Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 vs Galaxy S8: camera comparison

Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 vs Galaxy S8: camera comparison
The new Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 is a phone that is surprisingly similar to the flagship Galaxy S8, yet it costs slightly less and has its fingerprint scanner at a much more sensible and easy-to-reach position below the camera.

But one big question about the Galaxy A8 2018 remains: how good of a camera does it have?

That's what we have set out to learn, and we took the Galaxy A8 2018 and the Galaxy S8 along for the ride to compare the difference in image quality.

But first, let's go through the camera specs briefly. The Galaxy A8 2018 features a single, 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) on board and a wide, f/1.7 lens, while the Galaxy S8 has a 12-megapixel camera (also with OIS and f/1.7 lens). One compromise with quality comes in video, as the Galaxy A8 2018 can only record in up to 1080p resolution, while the S8 can shoot beautifully detailed 4K video.

The bigger difference is on the front, where the A8 2018 has a dual camera system - with one 16-megapixel and one 13MP shooter - that it uses to create stylish selfies with a blurred background "Portrait Mode" effect. The Galaxy S8 has a single front camera that cannot pull the portrait selfie trick.

A8 2018 vs S8: Image Quality Comparison

Dynamic range

When you have plenty of light, the difference between the new A8 2018 and the Galaxy S8 is not that huge, but it is still noticeable.

It boils down to the dynamic range and overall brightness and balance of colors in photos. The A8 slightly overexposes the highlights, while the S8 consistently shoots slightly underexposed images. There is no one right approach, but we did notice that the A8 cannot capture the full range of a dynamic scene and burns the highlights, while the S8 retains the dynamic better:

Sharpness and detail

If we look closer into details, we notice quite a bit of artificial oversharpening halos on the A8, while the Galaxy S8 is sharp, but without such glaring artifacts.

Take a look at this shot where you can see the oversharpening halos clearly in tree branches:


The A8 also shoots slightly colder tones, with whites that appear pure, while the S8 goes for slightly warmer color and a bit yellow-to-greenish whites, but overall, as we've said, it's not a huge difference in daylight.

Take a look at more photos between the two to see it all for yourselves:

Night-time photos

Unfortunately, the Galaxy A8 2018 cannot quite match up the fantastic image quality you get with the S8 at night. The difference in image quality between the two is big at night.

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Photos from the A8 turn out blurry, often overexposed and lacking detail, while the S8 preserves detail and a balanced image even at night.

Compare the photos yourselves here:

Selfies with... Portrait Mode!

When it comes to selfies, though, the Galaxy A8 2018 really shines. The "Live Focus" blurred background effect is awesome and makes selfies look epic and indeed memorable, portrait-like. You can adjust the level of background blur, detail is plentiful and overall, this is definitely one of the better front cameras out there.

Take a look:

Final Words

Even though the Galaxy A8 2018 costs almost as much as the Galaxy S8, it's camera is not as good.

The difference is not that big during the day - yet it's still noticeable - but it is very big at night and in low light conditions, where the Galaxy S8 shines with a lot of detail and sharp images, while the A8 shoots blurry pictures. The good news is that the A8 2018 has excellent front cameras and the Live Focus blurred background effect works very well, capturing truly memorable selfies.

You can catch up with our unboxing and first look at the Galaxy A8 2018 here if you've missed it. Meanwhile, we are still working on the full review, so stay tuned.

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