In the lead up to Christmas, Samsung has somewhat unexpectedly announced that it’s introducing a new handset to its A-series next year. The Galaxy A8 will be available in the UK from April 2018 and it looks set to be Samsung’s best mid-range handset to date.
Following in the footsteps of the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, the Galaxy A8 is Samsung’s first mid-range device to include an infinity display and judging from the press images, it looks truly stunning.
It’s also the first of Samsung’s A series phones to feature a dual camera, but unlike Samsung’s flagship devices, the dual camera is on the front of the phone, suggesting it’s aimed primarily at users who like to take a lot of selfies.
The dual camera consists of two separate 16MP and 8MP F/1.9 cameras that should be capable of performing well in low light. You can switch between the two cameras to choose whether you want a close up that blurs the background or a wider shot that keeps it sharply in focus and a new Live Focus feature means you can opt to adjust this depth of field both before and after taking a shot.
The back camera hasn’t been neglected either. Samsung has included an impressive F/1.7 16MP snapper, which is a significant upgrade on the F/2.2 13MP camera in the Galaxy A7 (2017). Personally, I don’t care much for photographing my food, but I must be in a minority because Samsung has also decided to add a new Food Mode that helps you to make your meals look as appetising as they do in real life.
It might not be as sharp as the infinity displays on Samsung’s more expensive devices, but the A8 features a full HD (2220 x 1080) 5.6-inch AMOLED panel, giving it only a fractionally lower pixel density than the excellent OnePlus 5T (401ppi vs 386ppi). It’s also always-on so you can see info at a glance without unlocking the phone.
The mid-range handset features a currently unnamed 2.2 GHz octa core chip, so it should be no slouch in terms of performance.
Elsewhere, the A8 is water- and dust-resistant to the IP68 standard, which means you can submerge it 1.5m underwater for up to 30 minutes. You can also expand its storage by up to 256GB using the built-in MicroSD slot. It’s also got NFC, meaning you get full Samsung Pay compatibility.
There’s no news on how much Samsung’s new mid-range handset will cost, but if pushed for an answer I’d expect it to cost around £400-450, on par with the OnePlus 5T and a little more than the A7.
Samsung has also announced it’ll be launching the A8+, which features a larger 6-inch display, a slightly bigger battery (3,500 mAh vs 3000mAh) and the option to have 6GB of RAM as opposed to 4GB.
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