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Samsung started its innings for the year 2018 in India with the launch of Galaxy A8+. Priced at Rs.32,990, Galaxy A8+ has a lot on his shoulders. The price-point makes it a direct competitor of the two most popular Android devices- OnePlus 5T and Honor View 10. These devices have raised the bar quite high in value flagship category which is very tough to overcome. Samsung Galaxy A8+ is not a full-fledged Galaxy flagship smartphone, but a toned down version of Galaxy S8 with a handful of high-end features borrowed from its flagship siblings. The smartphone sports an Infinity display design, a dual-lens camera setup and also comes with Samsung Pay support, the company's in-house digital payment system.
Most importantly, the Galaxy A8+ comes from the house of Samsung, which is one of the most trusted brands in India. With our experience, we can say that consumers are still skeptical about OnePlus and Huawei handsets at some level, which can work in favour of Galaxy A8+. However, brand name alone cannot make a device win the battle in today's time. You have to give consumers a perfect blend of features and performance which is something Samsung knows very well. This brings us to the question, 'Does Samsung Galaxy A8+ has what it takes to win the value flagship title'. Let's find out with the help of the following review.
Design and Display
Samsung is well-known for its vivid AMOLED panels and Galaxy A8+ is yet another example of company's expertise in screen department. Galaxy A8+ffeatures a -6-inch 1080p screen with 18:9 aspect ratio. The 6-inch AMOLED screen does a pretty good job in terms of performance and offers a visually immersive multimedia experience. The 2.5D curved glass adds a little kick to the infinity display and makes the handset look premium. However compared to OnePlus 5T, the display is slightly on a darker side. This does not affect the display majorly and the difference is not much visible. The sunlight visibility is also good.
The Galaxy A8+ is neatly designed with practically correct placement of the keys on the side panels. Samsung has placed the volume rockers on the left of the device .The Galaxy A8+ supports Nano-SIM cards and the SIM card slots are placed on the left panel and on the top of the device ,.aThe right panel of the device also houses the mono speaker grill along with the power key.The sound output is quite lod and is a good news for music enthusiasts..
The 3.5mm headphone jack and the charging slot are placed at the bottom of the device.
The rear panel of the Samsung Galaxy houses the camera with LED flash and also a fingerprint scanner.
The fingerprint scanner is blazing fast and fires up the device as soon as you keep the finger on the scanner.
One important aspect of Samsung Galaxy A8+'s design is its IP68 rating against dust and water. This gives Galaxy A8+ an edge over its competitors- Honor View 10 and OnePlus 5T. Both of these handsets do not offer any sort of water-dust protection.
Overall, Galaxy A8+ is a well-designed practical value flagship smartphone that gets most of things right.
Camera: Dual-lens camera setup at front
On the imaging front, the Samsung Galaxy A8 plus is designed to please selfie lovers. The smartphone features a dual-lens camera setup at front that can create bokeh effect. The dual front camera setup comprises of a 16MP and 8MP digital camera that works on a F/1.9 aperture. The dual lens front digital camera comes with "Live Focus" mode which captures the depth of images to capture in selfies you click. The images shot from dual-lens selfie camera look vibrant and has good detailing. The bokeh effect is also pleasing and will make your Instagram and Snapchat stories look quite impressive.
Another highlight feature of Galaxy A8+ is Samsungs Bixby vision, which is seen on the flagship S8 and S8+. The Bixby vision is Samsung's take on the pocket assistant. Its function is similar to that of Google Lens, this feature allows a user extract or translate text and even search images. The vision works well, whenever it works and offers useful information. The rear camera however doesn't have any dual lens setup even though the image quality captured by the lens is pretty good. The rear camera uses f/1.7 to deliver better image quality, however the USP of the device still remains the dual setup front cameras.
In my opinion, Samsung should have provided a capable duallens camera setup at the rear side. The smartphone in competition- Honor View 10 has a far better dual-lens rear camera setup, which is pretty hard to beat in this price-segment.
Hardware and Software
When it comes to Hardware specifications the Samsung Galaxy A8 plus is powered by Samsung's in house Exynos 7885 octa-core SoC with two cores clocked at 2.2GHz and 6 cores clocked at 1.67GHz. Samsung Galaxy A8 plus comes with 6GB RAM which is paired with 64GB internal storage. Like most of the devices in the same price segment the memory is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card. The combination of 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage does make the device fast. We found the device performance to be substantially good in this price segment as I didn't experience any lag during multitasking and also the device didn't get heated up while playing heavy games or while using the fast charging. On the software front the Samsung Galaxy
A8 plus ships out with Android Nougat 7.1, this comes as a bummer for most of the technology enthusiasts.
It would have been much appreciated if the device was shipped with Android Oreo 8.0. However as per some reports it is being suggested that the device will get an Android Oreo 8.0 upgrade soon to match up with the rival smartphones in the same price range. The Software performance however is not bad, the tasks are performed by the device swiftly and as I mentioned earlier it fires up the apps fast and when it comes to performance this device does a pretty good job.
Connectivity and Battery
In terms of connectivity the Samsung Galaxy A8 plus features Type C USB port and is backed by a 3,500mAh battery unit. The smartphone lasts for almost a day and a half with regular usage on a single charge which is pretty impressive. To test the longevity of the battery power we played various games, watched videos on YouTube and internet and also used the messenger apps and as mentioned earlier the battery lasted for a day and a half with this much usage.
The Samsung Galaxy A8 plus also supports 4G and VoLTE along with Samsung Pay for contactless mobile payment. Samsung Pay service was launched back in March 2016 in India and it comes unified with UPI (Unique Payments Interface) and a user can easily make payment by scanning the Bharat QR code at merchants. Galaxy A8 plus has IP68 rating for water and dust resistance which adds to its benefits. Samsung Galaxy A8 plus is also compatible with Samsung Gear VR.
At this price range, the smartphone features 18:9 bezel-less design which comes with an infinity display. The hardware specifications are strong enough for the device to perform multitasking without any lag or issue. For the duration, we used the device we didn't experience any kind of lag or phone heat up issue which is much appreciated.
Samsung Galaxy A8+ is a very practical value flagship smartphone. It offers a vibrant 18:9 aspect ratio screen, smooth performance and a design which is water-dust resistant. OnePlus 5T and Honor View 10 fail to offer any sort of water-dust protection.
Samsung has also roped in some flagship features such as Bixby vision and Samsung Pay. What let us down is the camera performance and Samsung's bizarre decision of adding a dual-lens camera setup at the front instead of back.
If you are a diehard Samsung fan and can compromise a bit on camera performance, Galaxy A8+ can make a deal for you. You can also check out OnePlus 5T and Honor View 10 if you are spending a sum of Rs. 35,000 for a smartphone in the Indian market.