Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant, has been facing tough competition in Indian smartphone market from its Chinese counterparts such as Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi. The neck-and-neck competition, especially the challenge from Xiaomi, has led the company to refresh its budget and midrange line-up with features such as infinity display (18.5:9 aspect ratio screen) and dual rear cameras that were earlier limited to its premium smartphones. The latest in its line-up is the Galaxy J8 smartphone, a modern day smartphone with a great build, big super AMOLED screen, dual rear cameras and powerful battery.
The Galaxy J8 seems to be a heavy contender in midrange smartphone segment, at least in terms of specifications and features. However, does it perform equally well in real life scenarios? Let’s find out:
Design and build quality
The Samsung Galaxy J8 comes with a decent design and build quality. The phone has a polycarbonate matte-finish back and metallic chassis, which look good and are comfortable to hold. The phone’s build quality is top-notch. It makes no squeaking sounds and everything fits in place just right.
In the front, the phone sports a 6-inch (18.5:9 aspect ratio) super AMOLED screen of HD+ resolution. The screen is touted as an infinity screen, which is a fancy name mostly used for curved screens with no bezels on two sides found in Samsung's premium devices. But in reality, this phone has bezels around the screen. These bezels are relatively slim, and therefore add to the overall design quotient while providing an immersive viewing experience.
On the back, there is a dual camera set-up placed vertically in the middle, along with an LED flash and a fingerprint sensor. The power button is on the right side of the frame, whereas the volume rocker keys are on the left side. At the bottom, there is a micro-USB charging port, along with the 3.5mm audio output port.
The Galaxy J8 6-inch super AMOLED screen is bright, and works well under direct sunlight or bright streetlights. However, the screen resolution is 1480 x 720 pixels, i.e. HD+, making the screen look pixelated at times. The 6-inch panel looks vivid and has saturated colours, which looks great while watching multimedia content or playing games.
The Galaxy J8 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 system-on-chip (SoC), paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The phone boots Android Oreo 8.0 operating system covered under Samsung Experience user interface.
The phone manages to handle regular day-to-day tasks such as calling, internet browsing, messaging, social media usage, etc. with ease. However, being an entry-level SoC, it feels short of resources when used for processor- or graphics-demanding utilities such as video editing and gaming. The phone comes with the regular set of Google apps and a few Samsung apps, including the UPI-based Samsung Pay Mini and Microsoft apps.
Games such as Subway Surfer and Angry Birds Classic run pretty easily, but heavy games like Need For Speed No Limits and Tekken tend to lag at times.
The Galaxy J8 sports a dual-camera setup on its back, featuring a 16-megapixel primary sensor mated with a 5MP depth-sensing lens. On the front, there is a 16MP selfie camera with soft LED flash. The camera interface is loaded with several camera modes such as Pro, Panorama, Beauty, Live Focus, Stickers, and Continuous Shot. Each mode has something different to offer, which brings the device in line with some of the premium offerings.
In terms of overall output, the rear cameras take decent photographs with good colour details in daylight but tend to struggle under low-light conditions. The selfie camera takes decent shots during the day but struggles in low light. However, the phone’s overall camera performance is good and in line with what other smartphones in the same segment offer.
With a 3,500 mAh battery, the phone manages to go for more than a day on normal usage. That is due to an HD+ resolution screen and power-efficient Qualcomm processor. Even with heavy usage and active internet connection all the time, the phone easily sails through one full day.
Priced at Rs 18,990, the Samsung Galaxy J8 seems to be on the expensive side, especially with an entry-level processor and HD+ screen. Other phones in the same price segment come with better processors and full HD screens. The Galaxy J8 would have been an all-rounder without these two downsides. However, the phone seems to be a camera-and-battery-centric smartphone, and it does deliver on these lines.