Galaxy S8
Samsung is expected to announce the successor to the Galaxy S8 in February 2018. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung just introduced the latest member of its mid-range Galaxy A series. Despite not being a flagship offering, the all-new Galaxy A8 model is definitely going to turn heads since it is the first smartphone from the South Korea tech giant to sport a dual front camera system.

On Tuesday, Samsung Electronics announced the launch of the Galaxy A8 — a mid-range handset that features the new design language of the premium Galaxy S series, according to Korea Herald. The announcement comes amid heightened anticipation for the launch of the Galaxy S8 successor, the Galaxy S9.

What sets the new phone apart from other Galaxy handsets is the presence of a dual-camera setup up front. The trend among smartphone manufacturers at present is producing flagship devices with dual cameras on the back. Interestingly, it appears Samsung is catching up to Chinese phone maker Vivo who introduced the V5Pus with dual selfie cameras early this year.

Vivo’s dual camera setup on the front of the V5Plus works just like the iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait mode. It came with a 20-megapixel lens that’s designed to capture selfies, while the 8-megapixel lens is there to capture depth-of-field data. Mashable reported at the time when the handset was launched that the dual selfie cameras were built to take photos with bokeh (background blur) just like with a DSLR.

Samsung appears to be taking cues from Vivo by outfitting the Galaxy A8 with a camera module comprising a 16-megapixel lens and another 8-megapixel lens. Apple’s biggest rival said that the front camera setup of the new device will have an advanced live focus feature, which will allow users to adjust the bokeh effect before or after a photo is taken. The firm also noted that users can take advantage of the dual front camera by taking two different types of selfies — close-ups and portraits with clear backgrounds.

Though Samsung is following Vivo’s technology with its new Galaxy A phone, the company did not forget to incorporate its own technologies. The Galaxy A8 features an Infinity Display with an 18:5:9 aspect ratio, the same one found on the Galaxy S8. In addition, the Galaxy A8 also has a larger sibling called the Galaxy A8 Plus. The two are very comparable with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

For Samsung fans who are thinking that the Galaxy S9 or the Note 9 could also receive the same dual front camera treatment next year, an industry insider has already said that Samsung will unlikely adopt the new camera technology in its upcoming flagships.

“With the release of the Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus, 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,” Samsung Electronics mobile communications business vice president Park Jun-ho said.

Samsung is apparently stepping up its development efforts for its mid-range handsets due to the increased demand for more budget-friendly phones. In September, the company acknowledged that it saw its profits dip in the third quarter due to “the rising portion of budget phones.”

Meanwhile, Samsung is now poised to unveil its successor to the Galaxy S8 early next year. Earlier rumors claimed that the company could be launching the device at CES 2018, but a representative has already said that this is “unlikely.” Now, Samsung is believed to be gearing up for the introduction of the Galaxy S9 at MWC 2018 this coming February.