The Galaxy A8+ is the brands first smartphone with dual front cameras, but thats not its only USP

Intheextremely competitive smartphone industry, Samsung is one of the very few remaining players that cover the entire spectrum with its offerings. While it’s expected to launch the Galaxy On7 Prime soon in the sub-Rs 15k category, the South Korean company has kicked off the new year with the release of the Galaxy A8+ in India. The A series phones from the brandare known to bring flagship features in a mid-range package, and the Samsung Galaxy A8+ is a shining example of that. However, instead of being a successor to the A8 (2016), it actually succeeds the A7 (2017) smartphone. Confusing naming convention aside, the A8+ is a solid offering in the premium mid-range that can give strong competition to affordable flagshipslike the OnePlus 5T (review) and Honor View10 (review). Thats a bold claim to make, and heres why we think so.

Before we talk about the smartphone, lets take a peek inside the retail box. The A8+ comes wrapped in a minimalistic rectangular box which is devoid of any visuals up front, except for the phones name. Opening the lidrevealsthe handset itself. Underneath, you get a transparent case,something which we definitely appreciate. Along with that, there are the usual accessories a wall charger, a USB Type-C cable, a pair of earphones, a SIM-ejection tool as well as some documentation.

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The Galaxy A8+ is inspired by the brands flagships the S8 duo (review) and the Note8 (review), with a few changes and thats a good thing if you ask us. Thesmartphone features a metal frame with glass at the front and back, which gives it a premium sheen. Available in black and gold hues, the smartphoneexudesclass as well. You wont find Samsungs signature home button at the front, since it gets software-based navigation keys. The fingerprint sensor is located at the back, sitting below the camera module. That placement also ensures that the sensor doesnt get smudged (unlike the brands flagship offerings).

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In terms of the button and port placement, the handset follows the usual standards, though its interesting to see the speakers being placed on the right. Thismeansthat they dont getcovered while watching videos or playing games while holding the Samsung Galaxy A8+ in the landscape position. The device also gets a dedicated microSD card slot, along with dual nano-SIM card slots, allowing users to expand the storage without compromising on the dual-SIM functionality. The phone is resistant to dust and water as well, thanks to IP68 certification.

The Samsung Galaxy A8+ flaunts a large 6-inch Super AMOLED display,but despite that, it doesnt feel too unwieldy to use. Thats because the numero uno giant is bringing taller 18.5:9 displaysto the A series with this phablet.The phone has virtually no bezels around the sides, though there are considerable bezels on the top and the bottom. Thanks to full HD+ resolution, the screen is quite sharp. The display gets Cornings Gorilla Glass for protection, and doesnt curve along the edges, which means that thereshouldn’t be any accidental touches, an issue that affectsthe S8 siblingsand the Note8. While ergonomics are quite good, the glass panel at the rear is quite slippery and is a smudge magnet.

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The bezel-less form factor isnt the only highlight of the Galaxy A8+, as its also the first smartphone from Samsungs stable to boast dual front cameras. The setup comprises a 16MP f/1.9 primary shooter coupled with an 8MP camera. Together, they offer Live Focus, which is the brands term for portrait mode, and you can control the amount of blur during the capture or in post-processing. The primary camera is a 16-megapixel unit with a wide aperture of f/1.7. Along with the premium features, the latest from Samsung also supports Bixby and Samsung Pay. Sadly, it runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and will get the most recent version of Googles OS (8.0 Oreo) at a later point of time. The good thing however, is that the interface is minimalistic and theres no bloatware as such.

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Internally, the Samsung Galaxy A8+ is a multitasking pro, thanks to 6 gigs of RAM. Its paired with Exynos 7885 octa-core processor, which offers two high-end cores running at 2.2GHz and the remaining six low-power cores tuned at 1.6GHz. For storage, it has 64GB of memory on board that can be topped up by another 256GB.

Samsung is ensuring that the phone doesnt give up in the middle of the day, as it has equipped the A8+ with a 3,500mAh battery.The latter can be juiced up quickly with the bundled adapter.

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TheA8+ will go on sale exclusively via Amazon starting January 20thfor Rs 32,990. For the price, the Galaxy A8+ competes squarely withaffordable flagships (such as the ones we mentioned earlier), and while it doesnt have a top-of-the-line processor, ithasSamsungs brand name, dual selfie shooters and waterproofing capabilities on its side.

Photos by Raj Rout

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