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Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) Review

2 weeks ago   MPC Team

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) is the latest upper mid-range smartphone by the South Korean mobile manufacturing company in this year. The phone has got 6-inch Super AMOLED display, which does make it superior than other currently available phones belonging to the same category. The phone looks pretty much the same as that of Galaxy S series phones due to its glass-and-metal construction and design as well as its water and dust resistance capacity. However, when you look into it, you will find that it has got a different camera as well as a mid-range chipset.

So, how do the mid-range hardware and premium design look together? Let us comprehensively review Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) and find that out!

Design

samsung galaxy a8 plus

Design-wise, Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) is very much similar to the Galaxy S series phones, i.e. Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9. This is because A8 Plus has also got the reflective glass back, same camera styling and metal frame etc.

However, upon closer inspection, you will be able to note a few differences. First of all, the phone will not have those beautiful curves that are usually found in latest Samsung flagship phones. It also seems a bit bigger as well as bulkier. It would still not be considered as a giant phone even when it has got 6-inch display, but it would also not be as elegant as are Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9.

The glass back of this phone is a bit messy, as the fingerprint very easily smudges. Hence, this is one strong reason to use this phone with the case. It is also made of glass, which is easily breakable if it falls, so that is another reason for using the case with it.

We have the volume keys on the left side of this phone, where the Bixby button is missed out. The Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant feature does come with this phone, but it would not have a dedicated physical button in the phone. But this will not be considered as a big loss for us, as most of us still do not find Bixby as a quite useful option in comparison to Google Assistant.

On the bottom side, we have USB-C port, which is used for charging. Along with that, there is a headphone jack. Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) has got water-resistance rating, which means that it will be able to survive its short-time stay in water. Official rating tells that it is able to stay for up to 30 minutes in the fresh water, which can be as deep as 5 feet.

Fingerprint Scanner Position

In case of Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018), fingerprint scanner is position on the back side, i.e. just below the camera. Hence, you will find it easier to reach. The scanner would still seem a bit closer to the camera, and sometimes you might accidentally touch the camera with the finger. Hence, you need to ensure to keep the camera clean before you use it.

The fingerprint scanner is basically a rounded rectangle, which is a bit small, and which will not be as fast as is the case in other phones. It would still be worthwhile though, and you will not be complaining much about it.

samsung galaxy a8 plus

Face recognition can also be used along with fingerprint recognition. This will do a good job during day time. Still, fingerprint scanner will be more reliable most of the time.

Display

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) comes with the 6-inch Super AMOLED display, which is quite generous. The display features lush colors and also deep blacks. This is termed as ‘Infinity Display’ by Samsung, which is the marketing name for the taller and narrower displays introduced by Samsung, and which also feature 18.5:9 aspect ratios as well as almost bezel-less and edge-to-edge designs.

The screen in this phone will not however be as curved as is found in case of Galaxy S8 and S9; rather it involves the flat design. Bezels are also actually much bigger than those of S8 and S9. Only by feeling, the bezels look smaller, which actually are not. Still, this screen display is much of the focal point in this phone, as it gives this phone a bigger advantage over its competing ones. The display is bright, and hence you can see it easily in outdoors, as it has also got rich colors.

The color balance is still not as refined as is found in the flagship phones of the company, because you only have relatively colder whites, while the overall colors are also not balanced in perfect manner, but they are also neither far off. As far as the AMOLED displays are concerned, you will have different choices of color modes when you go to Settings > Display. The Adaptive mode will produce oversaturated, lively and lush colors, but if you do not like this look, then you may simply turn any other mode on. The basic mode actually is the one that is closest to the RGBs standard. Hence, you might be able to use it in case you want the standard-accurate colors.

There will also be Always-on Display feature in this phone. It might consume additional battery power of the phone though. So, you may turn it off if you do not want it. However, if you do, then the good suggestion is that you go to settings and turn it not to work in night time, as you would not need it in that time.

Interface and Functionality

samsung mobile

When we look into the Samsung phones every year, we note that Samsung Experience UI offers the same things and is just good enough vis-à-vis performance. The curse of TouchWiz is carried on year after year. Samsung phones do apparently work generally in a better way but there is only slight amount of stutter involved. But that does not ruin the experience overall, yet it is arguably noticeable when it compared with OnePlus or Google Pixel phones.

Well, good things are coming with Samsung phones every year, and Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) will prove to provide perfectly smooth performance.

You will also be disappointed to know that this phone will be running on Android 7 Nougat OS when it is taken out if the box. The Android Oreo update is on the table, but it has not been released so far, which is shame, as Google is already near to unveil its Android 9. Therefore, Samsung is pretty late in case of Galaxy A8 Plus (2018).

For everyone else, Samsung Experience UI is going to be a familiar one, which offers many great options as well as a very organized look. Many features of this UI are going to remain the same as before. The universal search function in Samsung’s UI is good, as it basically brings us the detailed results from all over the environment. It is also equally useful, as from there you can search for the right settings.

Processor, Performance and Memory

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) will be running on Exynos 7885 chipset, which is made by Samsung itself. This chipset is basically used for the upper mid-range smartphones. In terms of performance, it does not come near to the Snapdragon 845 SoC. However, it will be better in performance when compared with Snapdragon 625 SoC.

Exynos 7885 SoC is basically made on the modern 14nm LPP FinFET production process, which makes sure that it would not be consuming much of the power. The chipset consists of the 2x powerful Cortex A73 CPU cores, which are running on the speed of 2.2GHz, and which are 6 times efficient than Cortex A53 cores that run on the speed up to 1.6GHz.

This chipset is good for daily tasks and performance, but this will not be effective so much so that it could break any benchmarking records. As a matter of fact, the scores were found to be lower when compared with rivals’ scores, i.e. in both GPU and CPU tasks, and hence you will not find Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) as the best option for die-hard game lovers.

The phone comes with 32GB and 64GB of internal storage, and there will also be microSD card slot for expanding the storage capacity.

Internet and Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) has got 4G LTE connectivity, which will be supporting global as well as North American bands. Hence, you will have better LTE connection while travelling in most parts of the world.

This will be the dual SIM phone, which will have true Dual SIM card slot on the top as well as a separate microSD card tray placed on the side. This would mean that you will be able to use the two SIM cards together with the microSD card.

Other connectivity options included in this phone are GPS, dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and Samsung Pay.

Camera

While we might see the Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) to be like the other expensive Samsung phones, the camera would not really be the same anyway.

On the rear, we have single 16MP camera featuring f/1.7 lens, where as on the front we have dual camera system with 16MP and 8MP sensors, which are quite capable of blurring the background in case of selfies for cooler, DSLR-like blurred background effect.

Moreover, the camera app is the one used in other Samsung phones. The user will be able to launch it quickly by double clicking on the power button placed on the right side. You will further be able to switch between the rear and front camera by swiping up and down on the viewfinder. Similarly, shooting modes will appear when you swipe right, while swiping left will bring up the filters.

You will also easily be able to zoom in as well as out through dragging the white shutter button up and down. The red button just below this shutter will begin to record the video. If you hold the video button, it will switch to the video aspect ratio, which will then allow you to preview the frame before the beginning of recording.

Image Quality

In day time when there is plenty of light, Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) will be able to capture very sharp shots with pleasing colors as well as handsome amount of details. In case of a few shots, the phone will be underexposed. Apart from those few shots, every other shot will be exposed quite properly and would look nice.

At night time with insufficient light, the phone will not produce good image quality, and it would also often produce blurry or noisy images.

Video

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) will be able to shoot up to 1080p videos at 30fps. Most of its competitors lying in same price range, on the other hand, are able to record 4K videos. 1080p video also produces nice colors, and it also enhances the digital stabilization, which is pleasing, but there is lack of details, which can be noticed especially when the video is seen in the bigger screen. This will clearly be the weaker side of camera featured in this phone. However, from the front camera, the video quality is quite good, and it is better than most of the competing smartphones. The front camera is also able to shoot 1080p videos with sharp looks and clear details.

Sound Quality

There will be single loudspeaker in case of Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018), which will be placed on the right side of the phone. This is a strange placement, which was also seen in the Galaxy A-series phones released in the previous year. While this placement is modern, we can say that the speaker is placed on a nice position, as it will not be muffling especially when you are holding the phone or when you have put it on the table.

Moreover, you will find the loudspeaker quality to be just above average. Comparatively, modern flagship phones come with tine phone speakers producing impressive sounds, but in case of Galaxy A8 Plus (2018), the music will seem a bit tinny, and there will not be much depth, but still the sound will be louder enough so that you would not be disappointed.

Fortunately, the phone will have headphone jack on board, and hence you will be easily able to plug the wired headphones in when you feel the need. The phone will be supporting Bluetooth 5.0, but there will be lack of AptX HD codec support, which is featured in recent flagship phones, through which high-resolution sound quality via Bluetooth is produced.

Call Quality

On the whole, call quality in Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) was pretty great. You will be able to identify the natural tonality of caller’s voice in the earpiece, and the sound will also be of handsome quality and would also be loud enough. You will not have any complaints with the microphone output on the other side of the phone line.

Battery Life

samsung galaxy a8 plus battery

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) will come with 3,500mAh battery, which is the same size seen in Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. The battery capacity will however be found as average for a phone of this size.

You will not have any problems with the battery in full day period. The device will provide you sufficient charge for lasting throughout the day, which is what can be easily expected from the phone of such good battery life. The battery in this phone is hence good, though not extraordinary, as the phone would not still last for two consecutive days without getting charged.

The battery life shows that it will remain up for 9 hours and 24 minutes, which is a better score as compared to other flagship phones such as Galaxy S9 Plus and Galaxy S8 Plus. Similar to these phones, if you turn off the ‘Always On Display’ option from settings menu, then you would be able to significantly enhance the stand-by time.

Another significant element of the battery is that of charging time. In case of this phone, there will be Fast Adaptive Charger in the box along with the phone, which will recharge the phone very quickly. In 15 minutes, 21% battery will be charged, and in 30 minutes 40% will be charged, while 100% battery will be charged in 1 hour 39 minutes. However, the missing feature in this phone is the wireless charging, and hence you will only have USB-C port for charging the Galaxy A8 Plus (2018).

Price and Alternatives

The Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) will be available in Pakistan in the unlocked form, and it will be compatible with all the carriers, i.e. Warid, Mobilink, Zong, Telenor and Ufone. Currently, Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) price in Pakistan is Rs. 63,999, which means it belongs to the upper mid-range tier, i.e. it is relatively cheaper than the flagship smartphones currently available in the country.

Globally, in most of the countries, the phone is currently selling for about $570.

There are many considerably alternatives for the case of Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018). The mainstream alternative is the Apple iPhone 6S Plus. Currently, Apple iPhone 6S Plus price in Pakistan is Rs. 60,999, which comes with 5.5-inch display, continuous software updates and latest iOS along with fabulous camera and 4K video recording.

There are many Android alternatives of this phone. First comes Honor View 10, which has 6GB RAM, faster processor, 128GB internal storage, dual camera system on the rear, and Android 8.1 Oreo OS. Currently, Honor View 10 price in Pakistan is Rs. 51,000.

Another cheaper Android alternative is Sony Xperia XZ Premium, which is a flagship phone featuring Snapdragon 835, 5.5-inch display, 4K LCD display and powerful camera. Current Sony Xperia XZ Premium price in Pakistan is Rs. 71,999.

Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) is a mid-range smartphone, which is designed with the premium materials, and which sports an elegant and large AMOLED display along with beautiful Samsung Experience UI with advanced options. The phone also gives a true dual SIM experience to the users, along with which it is IP68 certified.

On the other hand, what is not likeable about this hone is that it may look like it, but it is not essentially a flagship phone. The body of this phone is relatively bulky, and the bezels of this phone are clearly seen from fair distance, which clearly indicates that it is not a bezel-less phone. More so, the phone comes with the older version of Android OS, i.e. 7.1 Nougat. So, chances are fair that it would not get any updates in the future.

Camera quality is also not good, and even the 4K video recording is also not available. Ultimately, you are actually going to get what you are actually paying for, i.e. A8 Plus, which is a solid mid-range smartphone running on Androud OS. The phone does have elegant AMOLED display and appearance-wise, it is beautiful. But do not go for this phone if you are looking for speedy performance, as you may find other options quite ideal and appropriate.

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One Comment

  1. After reading this review, I think it better to buy A8 rather Galaxy S8 or S9.

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