Samsung has announced the first smartphones of its 2018 lineup, the new Galaxy A8 and A8+. Packing specs that are closing in on the flagship Galaxy S8, the new mid-range phones follow the screen-stretching trend by banishing bezels from the front, and now sport dual front cameras and a host of other photographic features.
Measuring 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4 mm, the Galaxy A8 ups the RAM to the almost-industry standard 4 GB, and comes with inbuilt storage options of 32 GB or 64 GB. It's powered by a 3,000-mAh battery, which is again the industry average, and sports a 5.6-in AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2220 x 1080.
The A8+ is 10 mm taller and 5 mm wider, giving it room for a bigger 6-in screen. The battery has been cranked up to 3,500 mAh and there's an option for 6 GB of RAM. In both models, the screen has been stretched to fill most of the front of the device, following this year's trend with what Samsung calls an "Infinity Display."
This time around, the A8 line has a greater focus on photography. The 16-megapixel rear camera has a wider aperture of f/1.7 for better low-light snaps, and a second camera has been added to the front. These dual front cameras, with megapixel counts of 8 and 16, are designed to allow users to switch between two different types of selfies, depending on whether the focus should be on you or if the background should get equal attention.
On the software side of things, video digital image stabilization tech smooths out any shaky video footage, hyperlapse extends the length of timelapse videos and, if you want to experiment with your photos later, the Live Focus feature allows you to adjust bokeh effect even after the shot is taken.
Samsung could have spent a little more time coming up with better names though: the 2018 models of the Galaxy A8 could be easily mistaken for the 2015 or 2016 models with the exact same name, the Galaxy S8, or the 2015 or 2017 models of the Galaxy Tab A 8.
The new Galaxy A8 and A8+ are due to launch in January 2018 in four colors – black, orchid grey, gold and blue – but there's no word yet on price or which regions it might come to.
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