SAM­SUNG GAL­AXY A8

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

Like its ear­lier com­pan­ions – A3, A5 and A7 – the 5.9mm-thin ph­ablet comes with a me­tal uni-body, which gives the de­vice a pre­mium look and feel. Sam­sung made the 5.9mm me­tal frame cham­fered for ex­tra style points. De­spite its broad ph­ablet di­men­sions, the A8 feels easy to grip with evenly dis­trib­uted weight.

The A8 uses a 5.7-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pix­els) Su­per AMOLED dis­play at 386ppi. Im­age is suf­fi­ciently sharp with vi­brant col­ors; the screen is bright at 100 per­cent, but not glar­ing.

They did adopt a hand­ful of fea­tures from the Gal­axy S6, but some of them are quite un­nec­es­sary. An ex­am­ple would be Brief­ing: when not in use, Brief­ing does tend to take up pre­cious time and pro­cess­ing power if you scroll to it ac­ci­den­tally. On the flip side, the A8 does come with fea­tures that are ac­tu­ally use­ful and prac­ti­cal.

The A8 has a unique two-tray de­sign for its du­al­nano SIM slot. The pri­mary SIM slot works with LTE Cat 6 net­works, but the sec­ondary slot is only com­pat­i­ble with 2G net­works.

The Fin­ger­print Sen­sor on the A8 does ex­actly its pur­pose – pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive to users for se­cur­ing their phone. The phone also has a Mi­cro- USB 2.0 port with OTG (On-The-Go) sup­port. This means that you can con­nect a USB OTG drive to it, and it acts as ad­di­tional stor­age for the phone.

Like most of its new de­vices, the A8 uses Sam­sung's own Exynos 5430 octa-core pro­ces­sor. Per­for­mance was sat­is­fac­tory in bench­marks and real-world test­ing; cer­tainly not as nim­ble as flag­ship mod­els like the Sam­sung Gal­axy Note 5, but the A8 per­forms speed­ily, with nary a jit­ter in its ev­ery­day use.

The A8 uses a 16MP cam­era for the rear, and a 5MP front cam­era, and we feel that the cam­era's qual­ity is good for a mid-range smart­phone. Sharp­ness is in­tact, and col­ors are gen­er­ally ac­cept­able save for the ones that are dif­fi­cult to tell apart.

The 3,050mAh ca­pac­ity on the A8 gives it de­cent bat­tery life. With ac­tiv­ity time north of 14 hours, the smart­phone is able go un­plugged for the greater part of the day. On its own, the Sam­sung Gal­axy A8 is in­deed a good al­ter­na­tive to the flag­ship Gal­axy S se­ries. Un­for­tu­nately, re­al­ity is a harsh mistress. Un­less you're dead set on a Sam­sung, the A8 has to go up against the cheaper Chi­nese com­pe­ti­tion with sim­i­lar or bet­ter hard­ware, per­for­mance and build qual­ity.

The dis­play looks large, thanks to the 2.5mm-thin bezel.

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