Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus vs OnePlus 5T vs Nokia 8: Who’s the best premium budget phone?

Galaxy a8 vs OnePlus 5T vs nokia 8

Best premium budget phone? What’s that, you may ask. Is that even a term? Well, a budget phone certainly cannot be the one that costs right under $200 at the least, because there are phones that give a real premium experience without causing a big hole in your pocket, and they need to be given credit, too. The OnePlus 5T is just that, as well as the Nokia 8, and now, the Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus.

These cannot be called budget phones because they do cost upwards of $400, but they do give you an experience that sits right below the most premium experience you can get on the smartphone. See, smartphones have become an integral part of our life — and more than often, they have an impact on the way we live and do work. Not only are they an inseparable part of what we do daily, from work to holidays, from study to sports, but our smartphone also is a way we keep ourselves instantly connected with friends, family, and others. This is why deciding on your next smartphone purchase could be a bit exhausting at times, give the ton of options you have in each range of mobile phones.

If your budget sits right below the top-end range ($650 and above), and you are looking to buy a phone within $450 to $600, then you have some solid options in OnePlus 5T, Nokia 8, and the two newcomers in this arena, the Samsung Galaxy A8, and Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus, announced only a few days by the South Korean giant. We won’t be surprised if you are already looking at OnePlus 6 as your next buy, though, for if you are in the market for an immediate purchase, this comparison will help you.

Even though Samsung hasn’t revealed the prices of A8 and A8 Plus yet, we can expect them to hit something between $400-$600 mark. Want an estimate? Well, your guess is as good as ours, but we think Samsung could slap a $450 price tag on the Galaxy A8, while A8 Plus could set you back by $530.

Anyway, this is the range dominated by the OnePlus 5T. So, to be successful in this spectrum, you really to pack the right goods, whether that be hardware or software — or else, you are out of luck. Samsung thinks they have done just that, but let’s find out that ourselves. In this specs comparison, we look at how Nokia, OnePlus, and Samsung are wooing your signature.

The table here clearly gives us a gist of specs and features of all the four devices. I mean, if we were to add the camera specifications here, most of the audiences will just pounce upon the bottom-line of shelling out a winner but we are pretty far from that step. Now let us have a complete set of comparisons that will help us in realizing the twin goals of understanding all the four devices in full and if possible, picking out a winner.

Specs comparison: Galaxy A8 (and A8+) v/s OnePlus 5T vs Nokia 8

Android Phones Main specs Other info
Nokia 8 Snapdragon 835 processor
4GB/6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage expandable upto 256GB
5.3″ AMOLED screen
13MP rear cam, 13MP front cam
Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)
3090 mAh battery
MicroSD card support – Yes
3.5mm headphone jack – Yes
IP54 certified – splash proof
OnePlus 5T Snapdragon 835 processor
6GB/8GB RAM, 64GB/128GB storage
6.01″ Super AMOLED screen
16MP+20MP rear cam, 16MP front cam
Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)
3,300 mAh battery
MicroSD card support – No
3.5mm headphone jack – Yes
Samsung Galaxy A8 Exynos 7885
4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage expandable upto 256GB
5.6″ Super AMOLED screen
16MP rear cam, 16MP+8MP front cam
Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)
3,000 mAh battery
MicroSD card support – Yes
3.5mm headphone jack – Yes
IP68 certified – dust/waterproof over 1.5 meters and 30 minutes
Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus Exynos 7885
4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage expandable upto 256GB
5.6″ Super AMOLED screen
16MP rear cam, 16MP+8MP front cam
Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)
3,500 mAh battery
MicroSD card support – Yes
3.5mm headphone jack – Yes
IP68 certified – dust/waterproof over 1.5 meters and 30 minutes

After seeing all the numbers in the tables let us have a discussion on these beasts on some important parameters!

Design

a8 display

The first look at the Nokia 8 and honestly, it looks pretty ordinary — yes, pretty ordinary. Well, the smallest screen amongst its competitors doesn’t help the cause. The front part of the phone is just up to the mark and there is nothing to admire there. Yes, things become much better once we flip the phone; the dual camera module coupled with the dual LED flash makes for a sleek and an interesting look. The polished colors of the phone are not that engaging but the matte finished silver and blue ones give a premium finish.

The OnePlus 5T, I must acknowledge has got the most premium feel amongst its competitors even when we compare it to some of its overpriced peers. It’s really impressive — surely one of the OEMs here would definitely try to incorporate this feature into their models (we’re looking at you, Nokia). The only thing that can be better is the length the camera bump. If it can be a bit smaller in length, then this would be the phone of the year, hands down!

Samsung Galaxy A8 is one of the best looking Samsung phones to be pretty honest. The matte finished glass-and-metal is something similar to what we see on the back of the Samsung’s flagship handsets in Galaxy S8 and Note 8. This glass-metallic body works well in tandem for this A8 and gives a beautiful look as well as feel to the A8.

Verdict: If you like the Galaxy S8’s design, you also like the Galaxy A8 (and A8 Plus). However, if you want a taste of iPhone’s design on Android, OnePlus 5 is for you, while Nokia 8 gives you a nothing-new-but-still-great design. In our books, the OnePlus 5 and A8 sets are a tie, here.

Display

The Nokia 8 has a 5.3-inch QHD IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1440×2560 pixels that really gives it a strong hold on its competitors. Brightness is not an issue anymore and thus, you can easily play your games even when the sun is pounding on your phone screen. Gorilla Glass 5 is there for screen protection and HMD Global thus has tried its level best to deliver the goods.

The 6-inch OLED display looks absolutely dazzling more because of the congruous bezels at both the top as well as the bottom and gives the 5T a well-rounded look.

Samsung Galaxy A8 has a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen with Full HD (1080x1920p) resolution, which at first might make you feel quite normal but Galaxy A8 has the best display hands down! The super AMOLED screen is one of the best displays out there, and even you do not like the default saturation on it if you have a very sober-ish taste, you can dial down the colors and saturation under settings to get a more real-world like feel. We love the impactful default display Samsung sets, BTW. Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus has everything like the former, just that it is 6 inches.

Verdict: As far as display quality goes, it’s the A8 and A8 Plus that run the show here. Not that OnePlus 5T’s panel is any slouch — OnePlus has customized it enough to even give it its own name, Optic AMOLED. but you know what, Samsung makes AMOLED, and its Super AMOLED has been the best screen for years now, and we don’t see that changing. Nokia 8’s screen has its own fans, too, though — if have loved HTC’s screens in the past, you’ll like this one too. It doesn’t pack a punch but gives real-world-like colors and saturation, something that realistic among us love a lot.

Hardware

All the four competitors have got an octa-core processors beating inside, but while Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5T are powered by 2.45 GHz Snapdragon 835 processor, the Samsung’s A8 and A8 Plus rock a slightly less one, a 2.2 GHz chip, Exynos 7885. However, the 5T and N8 are powered by the same processor that also powers the Samsung’s best mobile devices, the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, while the processor in A8 and A8 Plus is easily one level down.

Apart from that, the OnePlus5T get you 8GB RAM, while the rest of the three competitors get you 4GB RAM, which should do the job all fine, too.

Verdict: Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5T are better equipped, but the crown belongs to the 5T.

Camera

a8 camera

When it comes to the camera, specs-wise all three of A8/A8Plus, OnePlus 5T and Nokia 8 are pretty good. But we would have to see A8 and A8 Plus in action before commenting on their abilities, while OnePlus 5T has proven that it may not be the best, but it won’t disappoint you either at all. However, the same cannot be said of the Nokia 8, whose camera fails to live up to the hype of Nokia phones of the earlier age.

That’s about the rear camera, mainly, as things change a lot when we talk about selfies from these buddies, and maybe that’s what Samsung was looking for when it fitted in dual cameras at the front of the A8 and A8+.

Samsung, for the first time, has given any of its phones, a set of two cameras at the front. Even though dual cameras doesn’t necessarily mean better photography or video calls, but when an OEM of Samsung’s caliber does it, we have to sit up and take notice. So, an opinion here: We do think Samsung’s A8 and A8 would capture selfies better than Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5T, by a noticeable margin, no less, we would still have to wait to see them in action.

Verdict: We think Samsung’s know-how in the camera — they have been producing the best or close-to-best camera for the past 5-6 years for their Galaxy S and Note handsets — would eventually show up in the Galaxy A8, but given that its specsheet also lacks the same punch in the camera department as the Galaxy S8, it would be a tad lower in performance and satisfaction than the Galaxy S8, which is where OnePlus 5T stands, too. But when you give the front camera a thought, A8 and A8+ look like the winner here.

Battery

OnePlus 5T battery

The Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus pack in 3000mAh and 3500mAh batteries respectively, while you get 3300mAh power pack with the 5T, and Nokia 8 settles with 3090mAh.

Verdict: OnePlus 5T. Well, stock UI, no bloatware, and 2nd best mAhs in the battle, all make it a winner. Yep, the A8+ features a slightly better battery, but hey, it’s Samsung, and it’s got the TouchWiz (or Samsung Experience, whatever), which would suck out the battery out of nowhere.

Software

nokia 8

Both the Nokia 8 and the OnePlus 5T feature stock UI, something that is very pleasing to the eye, but more importantly, gives you a well-performing phone, which both of them are. OnePlus 5T is blazing fast — so much that some think it belongs in Pixel’s league — but Nokia 8 is pretty impressive too.

Though, we cannot say the same for Samsung’s Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus (actually, even the S8 and Note 8 cannot perform that smooth as the OnePlus 5T does). And given the fact that A8’s processor isn’t easily outclassed by the SD835 chipset in OnePlus 5T and Nokia 8, even though the A8s would be able to catch up with the OnePlus 5T in the beginning, but after some use, like few months, the performance will deteriorate and would be a no match for OnePlus 5T and Nokia 8.

All that, and the OnePlus 5T is set to receive Oreo update too pretty soon (Oreo is available for OnePlus 5, now). Its Android 8.0 upgrade is in the beta already, and the stable one for the public should be rolling out soon. That said, Nokia 8 Oreo has already released, while it’s fair to simply not expect Oreo on the Galaxy A8 sets until Q2 2018.

Verdict: OnePlus 5T comes out to be the winner!

a8 colors

Best of the Rest

Nokia 8 has the dimensions of 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm while OnePlus5T has the dimensions of 156.1 x 75 x 7.3mm. The smaller of the Samsung twins has the dimensions of 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4mm while the bigger one possesses the dimensions 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm. If we talk about the and service centers of the aforementioned devices, then Samsung just breezes past every other brand, as it’s got service centers almost everywhere.

Where A8 sets get their plus point in this section is water-proofing. Both of the A8 and A8 Plus are IP68 certified, while both of the OnePlus 5T and Nokia 8 are not water-proof, they are only water-resistant.

Verdict: Samsung A8 and A8 Plus win this battle with unparalleled ease.


Summary

The winner isn’t easy to deduce: it’s the OnePlus 5T. The 5T is better spec’ed, has a slightly better camera than the A8 sets, performs awesome and enjoys better software updates too.

Well, the competition is pretty tight, however, Nokia 8 just loses its steam in this clash of titans. OnePlus like always dominates this price segment while Samsung shows remarkable potential and could give OnePlus a run for its money in this segment too.

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