Samsung Galaxy A8 ReviewSamsung Galaxy A8 6.5
In early 2015, it brought its answer to the emerging threat from China: the Galaxy A series, a family of slim devices with a sturdy metal body and sleek design. After the successful launch of the first trio of A series phones – the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7 – Samsung is now bringing a new addition to the family: the Galaxy A8.
The Galaxy A8 is also the largest one in the series: it comes with a 5.7-inch display, even bigger than the 5.5-inch one on the Galaxy A7. The phone runs on either the Snapdragon 615 system chip or Exynos 5 Octa (we have the latter version for review) with 2GB of RAM, it comes with a 16-megapixel camera with a wide-aperture lens, and it sports a 3050mAh battery.
Those are the specs, but how does all that work in real life? Let’s find out in our full-on review.
In the box:
- Samsung Galaxy A8
- Wall charger
- microUSB Cable
- User manual
- SIM ejector tool
- In-ear headphones
Slim and light, with a sturdy metal frame and the elegant style of the A series, design is one of the strong points of the A8.
Design is the strong point of the Galaxy A series: the Galaxy A8 is a well-built phone with an impressively thin body (just 5.9mm) and a sturdy metal frame that looks great. The phone is also surprisingly lightweight for its size, weighing 5.33oz (151g).
It’s important to note that despite having a 5.7” screen, the Galaxy A8 is narrower than many 5.5” phones (including the popular iPhone 6s Plus). Side bezels measure at just 1.2mm, and overall, the phone is just 76.8mm (3.02”) wide.
The A8 is still definitely on the tall side, towering 158mm (6.22”), and that makes it a hard fit in tight jeans pockets, but even in regular jeans pockets such a tall device would be an uncomfortable annoyance while climbing stairs or moving more actively. Also, we noticed that it’s incredibly easy for the slim and tall gadget to slip out of pockets while you’re sitting, something that commonly happened to us while in the car.
Switching over to buttons, there is the large, rectangular physical home key up front – it's clicky and has nice response. It’s situated between two capacitive buttons that light up a bright white in the dark: the multitasking key is on the left and the back – on the right. The volume keys are on the top left, while the power/lock key - on the top right, and both are very solidly constructed, with a good amount of travel and nice feedback.
There is also a fingerprint scanner of the tap (rather than swipe) type built in the home key up front, but we found it to be a hit or miss. The annoying thing about it is that it won’t read your fingerprint when you press your finger at a bit of an angle. This results in many failed attempts when you’re trying to unlock your phone. We recommend you to register one fingerprint two or even three times – every time at a slightly different angle. This way, the accuracy of reading will improve a lot.
158 x 76.8 x 5.9 mm
5.33 oz (151 g)
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm
6.07 oz (172 g)
The 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen on the A8 is sufficiently sharp at 1080 x 1920 pixels, but most impressively, it's very well calibrated with great-looking colors.
The Samsung Galaxy A8 features a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. This results in a pixel density of 386ppi: sharp enough for most people, but do keep in mind that we are dealing with Samsung’s Diamond Matrix pixel arrangement here, so there are less subpixels. This results in slightly jagged edges and very slight pixelization, especially noticeable in monotone color areas.
Those, however, are slight niggles. What makes an even bigger difference in how we perceive a display is good color reproduction. That’s exactly what you get with the Galaxy A8 – it has one of the most color-accurate displays we’ve ever tested.
Color temperature at 6499K is as close as it gets to the 6500K reference mark, and colors are very faithfully adjusted to the sRGB color space, as long as you're using the Basic screen mode. The sRGB space is the color language of the web and Android: all content, photographs and media are created in compliance with it, and that’s why it’s important that phones adhere to this particular standard. In the benchmarks charts below you can notice just that.
The screen on the Galaxy A8 leaves something to be desired in the way of maximum brightness, as it can go as high as 339 nits, which is considerably lower than the Galaxy S6's 560 nits.. Still, the screen tends to be readable outdoors, as long as the sun isn't reflecting directly in the glass. At night, minimum brightness falls down to 1 nit, which makes the screen easier on the eyes, which is an advantage for night birds.
There are two slight niggles in the overall nearly perfect picture around the Galaxy A8 display quality: first, greens are just ever so slightly more overwhelming than the blues and the reds, and one does notice this slight tint. Secondly, the screen has a slightly lower gamma than standard at 2.06. A lower gamma like this results in slightly washed out colors in images.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Meizu m2 note||627
|Apple iPhone 6s Plus||593
|Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+||502
|Samsung Galaxy Note 5||470
|Xiaomi Mi Note Pro||424
|Samsung Galaxy A8||339
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 5||60.4%
|Samsung Galaxy A8||61.4%
|Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+||73.5%
|Xiaomi Mi Note Pro||81.6%
|Apple iPhone 6s Plus||84.7%
|Meizu m2 note||90%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
11. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1236; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
And PA continues to floor every Android out there. Till now it was the Chinese phones and now even Samsung.Reviews and Reviewers could not have been more biased.
Now it's just shameful when you give the Galaxy A8 a 6.5! The only downside to this device is the price point. Apart from that it is a basically a Note 3 in a better package and PA has the mind to give this a 6.5!
What's worse is how brazen the reviews have become. They are not even trying to mask it! Wonder when they are going to change the name and add the long overdue 'i' prefix.
iPhones with literally no improvements and overheating problems, 3D touch problems, home button issues manage to get like a 9.3. Hmmm seems about right :)
Have A Nice Day! :)
55. Norris (Posts: 121; Member since: 26 Jun 2015)
iPhonearena only likes bitten apple logo,they won't give any other device higher ratings.
56. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)
LOL why are you guys whining?
They are saying a $500 phone runs slow! It should be a 6.5 if not worse. It really isn't hard to understand.
I actually love the fact they are harsh on phones like this. It reassures how they honestly feel about the device.
59. Norris (Posts: 121; Member since: 26 Jun 2015)
Really,are they honest?Then why did they delete DxOMark's camera review about Z5?
Why is the site filled with Apple articles?I know the iPhone's have been launched recently but still "How to disable mobile data on iPhone" be an article?
They are turning from a tech site to a Apple paid website.
62. nwright94 (Posts: 194; Member since: 14 Oct 2014)
Did they delete an article they posted about the Z5 or did they somehow hack into DxOmark and delete the actual article? Tinfoil hat time.
80. Manyci (Posts: 116; Member since: 03 Aug 2015)
Although it's interesting, that in case of an iPhone they don't calculate with the price...
69. FrankUnderwood2 (Posts: 229; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)
You seriously think authors, tech-bloggers and smartphone reviewers can't be "FANBOYS"?? ;-)
75. arch_angel (Posts: 1651; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)
The iPhone 6s Deserved That 9.3 Tho, But a Lot Of These Android Phone Also Deserve 1.5/2 More Points On Their Score.
34. rms.max (Posts: 95; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
Charging time is faster than apple .6s plus 165 min.a8 144.How it is a con.pa gone mad surely..
35. xdza1979 (Posts: 280; Member since: 08 Aug 2015)
Put a rutten fruit on the back and it will score 9.2 in PA.
43. zeeBomb (Posts: 2093; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)
IMA have to buy Victor H's mixtape "Reviews from the 6: NO1 is SAFE"...
52. Diego! (Posts: 573; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
I guess Apple's check must have been really big!
53. iLovesarcasm (Posts: 527; Member since: 20 Oct 2014)
iPhonearena is the only reviewer who gave a failing grade on A8.
2. johanbiff (Posts: 400; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)
im shocked..a samsung phone subpar 7....nobody is safe on PA anymore..except apple ;)
23. Diezparda (Posts: 871; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)
Yeah remember how iPhone 5c scored 9 on PA. I'm start questioning their credibility, how iPhone 5 repacked in plastic body simply scored that high and not this beautiful device?
54. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)
But you must understand the iPhone 5c did not run slow, let alone seem that inferior to the iPhone 5. My wife still has one and it runs great.
77. Diezparda (Posts: 871; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)
That's what many people claim with 4s, but i once using my friends device and it's lag... C'mon it's new device, did you simply assume it's laggy because "touchwiz"?
Not saying iPhone 5c was slowpoke, since i never experienced with that one. I own Note 3 so i know how the device works well. I'll take any reviews with a grain of salt, i see many video review which shown this phone not lagging behind S6 for simple task.
Again 9.0 for iPhone 5c simply too high & 6.5 for this device were ridiculous.
3. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
So this phone has good battery, a good screen, but is slow as molasses because it is a midrange phone. A 6.5 sounds fair.
NOW is Phonearena "biased?" Y'all keep moaning about how they're highly critical and methodical in reviewing the new crop of "Faux-Flagship" (otherwise "Budget Flagship") phones when they're simply calling what they are - wolves in sheep's clothing, nothing more than midrange phones, and they don't need to "be" flagships because phones like these ARE NOT FLAGSHIPS!
Look at the Alcatel Idol 3. It's positioned very much a midrange phone, essentially THE SAME SPECS AS THIS PHONE, and embraces it, and as such it performs well, it does not aspire to be a "Flagship" unlike what Oppo, Meizu, and Oneplus try, It's a midrange through and through, and hence the 8.5 from PA.The Faux-Flagships haven't gotten anything higher than a 6!
Try getting the facts first before you tell your dogs to bark at the wrong house...
10. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
The fact is that PA is not doing an expert review
They say that the phone with its cpu does well with daily tasks and gaming but lags in homescreen because touchwiz .. etc
You simply can change the launcher and story is done
They give this phone a negative point because they did not like the themes while phones who don't offer themes do not get this con
Same with the fingerprint scanner ,most mid ranger do not offer it
And finally quick charging ,i see nowhere in the reviews of the iphones mentionning it pros and cons.
This is not an honest reveiw
13. der_damo (Posts: 188; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)
No, the story is not done because the Launchers will just be over TouchWiz and don't actually replace it.
19. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Actually the only lags they see was on the launcher.
People should stop saying touchwiz lags everywhere because this is a lie ... low end phones may do, flagships don't and this is true.
57. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)
Touchwiz if much improved but it does still lag more than it should.
71. banglazbless (Posts: 106; Member since: 05 Feb 2014)
What 2016 samsung device you use that lags?
28. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
It does replace. The TW launcher does not reskint he original. The original is turned off when you choose another as default. DUMMY!
20. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
I'm just going to dissect your arguments one by one.
So you're gonna pass the burden of "fixing" the lag to the end user? That's what you want to happen? As supposed to the phone getting out of the factory withOUT lag?
Also, not everyone wants or needs themes, but you're implicating that everyone does.
And what good is a fingerprint scanner that needs MULTIPLE attempts to get right? I have an HP Pavilion DV6 at least SIX years old, and it needs multiple swipes to register prints. That should NOT be a thing in 2015.
And they just pointed out that charging is slow. That's a thing that Android marketed that it HAS to have, and as such not having it on an Android phone after all the hype it made, some points off it, so...
So YES, this IS an honest review.
33. medtxa (Posts: 1133; Member since: 02 Jun 2014)
Honest is nothing if it's not fair you know. OK admittedly this is a bit overpriced I'm fine with the rating but not how they review it.
42. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
If they reviewed this phone like how you picture it to be, ALL Snapdragon 615 enabled phones shouldn't have anything higher than a 7, tier one Android phones are bound to go no more than 9, and iPhones should be near perfect. But that isn't fair or honest now, would it?
39. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
You don't seem to understand that you can't give a negative point to a phone who offer themes as bad as they are while the other phones don't offer at all.
When you do a review ,you cannot forget about giving a negative point to an iphone about fast charging because Apple didn't marketed it
41. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
But if the themes engine is "as bad as they are," why even offer it in the first place? If it's fundamentally half-baked and induces significant lag and gimped functionality in the phone, why even offer it other than "bragging rights?"
44. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
THEN dont use it which will result to a phone that doesn't offer it.
Dont forget that those themes are made my people and yet PA blames Samsung for this
And for instance there are many good themes but PA won't admit it
Just an exemple why PA is not honest ,In screen test they give maximum nits of S6 & note 5 around 500 but they NEVER mention they can go much more when you switch to Auto
70. FrankUnderwood2 (Posts: 229; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)
You know changing the skin/launcher on your Galaxy phone will further slow it down?? right?
84. NotoAA (Posts: 13; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)
Flipboard can be easily disabled on the stock launcher. Even reviews of the s6 mentioned that Flipboard was causing lag.
27. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
But the iPhone C got a 9. Its a midrange phone too. In fact its less. It didnt even have a 1080p display, it has piece of sh!t cameras, the plastic felt cheaper than Samsung older phones, they basically shoved all the iPhone 5 parts into it and it score a 9. This phone is better and it didnt even get an 8, and you thing this is fair?
YOU ARE AN IDIOT!
32. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
I'm pretty sure poor software performance, poor ergonomics (compared to the 5C,) fragility, and an unimpressive camera performance (The 5C has the same camera as the 5, so I question your "piece of sh!t cameras" assertion) is something the iPhone C (sic) did NOT get from the iPhone 5.
Also, Apple wasn't as pretentious about the Android army about passing off the 5C as an "Budget Flagship alternative" to the 5S, so no, your arguments are nullified...
46. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Take a galaxy s3 and an iphone 4s and compare them today
You'll see which one is obsolete and slow. Stop saying that apple make more ergonomics phones every damn time, today's flagships are all well made
49. Odeira (Posts: 242; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)
I am NOT. For the record, even if it runs it like molasses, that iPhone 4S is compatible with iOS 9. That Galaxy S3 is STUCK AT 4.3 (North American GS3's got 4.4.2, but they're the exception to the rule. The global GS3 is stuck at 4.3, EIGHT(!) Android versions behind Marshmallow.
Of course, I'd like the GS3 over the 4S any time of the day, but something MUST be said of Apple's dedication to update the software of their FOUR year old devices...
51. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
It takes you 5 min to root it and 30 min to install S6 custom rom for GS3. But you prefer cry and braging about apple updates
63. nwright94 (Posts: 194; Member since: 14 Oct 2014)
That's not official support though. You can't pass on a GS3 to your mother or grandma and expect them to know how to root it and flash rom's to get the latest android version.
66. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Your grandma won't bother having 4.4 or 5.1.1 either
Thus 4.4 GS3 is still much better than the 4s with iOS9
67. Mozarrt (Posts: 301; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)
It is your personal opinion the GS3 is better than the iPhone 4S. Nothing more, nothing less.
73. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Why bother make reviews when choosing a phone is only by prefrence. No my friend there are things that are objectives like screen quality,battery life,camera,expandable storage and much more. Try the 4s ,the 3.5" screen with 512 of ram nowadays and you'll by yourself who really "lag" between them. Don't tell me 512 mb is enough because iOS is well optimized ,this is just a lie. As far as it is well optimized ,it will never compete against 2Gb (And i'm talking about Memory and not the cpu)
68. nwright94 (Posts: 194; Member since: 14 Oct 2014)
I'd give my grandma an Android smartphone simply for the fact that I could stupid proof it with a new launcher and tanker and all that, but if you are to buy an older phone, buy the one with support still because otherwise you're open to exploits like stage fright and all that. You're acting like a sheep dude, take a step back and be objective.
74. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
This is true ,but you're missing one great point. When you buy an older famous android phone like nexus line or galaxy line
Custom roms bring you most features available on flagships, this is NOT the case of apple
4. jellmoo (Posts: 1586; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
This score really shouldn't come as a surprise given the price of the device.
5. wildfiregt (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Wtf is wrong with PA ratings
your review oh this phone does not reflect a 6.5/10
6. iMichael (unregistered)
Okay I'm a Apple fan who usually picks on Samsung and android phones but 6.5 is ridiculous! The design is good, camera is good, battery life is good, display is good but the performance is crap. There are way more positives to this phone than negatives. My 6s takes ages to charge aswell and there was no mention of that in the review. It is a good mid-ranger, my score is a 7.9-8.6
17. jellmoo (Posts: 1586; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Poor performance and a $500 price tag kind of make it a weak choice though. Remember, the score needs to also be a comparison to other similar devices. Compare this to a Moto X Pure at $100 cheaper, and it comes off pretty poorly.
76. iMichael (unregistered)
Well it does have a fingerprint sensor and a full-metal build compared to the X Pure, so thats probably why it has a high cost
7. Feanor (Posts: 703; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
I don't understand why the design inconsistencies of Touchwiz are suddenly such a big issue for this phone, when the other Galaxys (and especially the top range S6 and Note 5) can get away with it. Not that I am a fan of Touchwiz, but it should be praised or criticised equally on all Galaxys. If this is an issue on this phone, then it should be even more for the top shelf models.
9. TyrionLannister (unregistered)
The top-shelf models don't lag or stutter due to the sheer horsepower. Exynos 7420 is too powerful to lag even in the crappiest of skins.
21. Feanor (Posts: 703; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
I'm referring to the con about visual inconsistencies of Touchwiz, not to the one about Touchwiz being "noticeably stuttery".
8. TyrionLannister (unregistered)
Touchwiz needs to either be erased from existence or written from ground up. They should add features on stock android, not re-skin it completely and make this kind of garbage which needs mighty horsepower to run smooth.
15. johanbiff (Posts: 400; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)
Samsung should buy HTC just for their devs.. sense skin on samsung phone would be a perfect combo IMO
25. medtxa (Posts: 1133; Member since: 02 Jun 2014)
That's need more investigating. This could possibly how Samsung take on CPU governor to safe battery. I mean "keyboard take too long too open"?? That has nothing to do with TouchWiz. I'm pissed that Victor is make too much nitpicking and bashing on something that shouldn't even be problem, you don't like theme store then just don't use it damn it. People prefer launcher and third party icons anyway.
12. donrox (Posts: 145; Member since: 18 Jul 2014)
6.5 is not a fair rating. Should be an 8 at least imho
14. Carlitos (Posts: 513; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Slow charging time as a con? Is this review serious?
16. der_damo (Posts: 188; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)
Thank you for rating them in an honest fashion. Maybe one day Google will learn that the Android-way they chose is not the same quality as the iOS or Windows Phone-one.
29. joey_sfb (Posts: 5741; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Yeah as if you are capable of any honesty. The only honest remark is everyone is bias including PA reviewers.
30. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
Thanks for showing you are stupid in an honest fashion. Maybe one day your brain will learn that the Android way is even if the quality is different is better than iOS and Windows Phone.