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Samsung unveils 2018 editions of Galaxy A8 and A8+

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Samsung Galax A8 retails for P26,990. — PHOTO: Samsung

What was originally introduced as a step lower than the flagship Galaxy S Series, Samsung’s Galaxy A Series has now been promoted to flagship status for having features usually found in Samsung’s high end Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series.

“The difference with this is that [the 2018 edition of the A series] caters to a younger market,” Nico Gonzales, Samsung Electronics Philippines Corp.’s marketing manager for core smartphones, told the media shortly after the launch on Jan. 18 in the Penthouse 8747 in Makati City.

The Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) and A8+ (2018) both sport a dual front camera (16MP+8MP f1.9) with live focus and adjustable blur for those “bokeh shots” and a 16MP f1.7 rear shooter. The display — dubbed the “Infinity Display” — features an 18:5:9 display ratio for a “cinematic viewing experience,” according to the company release.

Both phones are dual-sim capable, have ROMs expandable up to 256GB and has a face recognition feature. These also come with Samsung’s virtual assistant Bixby though the phones comes sans a dedicated Bixby button present in Galaxy S8.

The phones are available in either gold or black.

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The Galaxy A8 (pictured) and A8+ are water- and dust-resistant. — PHOTO: Samsung

Another feature of note is that the A8 and A8+ are water- and dust-resistant, which means the phones are virtually unfazed even when submerged in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes and can withstand sweat, rain, sand and dust.

Aside from the cosmetic differences between the two phones — the A8 stands at 5.6 inches and 172 grams while A8+ is at 6 inches and 191 grams — the A8+ also contains a larger battery capacity of 3,500 mAh compared to A8’s 3000 mAh.

A8+’s RAM is also bigger at 6 GB and internal memory is at 64GB while A8 has a not-too-shabby 4 GB RAM and 32 GB internal memory.

All these features come with a price tag of P26,990 for the A8 and P32,990 for the A8+. In comparison, last year’s flagship, the S8 is now sold online (as of this writing) in Lazada for P31,990 for the 64GB model and the S8+ 64GB model is at P34,890.

So what makes A8/A8+ preferable over last year’s flagship which is only a couple thousand pesos more than the new launches?

Well, it all comes down to its target market, said Mr. Gonzales as the A8 is targeted towards millennials who want a phone “that can experience everything along with them and capture those moments.”

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Samsung Galaxy A8+ retails for P32,990. — PHOTO: Samsung

“What we envision with this is you get all the flagship features but still have enough to experience other things,” he said.

Compared to the launch price of the S8 (P39,990) and S8+ (P45,990), it is certainly cheaper and once the S9 rolls out this year, A8 will a cheaper alternative, though not by much.

And in terms of A8’s entry into the dual camera selfie market — of which Chinese brands such as OPPO (F3), Vivo (V5 Plus) and Huawei (Nova 2i), among others, currently reign supreme–this isn’t because they wanted to compete in this segment, Mr. Gonzales said but is a reaction to “the clamor from the target market for better selfies.”

“We thought it was about time we release our own version of a dual front camera,” he said.

Whether other phones from the Korean company will sport this feature, Mr. Gonzales is keeping mum.

Both phones will be available late January. For more details on where to buy the Galaxy A* and A8+, visit Samsung PH’s Facebook page or its website at samsung.com/ph. — Zsarlene B. Chua

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