Samsung is one of the largest smartphone vendors in India, but it no longer dominates the market. Competition from the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus has forced it to target budget and mid-range price tiers. As a part of that effort, it launched Galaxy A8+ (2018) in India for Rs. 32,990 ($518) on Wednesday at an event in New Delhi.
To recap, the Galaxy A8+ (2018) is the higher-end model in A8 (2018) series. It’s the only variant that Samsung’s launching in India for now, and it’ll be available exclusively from Amazon India starting January 20.
The Galaxy A8+ (2018) looks similar to the Galaxy S8 series, with a metal-and-glass design that’s IP68 rated for dust and water resistance and a tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio display. However, there are a few important differences. The 6-inch display is flat instead of curved like the Galaxy S8, and has a lower resolution (Full HD+ vs. WQHD+). The fingerprint sensor is placed below the camera on the back, another change from the Galaxy S8.
Its measurements are 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm, and it weighs 191 grams.
The Galaxy A8+ (2018) has an octa-core Exynos 7885 system-on-chip, with two cores clocked at 2.2GHz and six cores clocked at 1.8GHz. Samsung hasn’t revealed the exact cores used in the SoC in any of its press materials, but previous rumors pointed to at least two ARM Cortex-A73 cores and an ARM Mali-G71 GPU.
The phone has a Full HD+ (2220×1080) Super AMOLED Infinity display with a pixel density of 410 pixels-per-inch (PPI), and 6GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage. There’s also a microSD card slot that supports up to 256GB expandable storage, and the usual connectivity options: 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB Type-C port, and dual SIM slots.
The Galaxy A8+ (2018) has a 16MP rear camera with PDAF and a bright f/1.7 aperture, but there’s no mention of optical image stabilization (OIS). The highlight, instead, are the front cameras. The phone has two of them: A 16MP fixed-focus sensor paired with an 8MP sensor, both of which have a f/1.9 aperture. The front cameras allow you to get a blurred image effect with bokeh, and choose between a focused background or a blurred background. It also supports Samsung’s Live Focus feature, which lets you adjust the bokeh effect while capturing photos.
The Galaxy A8+ (2018) has a 3500mAh battery with fast charging support, and is powered by Samsung Experience UI on top of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The major software features of the Galaxy A8+ (2018) are Bixby support, Samsung Pay support, and facial recognition.
Our view: For Rs. 32,990 ($518), the Galaxy A8+ (2018) goes head-to-head with the 6GB/64GB variant of the OnePlus 5T and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 (which recently received a price cut) in terms of price. But it’s more expensive than Huawei’s Honor View 10, which is another affordable flagship. There’s also the fact that the Galaxy A8+ (2018) doesn’t use a flagship system-on-chip (SoC), unlike some of its competitors, which pack Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipsets.
Still, the Galaxy A8+ (2018) is a significant improvement over Samsung’s previous devices (which includes last year’s Galaxy C9 Pro) in this price bracket. Time will tell how well it does in the market, but one thing’s certain: The battle for mid-tier devices is only going to heat up.
Source: Amazon India
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