The Galaxy A-Series is a mid-range smartphone lineup from Samsung. The line of phones is becoming increasingly similar to the popular Galaxy S Series by borrowing design traits and features. However, the phones come with less powerful hardware and are priced more moderate. Samsung officially introduced the first two members of the Galaxy A series for 2018, the Galaxy A8 and A8+, earlier this week. Let’s take a look at the two devices in more depth.
The upgraded A-line devices bring greater choice and convenience to users. Inspired by the premium cousin, Galaxy S8, Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+ feature Infinity Display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, making them among the first of all mid-range smartphones to feature the taller and narrower display resolution. There are also two front cameras containing Live Focus, an improved rear camera, and a more premium design with metal frames and glass panels of which closely resemble higher-end Galaxy models. Samsung defines the pair as being “more stylish, practical and convenient than ever before.”
Galaxy A8 and A8+ share (basically) the same features in two different sizes. The Galaxy A8 features a 5.6-inch display and the Galaxy A8+ a 6-inch display. Both screens are of the Super AMOLED type and are of a Full HD pixel resolution. The new aspect ratio combined with the Infinity Display will permit users to immerse themselves in the content they’re consuming thanks to minimal front bezels and the lack of a physical home button in favor of software keys that are capable of hiding themselves. To add the cherry on the pie, the display is supported by a new ergonomic design with curved glass on the front and back and a new metal band around it to make the grip more comfortable when interacting with the device.
The cameras have been dramatically updated as well. Both phones have a 16MP, f/1.7 rear camera and a 16MP+8MP, f/1.9 dual front camera combo. The dual cameras on front merit users new features such as Live Focus, which blurs out the background before and after shots are taken to obtain the optimum selfie. The rear camera can take sharper images, even in areas of low-light. Users will also be able to customize their pictures with “fun options” including a variety of stickers.
Both devices will be running on Samsung’s own Exynos 7885 octa-core processor (2.2GHz Dual + 1.6GHz Hexa). The Galaxy A8, however will be carrying 4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of built-in storage. While the bigger brother, the Galaxy A8+, depending on which variant you choose, will have 4GB or 6GB of RAM with the same 32GB/64GB of internal storage. Both are expandable via microSD up to an added 256GB. The last difference that sets these devices apart is battery capacity. Since the Galaxy A8 has a smaller body, it comes with a smaller 3,000mAh battery, whilst the larger-sized Galaxy A8+ rocks a 3,5000mAh battery.
Both devices charge via USB Type-C and have on board fast charging. They are also rated IP68 for water and dust protection and have rear-facing fingerprint scanner, just below the rear camera lens. Like some of last year’s Galaxy A models, both the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+ 2018 Editions come with MST and NFC for Samsung Pay support. But unlike past iterations, Bluetooth 5.0 has been included in place of the older Bluetooth 4.2.
In the face of the new Android 8.0 Oreo update, the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy S8+ have Android 7.1.1 Nougat by default. They will receive monthly security patches, and are expected to gain Oreo some time down the line. For that, stay tuned to our Droid Updates Weekly Series.
Both the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+ will be available in four colors; Black, Orchid Grey, Gold and Blue. The release has been set for January, 2018, with prices to be announced closer to that time. Perhaps CES 2018 will yield more details.