We're now in the fourth generation of the Galaxy A series. Every year, Samsung introduces a new feature that was previously limited to its flagship Galaxy S range to the mid-range lineup, including Samsung Pay and IP68 certification for dust and water resistance. This year, Samsung is bringing its Infinity Display design language to the Galaxy A series.
There are improvements in other areas as well — the Galaxy A8+ is powered by Samsung's latest Exynos 7885 Octa, which feature ARM's high-performance Cortex A73 cores. Based on the region, the device will come with 6GB of RAM as well. With prices starting from $500, there's certainly a lot to like about the Galaxy A8+. This is what you need to know about Samsung's latest mid-range phone.
It has a 6-inch Infinity Display
The Galaxy A8+ has an 18.5:9 Infinity Display with thin bezels, much like the Galaxy S8+ and the Note 8. However, while Samsung's flagships have a QHD panel, the Galaxy A8+ features a 6.0-inch display with a resolution of 2220x1080.
The panel isn't curved either, so if you had issues using the dual curved screens on the S8+ or the Note 8, then you'll have an easier time with the Galaxy A8+. The bezels aren't as narrow either, and the entire design at the front is more in line with that of the LG G6 or the Pixel 2 XL than one of Samsung's phones.
Samsung leads the display industry right now, with the company seeing record revenues from its display business. As such, the Super AMOLED display on the A8+ is one of the best in this segment, with deep blacks and vibrant colors. Starting this year, Samsung is also extending support for its Gear VR platform to its Galaxy A lineup.
The Galaxy A8+ also has a sensibly-placed fingerprint sensor, which is now located underneath the camera module. This is likely the position Samsung will use for the upcoming Galaxy S9 and S9+ as well, alleviating a major pain point from last year.
Samsung's most powerful device yet in this segment
With OnePlus gaining popularity in countries like India, Samsung is finally starting to get aggressive in terms of hardware. Earlier models in the Galaxy A series featured underwhelming hardware, but that's definitely not the case with the Galaxy A8+. With the Exynos 7885 Octa under the hood and 6GB of RAM along with 64GB of storage, the Galaxy A8+ is Samsung's strongest showing yet in the mid-range price bracket.
The Exynos 7885 Octa is particularly interesting as it features two Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.2GHz. The two high-performance cores are augmented by six energy-efficient Cortex A53 cores at 1.6GHz. The Galaxy A8+ is well-equipped elsewhere too, featuring a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and a 3500mAh battery that easily manages to deliver a day's worth of usage from a full charge.
First Samsung phone with dual front cameras
The Galaxy A8+ has the distinction of being the first Samsung phone with dual front cameras. The phone comes with a 16MP f/1.9 lens augmented by a secondary 8MP f/1.9 lens, and offers Live Focus for selfies — a feature that made its debut last year with the Galaxy Note 8 (albeit on the rear camera).
There's growing demand for phones with high-resolution front cameras, particularly in Asian markets. One out of four devices sold last year in India was advertised with a selfie camera, and that number is only set to grow as the likes of Xiaomi join the fray. For its part, the front camera on the Galaxy A8+ is one of its best features, and Live Focus does a great job in terms of creating a bokeh effect for shots.
If you're interested in a Samsung phone with a great front camera, the Galaxy A8+ is a great choice.
Runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box
For a device of its caliber, it's a shame that the Galaxy A8+ runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. The software experience itself is identical to what you'd find on Samsung's flagships — the phone features Samsung Experience 8.1 out of the box — but it would have been better had the device came with Oreo out of the box.
With the phone not yet making its way to most global markets, there's still a chance that it will be offered with Oreo out of the box by the time it launches in the U.S.
Wide availability kicking off later this year
The Galaxy A8+ is currently live in two markets — South Korea and India — and the phone is expected to make its way to global markets shortly. Samsung hasn't shared details on when the Galaxy A8+ — and its smaller sibling, the Galaxy A8 — will make its way to the U.S. or the UK, but if previous launches in the Galaxy A series are any indication, we should know more before the end of the quarter.
The smaller Galaxy A8 is up for sale in the Netherlands as well as other European markets for €499 ($620), and while it hasn't officially launched in the UK just yet, Clove is selling the device for £479 ($670). The Galaxy A8 series is Samsung's best showing yet in the mid-range segment, but for $600 there are plenty of other options available, including the OnePlus 5T.
For now though, India seems to be the main priority for the Galaxy A series, where the device is available exclusively on Amazon for ₹32,999 ($512).
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