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Samsung Galaxy A8s vs Huawei Nova 4: Battle between two in-display camera phones

19 December 2018 5

From the last couple of years, the smartphone manufacturers are trying their best to increase the screen-to-body ratio since the original Xiaomi Mi Mix. Xiaomi's experiment of reducing bezels was so successful that prompts other OEMs to bring at least one premium bezel-less phone last year. In 2017 Apple announced the 10th anniversary iPhone X with a notch design. The notch was not liked by everyone but still, it was the next big change in the bezel-less market last year.

This year we had seen tons of phones with a notch similar like the iPhones, the Chinese OEMs even trimmed it further by introducing the new waterdrop notch which only has selfie camera. The world largest smartphones manufacturer Samsung didn't opt notch or waterdrop notch routine instead the company opted a different route to reduce bezels by launching the Galaxy A8S with a punch hole on the top left corner for the selfie camera.

Soon after Samsung, Huawei also launched Nova 4 with a punch hole camera. Both the companies opted this route to further reduce the bezels. The new change in design is likely to be followed by other OEMs next year. So if you are looking for something different the Galaxy A8s and Nova 4 are amongst the first to have a display with a punch hole for the selfie camera. Thanks to the punch hole display you don't require a notch or slider mechanism for the selfie snapper.

It will be interesting to see how other companies follow this trend to get rid of notches. However, before that, we will put the latest Galaxy A8s against the Huawei Nova 4 to know in detail how two latest punch hole camera phones compete against others. Both have a lot of similarities and differences, without any further delay, let's kick off with the design.

74.9 x 158.4 x 7.4 mm
6.4 inches - 2340x1080 px
75.1 x 157 x 7.77 mm
6.4 inches - 2310x1080 px
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Design

Both the phones have their own design pros to attract buyers. The good thing is both have metal chassis with glass covering the rear side. Both are one of the best looking mid-rangers with their stylish glass rear. On the front facing side, both have ultra-thin bezels on 3 sides except the bottom bezel. The punch hole on the Huawei Nova 4 is significantly smaller than the Galaxy A8S that's why it looks more attractive.

The fingerprint scanner on both the phones is on the rear side in the center below the camera's setup. Instead of opting circular or rectangular scanner both the phones have an oval-shaped sensor. The camera sensors on both the devices are on the top left corner, however, the design is different. The Galaxy A8s triple rear cameras aligned on the left side with LED flashlight below the sensors. On the other hand, the Nova 4 has dual sensors and a separate third sensor below it. It looks more identical to P20 Pro.

In term of size, the Nova 4 dimensions are 157 x 75.1 x 7.8 mm and weigh 172g. The Galaxy A8s is slightly taller but less slim at 158.4 x 74.9 x 7.4 mm and weighs 173g only. Another important aspect is Galaxy A8s is Samsung's first phone without 3.5mm headphone jack. The Galaxy A8s is announced only in Gray, Blue and Green colors whereas the Nova 4 can be grabbed in Gold, Bright Black, Honey Red, and Blue colors. The special aspect is Nova 4 comes in gradient finish but that's not the case with the A8s.

No matter which smartphone you opt both the phones are attractive options but the Nova 4 takes lead in design due to smaller cutout for the camera and gradient finish.

Display

Samsung is known for their OLED displays but that's not the case with the latest Galaxy A8s. It seems like Samsung try to reduce the pricing by opting LCD panel for the Galaxy A8s. At the moment the A8s is the only latest phone from Samsung with an IPS display. Like most of the Huawei phones, the Nova 4 comes with an IPS LCD display panel.

The display panel on both the phone is 6.4-inches with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. The display pixels density of Nova 4 is 398 pixels-per-inch whereas the Galaxy A8s pixels density is 402 pixels-per-inch. In terms of viewing angle, contrast ratio and deep blacks both the phones are on the same level due to IPS panels.

Hardware

In the hardware department, the Nova 4 has a clear advantage as it is packed with top-tier hardware. The Galaxy A8s is an upper mid-range phone with the latest best mid-range hardware. Under the hood, the Nova 4 is running on the Octa-core Kirin 970 chipset. This chipset was the Huawei's last year flagship SoC which powered the Mate 10 series as well as the P20 series of this year. It is built on the 10nm process and the best thing is it has a dedicated Neural processing unit to better handle AI tasks.

The Kirin 970 is still one of the fastest SoC available in the market. The Octa-core chipset is accompanied with 8GB RAM and 128GB native storage. You can further expand native storage using MicroSD. It has Turbo GPU which enhances the GPU performance while playing games and HIFI videos.

The Qualcomm recently announced Snapdragon 710 as the latest best mid-range SoC, the Galaxy A8s is running on the Snapdragon 710 chipset. The base variant has 6GB RAM with 128GB storage whereas the top-tier model comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. It also allows memory expansion via MicroSD.

For those who are looking for a daily driver phone both the phones are an excellent option but if you want more sheer power the Nova 4 certainly has an upper hand over the Galaxy A8s.

Specs Galaxy A8s Nova 4
Display 6.4-inches LCD 6.4-inches LCD
Screen resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels 1080 x 2340 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 710 Kirin 970
RAM 6,8GB 8GB
Storage 128GB Expandable via MicroSD 128GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear cameras 24MP+10MP+5MP

(High-end model) 48MP+16MP+2MP

(Standard model) 20MP+16MP+2MP

Front camera 24MP 25MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes
Software Android Pie Android Pie
Battery 3,400mAh 3,750mAh

Software

Despite the fact the Galaxy A8s is an upper mid-range phone, it becomes the first Samsung phone running on the latest Android Pie straight out of the box. It has Experience UI skin over the Android OS. On the other hand, the Nova 4 is also pre-installed with the latest Android Pie with EMUI 9.0.1 layer over it. The UI experience on both the phones is way different. Samsung's UI is focused to enhance productivity whereas the Huawei's UI has a number of bloatware apps.

Camera

One of the key selling aspects of both the phones is indeed the camera's setup. Apart from the single front-facing punch hole camera both the phones have triple sensors on the rear. The Nova 4 is available in two configurations based on the camera, the top-tier model is quite special as it is the first phone in the market with Sony's latest 48MP sensor.

The primary rear sensor on the Nova 4 high-end model is a 48MP module with f/1.8 aperture, the secondary sensor is 16MP with f/2.2 aperture and the last sensor is a 2MP module with f/2.4 aperture. Huawei didn't confirm the features of the other two sensors. Other goodies are Electronic image stabilization, PDAF, and support for 4K recording. Up front, the selfie snapper is 25MP with f/2.0 aperture.

The standard variant comes with toned down cameras, the primary module is 20MP with f/1.8 aperture whereas the other sensors remain 16MP and 2MP respectively. Considering the Nova 4 cameras specs sheet, it is clear indication Huawei wants to keep cameras as the key selling aspect of their phones.

The Galaxy A8s also doesn't lag in the camera department. The primary sensor is 24MP with f/1.7 aperture, the secondary sensor is a 10MP telephoto module with f/2.4 aperture and the third sensor is 5MP depth-sensing sensor with f/2.2 aperture. In terms of functionalities, the Galaxy A8s looks quite solid. The selfie snapper is 24MP with f/2.0 aperture

Battery

In the battery section, the Nova 4 once again takes lead with its larger battery cell of 3,750mAh. It comes with an 18W charger for fast charging. It lacks wireless charging support. The Galaxy A8s falls slightly behind with its 3,400mAh battery cell. It features adaptive fast charging. On average both the phones have enough power to last one day on a single charge without any issue. The chipset on both the phones are power efficient so you don't have to worry about optimization.

Price

Unfortunately, both the phones are initially exclusive for the Chinese market only but we can expect both will be globally available in January 2019. As far as the Galaxy A8s is a concern the company confirmed it will be up for pre-orders from Dec 21st in China but the price tag is still in the dark. Just for the sake of reminder, the Galaxy A8 was announced at $450, the successor could be around $500.

The Nova 4 standard model with the 20MP camera will be available at 3,099 Yuan($450). The high-end model with the 48MP rear camera will be slightly expensive at 3,399 Yuan ($490). However, the company didn't reveal any details regarding the availability.

Conclusion:

The Nova 4 and Galaxy A8s both are meant to attract buyers who want something different from regular notch phones. However, both are packed with different kind of goodies. Both the phones are packed with glass and metal sandwich design, however, the Nove 4 has an advantage of a smaller camera hole and gradient finish. In the display department, both the phones are on par to each other as both have similar size LCD displays with the same resolution.

The Nova 4 takes lead in the hardware department due to its flagship chipset whereas A8s rely on the latest best mid-range SoC. Both the phones have solid cameras, it's too early to predict which one is better than the other. The Nova 4 also has the high-end variant with 48MP primary snapper. The Nova 4 has a larger battery cell which may help it to last slightly longer. Its good to see both the phones are on the latest flavor of Android OS. The Galaxy A8s pricing details are in the dark whereas the Nova 4 release still yet not revealed.

Feel free to share your views regarding Galaxy A8s vs Nova 4 in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

  • The Huawei nova 4 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The Samsung Galaxy A8s isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.

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