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Samsung Galaxy A8
Samsung Galaxy A8

Review: Samsung Galaxy A8

The Galaxy A8 has the latest variant of the TouchWiz interface

Over the past few months, we have seen the rise of the “second-rung flagship" phones, which are priced affordably and try to match their more expensive siblings in performance. HTC has done it this year with the One series of phones. Now, Samsung is attempting it with the Galaxy A8, which was launched earlier this month.

Samsung Galaxy A8

32,500

At 5.9mm, the A8 is Samsung’s slimmest phone. It is considerably thinner than the 6.9mm Apple iPhone 6—but the difference really isn’t perceptible when you hold the two phones. That doesn’t take away from the excellent build of the A8, however. It looks classy with the glass at the front, the metal frame and the polycarbonate back panel with a slightly coarse finish.

The 5.7-inch screen size is a bit unconventional (5.5-inch is more common). This AMOLED screen reproduces some brilliant colours. When you switch on the phone for the first time, the intense brightness surprises you—the default auto-brightness mode has been turned off. Compared to rivals such as the HTC One E9+, the A8’s screen is much more comfortable to use outdoors—it’s sharper and not reflective. This display does fantastically well all round, be it reading, Web browsing or watching movies on the go.

The A8 runs the latest Android Lollipop 5.1.1 version and the newest variant of the TouchWiz interface. Everything looks neat and the performance is slick. We did not notice the lags, stutter or sluggishness that had become all too common with the previous TouchWiz interface. The phone packs an Exynos octa-core processor, with 2 GB RAM. It doesn’t get bogged down even if 10 apps are opened and left running in the background, and gaming is extremely smooth too. There are no issues of heating up, a problem that a lot of powerful Android phones tend to suffer from.

We expected more from the 16-megapixel camera. Yes, it takes some fantastic shots during the day and in good light, but low-light photographs are not up to the mark—there is some fuzziness, and detailing is compromised. The same images actually came out better in the more affordable OnePlus 2 ( 24,999). Perhaps all it needs is a software update to improve performance.

We really cannot criticize the battery life. The 3,050 mAh battery easily lasts a day with auto brightness switched on.

The A8 offers an experience that comes with more expensive Android phones, at a much lower price. Rivals such as HTC have tried (One E9+ and the One ME) but not done so well.

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