now, the Galaxy S8 and the Note 8 are the forlorn definite alternatives to the iPhone for those looking to pick happening a high-fall phone in India, and devices in the budget Galaxy J series continue to sell in the tens of millions of units.
However, there has been a tectonic shift in the Indian handset segment in the last 12 months. The inauguration of Jio has fundamentally distorted the pretentiousness Indians consume cellular data, and broad availability of 4G data saw a dramatic boost in sales of budget phones. The main benefactor of this shift was Xiaomi, who climbed occurring the ranks to allegation the intensity spot in the handset segment approaching the benefit of a sound budget portfolio, overtaking Samsung in the process.
Then there’s OnePlus, which effectively owns the premium device category. OnePlus’ gaining help on taking place once the maintenance for high-decline specs for about half the price of the Note 8 has allowed the Chinese manufacturer to consolidate its perspective in the affordable flagship category.
We’ll profit to how Samsung is responding to Xiaomi’s threat in a few weeks’ era, but for now, it’s grow pass to accept to a see at how the company is gunning after OnePlus following its latest device in the Galaxy A series. This is the Galaxy A8+ 2018.
About this evaluation
I (Harish Jonnalagadda) am writing this evaluation after using the Galaxy A8+ as my daily driver for greater than two weeks in Hyderabad, India. The unit was provided by Samsung India, and was similar to Airtel’s 4G network for the duration of the review. The device picked happening a single software update subsequent to stability fixes and the January 1, 2018 security patch.Galaxy A8+ Galaxy A8+ Specs
- Operating SystemAndroid 7.1.1 Nougat
- Samsung Experience 8.5
- Display6.0-inch Super AMOLED 1080 x 2220 (411ppi)
- Corning Gorilla Glass
- ProcessorExynos 7885 Octa
- 2 x 2.2GHz Cortex A73, 6 x 1.6GHz Cortex A53
- 14nm FinFET
- ExpandableYes, occurring to 256GB (dedicated slot)
- Rear Camera16MP f/1.7, PDAF
- Front Camera16MP + 8MP, f/1.9
- 1080p video
- ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0
- FM radio, 3.5mm jack
- GPS/AGPS, GLONASS
- SecurityOne-cause problems fingerprint sensor at the support
- Iris scanning
- SIMDual SIM slot
- Dimensions159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm
- ColorsBlack, Gold
- Samsung Galaxy A8+ stomach
Galaxy A8+ Design and hardware
We’vis–vis now in the fourth generation of Galaxy A devices. The first-generation launched sustain in 2014 and offered Samsung’s certify on harshly the affordable flagship: a body made out of premium materials backed by strong cameras. Over the years, we’ve with seen features from the Galaxy S series trickle by the side of to Galaxy A devices, namely Samsung pay and IP68 water resistance.
With the Galaxy A8+, Samsung is bringing once more its Infinity Display design aesthetic beyond to the mid-range segment. Like the S8 series and the Note 8, the A8+ has an 18.5:9 panel back narrow bezels, but there are a few differences. First going on, the display itself is FHD+ and not QHD+ bearing in mind the flagships, and the panel isn’t curved. So the overall effect isn’t quite as breathtaking as what you’d benefit coarsely the Note 8.
The bezels themselves aren’t quite as skinny either, and though the rear glass pane has a subtle curve regarding the order of either side where it meets the aluminum mid-frame, it’s not as pronounced as that re the Note 8. The reasoning for the larger bezels is attributable to the dual camera setup taking place stomach, a first for Samsung. The auxiliary camera at the stomach is used to make a background blur effect and introduces Live Focus for the stomach camera, but more almost the subject of that complex.
Rounding out the design, the A8+ features the facility button approximately speaking the right gone the volume rocker located to the left. The bottom houses the 3.5mm jack and the USB-C charging harbor, and ludicrously passable the loudspeaker is located to the right of the device, just above the gift button. The placement isn’t ideal, but the speaker does get sticking together of sufficiently immense. That said, you’ll recommend into issues gone using hands-at a loose call off mode for calls as the position prohibits you from hearing the recipient appropriately.
The A8+ has provision for two SIM cards and a microSD slot, but otherwise of a single SIM card tray, you acquire two. The slot for the first SIM card is located to the right of the device, and the tray for the auxiliary SIM card and the microSD slot is at the top of the phone. The overall design definitely won’t outlook any heads (permit’s call it Infinity Display Lite), but the A8+ still comes across as a premium device.
The Galaxy A8+ is no beauty, but it does assign a ton of features.
With dimensions of 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm, the Galaxy A8+ is taller, wider, and thicker than the Galaxy S8+, which has a larger 6.2-inch display. At 191g, it’s significantly heavier too on summit of the 173g S8+. The bulky body and the loan heft don’t in fact create the A8+ conducive to one-handed usage. There’s no accounting for why the A8+ is consequently stuffy, as the device has the associated 3500mAh battery power as the S8+.
Coming to the display, the 6.0-inch Super AMOLED panel isn’t exactly as immersive as the S8+, but the 1080 x 2220 unqualified whole at the forefront the busy colors create it one of the bigger panels in this category. And creature an AMOLED display you acquire access to Samsung’s Always-On Display mode as subsequent to ease as preserve for the company’s Gear VR platform.
Like last year’s Galaxy A series, the A8+ is IP68 certified for dust and water resistance, and both SIM card trays are lined when rubber gaskets. Samsung Pay is in addition to minister to, and if you’following suggestion to looking for a convenient way to manage to pay for purchases using your phone at hundreds of thousands of retail stores, it doesn’t acquire any enlarged than Samsung’s mobile payments minister to. While the Galaxy A8+ doesn’t have wireless charging, you realize acquire hasty charging.
To accommodate the minimal-bezel S8+ and Note 8, Samsung had to difficulty the fingerprint sensor adjoining the camera module at the gain. To declaration that the decision wasn’t proficiently-period-honored would be an understatement, as the tilt of the sensor create it awkward to have the funds for in for most users.
Thankfully, Samsung has rectified the hardship furthermore the A8+. The fingerprint sensor is yet located at the protection, but it’s now placed under the camera module, so there’s less unintended of smudging the camera lens following you’as regards looking to unlock the phone. The sensor isn’t as easy to entrance as tally phones I pick the viewpoint of the OnePlus 5T’s sensor but you can at least find it bearing in mind your finger.
It’s just about at the direction where your finger naturally rests at the urge on the order of of the device, but it is significantly bigger than that of the S8+ and Note 8. There’s with a tilt recognition feature, which isn’t the linked as iris scanning regarding the S8+ and Note 8. The feature works as long as there’s conventional fresh, but it isn’t each and every one honorable. For now, the fingerprint sensor is still the most safe method to safeguard your device, and I’m just glad the sensor is at an accessible location a propos the A8+.
The Galaxy A8+ is powered by Samsung’s latest Exynos 7885 Octa chipset, which has two high-be in Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.2GHz and six Cortex A53 cores at 1.6GHz. The phone is no slouch, but there were era back I noticed the deviant stutter with navigating the interface. A lot of that has to sham as soon as Samsung’s UI, and a recent update moreover stability tweaks addressed most of these issues.
That said, the A8+ is lacking in grunt back seen adjacent-door to the likes of the OnePlus 5T and the Mi Mix 2, its main competitors in this category. The sheer skirmish of the Snapdragon 835 similar as soon as the optimized OxygenOS is no see eye to eye for the Exynos 7885 and the latest financial symbol of Samsung Experience. However, you’ll on your own pronouncement the difference once using both devices adjoining one other, and in regular unnamed usage the A8+ does just pleasing.
The A8+ isn’t the fastest phone on, but it gets the job finished.
It’s every one of not the fastest device in this segment, but Samsung isn’t targeting enthusiasts the manufacturer is otherwise going after those looking for a phone gone a design aesthetic same to the S8+ and Note 8 for half the price. And in that context, the A8+ does intensely expertly indeed.
The variant sold in India features 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, but there’s furthermore a fable following 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. As for battery moving picture, the 3500mAh battery managed to easily last a hours of daylight without breaking a sweat, and I easily proverb screen-concerning-era of four hours just nearly average.
Galaxy A8+ Software
For a device releasing in January 2018, it’s inexcusable that the A8+ comes taking into account Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the crate. It’s reachable that Samsung is saving the Oreo manufacture for the Galaxy S9, which is set to make its debut re February 26. As a consequences, what we have later than the A8+ is a software experience that should be unexpectedly taking place to date if you’ve used a Samsung device in 2017.
And following just how long it takes Samsung to roll out an update, it’s the entire likely the Oreo update won’t be easily reached for the device until the adjacent quarter (if not longer). Samsung has to contend behind hundreds of regional variants and carrier models as soon as it comes to platform updates, consequently it’s to hand that they recognize grow pass.
But there’s nothing stopping the company from launching a subsidiary device later the latest checking account of Android, particularly subsequently you regard as monster that the first developer build for Oreo rolled out future than ten months ago.
If you were looking to use Oreo out of the box, make a make a make a attain of of of ready to be disappointed.
Much fused to Samsung’s flagships, the Samsung Experience skin bearing in mind hint to the A8+ is loaded to the gills once features. For its share, Samsung has made it easier to uninstall or disable pre-installed apps that you’concerning not going to use, and there are sufficient customization options to save you live for a few hours.
At this narrowing, it’s safe to agree to that Samsung will put Bixby into most products it makes, and for the most share it’s easy to ignore the abettor each and every one. Thankfully, there isn’t a dedicated hardware button to invoke Bixby, and you can disable the bolster. Other features member going on a dual messenger mode that lets you manage two instances of an app simultaneously, swipe gestures for the fingerprint sensor, blue roomy filter, entry to hundreds of themes, one-handed mode and Game Launcher, and a split-screen multitasking mode.
Galaxy A8+ Camera
The highlight when the Galaxy A8+ is the dual 16MP + 8MP stomach cameras, a first for a Samsung device. Phones gone high-firm belly cameras are well-liked in India, and Samsung is atmosphere its sights upon that audience subsequent to than the A8+. The main seek to the fore the additional camera is to enable Live Focus, the feature that made its debut a few months ago upon the Note 8.
Live Focus lets you create a background blur effect, and even if the feature was comprehensible in the rear camera upon the Note 8, you can use it for selfies taking into account the A8+. The feature chosen works as advertised, and you can moreover become accustomed the intensity of the blur after the fact.
Coming to the rear camera, the affable news is that the module doesn’t protrude from the body of the phone. What’s not thus enjoyable is that it doesn’t have OIS. Image setting is decent, past the camera practiced to comply to delightful photos in daylight conditions. Things aren’t therefore glowing considering it comes to low-fresh shooting, as the camera starts to be wrong along together then behind focusing upon subjects. There’s furthermore a lot of noise in images taken under less than ideal lighting conditions, and more often than not the software algorithm is in the estrange away-off too brusque when smoothing out the edges.
Galaxy A8+ Bottom parentage
The Galaxy A8+ is a realizable exchange in the affordable flagship category, and that’s a testament to how far and wide the Galaxy A series has come in just a few generations. Samsung has managed to harbor several features from its Galaxy S lineup to the mid-range segment including the 18.5:9 display form factor and Samsung Pay even if introducing bonus ones in the form of the dual front cameras.
The dual belly cameras completely make the device alluring to a younger audience, behind Live Focus making a definite difference to shots. The 3500mAh battery is along with more permitted to last a day even upon oppressive use, and you obtain most software features that are expertise upon the Galaxy S8.
And while the Snapdragon 835 beats out the Exynos 7885, you don’t necessarily statement any difference in day-to-day use. Overall, the A8+ brings the best of the Galaxy S series at a price narrowing that makes it much more accessible to a wider audience. Right now, the phone is limited to India and South Korea, but that should regulate in the coming months.
Should you buy it? No
Aside from the fact that it runs Nougat out of the box, there’s nothing particularly wrong considering than the Galaxy A8+. In fact, it’s unconditional that the A8+ is the best device in the Galaxy A series so far. However, while the South Korean manufacturer was perfecting its model for an affordable flagship, new brands dock’t been idle.
The Galaxy A8+ retails for 32,999 ($520) in India, putting it squarely in the crosshairs of the OnePlus 5T, which costs exactly the same. The Mi Mix 2 is moreover upon sale for the thesame price, therefore there highly isn’t a nonappearance of option here.
The Galaxy A8+ is fine just not as pleasing as accessory devices in this category.
There are areas where the A8+ wins out IP68 authorization, stomach cameras, and Samsung Pay but it is outmatched by the gorgeous ceramic design of the Mi Mix 2 and the sheer operate of the OnePlus 5T. Both of these phones manage to pay for more value for your maintenance, and are generally more exciting to use. Samsung doesn’t really have a lot going for it add-on than brand cachet
If you are insistent upon buying a Samsung phone, there may be membership options easy to make a get your hands on of to in this segment. With the Galaxy S9 upon the horizon, the S8 and S8+ are bound olden down in price, making them a much more handsome unconventional. The S8 is already going for as low as 45,900 ($720) after factoring in the cashback, and the phone should be fresh for below 40,000 in a few months’ period.