Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus
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About the Phone
The Samsung Galaxy A8+ inherits a lot of design cues from the S8+ but doesn’t look quite as refined. The phone feels a bit bulky, and the list of specifications at the price tag doesn’t seem to go hand-in-hand. Compared to its competitors, the A8+ doesn’t really stand out. This phone is only worth it if you’re looking for the Samsung brand value or if you weigh design over performance.
With a price tag of Rs 32,990, the Galaxy A8+ incorporates Samsung’s famous flagship feature – the Infinity Display. The A8+ is the first A-series phone to feature the tall 18.5:9 Super AMOLED display. The phone also features weather resistance and some exciting new features. However, with the hefty price tag putting it in the leagues of OnePlus 5T and Honor View 10, the A8+ seems a little late to the party.
The Galaxy A8+ is a large phone. Being 8.3 mm thick and 191g heavy, the phone can be a handful. It feels a bit unbalanced in the hand, and it will make its presence felt in your pocket. But ridding itself of navigation buttons in the front has the phone looking extremely sleek and monolithic. The front and back are glass and the back curves around the matte black metal frame.
The front is seamless, being disrupted only by the earpiece and the dual cameras. The AMOLED has been cleverly used to utilise Samsung’s Always-On display without draining a huge chunk of the battery.
The speaker placement, sitting right above the power button is an unusual position, but Samsung has been using that in multiple models of late. The phone uses a USB-C port along with the 3.5 mm audio jack.
The best part about the phone is that it’s absolutely weatherproof – the Galaxy A8 is IP68 water and dust resistant.
The Galaxy A8+ comes with the 6-inch 1080p, 18.5:9 Infinity Display, with 2.5D curved glass on top. The colour is bright and colourful, but that’s what Samsung’s AMOLED screens are known for. The blacks on the screen are delightful, and the sunlight legibility is great. Overall, the screen experience is a hoot.
The Galaxy A8+ tries to take the fight to OnePlus and Honor by using Samsung’s brand new Exynos 7885 SoC, powered by two Cortex A73 cores clocking at 2.2GHz and six Cortex A53 cores clocking at 1.6 GHz. The graphics are handled by the ARM Mali-G71 GPU. The phone packs a solid 6GB of RAM.
The 64 GB of internal storage is expandable up to 256GB with the help of microSD card.
The A8+ is swift, and there are no noticeable lags. The animations can be a bit slow and the transition between menus can have a delay. The 6GB of RAM helps keeps running smoothly. However, the GPU doesn’t manage to support graphics-intensive games, and you might have to reduce to a lower resolution.
Although the A8+ carries a bloated OS and runs on Android Nougat 7.1.1, the user interface to be a pleasant experience. The phone launches with a My Galaxy widget showing off the phone’s various features – such as ordering food, booking a taxi, or paying bills – but the registration can be pesky. The phone also tries to control Contacts by turning it into a status sharing social media app.
On previous phones, Samsung’s smart assistant – Bixby – seemed to compete with Google Assistant. But the A8+ offers a stripped down version of Bixby that serves as a side-screen timeline to display notifications. It does analyse usage patterns over time and offers system-level customisations. The Always-On display is a great feature that utilises the AMOLED screen, along with Samsung Pass, and Samsung Pay. The phone also has a face unlock feature, but the implementation isn’t as effective, making it functional only in well-lit conditions and it can be a bit slow.
The A8+ is marketed as a selfie-focused camera with a dual front camera consisting of a 16 megapixel and 8-megapixel image sensor, with an f/1.9 aperture. The camera works great. The photos are well-detailed with vibrant colours. Even photos taken in low lights are decent. The Live-Focus can be tweaked in post-processing to change the focus on the subjects. There’s also a wide selfie mode that can be accessed through the menu. However, the camera tries to soften some details which can be a little frustrating.
Flipping the phone around, there’s a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.7 aperture. The camera is only average and pales in comparison to what you find in their higher end models. There’s a noticeable lack of detail and sharpness, giving the photos a pastel like look because of the aggressive noise reduction. And as expected, the phone seems to falter worse in low light conditions.
The Galaxy A8+ packs a huge 3,500mAh battery as opposed the A8’s 3,000mAh. The larger battery is obviously required to power the larger screen, but it has the phone running for longer. The phone comes with fast charging, and that’s a blessing. Over a 12-hour period of moderate usage, the phone still has more than enough battery to last you through the night. And just in case you manage to exhaust the battery, the fast charge is a rescue.
The Galaxy A8+ looks amazing. And maybe that’s what the phone tries to do – impress on the aesthetics so you’re willing to overlook the obvious flaws that come with it.