Although not a flagship, the Galaxy A8 is one of Samsung’s more expensive phones. It was released in 2018 but is more than capable of life in 2020. Surprised? Let’s talk about this below.
Similar to the A7 and A9 phones, the A8 belongs to the older generation of Samsung's A series which has been discontinued. Therefore the device is not available for purchase brand new and you will have to rely on second hand phones.
The majority of Samsung’s newer phones are over 6 inches, including their mid-rangers. That’s why the A8’s size is a major giveaway that it’s old. The device boasts the following dimensions, 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4 mm. What do you think?
It feels sturdy, however. The phone’s built from Gorilla Glass 5, making it quite resistant. There’s a metallic effect on its back too, creating a premium feel. We have to say, the phone looks its best in its orchid variant.
You’ve already met the orchid variant, but there are 3 other colours for you to choose from. These are black, gold and blue.
We think that A8’s ergonomics are pretty great. Not only does it fit snug into your palms, but buttons are also easy to reach. This is especially true for the fingerprint sensor on its back.
It has quite the heft to it too. It certainly isn’t wrist work-out worthy, but it’s no feather. The phone is a 172-gram device.
No surprise, the A8 comes with a Super AMOLED screen, ensuring you get a vibrant, bright viewing experience.
That being said, your experience isn’t that immersive, by today’s standards at least. The A8 comes with a 75.6% screen to body ratio. You’ll notice chunky bezels on the device. For 2018, they may have been fine, but they don’t cut it in 2020. Budget devices these days come with 85% screen to body ratios, like the A20.
Its screen is detailed, but not as crisp as flagships. The phone has a screen resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels. Compared to newer higher end mid-rangers, its screen resolution isn’t bad at all.
We mentioned its dimensions, but did we mention how big its screen is? It’s only 5.6 inches. The size of its display contributes to the A8 not being that immersive.
Unfortunately, its display doesn’t come with gorilla glass 5 too. Don’t panic. You’re met with its brother, Gorilla Glass 4. It’s definitely tough.
We can all know that Sri Lanka gets pretty sunny. That’s why you need a phone that’s bright. The A8 is right up your alley. It has a maximum brightness of 390 nits. Is it the best? Not really. 2019’s much cheaper M30 has a maximum brightness of 420 nits.
Not only are Samsung fans of Super AMOLED displays, they like small batteries too. There’s a 3000 mAh unit in the A8. You’ll see such sizes in newer Samsung devices as well.
With it by your side, you can last about a day. Thankfully, its screen isn’t too big, so its battery doesn’t get eaten up.
Charging wise, you get an 18 W fast charger. It takes the phone about 2 hours to go from 0-100%.
The device comes with the Exynos 7885 chipset. By no means is it a bad processor, your A8 will be running smoothly. However, there are a few chipsets that outperform it. You’ll see this in the latter part of our article.
How fast your A8 is will depend on the memory variant you get. There isn’t a range for you to choose from, unfortunately. You can only choose from 32 or 64 gigs of space, along with 4 gigs of RAM. We have to say, 4 GBs of RAM is pretty snappy and you even see it on 2018’s flagship, the S9.
64 gigs of space are not bad either, but if you need more, know that the A8 comes with a MicroSD slot. You can expand its storage to 256 GB, so the sky’s your limit.
Out of the box:
You’re met with Android 7.1. The phone did get the Android 9 update, but unfortunately, it won’t be receiving Android 10. If you were thinking of getting the phone, this is a major point to consider.
The majority of Samsung’s current devices come with dual or even triple sets up, especially the more expensive ones. You get a single 16 MP unit, with a dual set up in the front on the A8. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad though.
It does well in lit environments but doesn’t come with optical stabilization, so keep your arm steady. There’s a lot of noise when the lights go out, unfortunately.
In terms of its front camera, you get another 16 MP sensor along with an 8 MP secondary camera. The additional camera is nice, but the back camera is about as great.
Before we wrap things up, the below section is a must-read. We’ll be comparing the A8 with its best alternatives.
Remember when we said newer Samsung phones are enormous? The A70 eats the A8 up. It’s 6.7 inches and is heavier as well. It’s not by much though, being a 183-gram device.
So far so good, but the phone’s rear isn’t glass. You get a plastic frame that comes with a rainbow effect that’s also super glossy. It’s a plastic that feels good in your hands. However, the phone’s enormous, so it might not be the easiest to hold.
As its back is so glossy, you’d expect it to be a fingerprint magnet, which is true to an extent. You get smudges here and there, but it doesn’t collect them like its life depends on it.
Samsung’s favourite Super AMOLED display is on the A70. No surprise, it’s bright and colourful. It’s about as detailed as the A8, coming with a 1080 x 2400 pixel screen resolution. You probably won’t notice much of a difference though.
In case we didn’t mention its screen to body ratio, it’s 86%, eating the A8’s up. What do you think?
Without a doubt, the A70 comes with a better viewing experience than the A8. Its size and screen to body ratio solidify this.
Unlike the A8, you don’t get Gorilla Glass 4 on the front, however. You’re met Gorilla Glass 3. It’s still durable, but not as thorough.
If you loved the Exynos chip in the A8, we have some bad news for you; the A70 comes with a snapdragon processor. The Snapdragon 675 is by your side and is more powerful than the Exynos chip that its brother rocks.
Although you only get one memory variant, you get more storage space. The Samsung device comes with 128 GB of storage. If this isn’t enough, know that you can expand it with a MicroSD card. RAM wise, you either get 6 or 8 gigs. 8 gigs of RAM is much snappier than the A8’s 4 gig option.
Having such a large screen, it’s no surprise that the phone comes with a large battery. But is it enormous? Just by Samsung’s standards. You get a 4500 mAh unit, letting the A70 last way over a day.
With your purchase, a 25 W fast charger is by your side. It goes from 0-100% in a little over an hour. It’s so good that it’s faster than the charger on the S10.
We have to talk about its cameras. They’re good, but not too great. You get a triple camera set up, with a 32 MP primary sensor along with an 8 MP ultra-wide and 5 MP depth sensor. They take detailed shots, but shots tend to be quite soft. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t colourful.
Its ultrawide mode fits a lot in, yet distorts shots. And when the lights go out, things get bad. There’s a lot of noise in low-light images.
We are fans of its front camera though. It’s a 12 MP unit and is pretty sharp, detailed, and vivid.
The A80 is a brick compared to the A8. It’s 48 grams heavier, after all. We want this though. The heavier a phone is, the more premium it feels.
Like its brother, you get a Gorilla glass back. It’s an improvement, being Gorilla Glass 6. It’s seriously tough.
We aren’t fans of how its back looks, however. It’s not as chic as the A8’s, primarily due to the camera set up. It looks strange for good reason though, which we’ll discuss in a second.
If you’re wondering about its display, you’re getting a Super AMOLED screen. We have no complaints. The phone’s huge too, just like the A70, it’s 6.7 inches. It also shares the same screen resolution as the A70, even the Gorilla Glass 3 on its front.
But it doesn’t have as great of a screen-to-body ratio, being 85.8%. It’s only smaller by 0.2%. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t make much of a difference to me.
Overall, you get a viewing experience that’s more immersive than anything the A8 can offer.
Its camera specs are better too. You get a 48 MP primary sensor along with an 8 MP ultra-wide camera. But does it perform better than the A8? Its camera doesn’t seem to pick up colours that well. It also likes making shots fuzzy.
The strangeness of its set up is due to it being motorized. Although you’ll be able to use the rear camera in the front, you can’t access all of its rear features.
Its battery is small, only 3700 mAh. Considering that it has a beast of a screen to feed, it’s surprising that it lets you last about a day. Of course, you get a fast charger with it. The 25 W fast charger takes the phone a little over an hour to reach 100%.
Like the A70, the A80 comes with Android 9 out of the box. If you’re expecting the Android 10 update, get excited.
You can also be excited for its processor. You’re getting a Snapdragon 730 that leaves the A8’s processor in the dust.
What about memory variants? Well, there’s only 1. 128 GBs of space along with 8 gigs of RAM are at your disposal. The RAM makes it extremely snappy, as fast as the S10.
As its name suggests, the A8+ is larger than its regular-sized counterpart. However, it’s not enormous. It’s only 6 inches, which is still modest by today’s standards.
You’re getting gorilla glass 5 on the back again, and the phone looks pretty similar too.
Once in your hand, you’ll notice that the plus is much heavier. The A8+ is 191 grams, being a brick compared to the regular A8.
Display-wise, you don’t see that much of a difference. As the A8+’s display is bigger, you’re getting a more immersive experience, which is true. However, it comes with the same Super AMOLED panel and screen resolution.
What about screen-to-body ratios? Well, the plus slightly underperforms.
You’re getting Android 7.1 out of the box once again. This isn’t surprising as both phones came out at the same time. What is surprising is that both devices rock the same Exynos 7885 chipset. You usually see the plus variants with better CPUs.
Its brother can’t be upgraded to Android 10 either.
You’re getting different memory variants. Although they both come with 32 and 64 gigs of space, you’re getting 4 and 6 GB RAM variants in the A8+. As you can imagine, the A8 Plus with 6 GBs of RAM is much snappier than any of the A8 models. Of course, it has a microSD slot too, so expanding its storage is possible.
It’s not surprising that you’re getting a larger battery this time around. The phone has a battery that’s 500 mAh larger than its counterpart’s. The phone is bigger after all.
Although the battery’s larger, it doesn’t last as long as the A8’s. You get half a day from the A8 Plus.
The same 18 W fast charger comes with the device, in case you’re wondering.
In terms of camera specs, the same front and back cameras we met in the A8 is seen again.
The A8’s a phone worth your time. Although it was released 2 years ago, it comes with specs that aren’t too bad for 2020. This is especially true for its camera, screen quality, and processor.
However, phones these days don’t have that much bezel action going on, so the A8 won’t offer a viewing experience as immersive as newer Samsung devices. Its bezels will give away that it’s old too, along with its size.
The A8 looks great though.
Its alternatives perform better, but they’re newer, so it’s only natural that they outperform it. What’s considerable is that the A8 holds its own.
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