The Midrange nowadays is undeniably the new battleground of smartphones that has better balance in terms to specs, build and pricing. As a result, more and more companies are targeting this segment. That's where Huawei has a lot of muscle cin this segment that made them the number 3 mobile brand in the world overall. Not to be left behind is Samsung who's protecting their top Android powered mobile brand ranking by entering this hotly contested area more aggressively as well.
|Samsung Galaxy A8 vs Huawei G8|
Disclaimer: This seed unit is provided by Huawei Philippines for an honest review
Today we'll compare two of their most popular mid-tier offerings who has a lot in common aside from the naming convention: the Samsung Galaxy A8 and Huawei G8.
First let's take a look on what they have to offer on paper
|Specs||Samsung Galaxy A8 Duos||Huawei G8|
|Display:||5.7 Inch FHD Super AMOLED 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ Gorilla Glass 4 protection at 386 ppi||5.5 Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved screen and Gorilla Glass 3 protection at 401 ppi|
|CPU:||Exynos 5430 octa core processor||1.5 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 615 octa core processor|
|GPU:||Mali T628||Adreno 405|
|RAM:||2 GB||3 GB|
|ROM:||32 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128 GB||32 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 32 GB|
|Rear Camera:||16 MP f/1.9 w/ AF and dual tone LED flash||13 MP f/2.0 w/ AF, OIS and dual tone LED flash|
|Selfie Camera:||5 MP f/1.9||5 MP f/2.4|
|Battery:||3,050 mAh Li Pol||3,000 mAh|
|OS:||Android 5.1 Lollipop w/ TouchWiz UI||Android 5.1 Lollipop w/ EMUI 3.1|
|Connectivity:||WiFi b/g/n, 3G, HSPA+, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, FM Radio, USB OTG, dual SIM (hybrid)||WiFi b/g/n, 3G, HSPA+, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, FM Radio, USB OTG, dual SIM (hybrid)|
|Others:||Fingerprint sensor||Fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions:||158 x 76.8 x 5.9 mm||152 x 76.5 x 7.5 mm|
|Weight:||151 g||167 g|
|Price:||24,999 Pesos||17,990 Pesos|
Build Quality / Design
In terms of material used, the metal clad body of both Huawei and Samsung was on point in this one. Samsung is clearly over their old plasticky days where they're heavily criticized. Upon further inspection, we noticed Huawei's mastery of metal here as even if both are made out of metal, the G8 feels more premium compared with the Galaxy A8. The screen on the other hand speaks a different story as Samsung is using the newer Gorilla Glass 4 protection compared with the older Gorilla Glass 3. In my two weeks of usage, I already noticed minor hairline scratches on the screen of the G8.
Build Quality / Design
|View at the back of the devices|
When it comes to the design, the devices aesthetically different. The Samsung Galaxy A8 looks simpler, taller and slimmer while the Huawei G8 stands out with its more elegant and premium feel even on a slightly thicker frame.
|Slimness of the phones|
Moving to the functionalities and parts placement of the devices. Samsung retained their old positions that is not that efficient nowadays. The volume rocker is on the left side, power button on the right side, speakers found at the upper back, earphone jack is located below and the fingerprint on the home button. That weird parts placement is something that they should address in their next releases.
On the other hand the G8 is not perfect too, but noticeably better. The fingerprint sensor at the back feels ergonomically on point together with the more proper button placements on one side of the device, speakers below and 3.5 mm jack on top.
Going to the display level the Galaxy A8 boast a 5.7 inch Full HD AMOLED panel with 386 ppi while the Huawei G8 has a denser Full HD screen at just 5.5 inch with 401 ppi.
The 5.7 Inch Full HD screen of Samsung Galaxy A8 looks a tad more vibrant and brigher even if its more saturated. Something that AMOLED screens are known for. The bezels were also slimmer and the screen is maximized better due to the lack of on screen keys.
On the other hand, Huawei improved drastically in terms of their display quality in the past few years that was very evident even with our Honor 6 Plus. The Huawei G8 is no different, the colors were natural looking, accurate and has good enough brightness. However, even if this phone has that gorgeous looking 2.5D curved screen that improves viewing angles I find the black bezels way too thick for my liking.
That made us conclude that we like the display of Samsung still even if I personally find it a bit harsher on the eyes after hours of straight usage.
|Huawei G8 speakers below|
Both devices uses some really good speakers for a smartphone as they have near the same level of loudness. However, the "put your phone in my desk position" thing played a key factor here as the Huawei G8 with speaker below sounds a tad forward sounding and engaging compared with the slightly bloated sound of Samsung Galaxy A8 with speakers covered at the back.
|Samsung Galaxy A8 at the back|
In terms of audio output via headphones (DAC), I'm surprised that Huawei G8 can cope up with the supposedly much better Wolfson powered Galaxy A8. Both are highly analytical, can play 192 KHz / 24 bit lossless tracks with ease and has strong driving power (loudness)
The differences in their sound signature for me is the Galaxy A8 is more v-shaped sounding, bassier and has peakier highs that can be ear piercing at times.
The G8 if you compare it has a more balance sound signature, clearer mids and less fatiguing highs. It's just a click weaker in terms of volume output and slightly duller sound. In short, it's more audiophile friendly.
Call quality and microphone performs on the near level as well without that much noticeable differences.
|Battery benchmarks scores on max settings with WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS and etc. on.|
Both devices have near the same level of battery with the Galaxy A8 having 3,050 mAh of Li Pol battery and the G8 with 3,000 mAh of Li Ion. As expected the battery of Galaxy A8 is denser as due to the use of that Li Pol battery, We was able to squeeze almost 6 hours of battery life while G8 provided me with almost 4 hours of usage.
Under daily usage with normal settings the battery life of Galaxy A8 can last for more than a day of use, while the G8 was able to help me get through a a full day on a single charge.
CameraOn paper the Samsung appears to be the more superior phone, but fortunately that's not the case in real world usage as we find the Huawei G8 to be on par and even better at times compared with the A8.
Both cameras appear to be very sharp, detailed and have pretty fast focus with normal shutter speed. The difference between them is we find the color reproduction of the G8 nicer as it has a more natural / balanced tone against the slightly yellowish output of the A8.
Having a large f/1.9 aperture at the back we expected the A8 to let more light in dark conditions, but I'm wrong as the G8 proved to be the better device in low light using the back camera.
Going to selfie camera, there are times that the A8 is better especially in low light. G8's selfie camera is a tad more consistent and less grains though.
The camera software of both devices are very easy to understand too. The A8 has that more standard feel and has one major advantage in manual camera controls. Compared with the software of G8, its easier to understand that's meant to be a better point and shoot cameras. The G8 also goes with friendly to use Time lapse, Beautify and Food Modes aside from what we are normally accustomed with EMUI's camera.
Even without the OIS tech, we find the videos taken using the Galaxy A8 to compete and be even better at times against the slightly more stable Huawei G8 especially with that wide angle mode.
Rear Camera Samples
|Samsung Galaxy A8 normal mode showing brighter image|
|Huawei G8 normal mode showing slightly finer details|
|Galaxy A8 HDR Mode yellowish tone|
|Huawei G8 HDR Mode better balance|
|Galaxy A8 Macro shot with more emphasis on the subject|
|Huawei G8 Macro shot showing better brightness and background blur|
|Galaxy A8 low light|
|Huawei G8 low light|
Selfie Camera Samples
|Galaxy A8 selfie daylight (blurrier)|
|Huawei G8 selfie (sharper but reddish)|
|Galaxy A8 selfie low light showing it can get more light in|
|Huawei G8 low light|
|Antutu score comparison|
Hardware configuration wise the Samsung Galaxy A8 houses the the home brewed Exynos 5430 octa core processor while the Huawei G8 rocks the Snapdragon 615 octa core chip by Qualcomm. Antutu results speaks that the A8 is the stronger processor as it was able to score 40,147 against 34,628 of G8.
However that's not the only basis in terms of performance. The Huawei G8 takes full advantage of a bigger 3 GB of RAM compared with 2 GB only of the A8. The result, Huawei G8 can handle more task simultaneously.
When it comes to the software, the A8 is using the updated TouchWiz UI of Samsung. There are now less bloats and its RAM management is definitely a lot smoother against their older devices.
However, even if this is an older type of user interface, we feel that the EMUI of Huawei feels more mature as everything is simpler and easier to locate and use due to that lack of app drawer and more standard settings setup. We also liked the fact that it has almost zero bloats and appears to be more visually effective.
We also found out that the Samsung lacks several gestures like double tap to wake and writing on the display shortcut to apps. Instead, Samsung removed the hardware screenshot using the power button and volume key down with the super hard to use swipe using your hard to take that should be simple screenshot task.
|Fingerprint sensors of the devices|
Going to the fingerprint scanner both works fairly well, but Huawei simply has the mastery of this feature over Samsung. It's faster, the location is more ergonomic at the back and has other features like taking a photo.
To sum it up, the A8 has a more powerful SoC that makes them a better gaming phone (if you're not opening too many apps), but Huawei's more RAM and better UI equals the game.
Note: The Galaxy A8 gets hot faster compared with the cooler G8.
VerdictBoth midrange offerings can go toe to toe with each other and ocks near flagship level of performance, but pricing is the key barometer here. Huawei's G8 at just 17,490 was able to hold its ground against the worth 24,499 Pesos Samsung Galaxy A8. Having said that, if Samsung can reduce the price of this one soon, the better.
What do you think guys?