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Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018) Unboxing and First Impressions

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Samsung recently launched the A8+ 2018 in the Philippine market to greet the new year and the competition with it being priced against the Huawei Mate 10.
Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018) Unboxing and First Impressions
Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018)

For the price, the specs Galaxy A8+ could have been a flagship grade, but its processor and the GPU is below the competition. Fortunately, it has large 6GB RAM and other cool features that still made it an interesting device.

We wanted to find out if the A8+ is still worth the price given that the Mate 10 and OnePlus 5T are on the same price category.

Let's check it out!

Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018) Specs

Display: 6-inch Super AMOLED 2220 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 408 ppi
CPU: 2.2GHz 64-bit Exynos 7885 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G71 MP2
RAM: 6GB
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 16MP f/1.7 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/1.9 + 8MP f/1.9 w/ screen flash
Battery: 3,500mAh w/ fast charging
OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Connectivity: WiFi, LTE Cat 11, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, IP68 rating, Colors: black, gold
Dimensions: 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
Weight: 191 g
Price: PHP 32,990

Disclaimer: This unit was borrowed from Samsung Philippines for our honest review.

Unboxing / Accessories

Unboxed!

Inside, it has a 9V 2A USB wall charger, USB to USB Type-C charging cable, Samsung in-ear monitors, SIM ejector tool, polycarbonate clear case, and the documentation. It's the first higher-end Samsung phone with a FREE case.

Build Quality / Design

Stunning!
Camera, LED flash, fingerprint sensor, regulatory information

The build quality is flagship grade. The textured black frame feels solid but adds that extra grip to help with slippage. The glass back and front have the 2.5 effect. It is premium as they come. But with any glass dominated design is that it is both a fingerprint magnet and it is slippery.

2.5D glass on both sides!

It is sturdy, solid with a heft to it that you find in most phones that Samsung has been releasing over the years. It's even shocking how Samsung is choosing to bring flagship grade design at their mid-range offerings.
Antenna lines, sim card / microSD card tray and microphones
Antenna lines, sim card / microSD card tray and microphones
3.5 mm headphone jack and USB Type-C port
3.5 mm headphone jack and USB Type-C port
Volume rocker and sim card tray
Volume rocker and sim card tray
Speaker and power button!
Speaker and power button!

It is a stunner. In fact, this is more beautiful than most phones we've had over the years. The premium glass and metal design never disappoints.

Ergonomically, most of the ports, buttons, and parts of the phone are found on strategic and familiar placements.

The dual selfie cameras and the main cameras take great pictures and what surprised us is how good the 1080p footage is. There is no OIS but at first viewing, the video is very good. We'll have to do more testing.

The handset isn't the most comfortable to hold given the rectangular shape of the phone is and the shallow curve of the glass.

The clear case protects the phone from bumps and scratches and it also adds the much needed grip to prevent slippage. It also makes the phone slightly easier to hold.

The IP68 rating, dual selfie cameras, 3,500mAh battery, and 18:9 aspect ratio make this phone attractive, but it is priced at PHP 32,990.

It is directly against the Mate 10 which has better performance in processor, GPU and QHD display, but the A8 wins with its IP68 rating.

Initial Findings

1. Build and design are flagship grade. The metal and glass adds the solid and premium look and feel to it. It is also stunning even from a distance. Never expect any less from Samsung. What we didn't like is that the glass back made it slippery but it is mitigated by the box included clear case.
2. The 2.2GHz 64-bit Exynos 7885 octa-core processor and the Mali-G71 GPU are one of the few disappointments with this phone. Most phones in this price range perform better even in synthetic benchmarks. In the brighter side, this did improve our on-screen time in our first few days with the phone.
3. The Android 7.0 Nougat based TouchWiz with Samsung Experience is similar to the one in the Note 8. It is the prettiest and the lightweight TouchWiz has ever been. It still has our gripe that having so much features that the settings menu can be hard to navigate.
4. It uses a single 16MP f/1.7 w/ PDAF and LED flash main camera and a dual camera set up of a 16MP f/1.9 + 8MP f/1.9 w/ screen flash that both perform exceptionally well in stills and video. It doesn't have 4K and OIS though.
5. Fingerprint scanner is fast and accurate. It has OTG via USB Type-C, LED notification, and gyroscope sensor.


As of the moment

The Galaxy A8+ is a stunner in build, design, and camera performance with an IP68 water and dust resistance rating but falls short in terms of processor and GPU performance.

We do think we need to do some more testing before jumping into conclusion. We will be publishing the review soon.

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