Samsung’s Galaxy J series has been the ultimate pocket-friendly phones for a larger audience. Lately, the Galaxy J series was coming up with hardly any different features that would make an impact. Its competitor, a Chinese company Xiaomi was taking the lead with phones like Xiaomi Mi 8 SE and other variants (see best Xiaomi phones). However, after a stall, the company has launched the Samsung Galaxy J8 2018.

Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 Review

The effort to step up its game plan to make the Samsung Galaxy J8 also known as Samsung Galaxy On8 in India, cause a different impact than its predecessors is very apparent. With the introduction of the dual camera (as seen in Oppo F7), an infinity display as seen in the S series by the same company and face recognition technology, Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 seems bound to have its 15 minutes of fame.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Good build quality
  • Feels premium
  • Dual Camera
  • Infinity Display

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • No ambient light sensor
  • Poor camera result in low light

Price & Availability

Priced at the US$280 (250 Euro/AU$375) the Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 is slightly past the mid-range cost it usually maintains. Especially considering the previous models of the Galaxy J series. It will be available throughout Samsung franchises. However, this is widely available in South-East Asia.

Samsung Galaxy On8 2018 Specs

  • OS: Android V8.0 Oreo
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450
  • CPU: 1.8 GHz Octa Core Cortex-A53
  • Screen: 6.0 inches
  • Display: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 720 x 1480p (274 PPI)
  • SIM: Dual Sim, Dual Standby (Nano-SIM)
  • Memory: 64 GB Built-in, 4 GB RAM, microSD (supports up to 256 GB)
  • Camera: Main – Dual 16 MP + 5 MP, autofocus, LED flash. Front – 16 MP, LED flash
  • Dimensions: 75.8 x 160 x 7.95 mm
  • Weight: 177 g
  • Battery: talk time up to 23 hours
  • Colors available: Black, gold, and Blue

Design

The Galaxy J series started out with a pretty decent design but then the company apparently stop putting any effort into putting something new on the table. Eventually, the design became monotonous and got boring. However, a lot of effort seems to be put in to make Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 easy on the eyes. The design is a breath of fresh air.

It features a slim and sleek design with a well-built body. The exterior is polycarbonate body with a matte finish. It is not lightweight but the weight is well distributed enough to not feel heavy either. The most eye-catching feature is the 6-inch screen. The screen’s sides are curved giving a premium look to it. Despite the plastic chassis, it’s an appealing set.

The top front of the phone features a 16 MP front camera accompanied with LED flash. At the bottom are the three soft touch keys, all too common with the majority of Android phones. The rear of the phone sports 16 MP and 5 MP dual rear cameras with LED flash. Beneath the camera is a small cylindrical shaped fingerprint sensor.

Another different feature we observed in Samsung Galaxy On8 was the placement of the speaker. Unlike other phones, Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 has the speaker positioned right above the power button. The volume rockers along with the SIM card and microSD card slot are positioned on the left side.

Display

Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 features a larger 6 inches AMOLED panel as compared to its predecessors. The difference can also be seen in the 18.5:9 aspect ratio. The display, or as the company calls it, the infinity display has a 720 x 1480 pixels resolution and 274 PPI pixel density. Like any other AMOLED panel, the Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 display produces brilliant colors and deepest of blacks to an accurate length.

Where it lacks is the low HD resolution which for some may be a deal breaker. In our opinion, for what its worth, ditching a full HD display was not a wise decision on the company’s part. Especially considering the fact that full HD display is available in other phones costing far less than the Samsung Galaxy J8 2018.

The edge to edge display, however, for all it has to offer, is not bad at all. The minimal bezel and cornering Gorilla Glass offer a fine viewing experience. What we liked were the various modes offered to enhance user experience under various conditions. Like the Blue eye filter which limits the amount of blue light emitted from the screen to reduce eye strain. This can come in very handy for long-term use like watching a movie, reading or editing.

Since poor display visibility in natural or sunlight is one of the biggest issue faced by smartphone users, it comes with an outdoor mode. This mode allows the phone to set its display on the brighter level and it automatically shuts down after 15 minutes of last used. There are more modes as well but we appreciated these two the most.

Camera

The rear dual camera on Samsung Galaxy On8 is of 16 MP plus 5 MP along with LED flash. This combination earlier seen in the Oppo F7 was exciting for us. As for in the Samsung Galaxy J8 2018, the camera performance lay in the average to good range. Technically, the company offers a lot of modes such as Live Focus, Panorama, Night Mode, Sports etc. But the issue came up with a slight difficulty in taking macro shots because the camera kept locking focus on its own. This required constant tapping in order to get it to focus on the object of our choice. It also allows users to adjust background blurring. The picture quality, however, is good and the detailing sharp.

While shooting, a difference between the colors can be observed, sometimes appearing oversaturated. Apart from a little off-putting color accuracy, the auto HDR effect and good dynamic shooting range is a plus point.

As for the front camera which is also a 16 MP along with LED flash, the selfies taken were impressive. We found them to be more realistic with color accuracy and depth. Unlike selfies that were taken from the front cameras of Oppo or Qmobile smartphone which somehow messed with the white balance making pictures more white, we did not encounter this problem with Samsung Galaxy J8 2018.

Software

The Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 runs Android 8.0 OS. Recently, the company redid its TouchWiz as Experience UX. It was made to reduce resource demands and make organizing of software efficient. This can affect overall performance in phones, especially with incompetent hardware.

Likewise, Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 comes with its own customized version of UI that is stuffed with bloatware. It naturally comes with pre-installed Samsung apps along with Prime Video app and Amazon shopping. The storage management app is a bonus feature which regulates memory space by automatically storing all data on the external storage device. It deletes duplicate data as well, deeming it very useful for data clutter caused by apps such as WhatsApp.

Performance

The Galaxy J8 2018 may not be a proper all-rounder kind of smartphone but it sports enough powerful features to make daily routine use hassle free. It features a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 chipset which we’ve seen earlier in phones like Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Vivo V9 among other phones. However, this chipset may not be enough for those who require a more demanding use.

As for performance, we did not witness any stall or lag. While multitasking, switching between social apps and utilizing the video player or the music player everything went smoothly. The face recognition was slow to unlock the phone and the fingerprint scanner did not impress either.

We played Clash Royale on the Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 which ran perfectly fine. The benchmark tests did not turn out impressive though. It scored a 70,801 in AnTuTu whereas the Redmi Note 5 Pro scored 1,05,323.

Battery Life

During our tests, the phone managed to last a healthy amount of 16 hours, give or take. Considering the 3500mAh battery, this is fairly good. As for testing it through daily average use of calling, texting, with WiFi connected, taking pictures and random scrolling through social media, the battery was observed to be reduced to half by the end of the day. Random battery drainage was almost nonexistent. This smartphone comes with a Power Monitor app which shuts down unused apps.

Although battery drains faster with heavier app usage or gaming. Despite this, the battery life is still long lasting enough to survive an entire day or more.

Our Take: Samsung Galaxy J8 2018 Review

The Galaxy J series have been pocket-friendly for a while now. As for the Galaxy J8 2018, we feel that it does not make the cut. The Infinity display, solid built and a good battery life may not be enough to justify the price its worth.

A major drawback for us is the HD resolution only along with the poor ambient light sensor. The less powerful processor than phones half its price is also off-putting. Comparatively, phones like Oppo F7, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 are better investment options than Samsung Galaxy J8 2018.

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