For over 2 years, selfie phones have proved themselves to be effective crowd pleasers and crowd pullers. Several manufacturers have cashed in on the opportune selfie wave, but most of these selfie phones have been, nevertheless, limited to affordable or lower mid-range price bracket.
Samsung has the means and brand value to leverage this success formula to a higher budget, and that’s where the Galaxy A8+ comes in. Yes, the new Galaxy A8+ has a lot to turn heads – an 18.5:9 AMOLED display, 6GB RAM, Samsung Pay mobile payment, and also an accessible fingerprint sensor – but the standout feature is perhaps its dual selfie cameras.
We have been testing the new mid-ranger for about two weeks now and are ready with our Samsung Galaxy A8+ full review. Here’s all that works and all that doesn’t.
- Solid build, Water resistant
- Elegant design
- Great camera performance
- Excellent battery backup
- Dedicated card slot
- Slightly heavy
- No Bixby Voice support
Samsung Galaxy A8+ Specifications:
- 6-inch Super AMOLED, 1,080 x 2220 resolution (Full HD+), 411 PPI, 75.5% screen to body ratio, Gorilla Glass protection
- Exynos 7885 chipset; 14nm process based Octa-core (2×2.2GHz Cortex-A73 & 6×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53); Mali-G71
- 6GB RAM
- 64GB internal memory, Dedicated card slot (256GB)
- Android7.1.1 Nougat based Experience UI
- 16 MP, f/1.7 aperture lens, phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1080p videos
- 16MP +8MP front camera, F/1.9 aperture lens, 1080p video
- 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm and 191 grams
- Dual SIM + SD card slot, 4G VoLTE, 802.11 a/g/b/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC
- Gyroscope, Magnetometer, accelerometer, proximity, Ambient light, barometer, fingerprint sensor, Face unlock
- 3500mAh battery, Fast charging support
- Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018) price in India is Rs. 32,990 at the time of writing.
Samsung Galaxy A8+ Design and Build
The Galaxy A8+ shares design semblance with the Note8. Yes, there are obvious (and glaring) differences between the two, but it’s quite apparent that the two are cut from the same cloth. That also means that the Galaxy A8+ is not slim and dainty, as is the usually accepted standard for ‘premium’ phones, but is boxy and imposing instead.
Compared to other phones in its class, its unique. And we mean that in a good way. After a couple of weeks of usage, we find it quite ergonomic and comfortable to wield, in spite of being a big phone.
There is a familiar glass on the front and back, and color matched metal side frame runs along the edges. As stated, the fingerprint sensor is now positioned below the rear camera where it’s readily accessible. Contrary to what we had initially expected, we didn’t smudge the lens at all while using the fingerprint sensor, even while using the scroll-down fingerprint gesture.
The front is mostly display (not edge-to-edge, though) and the USB Type-C port and 3.5mm audio jack are present at the bottom. The home button (virtual) on the always-on display can be set to double tap to wake (default) or to fire camera app.
It’s a very solidly built phone that’s also IP68 water and dust resistant certified. Samsung retains the dedicated card slot as well.
- Among Samsung phones, the Galaxy A8+ is closest to Galaxy Note8 in terms of looks and design.
- The feel is quite unique. It’s not slim and dainty, but boxy and imposing.
- After two weeks of usage, we find it to be ergonomic and comfortable.
- The fingerprint sensor is now easily accessible.
- The loudspeaker is present on the side edge, but it’s sufficiently far off from the top corner so you won’t block it while using your phone in landscape mode.
- Samsung retails IP68 water and dust resistance and the dedicated card slot
Samsung Galaxy A8+ Display
The Galaxy A8+ has a 6-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen. Samsung makes the best AMOLED displays, and the one on the Galaxy A8+ is an impressive one too. The overall quality is still a few notches below what we have come to expect from Samsung’s premium phones. The dynamic range felt slightly off, but not as much to be a deal breaker. This is certainly nitpicking and shouldn’t matter much unless you are extremely fastidious about the display colors.
The good thing is the effective color profiles you can choose between and the efficient blue-light filter present on the phone. You can also decide what apps you wish to run in full screen (18:9). Autobrightness works well.
- The 6-inch AMOLED display is sharp and vibrant.
- Outdoor visibility is great, viewing angles are wide.
- There are several handy display options on the software side of things.
Samsung Galaxy A8+ Performance, Software, and Battery
The Samsung Galaxy A8+ is powered by Exynos 7885 octa-core chipset paired with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. This was the first time that we experienced this particular chipset from Samsung. If you are wondering where it stands against Qualcomm challengers, the Exynos 7885 will be up against high-end Snapdragon 600 series SoCs rather than 800 series ones.
In practical usage, high-end games and day-to-day tasks ran without a hitch. Apps open quickly and the phone is generally quite responsive. The overall performance is quite consistent.
The fingerprint sensor on the rear can scan your fingers quickly but unlocking takes its own time. There is face unlock but we soon got accustomed to unlocking our phone with the fingerprint reader and rarely used it.
The Android Nougat based Experience UI isn’t exactly a light skin to fuel, but it’s well designed and well optimized. It’s easy to spot options that you are looking for and then there are plenty to keep you engaged. There are several preloaded apps (or bloat) neatly stacked and organized in folders. You can’t disable them. Samsung Pay continues to be a Samsung exclusive advantage. It’s infinitely more convenient to pay by pulling out your phone than by pulling out the relevant card.
The battery backup is excellent, and another one of the distinguishing feature. The 3500mAh battery can comfortably last a heavy usage day. The charger bundled in the box supports fast charging.
- The Exynos 7885 octa-core chipset is analogous to Snapdragon 600 series chips.
- Performance is quite consistent. No issues with gaming or day-to-day usage. The Ample 6GB RAM helps enhance overall performance.
- The Gear A8+ is compatible with Gear VR as well.
- The software is well designed and well optimized. Android Oreo update is expected to roll out later.
- Unfortunately, there is no Bixby voice support. Only Bixby home which isn’t very useful as of now.
- Samsung pay continues being a Samsung-exclusive advantage in India.
- The fingerprint sensor is responsive, but unlock animation is a tad slow.
- Battery backup is excellent.
Samsung Galaxy A8+ Camera Performance
A8+ has a 16MP primary camera with f/1.7 aperture lens on the rear. The rear camera can shoot images with ample details and wide dynamic range in good outdoor lighting. The performance is pretty reasonable indoors as well.
Overall, the rear camera performance is slightly better than OnePlus 5T in our opinion. In daylight, the images are more vibrant and have better dynamic range.
The selfie camera is where the A8+ stands out. The phone has a 16MP + 8MP dual cameras on the front, and together they can be used for ‘Live focus’ aka portrait mode. This actually works great and is something that we found ourselves using very often. The selfie camera quality is also very good in daylight and even indoors if you are acquainted with the basics of shooting a good selfie.
By default, the HDR mode is set to ‘Auto’ and you can turn it on or off from the camera settings. The camera app also includes several live Stickers and filters that you can use for more selfie fun.
- The rear camera can shoot vibrant, detailed images outdoor. Lowlight performance is pretty good too.
- The camera performance, outdoors, is slightly better than OnePlus 5T. Indoor camera performance of both phones is similar.
- Selfie camera performance is better on Galaxy A8+ (2018).
- The live focus or portrait mode for selfies works well.
Samsung Galaxy A8+ Camera Samples
Samsung Galaxy A8+ Review: Is it better than OnePlus 5T?
The Samsung Galaxy A8+ is a mid-range allrounder. It successfully drags down the ‘2017 Samsung flagship phone experience’ to a mid-range price point by making some expected (and not drastic) compromises.
It’s also a great option for consumers who are looking for a premium selfie-centric phone. The Galaxy A8+ is a dependable performer that also offers an agreeable display, a decent set of cameras, awesome battery backup, and Samsung Pay. Is it better than the OnePlus 5T? Well, yes and no. Both phones have their strengths and weaknesses. But one thing is certain, OnePlus 5T finally has a viable challenger.