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Samsung nails mid-range with Galaxy A8, surprises with early Galaxy S7?

Looks like 2015 is shaping up to be a massive one for Samsung, especially if the latest rumours of an early Galaxy S7 are true.

Samsung has already dominated the premium fold with its super-slick Galaxy S6, and now it’s ready to rule the mid-range mobile market with the new Galaxy A8, which nicks the ‘skinniest Samsung mobile’ award from the Galaxy A7. But the biggest shock Samsung news of the day is the report fresh from Korea, which shows we might get a follow-up to the Galaxy S7 later this year.

Samsung Galaxy A8: Specs and rumours

According to leaks out of TENAA, China’s answer to the FCC, the new Galaxy A8 will sport a superbly slender 5.94mm frame. Meanwhile the already-launched Galaxy A7 is a relatively husky 6.3mm and while .7mm doesn’t seem like a heck of a difference, it shows that Samsung is still fully focused on improving design – an area it seemed to neglect up until a year ago.

Sadly that slim build doesn’t make the Galaxy A8 the thinnest handset around – it’s still a ways behind Vivo’s X5 Max and Oppo’s R5, which are truly size zero at just 4.75mm and 4.85mm respectively. But then, how thin does a phone really have to be?

According to leaked snapshots, the Galaxy A8 is aiming to emulate the Galaxy S6’s aesthetics, with a metal chassis and no-nonsense, iPhone-inspired design. The Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 helped to further convince us that Samsung can craft gorgeous metallic handsets when it tries and the A8 shows the Korean company isn’t slouching any time soon.

TENAA also confirmed that the Galaxy A8 will come with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display sporting Full HD 1080×1920 visuals, and run version 5.1 of Android (Lollipop). Inside the phone you’ll find an octa-core Snapdragon 615 clocked to 1.5GHz as well as 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage, plus a micro SD slot for expansion.

The 3,050mAh battery should keep the A8 powered up all day and a 16-megapixel primary camera will hopefully be almost as capable for everyday shots as the Galaxy S6’s superb snapper.

Samsung Galaxy S7: To arrive in 2015?

While we’re speaking about the Galaxy S6, it seems that Samsung might have decided to bring forward the release of the device’s successor to the end of the year, rather than giving it a full 12-months out in the wild.

According to Korean site Newsis, Samsung may have decided to bring the Galaxy S7’s launch forward to the “second half of 2015” rather than launching at the start of the year as usual. The reasoning is that Samsung wants to stay neck-and-neck with Apple for mobile tech, with Apple’s iPhone 6s rumoured to be launching this October.

If Apple launches another phablet, Samsung will already have a counter in the form of the Galaxy Note 5. But if the iPhone 6s is launched in September as expected, it will have a full six months or so on the market before Samsung’s expected Galaxy S7 launch.

Still, do we really want another flagship Samsung so soon? Sony Mobile got caught in the trap of releasing a new premium device every six months, with the result that each handset felt like only a minor upgrade after a while – not to mention, it could adversely affect fans who pay top dollar for the latest hardware, only to see it superceded in a matter of months.

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