The Samsung Galaxy A8(2018) is Samsung’s most up-to-date mid-range device till date. It is targeted for those who would want premium-ness without having to sacrifice to much for a decent price. This simply means if you want to get the Samsung Galaxy S8 but if it is too costly, the A8(2018) isn’t too far behind. We have been using this phone for about 2 weeks as a daily driver and have come up with a proper user-based review.

Display & Design

This device comes with an edge-to-edge Super AMOLED Infinity Display. Nevertheless, we are all aware about Samsung’s capability of having the best displays in smartphone and how favorable it is to its consumers. The colors are rich and brightness could go really bright and even could dim pretty low compared to any other brands for low-light usage. The display is 5.6-inches with a resolution of 1080 x 2220 and resulting in a pixel density of 441ppi.

In terms of the design language, there are plenty of premium touches all-round. The back is made of glass while the frame is constructed of metal. Volume rockers are placed on the left while the power button lies on the right. Speaker is also placed on the right side of the phone which sits just above the power button. There is no dedicated Bixby button unfortunately but it could be a good thing to not have that for some consumers who barely relies on it.

There are two SIM card slot’s which are placed differently, one lies on the top of the phone while another on the right side of the phone. The top one has an additional slot for the microSD card which makes life easier as we could insert two SIMs and 1 microSD card simultaneously. On the bottom, we have the USB Type-C charging port which supports Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging technology. Not to forget the 3.5mm earphone jack which is placed beside the charging port which still makes wired music live long.

On the back, the Camera and Fingerprint reader is placed on the middle accompanied with LED flash. This is of course the latest placement of Fingerprint reader from Samsung rather than the traditional placement which is on the home button as well as the “not so favorable placement on the S8”. Overall, the “all black” version that we have with us is extremely attractive and be prepared for your friends to mistaken it for the S8.

Software & Performance

The A8(2018) comes out of the box with Android 7.1.1 Nougat rather than the latest Android Oreo. It is quite surprising that it did not come with that instead but Samsung has already scheduled for its release by Q1 of 2018. So let’s just keep calm and wait for the stable version  of Oreo for our phone. This phone comes with the latest Android skin-on from Samsung which is Samsung Experience 8.5. Almost everything you find in S8 comes over here too such as the Always On Display, active fingerprint scanner and the overall smoothness of interface itself.

 

One of the features that you find on the A8(2018) will be the way you want the navigation bar to be. The orientation can be the default one which is Back – Home – Recents or Recents – Home – Back. This is actually good for those who have been using any other brand which could have different button placement.

The Always On Display can be customized as per below screenshots but the best part would be where we could schedule for its timing on when it could be activated and when it can be automatically disabled. Simply setup a time period such as for it to be on from 7am to 12am. Once you’re on the bed, the Always On Display will be already disabled which allows you to save the battery.

True multitasking such as the Multi-Window exists on the A8(2018). You can use two applications at the same time without having minimize and waste time switching from one application to another. Dual Messenger is also another feature which Samsung offers on the A8(2018). You can use two Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and any other supported applications at one time. Some might not even be using this feature, but for those who are business orientated would find this feature as an added advantage. On top of the fingerprint unlock, there is also face unlock which isn’t really safe to use as it can be a gimmick as people can use your photo to unlock it, but then again you have it as an additional feature.

Under the hood, this smartphone is powered by Samsung’s very own Exynos 7885 processor which has two A73 cores clocked 2.2GHz and six A53 cores clocked at 1.6GHz. This isn’t the best mid range processor out there but it could fall at second place behind the Snapdragon 660. There was almost no noticeable lags during our usage and since this chip is build based on 14nm process, the power optimization is pretty good and results in a good battery life. The A8(2018) comes with 4GB of RAM which boosts the performance as well as 32GB of internal storage.

Camera

How good is the camera on the A8(2018)? Well it did just about right. For the main rear camera, it comes with 16MP sensor paired with f1.7 aperture. There is no OIS(optical image stabilization) but fortunately still comes with PDAF(phase detection auto focus). If you are familiar with Samsung’s camera application, there’s nothing new here as the layout and features are the same.  Swiping down will switch from back to front camera/vice versa, swiping right enables you to choose from different modes such as Auto, Pro, Panorama, Hyperlapse,Night, Food or you can download even more modes via Galaxy Apps. Swiping left allows you to choose the readily made filters. Below are some photos taken directly from the A8(2018) without any editing.

As for the front selfie camera, there are two of them. One is 16MP while the other is 8MP with both of them having f1.9 aperture and fixed focus.

There is a feature called Live Focus which allows you to take images with blurred background and truly works great! Perhaps this is one of the best selfie camera after ages which does not rely heavily on beautification. The blurry effect does not look artificial as it actually works of smoothing the edge rather than having automatic software correction which always tend to mess up our photos.

Before

After

 

There is no 4K video recording as it is only limited to Full HD recording of up to 30fps on the A8(2018). All the video resolution comes with EIS (electronic image stabilization) except for one option where you can capture 2220 x 1080 video but no stabilization will be present.

Battery Life & Network

This smartphone comes with a non removable 3000mAh battery which supports Adapative Fast Charging. Thanks to the 14nm process based processor, you will end up having a decent battery life. Charging about 30/35% will take roughly about 25/30 minutes.

The A8(2018) could last slightly more than a day but won’t be able to last for entire two days. This is actually pretty good despite having only 3000mAh. Our usage is based on full usage of social networks/email/light usage for PUBG mobile as well as videos and music. The Always On Display was set to “always on” during our battery life test.

As for the network, both SIM slots support up to 4G LTE and if you’re a person who have started using VoLTE, yes you have it too. We have been using Digi’s network and it worked flawlessly on both calls and mobile data. The feature that only exists on most Samsung phones is Download Booster, which allows you to download large files(above 30MB) by using both WiFi and LTE at the same time. How awesome is that and how many of you were aware of this?

Samsung Pay

Well, most of you might be still hesitating or unaware of this feature. You can now make fast and secure payments with your device virtually anywhere instead of carrying your cards around. Although it is not widely used in Malaysia, but some top brands are already offering its availability. So you can actually go ahead and try it once you purchase your favorite Samsung smartphone which comes with Samsung Pay, thanks to its NFC technology which exists on the A8(2018).

For the list of shops that supports Samsung Pay, visit the following LINK

iP68 Dust Proof & Water Resistant

For the price tag that you are going to pay, of course you would want a special feature to exist in your smartphone right? The A8(2018) is indeed Dust and Water Resistant. You can use it while you’re swimming or even while taking your shower. Most mid-range smartphone out there lacks this particular feature, so please do not judge the A8(2018) just by the price tag as you get few premium stuff for a mid-ranger.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy A8(2018) is a must by smartphone if you have the budget for it. You get almost everything from the flagship Samsung series with very little to sacrifice. You might argue that there are already a lot of phones looking similar to iPhone X with notch display, but how many of them are iP68 certified? In the end, it all comes to personal preference and what the priorities are. If you always wanted to have a water resistant smartphone with the Samsung branding on it and not a huge spender, this is the smartphone for you.

The Samsung Galaxy A8(2018) is priced at RM1799 and you could get it even cheaper if you opt to purchase it online such as below from LAZADA. Available in three color options – Gold, White and Black.

RM1649 – LAZADA. – not a sponsored or affiliate link.

 

Samsung Galaxy A8(2018) Review - The mid-ranger that you can choose to swim with
Premium flagship looking designFront camera is perhaps one of the best out thereWater resistant works flawlesslyBattery life is surprisingly greatDisplay brighness/dimming is impressive
Main camera could have been perfect if there was an inclusion of OISFingerprint sensor isn't the fastest and could be improvedShould have come with Oreo out of the box
8.5Overall Score
Design8.5
Hardware8
Camera8
Software8.5
Battery9
Reader Rating 1 Vote
9.5