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Samsung Galaxy A8+ review: A mid-tier flagship device with premium features

The 18.5:9 aspect ratio screen and dual selfie cameras of the Galaxy A8+ are impressive

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

Samsung Galaxy A8+

Samsung India has a strong line-up of flagship smartphones – the Galaxy S-series and Note-series – besides budget devices like the J-series and On-series. But the company’s mid-range flagship segment, dominated by the C-series and A-series smartphones, continues to lag behind competition due to the absence of a premium tag and limited features. To address the gap, Samsung has launched the Galaxy A8+, a mid-tier flagship smartphone heavily inspired from the premium Galaxy S8 and carrying a price tag of Rs 32,990. The Galaxy A8+ sports infinity display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, a redesigned form factor with better placement of fingerprint scanner and dual-SIM, coupled with a dedicated memory card slot. On paper, the Galaxy A8+ looks like the ultimate mid-tier flagship. But, does it live up to the promise? Let’s find out: Design and display The Galaxy A8+ design takes a cue from the company’s premium smartphone Galaxy S8-series. However, there are some noticeable design changes incorporated in the smartphone to give a uniform but fresh look. The build quality is top-notch and the tall instance adds to the overall aesthetics. The front is dominated by a splendid 6-inch 18.5:9 aspect ratio screen that boasts fullHD+ resolution and always-on feature for ease of use. The side bezels are limited but are noticeably bigger on top and bottom. The curved glass on the front and back looks premium and seems to match the quality of flagship devices. Interestingly, the speaker and fingerprint scanner have been relocated for improved utility. The speaker is placed on the right side of the chassis, while the fingerprint scanner finds its spot below the rear camera which makes it easier to use. Hardware, software and performance The device computing is managed by an octa-core energy-efficient Exynos 7885 system on chip (SoC), which provides optimal performance with no sign of lag or stutters.

With ample internal storage of 64 GB and 6 GB RAM, the phone loads apps quickly and enables multitasking capabilities with no visible glitch. In terms of user interface, the features a customised Android Nougat 7.1.1-based operating system. There is ample bloatware installed along with some useful apps like Samsung Pay, Samsung’s proprietary digital wallet. One of the important things that we find lacking is the pressure-sensitive on-screen home button with tactical feedback. There is an on-screen home button but that does not unlock the screen by behaving like a physical home button. Rather, just a double tap on the home button unlocks the screen, which seems to mock the very purpose of the button. Camera The Samsung Galaxy Note8 was the first smartphone that put the South Korean mobile phone maker in the dual-camera game. Now, the Galaxy A8+, sporting a dual front camera set-up, is doing that for the company in the field of dual selfie camera set-up. The A8+ sports a 16-megapixel and an 8MP camera on the front. Both the cameras feature f/1.9 aperture and work in tandem to offer regular dual-camera goodies like the portrait mode, bokeh effect, live-focus, stickers, etc. The selfie camera performance raises the bar for mid-tier flagship smartphones. In terms of rear camera performance, the phase detection auto-focus (PDAF) assisted 16 MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture shows Samsung’s expertise in mobile photography. The lens is quick to lock autofocus and capture photos with lot of details, irrespective of light conditions. Verdict The Galaxy A8+ is a star performer with premium design and plush exteriors. The 18.5:9 aspect ratio, coupled with dual selfie cameras, adds a futuristic tag to the device, making it competitive at the price tag of Rs 32,990.

First Published: Fri, January 19 2018. 22:27 IST
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