Samsung has finally unveiled the Galaxy A8s, its first smartphone that has some kind of an obstruction in the display. Samsung’s alternative to a notch involves making a hole in the display to accommodate the front-facing camera. It’s not something only Samsung is doing, though. Huawei has a phone with a similar design in the works, so it seems the Korean giant only chose to wait out the notch fad instead of exclusively developing its camera-in-a-hole solution as an industry first.
Sadly, the Galaxy A8s doesn’t get a3.5 mm headphone jack, so this is the start of a new era for Samsung that is going to turn a lot of heads. But the Galaxy A8s does get some interesting features, and we take a look at some of the notable ones here.
Snapdragon 710 with 6GB/8GB of RAM
The Galaxy A8s is Samsung’s first phone to be powered by the Snapdragon 710 chipset. Compared to the Snapdragon 660, the Snapdragon 710 brings a number of improvements. It’s based on a 10nm process instead of a 14nm process, which means it is considerably more efficient and should heat up less in resource-intensive tasks like high-end games. It gets newer ARM Cortex cores as well – two Cortex-A75 cores and six Cortex-A55 cores.
The Snapdragon 710 also comes with the Adreno 616 GPU, which is 35 percent faster than the Adreno 512 GPU found on the 660. Of course, these are theoretical figures, but at the end of the day, the Galaxy A8s is Samsung’s most powerful mid-range smartphone at the moment. There’s even a variant with 8GB of RAM like the Galaxy A9 (2018), but the base model with 6GB of RAM should be more than capable at multitasking.
Ultra-wide camera on the back
The Galaxy A8s gets three rear cameras like the A7 (2018) and not four sensors, which does make it somewhat less interesting than it could have been. But you still get an ultra-wide lens that allows you to fit more of a scene in a picture. The ultra-wide sensor doesn’t get autofocus and maxes out at 10-megapixel resolution, but with none of the competition offering ultra-wide cameras, the A8s gets a brownie point. Again, having a zoom lens would have further sweetened the deal, but we’re guessing Samsung had to make a compromise to keep the price tag under check. Sadly, the pricing is yet to be revealed.
Gradient colors with an extra aesthetic touch
Now, this is one feature that is going to be common across Samsung’s smartphone lineups going forward, but it deserves a mention as one of the highlights of the Galaxy A8s. The grey variant is especially attractive. It makes for a classy look that is missing from the brighter color options Samsung has offered in the past. In fact, even the blue and green variants have a subdued look that exudes class.
The extra aesthetic touch here is the small ring around the middle rear camera. It looks quite nice, and the ring’s color is different for each of the phone’s color variants. It doesn’t seem to serve any purpose, though, so the few fans of Samsung’s Smart Glow ring may be disappointed.
128GB of storage on the base model
Samsung has already released two devices that have 128GB of storage on the base model (the Galaxy Note 9 and the new Galaxy A9), and the A8s is joining the party. And while some might think a microSD slot makes it unnecessary to have more than 64GB of internal storage, more internal storage is always a boon, especially for those who install many high-end games or store movies, music and other media locally. Let’s not forget that microSD cards still aren’t very affordable if you want the high-capacity options.
What’s your opinion of the Galaxy A8s?