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Samsung Galaxy A8 Review

Samsung Galaxy A8

Posted: , by Victor H.


Samsung Galaxy A8 Review


Samsung Galaxy A8 Review
Samsung Galaxy A8 Review
Samsung Galaxy A8 Review
Samsung Galaxy A8 Review
Samsung Galaxy A8 Review
Samsung Galaxy A8 Review
With the rise of Chinese smartphones offering great value for the money, Samsung has been bleeding sales and it needed to take measures.

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.

Samsung Galaxy A8
6.22 x 3.02 x 0.23 inches
158 x 76.8 x 5.9 mm
5.33 oz (151 g)

Samsung Galaxy A8

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Motorola Moto X Style
6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm
6.07 oz (172 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Samsung Galaxy A8 Review


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
Samsung Galaxy A8 339
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 470
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 502
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 593
LG G4 454
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 424
Meizu m2 note 627
Meizu MX5 335
View all

  • Options

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 07:44 7

1. SirYar (Posts: 351; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)

Even Samsung isn't safe.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 08:10 32

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! :)

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 11:34 3

55. Norris (Posts: 121; Member since: 26 Jun 2015)

iPhonearena only likes bitten apple logo,they won't give any other device higher ratings.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 11:35 7

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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 11:43 9

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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 13:36 2

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.

posted on 03 Oct 2015, 00:49

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...

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 16:26

69. FrankUnderwood2 (Posts: 243; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)

You seriously think authors, tech-bloggers and smartphone reviewers can't be "FANBOYS"?? ;-)

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 16:59

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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:19 16

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..

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:21 14

35. xdza1979 (Posts: 296; Member since: 08 Aug 2015)

Put a rutten fruit on the back and it will score 9.2 in PA.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:42 4

43. zeeBomb (Posts: 2304; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

IMA have to buy Victor H's mixtape "Reviews from the 6: NO1 is SAFE"...

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 10:51 8

52. Diego! (Posts: 677; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)

I guess Apple's check must have been really big!

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 10:58 6

53. iLovesarcasm (Posts: 586; Member since: 20 Oct 2014)

iPhonearena is the only reviewer who gave a failing grade on A8.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 07:55 20

2. johanbiff (Posts: 414; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

im shocked..a samsung phone subpar 7....nobody is safe on PA anymore..except apple ;)

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 08:29 20

23. Diezparda (Posts: 889; 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?

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 11:32 4

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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 18:13 1

77. Diezparda (Posts: 889; 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.

Thank you

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 07:59 8

3. Odeira (Posts: 275; 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...

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 08:06 10

10. wildfiregt (Posts: 171; 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

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 08:14 2

13. der_damo (Posts: 202; 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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 08:21 8

19. wildfiregt (Posts: 171; 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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 11:36 1

57. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

Touchwiz if much improved but it does still lag more than it should.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 16:37 1

71. banglazbless (Posts: 106; Member since: 05 Feb 2014)

What 2016 samsung device you use that lags?

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:04 2

28. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14501; 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!

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 08:24 1

20. Odeira (Posts: 275; 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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:14

33. medtxa (Posts: 1341; 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.

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:39 1

42. Odeira (Posts: 275; 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?

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:29 1

39. wildfiregt (Posts: 171; 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

posted on 02 Oct 2015, 09:37

41. Odeira (Posts: 275; 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?"

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Samsung Galaxy A8

Samsung Galaxy A8

OS: Android 6.0 5.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.7 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (386 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera16 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, Octa-core, 1500 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size6.22 x 3.02 x 0.23 inches
(158 x 76.8 x 5.9 mm)
5.33 oz  (151 g)

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