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Samsung Galaxy J8 Review – A quality mid-range phone at an affordable price?

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The Samsung Galaxy J8 officially launched in the country this July 18, 2018, although its release wasn’t until the beginning of this month. One of the device’s main highlight is its camera abilities and features.

Today, we’ll review the smartphone including its overall performance and specifications. Will the Samsung Galaxy J8 be able to compete with the other smartphones in the same category? Does it have what it takes? Let’s find out here.

SPECSSamsung Galaxy J8
Display6″ Super AMOLED display, 1480 x 720 resolution, 18.5:9
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 450
GPUAdreno 506
Memory3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage (expandable via microSD card)
Rear CameraDual: 16 MP (f/1.7) + 5 MP (f/1.9) LED flash
Front CameraDual: 16 MP (f/1.9)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
BatteryNon-removable Li-Ion 3500 mAh battery
OSAndroid 8.0 (Oreo)
PricePHP 15,990

Design

The Samsung Galaxy J8 sports a glass front along with a plastic frame. It measures 159.2 x 75.7 x 8.2 mm and weighs 177g. Compared to recently launched smartphones, this smartphone lacks a notch and has thick bezels.

Moving on to the rear part of the device, the dual rear cameras are positioned at the center with the fingerprint scanner and the company brand logo underneath. As for the camera’s LED Flash, it is located beside it.

The usual power button is seen at the right with the speaker grille whereas the volume rockers can be found on the left side of the smartphone along with the SIM and microSD card slots. The bottom houses the 3.5mm audio jack, mic, and a microUSB 2.0 port.

Overall, the design of the Samsung Galaxy J8 looks really simple and similar to other smartphones in their other series. Nonetheless, the device has a premium feel to it. Another thing to note of is the fact that the device’s back isn’t easily smudged by fingerprints.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy J8 features a 6″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1480 x 720 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Its screen was bright enough and the colors were accurate when we tried watching movies and playing games. Furthermore, it doesn’t change when viewed from different angles.

In terms of brightness, it can be further enhanced through Outdoor mode found in the display settings. The user may also change the display’s screen mode into four modes – Adaptive display, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, and Basic.

Camera

The Samsung smartphone features a dual 16 MP + 5 MP rear camera and an LED flash. It also has a 16 MP front camera.

Here are some sample shots:

We first tried taking a picture outside in broad daylight from our veranda. As you can see, the image looked bright and the colors are vibrant. Unfortunately, the details that were further away weren’t that sharp. In addition, the sky looked dull and the clouds don’t look defined.

In this photo, the edges of the subject ended up having some blurred parts especially the background. This might be due to the natural bokeh effect when taking a close up picture. Color-wise, it ended up brighter than normal and there were some spots on the leaves that became slightly over-exposed.

Similar to the previous images, the output is still brighter than real life representation although the colors are accurate. The details are clear and there aren’t any blurry spots.

Although there were some lights in this photo, the details on the glass are clear and can still be seen. In terms of color, there weren’t any changes. The lights are a bit scattered but it’s nothing to worry about.

Here is another sample pic indoors that had lights in them. Unlike the previous image, the details on the parts with the lights here isn’t that clear. Furthermore, the overall image looks soft and the object isn’t that defined.

Here are some more sample images that were taken indoors:

One of the main things that people take a picture of is food so we made sure to include that on our camera test.

The Samsung Galaxy J8 was able to capture the food well although there were some issues with the lighting in one picture. Nevertheless, the colors were accurate and the details were sharp and clear.

Once again, we took some close up pictures. As mentioned before, the photos have a natural-looking bokeh effect on the background. In terms of brightness, it did well although the upper part in the first photo looked overexposed.

Let’s move on to selfies. Overall, it looks good and the color of the subject’s skin looked accurate. Moreover, the lighting was just right – it’s not too bright nor too dull.

In terms of its beauty mode, the user may choose to adjust it to their preference. The user may try adjusting their skin, face, and of course, eyes.

Another feature included in the phone’s camera is AR stickers. Here are some sample pictures.

Features and User Experience

The Samsung Galaxy J8 is powered by the Snapdragon 450 with an Adreno 506 GPU. It contains 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. In addition, the smartphone runs on Android 8.0 Oreo.

In regards to security, the smartphone sports a fingerprint scanner and a face-unlock feature. The two security features were easy to set up and both work fast enough although the Face unlock was slower than other mid-range devices. It’s good to note that the feature doesn’t work if the user’s eyes are closed so you don’t have to worry about your phone getting unlocked when you’re asleep. On the other hand, the feature also doesn’t work when the user is wearing eyeglasses.

We also made sure to test the phone’s gaming performance. The games we played were Asphalt 9 and Arena of Valor (AOV). Launching the games were quick although we experienced some problems during gameplay. When we played AOV, we noticed that there were lags in the character’s movements. At first, we thought the problem might be due to our internet connection but that wasn’t the case. However, when we switched playing Asphalt 9, we experienced no problems with the gameplay. This might mean that although the device can take heavy graphics games, it might not be suitable for online mobile gaming.

Another feature that the phone has is its Game Launcher. This feature arranges all the games in one place and gives additional options that may prove to be useful during gameplay.

Benchmarks

We tested the Samsung Galaxy J8 using the following benchmarking tools and here are the results:

BenchmarksSamsung Galaxy J8
Antutu69916
Geekbench (single-core)742
Geekbench (multi-core)3849
PCMark Work4525

Battery

The handset is fueled by a 3,500mAh battery. It lasted about two days with continuous light usage and it took around 2 hours to charge the device fully from 20%. In terms of the PCMark Battery life test, it mentioned that it would last for 10 hours and 25 minutes.

BatterySamsung Galaxy J8
Battery3500mAh
Battery Life2 days

10 hours 25 minutes – PCMark Work

Charging Time (20-100%)approx. 2 hours

Audio

When we tried playing some music, we noticed that the sound was a bit scratchy on maximum volume. In terms of loudness, it did well although the placement of the speaker grille is a bit awkward. There were a lot of instances when it got covered while we were playing games. Moreover, on medium volume, the sound was too quiet for our liking.

Verdict 

The Samsung Galaxy J8 has a price tag of PHP 15,990 and it’s currently available in official Samsung stores and online retailers nationwide. Overall, for its price range, the device did well. The camera was able to prove that it provides a good output in different lighting situations although there were some instances where there were some overexposed parts. As for the phone’s performance, although it didn’t do too well in online mobile games, it didn’t have any problems with high-graphic games.

Do you think the Samsung Galaxy J8 is worth its price tag? Comment your thoughts down below.

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