Samsung unveils bang-for-buck bets A8 and A8+

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2018 11:20 AM | Updated as of Jan 19 2018 11:39 AM

MANILA - Samsung Electronics Philippines has launched two mid-range handsets, giving another option for consumers looking for near-flagship features at half the price.

The Galaxy A8 and A8+ sport glass bodies like the S8 line and Note 8. The screens occupy almost the entire front of the device, though lacking the curved sides that have become the signature of Samsung's premium phones.

Both handsets have adjustable blur for portrait shots, what Samsung calls "live focus," that was previously available only on the Note 8.

The A8 costs P26,990 while the larger A8+ costs P32,990. The A8 costs roughly half the price of Samsung's most recent flagship, the Note 8, which retails for P49,990.

The new phones are for consumers who want "the best of everything," said Nico Gonzales, Samsung’s marketing manager for core smartphones said during the launch late Thursday.

The A8 phones are IP68 rated for water and dust resistance, come with fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. The A8 has a 5.6-inch screen, 32 gigabytes of storage with 4GB RAM while the plus varian has a 6-inch screen, 64 GB of storage with 6 GB RAM.

Samsung's Galaxy A8 and A8+ have Facial Recognition technology for unlocking phones. Photo by: Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

The face unlock feature of the A8 is also on Chinese brand Vivo's V7+, which launched last September. The device costs P17,990. Vivo this month unveiled a fingerprint sensor built into the phone screen.

Another Chinese brand Oppo, offers face unlock on the P15,990 F5 phone launched in October.

The A8+ is priced exactly like Huawei's Mate 10, which offers Leica-engineered dual cameras.

The new Samsung phones will be available on Jan. 28.