The world's biggest handset manufacturer Samsung, recently released two new models in the Galaxy A and J smartphone lineups. The Galaxy A8 and Galaxy J7 are both mid range handsets looking to set the bar higher amid tough competition.
Samsung Galaxy A8
The Samsung Galaxy A8 has been teased for some time but now it's officially out in the wild. The Galaxy A8's claim to fame is that it's Samsung's thinnest phone ever, sizing up at just 5.9mm. The Galaxy A8 shares a similar design to the Samsung Galaxy S6, although the S6's glass back is traded for an aluminium plate, which is the norm for the cheaper A series.
Despite the slim profile the phone packs a 5.7" full HD super AMOLED screen, leaving no imagination that this is a small phone and placing it squarely into phablet territory. With the thin profile and weighing in at 151g the A8 will feel quite light to use, compared to other devices with similar screen sizes.
Internally there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC, with four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.0 GHz and four more at 1.5 GHz. This is coupled with 2GB RAM, which is standard now for a good mid range device since high end phones are now shipping with 3GB or even 4GB. There's a choice of either 16GB or 32GB internal storage and you get a microSD card slot. Unfortunately the microSD slot is shared with the second SIM slot so you can't have both at the same time.
Other features rounding out the Galaxy A8 include a 16MP rear camera with IOS, fingerprint reader, 3050mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/GLONASS/BEIDOU navigation support, NFC and 4G LTE connectivity. The Galaxy A8 is available in black, white and gold and costs around $515 for the 16GB model and $564 for the 32GB, the downside is it's only available in the Chinese market so far.
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Samsung Galaxy J7
Like the Galaxy A8 the Samsung Galaxy J7 is another mid range device, but whereas the A8 falls into the premium end of the market the J7 caters for the more budget minded. The Galaxy J7 is on the face of things a toned down version of the A8, it's worth noting that it's the first Samsung smartphone to come with a front facing LED flash, which is fast becoming a desired feature.
Unlike the Galaxy A8 it's not thin, in fact it's a rather chunky 8.5mm thick. The screen is a 5.5" 720p super AMOLED and it weighs 171g, so it's about 4% smaller and 12% heavier than the more expensive Galaxy A8. Inside is the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC seen in the A8, joined by 1.5GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and a microSD card slot. Other features include a 2600mAh battery, 13MP rear camera, dual SIM and LTE connectivity.
In a hotly contested market the Galaxy J7 will match wits with the Xiaomi Mi 4i, Motorola Moto G (Gen 2) and Sony Xperia E 4G, purely based on the specifications it appears Samsung has just gained the edge in this fight. The Galaxy J7 also comes in black, white and gold colour options and will set you back about $290, almost half the price of the Galaxy A8. The other feature it shares with it's more expensive cousin is that it's also only available in the Chinese market at the time of writing.
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