After almost a whole month having the Samsung Galaxy A8 for a full review, I can safely say that this is a fun-to-use phone and a reliable companion to have that won’t run out of juice that quick.

The first time I get the chance to “play” with the Samsung Galaxy A8 was during an event in Sunway Lagoon having a splashing time with the Galaxy A8. That was a test run and a review on how the A8 performs in wet conditions. I loved it then, I still love it now.

Now I have the chance to use and review the Samsung Galaxy A8 for about 3 weeks. Here’s my review…

Battery that keeps on going

The first thing that impressed me so much is, the damn long lasting battery life. I can not deny that I use the phone almost all the time for social apps or communications via WhatsApp. And my usage is quite high. But a fully charged Galaxy A8 (not the plus version) battery last me about 36 hours. That’s a full day and night and day again. After 36 hours, I still have 10% left.

That kind of a sorcery is this?

That kinda sucks because it disrupt my standard phone charging time which usually starts at night and ends in the morning. With the Galaxy A8, I can’t do that. I end up charging the phone either in the middle of the day or early morning. All I can say is that the Samsung Galaxy A8’s battery last too damn long.

Samsung Galaxy A8

On standby, the Galaxy A8 can last a very long time, approximately 90 hours.

Now don’t get me start on the battery life while playing games. There’s one game that I’m currently hooked on at the moment which is PUBG Mobile. Yes, it is that battle royale style first person shooter game. Playing the game on the Samsung Galaxy A8 is awesome. Not only I get the beautiful 5.6″ super AMOLED wide angle screen and almost zero lag thanks to the octa-core Exynos7885/Mali-G71 SoC with 4GB of RAM, but I can play the game for long hours too.

To put it simply, a single round of PUBG game on my other phone took at least 20% of the battery life. Playing it on the Galaxy A8, a single round of PUBG took only 5% of the juice. Therefore on a full charge A8, I can continue playing the game until I passed out from motion sickness. Mind you, I used to be a hardcore Quake gamer (I prefer Quake rather than Counter Strike, that’s a hint on why I like battle royale FPS games).

And believe it or not if I said that the battery capacity is only 3,000mAh? My other phone battery capacity is 4,000mAh and yet I have to recharge the phone as soon as I get home at night. At least that phone didn’t disrupt my normal charging hours.

Camera that blows

It certainly blew me away.

When it comes to buying a phone nowadays, I will also take a look at the camera’s hardware and performance. I think it’s because I can’t get rid of the photographer in me that I need to get a phone with an equally good camera to match.

The main rear camera is shooting at 16MP with f/1.7 and phase detection autofocus and it works well. The only tiny qualm that I have with the main camera is the slightly over-sharpening in the post-processed photos.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Camera module at the back and fingerprint sensor below it.

Don’t get me wrong, the end result is gorgeous but if you look carefully after zooming in, you can see that it has been sharpened a little too much by the camera app. Just a little.

Overall it still managed to capture some beautiful landscape and portrait images. Colours are well balanced in bright areas. It is still very well balanced at night or in low light areas as well. You can choose to shoot in night mode from within the camera app function too.

Here are some samples of indoor photos taken with the Galaxy A8
Samsung Galaxy A8

Indoor in Summit USJ.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Indoor shot at One City mall.

Indoor photos are nice and well balanced. The colours are not too vivid and it feels more natural. There’s not much “noise” in the photos either. So with this I can say that I am happy with the camera on the A8.

And here are some outdoor photos.
Samsung Galaxy A8

Balanced colour and exposure of the sky at the background and the train on the foreground.

Samsung Galaxy A8

The lighting is not on my side on this one but the details and clarity is good.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Panoramic outdoor shot at the same location and same lighting.

Outdoor shots are easier because of the lighting. Auto focus works quick and taking some good pictures is a snap. Subject details are clear, so no blurry photos with the A8. In low light especially in the evening, the A8 still performs well. All thanks to the big aperture f/1.7 in the rear camera.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Evening time, almost night time.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Close to 8pm while I was stuck in a jam in USJ.

So taking any photo with the A8 in low light is not a disappointment. You can still see clear details with little noise in the results.

I went for a food review recently and I got the Samsung Galaxy A8 just in time for that. So I went over with the A8 in my pocket. This is probably a good chance for me to tryout the in-camera app “food mode”. It is very suitable for those who love to Instagram your food before eating ’em.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Clear shot of the crab curry during the food review with the Galaxy A8.

What the mode does is that it automatically creates an outer blur and sharp focus at the center of the subject. Also great for close-up shots of your food to make it look like bokeh-ed shot.

Samsung Galaxy A8

A close up shot of the food taken in “Food Mode”.

Shooting in “food mode” is fun. I got some nice close-up shots of the meal I had and most of them turns up really good. I also don’t need any post-processing in Lightroom because the colours and details are just right.

Here are some other photos that I captured with the Galaxy A8
Samsung Galaxy A8 Samsung Galaxy A8 Samsung Galaxy A8
 Samsung Galaxy A8

Now this is something interesting. I took a close up photo of a red rug in-front of me and you can see some sharp details it.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Here’s the rug that I saw in-front of me.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Close up shot from the top. Good details.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Even better shot taken like this.

What I like about the shots above is the level of detail and clarity produced by the A8 camera. I bet you can take lots of good close up shots of your food for Instagram. And I’m sure most Instagrammers would love to take these kind of shots. So yes, buying a Samsung Galaxy A8 will be a good deal.

Oh, the fingerprint sensor is located just below the rear camera unlike the S8. I feel that this is better because I did not accidentally touch the camera instead. The fingerprint sensor is also very responsive.

And then there’s the awesome dual front cameras.

The dual front shooters came with a 16MP f/1.9 and an 8MP f/1.9 wide angle camera. It is a lot of fun playing with the Live Focus mode with the main front shooter. You can adjust the focus point after you take the picture. Means you can take a nice portrait of yourself along with blurred background (bokeh style) and then change the intensity of the blur. This is one of my favourite front camera selfie function on the Galaxy A8.

Samsung Galaxy A8

The dual front camera setup on the A8.

Another awesome front camera feature is the wide angle camera itself. If you’re in a large group with friends, you may want to turn this feature on. This way you won’t find anyone missing especially those on either far sides.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Selfie shot with a little “bokeh” at the background.

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Wide angle selfie is wide.

Underwater goodness

Did I mentioned that the Samsung Galaxy A8 is also IP68 certified water (up to 1.5m/30mins) and dust proof phone? Yes it is.

As I said earlier, I first got the chance to try out the Galaxy A8 during an event in Sunway Lagoon where each team of two were given a Galaxy A8 to use and complete some tasks that includes diving underwater and riding the Vuvuzela water slide while taking selfie videos.

It was a fun event and we had a blast. The fun was made sweeter by having the Galaxy A8 with us throughout the event. I remember last time we had to leave our phones in the locker because the water will damage our devices, right? Now ever since the existence of waterproofed smartphones, you don’t have to worry anymore.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Fun moments captured during the Sunway Lagoon event.

Your happy moments at any water park will forever be recorded as a nice memory in your Galaxy A8. The fast LTE capability coupled with Samsung Cloud will safeguard your precious images immediately, online. You don’t have to worry losing your photos and videos ever again.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Yeah. I’m all wet with the A8 in hand.

Samsung Galaxy A8

It’s not complete without an underwater shot.

Although the clarity while taking an underwater shots are not that clear, but it is still good. We can still see sharp details without losing the quality. I did wish that I had more time with this phone to be able to shoot more underwater scenes, especially when I go swimming in the river in Kalumpang.

The only qualm that I have with the phone while taking underwater selfies or photos is that the screen would change as though the water can “touch and slide”  the screen around. So it’s not that easy to keep the phone at camera mode. Probably a glitch or touch screen is too sensitive. As a workaround for this, press the volume down button to take a photo. Done.

Less bloated

One of the factors that I don’t really like Samsung phones last time is because of the sh*tloads of bloatwares that comes with any high-end Samsung phones. Usually more than 50 unwanted bloatwares will be installed in the phone before you even start using it. And there’s no way you can delete those apps (except porting to Cyanogenmod or other builds, no warranty).

But ever since Galaxy S8, newer Samsung phones comes with less bloatwares. At least 80% of the bloatwares are gone. Thank you Samsung!

And since Galaxy S8, I fell in-love with Samsung again. Less bloatwares means better performance and longer battery life. You can still have the option to install those extra  Samsung exclusive apps though. Just fire up the Galaxy Apps and you’re set. Only if you want to.

Overall experience

Another thing that I like about the Galaxy A8 is the simple elegant design. I don’t like phones with too much of an edge-to-edge display design. I would imagine that some of us still holds the phone with our thumbs resting on the left and/or right bezel. The Galaxy A8 still have some bezel space to hold the phone comfortably. The curved edge makes it a nice phone to hold.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Nice to hold because it is slim and light.

The Galaxy A8 is also a “tall and slim” type of form factor. With a screen resolution as 1080 x 2220 pixels, means it has a wider-than-normal display screen. Being tall and slim, it makes the phone quite easier to type with one hand.

One more thing that I don’t like with the one that I’m using. It is the black version of the A8, which is also the glossy type. The glossy shell makes it a fingerprint magnet. I would have to wipe the phone from time to time in order to remove the stains and palm oil. Get it? Palm oil.

Also, most of us Malaysian (guys especially) will have that oily face. So after making a call, there will sure be some oil stain on the phone. We do need to wipe it down almost all the time after making or receiving calls.

Samsung Galaxy A8

Lovely lock screen. You can also customize the clock to your liking.

But that is not anything major. It is just a minor setback that we can forget about. If it stains too much then I’ll just throw it in a bucket full of water. Problem settled.

Oh yeah. I did a benchmark on Antutu and for the Galaxy A8 performance and it scored 115787. Not bad at all. Most of my older devices only scored half of that. So this score concludes that the Samsung Galaxy A8 is not only the cheaper choice (than S9) but a reliable one as well.

Bixby works well too. Just turn it on in the settings and you’re up. Simply swipe right on the main screen and you’ll be able to use and browse through Bixby. It’s simple to use and most of the useful information are just there. Samsung Pay? Yep. That works too.

Conclusion

Forget about my earlier “complaints” about the battery life because it wasn’t a complaint at all. I truly love the long battery life on the A8 and I personally think it’s a winning factor that makes the Samsung Galaxy A8 a reliable companion 24/7.

Battery life is amazing. The Galaxy A8 lasted me the whole 24 hours and more after that. Gaming is a breeze thanks to its powerful Exynos SoC that works well with 4GB of RAM. Some of the games I tried were PUBG, CSR Racing 2, Asphalt Xtreme and Sniper 3D.

Good photo quality, definitely. If you’re looking for a camera on a phone that is comparable to any higher end smartphone that won’t break your wallet, the Samsung Galaxy A8 is a good choice.

Bottom line is, I love this phone. If you’re planning to get one for yourself, you can purchase the Galaxy A8 at Samsung’s official Lazada store for (RRP) RM1,799.00 and RM2,499.00 for the Galaxy A8+.

Note: I am currently reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S9. Be sure to check out my review on the S9 in the next two weeks.

Samsung Galaxy A8 Specifications
Dimensions 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4 mm (5.87 x 2.78 x 0.33 in)
Display Type Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Display Size 5.6 inches, 79.6 cm2 (~75.6% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolutions 1080 x 2220 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio (~441 ppi density)
SoC Exynos 7885 Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 6×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Mali-G71
Memory 32/64 GB, 4 GB RAM, microSD up to 256 GB
Rear Camera 16 MP (f/1.7, 1/2.8”, 1.12µm), phase detection autofocus, LED flash, [email protected]
Front Camera Dual: 16 MP (f/1.9, 1/3.1”, 1.0µm) + 8 MP (f/1.9, 1/4.0”, 1.12µm), 1080p
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
Others IP68 certified – dust/water proof (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)

Samsung Galaxy A8

RM1,799.00
Samsung Galaxy A8
9.1

Design & Function

9.0 /10

Camera Quality

9.0 /10

Battery

10.0 /10

Performance

8.5 /10

Stability & Reliability

9.0 /10

Pros

  • Long lasting battery
  • Good camera
  • Ergonomic design
  • Waterproof
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Screen moved while underwater
  • Fingerprint scanner too near to camera