A couple of weeks back, the Samsung Galaxy J8 (or the Galaxy On8) debuted in India which is one of the most competitive and fastest growing markets in the world. Even though the brand itself might play down the fact, but it has indeed been facing the heat from Chinese smartphone manufacturers especially in the budget segment. (हिंदी में पढ़िए)
Samsung’s J-series phones have managed to keep the cash registers ringing, but that has always has had more to do with Samsung’s brand value rather than the competitiveness of hardware on offer. The Chinese players have always undercut J-series phones and have slowly and steadily also gained brand value. So, now is the time when Samsung needs to step-up its game, especially in the affordable price range.
Will the newly launched Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 help it regain lost ground? Is it worth the Rs 18,990 asking price? Let’s find out more about the Samsung Galaxy J8 in our review:
Editor’s Note: The Samsung Galaxy J8 has been rebranded as the Samsung Galaxy On8 for online buyers in India. There is no difference between the Galaxy J8 and the Galaxy On8 save for the price.
- Samsung Galaxy J8 Review: Specification
- Samsung Galaxy J8 Review: Design and Build
- Samsung Galaxy J8 Review: Display
- Samsung Galaxy J8 Review: Hardware and Software
- Samsung Galaxy J8 Review: Camera Performance
- Samsung Galaxy J8 Review: Battery and Audio
- Samsung Galaxy J8 Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 specifications
- 6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED Display, 18.5:9 Aspect ratio, 2.5D curved glass
- 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 450 14nm Mobile Platform; Adreno 506 GPU
- 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 256GB with microSD
- Android 8.0 (Oreo)
- Dual SIM
- 16MP rear camera with LED flash, f/1.7 aperture, secondary 5MP camera with f/1.9 aperture
- 16MP front-facing camera with LED flash, f/1.9 aperture
- Fingerprint sensor
- 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
- 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, ANT+, GPS
- 3500mAh battery
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 Review: Design and Build
The Galaxy J8 follows the same design ethos as its recently launched siblings, the Galaxy J6 and Galaxy A6+. The phone has a relatively tall architecture for single hand operation but it still fits well in hands. The phone has well-distributed weight and a metallic finish that makes it appealing to the eyes.
Actually, it is made of premium grade plastic. The rear panel has the customary paraphernalia: things that include a dual camera setup with flash, followed by the fingerprint sensor. The left edge of the phone flaunts a volume rockers, dual sim card slot and a dedicated microSD card slot.
On the right edge, you will notice a power key and a speaker slit. The buttons are not too firm and offer good tactile feedback. Down at the bottom, there’s a micro USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Overall, the Galaxy J8 offers a design that should appeal to most of the budget buyers. Even though the chassis and exterior shell are made of plastic, it’s a solid phone that looks good.
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 Review: Display
On the face of it, there’s a larger 6-inch AMOLED panel which has 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The infinity display, as Samsung calls it, has 720 x 1480 pixels resolution and 274 PPI pixel density.
The display has a decent size of bezels on the top and bottom which hinders the Infinity display experience. Like any true AMOLED panel, the J8 screen produces excellent colors and deep blacks. The low HD resolution is a buzz kill. The images and text rendered on the screen feel a tad soft. A full HD+ display in this budget is what we expect to see 2018.
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 Review: Hardware and Software
The Samsung Galaxy J8 is not an out an out powerhouse but it can still muster enough power for daily needs of a generic user. For a change, Samsung ropes in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 chipset which we have seen rocking in smartphones like Vivo V9 Youth, Vivo V7 Plus, and Xaiomi Redmi 5 among others.
About a year ago Samsung revamped its TouchWiz UI as Experience UX and made it less resource hungry and better organized. It’s still a demanding skin with a lot of animations that can bog performance down in phones with less-powerful innards.
The Snapdragon 450 chipset along with 4GB RAM and Adreno 506 GPU offers reliable performance and is good enough to get things done. However, if you are someone who needs to indulge with demanding apps, the Galaxy J8 may not be your best bet.
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 Review: Camera Performance
Samsung J-series traditionally offers good optics for the price. However, in recent times the competition has caught up pretty fast. Therefore, the Samsung Galaxy J8 camera could prove to be one key aspect that either sway your buying decision in its favor or against it.
The Galaxy J8 features dual rear optics that includes a primary 16-megapixel sensor (f/1.7 aperture and autofocus) coupled with 5-megapixel depth sensor (f/1.9 aperture).
The Galaxy J8 camera does a good job in the daytime. Under good lighting, it manages to capture evenly balanced images with punchy colors. When you view images on a bigger screen, you will notice that the camera app does some oversharpening which brushes away the finger details.
The lack of optical image stabilization means you need to have a super steady hand to take images in unfavorable lighting. The night shots leave much scope for improvement.
Overall, the camera performance is quite good compared to other phones in this price segment.
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8: Battery and Audio
The Samsung Galaxy J8 ships with 3500mAh battery inside which is non-removable by nature. With a power-efficient chipset at the helm, the Galaxy J8 manages to last a little more than a day on average usage that includes calling, multiple social media apps and occasional gaming. More often than not, we had enough juice to last till morning.
However, refilling the empty battery takes some serious time. The phone doesn’t support fast charging and comes with a 5V regular charger which takes about an hour to refill 50 percent of the battery.
Samsung continues to place the mono speaker on the right edge, which is certainly not where we’d want to see it. Having said that, the single channel speaker is loud and the audio quality is pretty decent too.
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 Review: Is it worth it?
Well, it is difficult to give a one-word answer to this question. The Samsung Galaxy J8 manages to check some right boxes while misses out on some. For instance, it is one of the best-looking smartphones under Rs 20,000. Also, it’s one of the rare few phones in its class to feature an AMOLED display.
Where Samsung slipped its chance to truly outshine the competition is with its pricing. After spending some quality time with Galaxy J8, we conclude that it isn’t a bad phone, but Samsung is still leveraging its brand value and holding back on features that enthusiasts will appreciate. This is precisely the reason why the Galaxy J8 will face a tough challenge from the likes of Asus Zenfone M1 Pro, RealMe 1, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and HMD Global’s Nokia 6.1.
Samsung Galaxy J8/ Galaxy On8 Pros and Cons
- Elegant Design
- AMOLED Screen
- Decent Camera
- Reasonably good battery life
- Low light camera performance