Introduction


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

Design

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

Samsung Galaxy A8

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.02 x 0.23 inches

158 x 76.8 x 5.9 mm

Weight

5.33 oz (151 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Dimensions

6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches

153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm

Weight

6.03 oz (171 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

Motorola Moto X Style

Dimensions

6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches

153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm

Weight

6.31 oz (179 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

Samsung Galaxy A8

Samsung Galaxy A8

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.02 x 0.23 inches

158 x 76.8 x 5.9 mm

Weight

5.33 oz (151 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Dimensions

6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches

153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm

Weight

6.03 oz (171 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

Motorola Moto X Style

Dimensions

6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches

153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm

Weight

6.31 oz (179 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches

158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm

Weight

6.07 oz (172 g)

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


Display

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.



FEATURED VIDEO

85 Comments

1. SirYar

Posts: 351; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Even Samsung isn't safe.

11. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 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: Jun 26, 2015

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

56. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 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: Jun 26, 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.

80. Manyci

Posts: 116; Member since: Aug 03, 2015

Although it's interesting, that in case of an iPhone they don't calculate with the price...

69. FrankUnderwood2

Posts: 243; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

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

75. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 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: Sep 26, 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: 296; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

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

43. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

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

52. Diego!

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

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

53. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

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

2. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

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

23. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 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

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 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: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 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

3. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 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: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 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: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

No, the story is not done because the Launchers will just be over TouchWiz and don't actually replace it.

19. wildfiregt

Posts: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 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

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

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

71. banglazbless

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 05, 2014

What 2016 samsung device you use that lags?

28. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 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: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 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: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 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: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 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: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 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: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 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: 179; Member since: Jun 10, 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
Galaxy A8
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, Octa-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3050 mAh

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.