Samsung has launched 2018 versions of the Galaxy A8, a name it has used at least once before, this time bringing some of the best Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 features together in a single device, but in an unexpected fashion. The 2018 Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8 Plus are two of the most intriguing phones we’ve seen from Samsung in a while.
The new Galaxy A8 has a 5.6-inch Super AMOLED screen on the front, with the same 18.5:9 aspect ration as its larger brethren, and a 1,080 x 2,220 pixel resolution. The Galaxy A8 Plus has a 6-inch screen. Look closely at the images of the phone and you can see small bezels above and below it, along wth very minimal bezels at the side. It may not be quite so large or bezel-free as the S8 or Note 8, but it’s close enough that Samsung still uses the “Infinity Display” name to describe it.
Above the screen are two camera lenses for the ultimate selfie experience. The dual-lens camera has two sensors — 16 megapixels and 8 megapixels, both with an f/1.9 aperture — and Samsung’s Live Focus feature, a favorite from the Galaxy Note 8, where it’s part of the rear camera. This feature adds the blurred background effect to your selfies, while the two lenses can take close-ups or wider portrait shots. The selfie cam also has a beauty mode, filters, and stickers. The rear camera has a single 16-megapixel lens, and a low f/1.7 aperture for great lowlight shots.
If the Galaxy A8 already sounds good, then you’re going to like it even more as we continue. The body has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, for peace of mind, and it’s the first A-Series Samsung phone that’s compatible with the Gear VR virtual reality headset. Previously, you had to splash out on an S-Series or Note phone to enjoy Samsung’s VR experience. An octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM powers the A8, plus there is 32GB of memory, a fingerprint sensor, a MicroSD card slot, and NFC for Samsung Pay.
The Galaxy A8 Plus has a 3,500mAh battery compared to the 3,000mAh cell inside the A8, and both come with fast charging. Despite being phones launched next year, both have Android 7.1 Nougat installed, and not Android 8.0 Oreo.
Samsung has announced the Galaxy A8 models for release in January 2018, with countries still to be confirmed, in a choice of gold, blue, black, or gray. It appears only the Galaxy A8 will go on sale in the U.K., but that won’t be until April 2018, and it hasn’t been given a price either. We don’t expect it to be cheap, but it will be less than the S8, and with a specification and feature list like this, it’s shaping up to be a very desirable phone.
The Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus will likely be shown off at the CES 2018 technology show in January, when we may also get news about a U.S. release. We’ll keep you updated.
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