Samsung unleashes its thinnest phone ever with Galaxy A8
The new phone is only .23 inches or 5.9 milimeters thin yet still packs a fingerprint sensor and a hefty 3,050mAh battery.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Samsung's latest phone is aimed at buyers who want a really slim device with still respectable features.
Now available in China, the Galaxy A8 is the company's slimmest smartphone ever, just .23 inches or 5.9 millimeters thin, and weighing in at only 5.3 ounces, or 151 grams. The phone sports an all-metal body with a tight bezel, or frame, that leaves plenty of room for the 5.7-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel OLED screen.
What's the appeal behind a thin phone? Samsung's Galaxy phones are usually brimming with features and therefore tend to be rather thick. Creating a phone that's this thin and doesn't skimp on too many features is certainly an achievement. But the key question is: will it draw in buyers? Samsung has been on the skids this past year with a downturn in sales and market share as greater competition has reared up from Apple on the high-end market and Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi on the low-end market. The company is undoubtedly looking at the thinness factor but also the decent specs as a way to lure in customers.
And for a thin phone, the overall features aren't bad. The phone is outfitted with an 1 gigahertz eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, a 16-megapixel camera in the rear and a 5-megapixel wide-angle shooter in front, 2 gigabytes of RAM and 16GB of storage. Other features include a fingerprint sensor and a hand-wave detector that turns on a photo timer. And the large 3,050mAh battery is a hefty accomplishment considering the slimness of the phone.
Other specs noted by blog site NDTV Gadgets are a microSD that can handle up to 128GB of storage, 802.11 a/b/g/n, GPS, NFC (near-field communications), Bluetooth 4.1 and 4G LTE support. The phone also comes in a choice of black, white or gold.
For now the Galaxy A8 is selling only in China at a starting price of 3,199 yuan (about $515). Samsung hasn't publicly revealed any information about availability in the US or Europe. CNET contacted the company and will update the story with any further details.
In the meantime, Samsung is also reportedly focusing on other new phones designed to appeal to consumers seeking big-screened devices, including the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5.