After a year since the release of the 2017 Galaxy A mobile phone series, Samsung made a bit of a buzz with the release of the Galaxy A8 + and its sister Galaxy A8 2018.

Apart from these two phones, there are no other Galaxy A variants such as A3, A5 and A7 which were found in the 2017 series.

In the Galaxy A8 +, Samsung features two things, the front screen and camera. This phone uses a dual front camera and Infinity Display screen.

Design


The Galaxy A8 + uses the Infinity Display model screen where the screen size is bigger and the bezel on the phone gets thinner. However, Infinity Display on the Galaxy A8 + is somewhat different from the Galaxy S8. There is no curvature on the side of the Galaxy A8 + phone which can make the bezel on the side very thin.

Because of its large screen, Samsung is now placing a fingerprint scanner on the back of the cellphone exactly below the camera. The placement of the fingerprint scanner in that position is far more natural compared to the Galaxy S8 where the fingerprint scanner position is troublesome.

Gone are the capacitive navigation buttons on the bottom of the cellphone, everything has been replaced with a digital button. Apart from the screen, the front of the cellphone has only a dual front camera, speaker, and sensor. There is no Samsung logo on the front of the cellphone.

The front and back of the cellphone use glass material while the sides use aluminum material. When held, the Galaxy A8 + feels comfortable in the hand without feeling any piercing parts.

However, this cellphone is quite large and rather heavy. If you have small hands, it might be a bit difficult to operate this cellphone.

The color variant of the Galaxy A8 + that I use is gold. The color of the gold is rather thick and not too reflective which I like more.

If you do not use the Always On Display feature, this phone does not look unique among the lines of other full screen phones. Unlike the Galaxy S8 that looks unique and can be easily identified.

All components of this cellphone are covered with IP68 protection so that it is water and dust resistant.

Screen


By using a 6-inch Super AMOLED screen and 1080 x 2220 resolution, the Galaxy A8 + can produce a quality image display.

Enjoying graphic content like videos and games feels more satisfying with a full screen like this. However, it seems that there are still some applications that are not compatible with the Galaxy A8 + screen like the Any.do. application. The notification from Any.do that appears from below several times looks strange.

When watching Youtube and want to maximize the use of the screen, we can make the video adjusted to the size of the screen by making a pinch out with two fingers. If you want to flip it to original mode it can be done by pinching in with two fingers.

The digital home button that appears on the screen of the Galaxy A8 + is not like the Galaxy S8. The home button only appears when the cellphone navigation bar is visible or when in Always On Display mode and also cannot detect matches if the home button does not appear.


Performance


Compared to the previous Galaxy A series, the Galaxy A8 + is much better in terms of performance. I once used a Galaxy A5 2017 phone and often found lag when using many applications and the fingerprint scanner was less responsive especially when the fingers were rather oily.

I have found it very rarely in the Galaxy A8 +. Samsung seems to use a fingerprint scanner that is more sensitive so that the scanning process is faster and responsive even though I still find if the finger is slightly wet a few times the fingerprint is not detected.

With the use of 6GB RAM and the Exynos 7885 Octa chipset, the performance of this phone is quite fast. I rarely find lag when opening many applications.

However, I still find stutter especially when the home display is shifted to Bixby's display. To play popular games such as Rules of Survival, Need for Speed ​​No Limit, and Mobile Legend the performance is quite smooth.

Software


The Galaxy A8 + currently still uses Android Nougat version 7.1.1 even though the cellphone was released after Android Oreo, it is possible not to overtake the Galaxy S8 which has not yet gotten an Android Oreo.

Galaxy A8 + will get an Android Oreo update but usually for the Galaxy A series it will be slower in getting operating system updates than flagship classes like the Galaxy S8.

Interestingly, Samsung pinned their Bixby virtual assistant to the Galaxy A8 + even though there was no special button for Bixby on his cellphone.

The Bixby feature that is presented similar to Bixby on Samsung's flagship class mobile phones starts from setting reminders, presenting various relevant information, to processing images.

The Galaxy A8 + also features the Always On Display feature where the mobile screen when in standby will display some important information such as hours, dates, and notifications.

If anyone likes to use two different accounts for chat applications, Samsung provides dual messenger features. Some examples of chat applications that are supported are Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, and Telegram.

For security, besides unlocking the cellphone using fingerprints and other standard features, the Galaxy A8 + presents a face scanner. But this is different from the Galaxy S8 which uses an iris scanner, this face scanner uses a regular camera.

This face scanner feature is actually one of the most unsafe for cellphones and also in the dark conditions the Galaxy A8 + has difficulty scanning faces. It is better to use other security features such as a safer and more comfortable fingerprint scanner.

Unfortunately the attractive features of the Galaxy A8 + for payments, namely Samsung Pay, still cannot be used in Indonesia.

Camera

The existing default camera application has been simplified by Samsung. The HDR mode is now hidden in the camera's setup menu even though it can usually be set directly in the camera's main view. However, HDR will be used automatically in Auto mode depending on the situation.

The results of a standard rear camera and often look brighter than the original when using auto mode. For the dual front camera, you can make selfies with a blended background and pretty good quality.

Galaxy A8 Plus - Front Camera - Blur Galaxy A8 Plus - Front Camera - Auto
Left: selfie photo auto live focus mode ( native resolution ); Right: Normal auto selfie photo ( native resolution )

Battery

The Galaxy A8 + uses a large enough 3,500 mAh battery. In testing, this phone can last a day for my standard cellphone activities such as using job applications, social networking and web surfing.

Since the phone was removed from the charger at 10:30 with a 100% battery level, the new battery reached the level of 15% at 3:07 p.m. the next day with a long time the screen turned on for 3 hours 34 minutes.

Charging the battery is also quite fast, from the 7% level at 6:14 p.m. until it is fully 100% charged at 7:58 p.m. It only takes 1 hour 44 minutes to refill.

Conclusion

If you like selfies and want to use a cellphone with a full screen, the Galaxy A8 + is worth trying. However, seeing the price is quite high for middle-class cellphones, other cellphones that present more gahar performance at lower prices such as the Galaxy Note FE are an attractive alternative especially if it's not a selfie hobby.