Just as I started packing away my keyboard for the year, Samsung launched another duo of mid-range handsets. Yes, we’ve only seen eight phones from the Korean giant this year, so why not add the Galaxy A8 – and its plus-sized A8+ counterpart – to this now-double-figure list?
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But these new additions to the Galaxy A-series lineup are particularly special. The Galaxy A8 is the first mid-range Samsung phone with an all-display front, and there’s a set of dual front-facing cameras for the Instagram selfie addict, too.
As for the rest, we’ve put together all the essential details you need to know about Samsung’s latest Galaxy A8 and A8+ smartphones into one handy place. Let’s get started.
Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy A8
Samsung Galaxy A8 price: How much will it cost?
At this early stage, there’s no official word on how much Samsung’s latest mid-rangers will cost.
That’s certainly not stopping us from taking an educated guess. You can pick up 2017’s Galaxy A7 for £355, so we can expect the Galaxy A8 to fetch a higher price because of its all-display front, while coming below the hefty price tag of the Note 8. If pushed for an answer, I’d say it’s likely the A8 will launch at a similar price to the OnePlus 5T, at around £450.
Samsung Galaxy A8 release date: When does it launch in the UK?
Both Samsung’s Galaxy A8 and A8+ are confirmed to launch in April 2018. This is the first anniversary of the Galaxy S8’s release, so we may see the S9 launch later in the year.
Samsung Galaxy A8 specs: What’s inside?
Samsung’s Galaxy A8 is equipped with a 5.6in, 2,220 x 1,080 Super AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, expandable up to 256GB via microSD. Powering the handset is an as-yet-unnamed octa-core 2.2GHz processor.
The Galaxy A8+ features a 6in display, and can be equipped with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage. Its 3,500mAh battery is also slightly larger than the regular A8’s 3,000mAh.
Camera-wise, both handsets include a 16-megapixel f/1.7 snapper complete with phase-detect autofocus on the rear, alongside dual f/1.9 cameras on the front. The main front-facing 16-megapixel camera sits side by side with an 8-megapixel effort.
Samsung Galaxy A8 design: What does it look like?
Let’s talk about the Infinity Edge display. In a first for the A-series range – or anything outside of Samsung’s flagships for that matter – 2018’s Galaxy A8 features a 5.6in bezel-less display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio.
Elsewhere, you’ll find the volume rocker on the left edge, and the power button on the right, while the solitary USB Type-C port sits at the bottom for charging. A fingerprint reader is on the back, just below the rear camera.
In the UK and Europe, the Galaxy A8 will be available in three colours; black, gold and orchid grey. Alas, there’s no mention of a 3.5mm headphone port, but we’ve approached Samsung for further clarification.
Samsung Galaxy A8 features: What’s new?
With the all-display front, now’s the right time for Samsung’s mid-range headset to receive the full Gear VR treatment. That’s right, the Galaxy A8 can be used with Samsung’s mobile VR headset, with support for the full list of VR games and apps on the storefront.
The Galaxy A8 is also IP68 dust- and water-resistant, and can be submerged underwater up to a depth of 1.5m for 30mins. And in a bizarre move, the Galaxy A8 won’t ship with Android 8 Oreo out of the box, instead running Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
Samsung Galaxy A8: Early verdict
Samsung appears to have produced an excellent mid-range handset that has every chance of success against the OnePlus 5T. While I’m yet to get my hands on Samsung’s latest – stay tuned for my first impressions at CES – I’m confident that the Galaxy A8 will be one of 2018’s finest.
Its similarly priced mid-range competition is fierce, however. Coming up against the Nokia 8, OnePlus 5T, Moto G5S and even Samsung’s other handsets in the A-series lineup, the A8 certainly isn’t without its rivals.
Still, the Galaxy A8 holds a decent first glimpse of what Samsung has planned for 2018, and I expect I’ll be looking back on a longer list of outstanding handsets from the Korean firm this time next year. Let’s just not announce another smartphone this close to Christmas again.
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