Samsung traditionally passes down the improvements seen in its flagship S series to its mid-range A-series early the following year. A little sooner than expected the company has confirmed its Infinity Display-toting Galaxy A8, which also features dual selfie cameras - a first for the company.
When is the Samsung Galaxy A8 UK release date?
The Galaxy A8 will be available from early January, and has today (2 January) gone on pre-order in South Korea. However, it won't arrive in the UK until April 2018.
The A8 will be available in three colours: black, gold and orchid grey.
Outside the UK a Galaxy A8+ has also been confirmed. It comes with a larger 6in screen and 3,500mAh battery, and there is a 6GB RAM/64GB storage option, but all other features are standard across the line.
How much does the Samsung Galaxy A8 cost?
UK pricing has not yet been confirmed for the Galaxy A8, though we expect it to be somewhere around the £499 RRP of the Galaxy A7 (2017). We'll update this article when we know more.
What's are the new features in the Galaxy A8?
In January 2017 Samsung announced its Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7, all of which saw the Galaxy S7 design treatment - the glass front and rear, always-on display, IP68 waterproofing, USB-C, improved cameras and increased storage.
Fast-forward to December 2017 and heading up the Galaxy A series is the Galaxy A8 (it has not been confirmed if updated versions of the A3, A5 and A7 will follow, though we suspect not). This phone sees upgrades brought in with the Galaxy S8, such as the Infinity Display. Here it's just a full-HD (1920x2220, 18.5:9) SuperAMOLED panel, but that is the default on the Galaxy S8 in any case. It's also slightly smaller at 5.7in (the S7 is 5.8in), despite the phone itself being a touch bigger.
The Galaxy A8 does not feature the S8's dedicated Bixby button, though the Bixby assistant is preinstalled on the phone.
Something not seen in the Galaxy S8 is the Dual Front Camera, which is equipped with Live Focus allowing you to adjust the bokeh effect (blurred background) before or after the shot. This setup combines 16Mp and 8Mp f/1.9 lenses, while there's another 16Mp f/1.7 camera at the rear.
The camera has the same software as that on the Galaxy S8, which means you can add stickers and take advantage of presets such as Food Mode. Samsung also claims the cameras are excellent in low-light, though we'll bring you our verdict on that when we get the Galaxy A8 in for review. For video it builds in digital image stabilisation (VDIS) and hyperlapse.
For the first time the Galaxy A series supports Samsung's Gear VR headset.
Galaxy A8 vs Galaxy S8
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy A8||Samsung Galaxy S8|
|Display||5.6in Full-HD+ (1920x2220, 18.5:9) SuperAMOLED Infinity Display, AOD||5.8in Quad-HD+ (2960x1440, 18.5:9) SuperAMOLED Infinity Display, AOD|
|Operating System||Android 7.1.1 Nougat||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Processor||Exynos 7885 octa-core processor (2x 2.2GHz, 6x 1.6GHz cores)||Exynos 8895 octa-core processor (4x 2.3GHz, 4x 1.7GHz cores)|
|Memory||4GB RAM||4GB RAM|
|Storage||32GB + microSD up to 256GB||64GB + microSD up to 256GB|
|Connectivity||Dual-band ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, USB-C, LTE Cat 11||Dual-band ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, USB-C, LTE Cat 16, HR sensor|
|Fingerprint scanner||Yes||Yes, plus Iris scanner|
|Primary camera||16Mp, f/1.7, VDIS, LED flash||12Mp Dual Pixel, f/1.7, OIS, VDIS, High CRI LED flash|
|Selfie camera||16Mp, f/1.9 + 8Mp, f/1.9||8Mp, f/1.7|
|Battery||3,000mAh, fast-charging||3,000mAh, fast-charging|
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