Samsung Galaxy A8 Star launched on Amazon India with Snapdragon 660 and 6.3″ display for ₹34,990
Despite facing heavy competition, Samsung isn’t planning to give up its leadership of the Indian smartphone market. The company is still one of the two market leaders—along with Xiaomi—and in the premium smartphone market, its long reign at the top was only broken in Q2 2018 by OnePlus for the first time ever in India. Samsung has stated that it plans to revamp its mid-range phones with more “premium features,” and the new mid-range phones will launch in Q4 (October-December). Last week, a report stated that the company was due to launch another Galaxy A series smartphone in India this month. Now, Samsung has launched the Samsung Galaxy A8 Star in India, an upper mid-range phone that is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC.
The Galaxy A8 Star was originally launched in China as the Galaxy A9 Star. The global model is branded as the Galaxy A8 Star. The phone is quite similar to the Galaxy A8+ in terms of design and specifications. However, it swaps out Samsung’s own Exynos 7885 SoC in favor of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660. It also has a different rear camera setup. Its specifications are noted in the table below:
Samsung Galaxy A8 Star – Specifications at a glance
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy A8 Star|
|Dimensions and weight||162.4 x 77 x 7.5 mm, 191g|
|Software||Samsung Experience 9.0 on top of Android 8.0 Oreo|
|SoC||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (4x 2.2GHz Kryo 260 Performance + 4x 1.8GHz Kryo 260 Efficiency cores); Adreno 512 GPU|
|RAM and storage||6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage; microSD card slot|
|Battery||3,700mAh; 9V/1.67A quick charging|
|Display||6.3-inch Full HD+ (2220×1080) Super AMOLED with 18.5:9 aspect ratio|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||USB Type-C port, dual nano SIM slots, 3.5mm headphone jack|
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/
TDD-LTE: Bands 34/38/39/40/41
|Rear camera||16MP with f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus (PDAF)|
24MP with f/1.7 aperture
Video recording up to 4K at 30fps
|Front-facing camera||24MP with f/2.0 aperture|
The Galaxy A8 Star has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The display is branded as an “Infinity Display,” as it has a tall aspect ratio with small bezels, and it should be noted that it doesn’t have curved edges unlike the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. On the back, the dual rear camera setup is placed at the top left, in an unusual design move for Samsung. The fingerprint sensor has a rounded rectangle shape and is placed quite high on the back, but at least it’s placed on a central position on the back.
In terms of software features, the Galaxy A8 Star features Pro Lighting for its front-facing camera, Face Unlock, and Bixby. It also has Secure Folder functionality to enable users to secure their personal data.
Pricing and availability
The Samsung Galaxy A8 Star is priced at ₹34,990 ($500) in India, and it will go on sale exclusively via Amazon India starting on August 27. Users can sign up on Amazon to keep updated regarding the phone’s availability. As of now, Samsung and Amazon haven’t revealed any specific launch offers.
In terms of competition, the Galaxy A8 Star would normally expect to compete with the OnePlus 6, Asus ZenFone 5Z, Honor Play, and the Huawei Nova 3.
Even against these phones, the Galaxy A8 Star is a tough sell as the Snapdragon 660 SoC can’t compete against flagship chips such as the Snapdragon 845 or the HiSilicon Kirin 970. Then we have the Xiaomi Poco F1, which has completely transformed the market as its base 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant will be sold for just ₹20,999 ($300). The top-end Poco F1 variant will be sold for ₹29,999 ($429), which is still cheaper than the Galaxy A8 Star.
Our view: Against phones such as the Poco F1 and the OnePlus 6, the Galaxy A8 Star doesn’t have a strong value proposition. To put it simply, it’s a tough sell. This means that Samsung will have to keep trying as the company struggles to compete on value.