(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has announced the Galaxy A8, a new mid-range device that adopts some of the S8's skills.

If the A8 name sounds familiar, that's because there was a phone launched in 2015 of the same name. Well rest assured, this is a whole lot more exciting than that model, borrowing plenty from the company's flagship Galaxy S8.

So what does the Samsung Galaxy A8 offer and how does that compare to the Galaxy S8? We've crunched the numbers so you can see exactly what the difference is.


Samsung Galaxy A8 vs Galaxy S8: Design

  • A8: 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4mm, 172g
  • S8: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0mm, 155g
  • IP68 protection on both
  • Both offer 18.5:9 screen design
  • Aluminium core with glass back and front on both

The Samsung Galaxy S8 launched in April 2017 flaunting a new design that pushed the display closer to the edges. It not only offered the curved edges of the S7 edge, but it broke through the top and bottom bezel with a new 18.5:9 format, called Infinity Display.

The Galaxy A8 adopts that Infinity Display design with an 18.5:9 format, but loses the curved edges for a flatter face. In reality, the design is more reminiscent of a wide-screen Galaxy S7, with a glass front and back for a quality finish. (Although it looks like the Galaxy A8+ gets more of a curve on its 6-inch display.)

The A8 is slightly larger than the S8 and heavier too. It also adopts IP68 waterproofing, so both these devices offer environmental protection and a good quality build. Going mid-range doesn't mean you lose out on quality.

Samsung Galaxy A8 vs Galaxy S8: Display

  • A8: 18.5:9 aspect, 5.6-inch, Super AMOLED, 2220 x 1080 pixels, 440ppi
  • S8: 18.5:9 aspect, 5.8-inch, Super AMOLED, 2960 x 1440 pixels, 570ppi

With both the Galaxy A8 and the Galaxy S8 offering an 18.5:9 display, there's a lot in common when it comes to presenting your content. The loss of the curved edges on the Galaxy A8 means things aren't quite as dramatic, with a flatter screen finish than the Galaxy S8.

There's also a change in resolution, with the Galaxy A8 adopting a Full HD resolution of 2220 x 1080 pixels, resulting in 440ppi. That's still a sharp display, but it is a little smaller than the display of the Galaxy S8. The S8 has a great screen-to-body ratio.

The Galaxy S8 offers a Quad HD+ resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels, resulting in a much higher pixel density of 570ppi. That means it has the ability to show more detail because it has more pixels packed in.

However, both use Samsung's Super AMOLED display, so both are likely to be as rich and vibrant, with plenty of pop to colours and nice deep blacks. One thing to bear in mind is that if you're using power saving on the S8, the display reverts to pushing a Full HD resolution: in reality, in everyday use, you might not notice the resolution change between the A8 and the S8.

Samsung Galaxy A8 vs Galaxy S8: Hardware and connectivity

  • A8: Octo-core Exynos 7885 (?), 4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage + microSD, 3000mAh
  • S8: Octo-core Exynos 8895/Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage + microSD, 3000mAh

Samsung hasn't detailed specifically which hardware sits at the heart of the Galaxy A8 (we've asked), but rumours suggest it is the new Exynos 7885, a mid-range 10nm chipset. At the time of writing we can't verify how it performs, but we can safely assume that it's not quite as powerful as the Exynos 8895 (or Snapdragon 835) that powers the S8.

Other key hardware specs are similar, with 4GB RAM in both and the option for the same level of storage.

In terms of wireless connectivity, both phones also offer Bluetooth 5, but there's a difference in the network connectivity, with the Galaxy S8 offering Cat 16 LTE, while the Galaxy A8 only reaches Cat 11 LTE.

Potentially this means that Galaxy S8 will offers faster speeds over the mobile network, but this is all dictated by the mobile network you're using it on. If your network doesn't have the infrastructure for Cat 16, then it's a moot point.

Both also offer USB Type-C. The biggest question may well be whether the Galaxy A8 has a 3.5mm headphone socket. Samsung hasn't confirmed this and we can't tell from the official images released, however we've asked for confirmation.

It's safe to say that from a hardware position, the Samsung Galaxy A8 will slip in under the flagship Galaxy S8 in terms of performance. Both also have the same battery, but it's impossible to judge how they compare at this time.

Samsung Galaxy A8 vs Galaxy S8: Camera

  • A8: 16MP, f/1.7 PDAF rear; 16MP and 8MP, f/1.9 FF front
  • S8: 12MP, f/1.7 PDAF rear; 8MP, f/1.7 AF front

Smartphones are very often all about the camera experience and the Samsung Galaxy S8 offers one of the best you'll find in a smartphone. Samsung is looking to offer a real difference in the Galaxy A8, introducing twin front cameras.

The Galaxy A8 has both a 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel front camera, each offering a f/1.9 aperture which is fairly wide. The aim is to give you more diversity in the type of selfies you take. Although Samsung hasn't specified too much detail, it has said that you can take close-ups or wide pictures, switching cameras to suit the style you want.

However, the Galaxy A8 also adopts one of the Galaxy Note 8 skills with Live Focus available on those front cameras. This will let you create more dramatic bokeh effects, blurring the background for great portrait style shots. However, the front camera is fixed focus, unlike the S8, which is autofocus on the front camera.

When it comes to the rear, the S8 offers a 12-megapixel camera that's superb. The Galaxy A8 doesn't get the same camera, however, it's a 16-megapixel sensor instead. We've seen this camera used by Samsung before and generally it's not quite as proficient as the 12MP that it puts on its flagships.

The Galaxy S8 also offers optical image stabilisation and there's no mention of that for the Galaxy A8.

We suspect the A8 camera will be a good performer, if not top class, while the new twin front camera arrangement might serve up some additional options that selfie takers will love and that fits with a more affordable mid-range proposition for a younger user.

Samsung Galaxy A8 vs Galaxy S8: Software

  • Android 7.1.1 on both
  • Samsung's TouchWiz

When it comes to software, there's a lot of parity between Samsung devices. The Samsung Galaxy A8 is listed as launching on Android 7.1.1 which is a bit of a disappointment now that many phones are offering Android 8 Oreo. However, the update to the Galaxy S8 (at the time of writing) hasn't happened, so there's no change there.

Samsung takes the Android foundation and changes and tweaks just about everything in the delivery of TouchWiz. Samsung adds a lot of functions, options and customisation that Android doesn't offer you and of all the Android skins, we think it's the most comprehensive and easiest to live with.

We'd expect the software experience between these two phones to be the same, and once both are updated to Android Oreo, we'd expect things to all behave in the same way.

Samsung Galaxy A8 vs Galaxy S8: Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has been available globally for about 6 months, priced at £689 SIM free (but shop around and you'll find it cheaper).

The Samsung Galaxy A8 doesn't have a confirmed price, but the A5 cost £369. We don't think the A8 will get that low. Although the Galaxy A8 will be available from January 2018 in some regions, you'll have to wait until April 2018 to get this handset in the UK.

By that time, of course, you'll also have to consider the new Samsung Galaxy S9.

Writing by Chris Hall.