Samsung’s mid-tier Galaxy A8 smartphone launches in Korea

Samsung Electronics’ newly upgraded Galaxy A8 smartphone began sales in South Korea on Wednesday, aiming to appeal to customers looking for a premium smartphone at a lower cost.

Sold exclusively through local network carrier SK Telecom, the Galaxy A8 is a mid-tier smartphone priced at 649,000 won ($583) -- making it around 300,000 won cheaper than the premium Galaxy Note 7, which recently resumed sales in Korea.

The Galaxy A8 is a 5.7-inch (14.5 centimeters) smartphone fitted with a full-metal design and features upgraded battery power, more memory space and advanced cameras in comparison to last year’s model.

SKT said it is offering a subsidy of 250,000 won for users who select the “6.5-gigabyte band data” monthly payment plan, priced at 56,100 won per month. The device is currently available only in blue, but pastel pink and silver options will soon become available as well, the telecom firm said.

Galaxy A8 is slated to go head-to-head with a number of competing mid-priced premium smartphones made by both local and foreign tech firms.

Also on Wednesday, Japanese electronics giant Sony released the Xperia XZ, its latest model featured as part of the flagship X smartphone series, in Korea. It is locally priced at 798,600 won and is available in three colors -- mineral black, platinum and forest blue.

The 5.2-inch (13.2 centimeters) Xperia XZ runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 Processor and has 32 gigabytes of internal memory. The phone comes with fingerprint scanning sensors and high-resolution audio processing technologies, among other features.

Sony’s new smartphone also touts one of the most advanced smartphone cameras on the market -- a 13-megapixel front camera and 23-megapixel rear camera fitted with three image-processing sensors.

Meanwhile, local electronics firm TG&Co. and SKT plan to introduce the Luna II smartphone -- an upgraded handset based on its predecessor Luna, promoted to success here by Seolhyun of K-pop girl group AOA last year -- in the coming weeks. Its price is expected to hover around 600,000 won.



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