Samsung’s Galaxy A series is all about delivering top-end performance with beautiful designs, but at price points that are not as high as the premium Galaxy S range. The Samsung Galaxy A8 is the latest smartphone in this series and is touted as the slimmest ‘Galaxy’ phone till now as it is only 5.9mm thick — even the Samsung flagship Galaxy S6 is 6.8 mm. So does this ultra-slim Galaxy A8 deliver?
Specs: 5.7-inch full HD Super AMOLED display | Snapdragon 615 Octa-core processor | 2GB RAM, 32GB storage space (expandable up to 128GB) | 16MP rear + 5MP front camera | 3,050mAh battery | 4G LTE Dual SIM | Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) | Fingerprint scanner
Price: Rs 32,500
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Design, Screen: Samsung Galaxy A8 has a metal frame on the sides, full metal unibody build and looks sleek and premium. Interestingly, Samsung has not added a speaker grill at the bottom of the A8, a design element that has become fairly common in a lot of new smartphones.
The screen in the Galaxy A8 is 5.7-inch Super AMOLED which means this is an ideal smartphone if you want to watch movies, show-off your Facebook/Instagram pictures to your friends. Those who are fans of big-screen phones will appreciate the extra real estate on the screen as Samsung Galaxy A8 has a 2.5 mm bezel that you barely notice.
The screen, however, is prone to smudges and I did notice some slight scratches. That is disappointing, given that this is a not a cheap phone.
Performance, UI: The Galaxy A8 does really well on Antutu benchmark (clocking in right on top) and GeekBench 3. Benchmarks aside, I faced no problems using the Galaxy A8.
Galazy A8’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor ensures a fairly snappy performance, be it downloading apps and playing graphics heavy games or just browsing. However, the phone does start to get hot when you use it for too long.
Samsung has added its split-view experience to the smartphone. Plus, you can use a palm swipe to capture a screenshot and mute by just placing your hand on the screen or turning the device over. Also, Smart Alert vibrates the phone when you pick it up to let you know about missed calls and messages.
The “Palm Swipe to Capture” gesture worked 90 per cent of the time, while the Mute options will be appreciated by those who find themselves in meetings most of the day.
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I love the fact that like most other high-end Samsung phones, this one too has the Flipboard app integrated into the homescreen on a left swipe. Samsung has loaded Galaxy Apps and Galaxy Essentials, but I saw very little use for any of these. So the bloatware problem continue, even though you won’t really mind as this phone has 32GB storage.
Fingerprint Scanner: The Galaxy A8’s fingerprint scanner on home button lets users store up to four fingerprints on the device. While I still find the process of registering fingers tedious, the scanner works accurately. It is fast and efficient.
Camera: The Galaxy A8’s rear camera is one of the best I’ve used in recent times. The colour reproduction is top notch, as are the shots in night mode.
The Pro-Mode lets you tinker with ISO, shutter speed and other parameters to deliver really good results. The wide-angle front camera offers good selfies which will more than satisfy the selfie addicts. Personally, I have expected a wee bit more from the selfie camera, especially since much cheaper phones are now packing 8MP clickers on this side.
Battery front: Galaxy A8 lasted a day for me with my medium to heavy usage, which included browsing, calls, clicking photos, tweeting, etc. The battery saver mode ensures that the phone goes on for that extra hour or two and I appreciated that bit.
Verdict: Should you buy it or not?
The only real competitor for the Galaxy A8 at its price-point is the HTC E9+ which has a 20.9 mp camera and 2K display. So the Samsung Galaxy A8 will seem pricey to many, given that India has a new brigade of smartphones offering specs and performance at much more competitive pricing.
If you don’t mind spending Rs 30,000 and above on a phone, consider the Galaxy A8. It looks top-end, has a great camera and screen. Or you might just want to wait for a price drop.