Samsung's high-end features to trickle down to midrange Galaxy A8 phones

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Samsung's Galaxy S8 was released in March. (Samsung)

Some of the features of Samsung’s high-end smartphones are trickling down to its midrange handsets.

The South Korean vendor said today that its upcoming Galaxy A8 and A8+ will sport its always-on Infinity Display, a dual-lens front-facing camera and a single-lens 16-megapixel rear camera. Additionally, the phones will feature a fingerprint scanner, NFC, and support for Samsung Pay and the company’s Gear VR headset.

They will also be water- and dust-resistant.

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“With the release of the Galaxy A8 and A8+, we’re bringing our customers’ favorite features from our flagship smartphones, such as the Infinity Display and our first dual front camera with live focus, to our Galaxy A series, which is already known for its premium design,” said Junho Park, vice president of global product planning for Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications Business, in a press release. “The Galaxy A8 and A8+ exemplify our continued dedication to meeting the needs of our consumers by providing them with greater choice and convenience.”

The Galaxy A series launched in 2014 as an upper midrange alternative to Samsung’s Galaxy S line. They are primarily targeted at users in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, but Samsung doesn’t distribute the line through major U.S. carriers.

Samsung said the new phones will be available “in early January” but didn’t offer pricing information or other details.

As ZDNet and others pointed out, though, the new Galaxy A8 features could signal some changes for the Galaxy S9, Samsung’s next flagship phone expected to be released in late February. That device will compete directly against the iPhone X, Apple’s high-profile handset with a base price tag of roughly $1,000.

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