The Samsung Galaxy J8 is priced at Rs 18,990.
It features a dual-camera setup at the back.
The Galaxy J8 also includes face unlock for biometric security.
Samsung launched four smartphones in India towards the end of May – two in the Galaxy J-series and two in Galaxy A-series. These smartphones include the Galaxy J6, Galaxy J8, Galaxy A6 and Galaxy A6+. While three of these smartphones went on sale in early June, the Galaxy J8 recently went on sale. The smartphone brings a dual-camera setup, Infinity Display, Dolby Atmos and face unlock features to the J-series.
Priced at Rs 18,990 the smartphone is available to purchase from Flipkart and Paytm, and buyers with ICICI Bank cards on Flipkart can get Rs 2,000 cashback, which brings the effective price down to Rs 16,990. On Paytm, you don’t need any specific bank card, but the cashback value is added to your wallet, which can then be used for mobile recharge, bill payments, or for buying products on Paytm.
Watch: Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review
At its price point, the Galaxy J8 will compete with the likes of Redmi Note 5 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Huawei P20 Lite. We now have the Galaxy J8 in our test lab for review, and before we dive deep into the in-depth review, here are my first impressions.
The Galaxy J8 sports a 6-inch AMOLED HD+ (1480×720 pixels) Infinity display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio. It is sad to see an HD panel when the competition is offering full-HD screens. Despite the large screen, the tall aspect ratio and thin bezels ensure that it has the same form factor as a traditional 5.5-inch device. The Galaxy J8 comes with a metal frame, and a metal back with curved edges, offering a good grip.
On the front, you have the earpiece, a 16-megapixel camera and proximity sensor, but just like the Galaxy J6, the ambient light sensor is missing here, and which is disappointing. Turn to the back and you have dual-camera module comprising of a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor for portrait mode. The camera is vertically stacked, and you also get a fingerprint sensor below it.
Samsung has added some interesting elements in the camera app. The portrait mode lets you capture DSLR like photos with bokeh effects. The company has also added blur effects where you can add portrait backdrop, which replaces the background with cool effects. If there are lights that are burred in the image, you can add different shapes, like heart, butterfly and more to add some creativity to the images.
Lastly, there is a portrait dolly effect, which keeps your subject in focus, and background in motion, more like a vertigo shot, and it looks cool, check the image below. There is also support for AR based stickers, just like Snapchat.
Under the hood, the phone runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core SoC. There is also 4GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage. There is a dedicated microSD card slot for further expansion. At this price point, I would have really expected a more powerful Snapdragon 660 or at least a Snapdragon 636 SoC. However, the fact that the Samsung Galaxy J8 is also available to buy offline means that it may not be able to match online-only phones on specifications.
In the software department, the smartphone runs Android 8.0 Oreo with the Samsung Experience UI. It is a bit disappointing to see Android 8.0 Oreo, when 8.1 has been out for months, and Android P is set to release soon. For the short time that I used the Galaxy J8, things were smooth, but we will be thoroughly testing it over the next few days before passing our judgment.
Among other features, the Galaxy J8 comes with Dolby Atmos audio enhancement to offer a rich music listening experience. You also get Samsung Pay Mini feature, where you can add your UPI account and mobile wallets such as Paytm, Freecharge and Mobikwik. Samsung Pay also lets you recharge your mobile number and pay electricity, broadband, gas and phone bills.
Bixby is also present here, but you only get the cards interface, whereas the voice assistant is limited to flagship smartphones. Lastly, the Chat over Video feature is also available on the smartphone. When watching a video, and you get a message, it brings a small pop-up window and a translucent keyboard as an overlay on top. It lets you keep watching the video while you respond to messages.
The Galaxy J8 is an interesting smartphone in the mid-range segment. Leaving the otherwise budget chipset and low-resolution display aside, the other features make the Galaxy J8 competitive. But, is it worth going for the smartphone when you have smartphones like Huawei P20 Lite, Nokia 6.1, Zenfone Max Pro M1 and Redmi Note 5 Pro to choose from? We will be able to answer that when we thoroughly test the smartphone. We will post our in-depth review of the Galaxy J8 in the next few days, so stay tuned for that.
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