Samsung did well last year with it's A series by releasing three different models- the A3, the A5 and the A7. However, it has decided to shake things around a bit this year by only releasing the A8 and the A8+.
With those model numbers, it appears that Samsung wants to target the top of the mid-end range. This is a space where "flagship killers" such as the OnePlus 5T and Nokia 8 exist, offering flagship specs at a much more affordable price. But for Samsung, that is a double-edged sword because it wants to sell flagships like the Galaxy S8.
Thus, for all intents and purposes, the Galaxy A8+, is a toned down flagship. It comes with compromises, but is an excellent phone in many regards. It's pricing is what will determines it's fate.
Samsung Galaxy A8+ price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy A8+ was announced in UAE in mid January and went on sale immediately after that. Samsung has priced the Galaxy A8+ at AED 1,999 while the Galaxy A8 is a bit lower at AED 1,799. Both these prices exclude VAT.
Going for premium looks, the Galaxy A8+ follows Samsung's glass and metal design language. The glass back feels slightly different than the S8 which prevented the A8+ from slipping out of our hands. But like most glass phones, expect to clean it frequently to wipe out fingerprint marks that it attracts easily.
The design on the A8+ is not only premium but also quite solid. A glass body is, of course, prone to cracking, but the A8+ feels like a very well-built smartphone in your hands. It's got a flagship-feel to it, which the OnePlus 5T lacks.
Giving us a taste of what to expect with the upcoming Galaxy S9, Samsung has moved the rectangular fingerprint sensor below the camera on the back. While this makes it easier to get to than the Galaxy S8, we prefer circular scanners on phones. It's not a glaring fault though and we did get used to it eventually.
The Galaxy A8+ has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance which is great and so is the presence of the 3.5mm audio jack, which is placed at the bottom next to the USB Type-C charging port.
The dual SIM tray sits on the left below the volume buttons while the power switch is on the right along with the interestingly positioned speaker grill above it. And to the delight for some, no dedicated Bixby key either.
The Galaxy A8+ has a 6-inch 18.5:9 AMOLED display, with 2.5D curved glass on top. As a result, the display appears to merge into the frame, giving it an immersive and a premium look.
Like most Samsung panels, it's bright and colorful, albeit noticeably oversaturated making the colors pop more than they naturally should. Samsung does allow you to switch to a more natural color setting if you prefer that. Brightness levels are good enough to be used outdoors in the Dubai sun but obviously not as good as the Galaxy Note 8.
The resolution on the Galaxy A8 and A8+ is 1080 x 2220 which is slightly lower than what is found on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. For most, this won't be noticeable at all. Viewing angles are also fine- though there is a slight blue tint when you tilt the screen, though nowhere near the levels we've noticed on the LG V30+.