Well true to the rumours, Samsung’s gone ahead and made the slightly odd move of launching the first and lead model of it re-booted Galaxy A-series for 2018, inside the closing weeks of 2017. The firm has now launched the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+, which according to some are the successor models to the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 respectively.
As per the leaks and rumours, the duo feature Galaxy S8-style 18.5:9 aspect ratio Infinity Displays with minimal bezels, which are of course based on Super AMOLED technology. The Galaxy A8 has a 5.6in display while the Galaxy A8+ measures 6in on the diagonal. Both have built-in support for Samsung’s Gear VR and have 1080p+ resolutions.
Both phones feature a first for Samsung as well; a front-facing dual-sensor camera, using a combination of 16MP and 8MP sensors. A Live Focus feature also allows you to select full focus, soft focus, or bokeh for the background of your selfies.
The rear camera is a 16MP single-senosr setup with a wider f/1.7 aperture with digital stabilisation and Hyperlapse features.
Other noteworthy features include IP68 waterproofing, Type-C USB support with fast charging, and Samsung Pay via NFC. The battery cells are 3,000mAh for the Galaxy A8 and 3,500mAh for the Galaxy A8+.
Android 7.1 Nougat is onboard; there’s no word on an Oreo update but we’d be shocked if one wasn’t already planned. Both handsets will land in stores in January for €499 and €599 in Europe. Wider availability is as yet unknown but Samsung may announce something at CES or MWC in Q1 2018.
Samsung has now confirmed a solid release date for the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+. While attending an event in Vietnam, Samsung confirmed the handsets will go on sale from January 6 in the region, which would imply that it’ll be on or around that date for other territories as well. Prior to this, Samsung only gave a somewhat vague bracket of “early January”, and we still haven’t heard any plans for the North American market.