Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) Review: A Galaxy S8 Mini

Samsung did not bring any teasers for its next flagship phone, the Galaxy S9, to CES 2018 in Vegas.  However, it did show off the mid-century Galaxy A8, which will be published worldwide.

  • Key Features
  • 5.6-inch FHD+ screen
  • 3000mAh battery
  • IP68 rated
  • Exynos 7785 and 4GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • Bixby
  • Double front cameras

Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) cost and release

Samsung would not confirm a price or release date for the A8, but we will update this story when we hear more.  The company also declared an A8+ earlier in the year, but this model will not be released to the UK or US.

The ‘A’ series sits below the ‘S’ series, taking a number of its glossier attributes from its illustrious siblings and offering them at a lower cost.  The A8 is on the peak of this ‘A’ series; not only does this take some of my favorite pieces from the S8, but additionally, it provides some hints about what the S9 might provide.

The largest feature plucked from the S8 is the Infinity Screen.  The A8 boasts a 5.6-inch Super AMOLED panel using a 1080 x 2220 resolution and slimmed down bezel.  The display does not curve as it does on the S8, but it looks great and is an ideal size if you don’t wish to carry around a very major phone.

In actuality, I would say the A8’s size is just about ideal.  It’s comparable to the iPhone 8, but with a noticeably larger screen.  The metallic body wraps around the sides, with the slightly rounded end making it comfortable to hold in one hand.  Tons of mid-range phones go big as it’s much easier to match all of the parts inside, but Samsung’s choice to make it a little smaller will probably set the device apart.

If you have used an S8 and S8+ for even a brief amount of time, you will probably have nightmares about the horrible position of the fingerprint scanner.  In a move that I am convinced will translate to the S9, the scanner currently sits beneath the camera on the back of the apparatus, and consequently, it is far easier to hit.  I still believe it is a bit on the small size — and an odd shape — but it is still a massive improvement.  The A8 is IP68 rated for water- and – dust-resistance, also.

During my time with the phone, Samsung’s reps stressed the corporation’s focus on the cameras.  The A8 comes with a 16-megapixel, f/1.7 sensor on the back of the apparatus, and dual cameras on the front.

Selfies are a big deal here and the mix of a 16-megapixel (f/1.9) and 8-megapixel (f/1.9) camera on the front allow you to shoot those slick, bokeh-rich snaps which blur the background.  The Live Focus attribute from the Note 8 is present also; it functioned well during my brief presentation, providing deeper control over the degree of blur you want.

Running the show is an Exynos 7785 chip (this will probably be changed for a Snapdragon variation from the USA), together with 4GB of RAM.  This doesn’t match mobiles like the OnePlus 5T for sheer grunt but will be strong enough to play games and execute the typical day-to-day tasks.  32GB storage comes as standard, and the microSD slot accepts cards up to 256GB.

A 3000mAh battery power the A8, which should see you through a day of usage.  The device also provides support for fast-charging throughout the USB-C interface, but there is no wireless charging available.

On the software side of things, everything feels very similar to the S8 and Note 8.  It is still running Android 7.1.1 but Samsung’s UI layer is much more gratifying than it once was.  As you can probably guess, Bixby is a huge focus for Samsung and the slightly dodgy assistant is completely baked to the A8.  It does not have its own dedicated button — but that is probably a great thing.

Considering Samsung would not show how much the A8 will cost when it hits UK and US shores in the upcoming few months, it is tough to judge how good it is going to be.  

But in my estimation, the A8 is going to be a winner for those searching for an inexpensive phone on a contract.  It looks great, has the atmosphere of a flagship phone, and does not really lie in almost any obvious location.  It may lack the radio charging and iris-scanning abilities of its allies, but these are luxury features which are far from essential.