Forward-looking: The Samsung Galaxy A8s debuted in China this morning, even though almost everything about the phone had already been revealed, largely by Samsung’s own doing. The phone features a Snapdragon 710 processor, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage expandable via microSD, and is expected to land at about $450. Choosing an IPS display over one of Samsung’s own brilliant OLEDs would be disappointing – if not for that intriguing camera cut-out.
Pinhole. Black hole. Polka dot. Pimple. Mole. The wide variety of names for the Infinity-O display – which stretches beyond what would be appropriate to write here – expresses the wide variety of opinions on it. In all likelihood, that’s why Samsung decided to debut the feature on a mid-range device; to test the waters. Rather unfortunately, however, the focus on the hole has detracted from what’s otherwise a pretty solid device.
The phone was officially unveiled today although we had reported on the Galaxy A8's final specs during the weekend based on info Samsung sent into China’s version of the FCC, TENAA. The Galaxy A8s features three rear cameras: 24mp, 10mp (telephoto) and 5mp, the latter of which is used for depth sensing.
The selfie camera quality is unaffected by its situation and will be a solid performer at 24mp (with f/2.0 aperture). A pretty standard 3,400mAh battery is included with fast charging support over USB-C.
It was rumored the Galaxy A8s would be the first Samsung phone to drop the headphone jack and this has been confirmed today.
The screen is mostly pretty decent, a 6.4" affair with a reasonable 2340 x 1080 resolution (taller than usual 19.5:9 aspect ratio). Samsung’s decision to use an IPS screen may protect upcoming Galaxy S10 sales and make sense business-wise, but it doesn’t come without compromise. The bezels on the sides and top are still relatively slim with a small chin on the bottom. Also, reports say that the camera hole requires 1-2mm of dead space around it, bringing it to a pretty large 6.7mm.
The device comes in three colors: a silver to black gradient, blue, and green. The Galaxy A8s has been registered in the US and China, with availability expected in the coming weeks though no official date or pricing has been set yet.