Nokia 8 Review: The Flagship Smartphone without Too Much Fuss

The Nokia 8 is the flagship smartphone of the new invention of handsets manufactured by HMD Global, the company that was produced by Nokia’s former owners; which has the rights to the brand for this class of devices. Does this device have enough to distinguish itself from the competitor?

Getting Started with the Nokia 8

A few months ago, the Nokia 8 was announced, the first Android flagship of HMD Global, the Finnish company that was established by formal Nokia’s owner. The smartphone operates in the high-end segment between heavyweights such as the OnePlus 5Samsung Galaxy S8 and Huawei P10.

The Nokia 8 also combines the very high-end features and specifications, which include Snapdragon 835 processor as found on other high-end Smartphones in the market such as Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, OnePlus 5 and HTC U11. In this review, we discuss whether the smartphone of Finnish manufacturer is worthwhile.

Design: Solid, but not Special

When you hold the Nokia 8 in your hands for the first time, you immediately notice that HMD Global has opted for solidity instead of a striking appearance. The Nokia 8 is similar to previously released Nokia devices (the Nokia 35 and 6) but feels a bit solid and more luxurious due to the metal used. With 7.9 millimetres the smartphone is not the thinnest, but the rounded edges ensure that it feels thin.

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At the back, we find the dual camera and LED flash, which stick out slightly, and the Nokia logo. The antenna stripes are on the bottom and top of the device, which looks a little crazy, but otherwise does not irritate. At the bottom is also the USB Type-C port and speaker, the top provides space for the headphone jack.

The Nokia 8 is powerful, But not very exciting

Although the Nokia 8 does not look very exciting, the smartphone is pretty powerful. The device can withstand a knock and survive effortlessly during the test period. A bit of a pity is that the phone looks a bit traditional by the menu buttons at the bottom of the screen. It is in line with earlier Nokia Smartphones, but from a flagship, we are used to being shown on the screen.

Nokia 8 – Beautiful Screen and Smooth Hardware

Where many manufacturers give their phones a borderless screen, HMD Global keeps things simpler. Around the screen are also large bezels, although this is not very disturbing. The Nokia 8 has no OLED screen, but still uses LCD. Fortunately, the image quality is fine: images look sharp, colours are largely true and in bright sunlight, the screen is easy to read, especially because the maximum brightness is well tuned. The screen measures 5.3 inches and is therefore relatively compact. Furthermore, it is a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels, which is common in this price range.

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Under the bonnet, we find exactly what we expect from an Android flagship nowadays. The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chip (with Octa-Core processor), 4GB RAM and has 64GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB). This results in a good performance, although our test period was not completely flawless. During the downloading or updating of apps, we noticed in some cases a delay, which caused the phone to start stuttering slightly.

Fortunately, this happened only once and the Nokia 8 continued in fluidity. Applications start quickly and multi-tasking runs smoothly. This is a smooth experience, although the software also plays a major role in this.

Nokia 8 – Software: Android as it should be

The Nokia 8 runs on a bare version of Android, which the Finns have hardly adjusted. It is Android as Android should be (Android 7.1 Nougat): no unnecessary extra functions, weird skins or apps from manufacturers. In terms of software, the Nokia 8, therefore, appears to be on a Google Pixel 2 or Nexus device, and that is a welcome feature.

Since HMD Global opts for stock-Android, security updates can be rolled out faster. Until now, this is also done nicely: every month the Nokia 8 will receive an update that makes it completely up-to-date again. At the moment of writing, the 8 is still running on the security update of October, but that of November should follow soon. In addition, the smartphone will soon be one of the first to update to Android 8.0 (Oreo).

The Nokia 8 is not entirely ‘clean’, by the way. HMD Global offers its own camera app, which looks rather cluttered and messy, and has added functions for an always on display. The latter is useful: the screen always shows the time, date, the remaining battery percentage and messages, without having to turn it on.

Nokia 8 – Camera not Good Enough

As with many other flagships, there is a dual camera on the back of the Nokia 8. This offers several advantages: you can easily take a photo with a nice depth of field effect, and experiment with black and white photos. The camera performs well but unfortunately cannot compete with the competitors. In daylight, snaps look sharp, colourful and detailed, but especially in the dark, the results are disappointing. There is not enough light in many situations to produce a sharp photo.

Above the screen is a 13-megapixel front camera, which makes remarkably sharp selfies. Self-portraits look sleek and there is autofocus, so you always immediately in focus. In the camera app, there is no a lot of options available to enhance selfies, so you have to dive into the Play Store for that.

Unique is the so-called “Bothie” mode, in which the front and rear cameras are switched on to simultaneously capture images from both sides. That produces some nice images, but the function is nothing more than a nice gimmick. If you are a fanatic smartphone photographer, then the mode certainly offers you new options. For making videos you have two options: full-HD or 4K, where the camera shoots at 30 frames per second in both cases.

Nokia 8 – Battery life is fine

Under the bonnet of the Nokia 8 is a 3,090 mAh battery. That does not sound much, but the device still has a good battery life. In a normal usage, we had about 40 percent left at the end of the day, and even with intensive use, the smartphone had some current in the evening. Nice is that the 8 supports Quick Charge 3.0, so you charge the phone in half an hour for about half. Because of the metal housing, wireless charging is not available, but we do not find that a disaster.


Nokia 8 Technical Specifications

WEIGHT:160 grams
BATTERY SIZE:3,090 mAh (non-removable)
SCREEN SIZE:5.3 inches with Gorilla Glass 5
SCREEN:2,560 x 1,440 pixels
FRONT CAMERA:13 megapixels
REAR CAMERA:A 13-megapixel color with optical image stabilization and f / 2.0 aperture and a 13 megapixel
ANDROID VERSION:7.1.1 - Android Nougat
REMOVABLE MEMORY:Yes, Expandable up to 256GB
CHIPSET:Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
NUMBER OF NUCLEI:Eight-core (8)
MAXIMUM SPEED: four 2.45 GHz and four 1.8GHz
CHARGE TECH:Quick Charge 3.0
WATER RESISTANCE:No, only splashing (IP54)
OTHER FEATURES:360 sound recording (Nokia OZO audio), Bothie video function, USB-C port, versions with a SIM or double SIM (depending on market), LTE Cat.9

Conclusion Nokia 8 review

Our impression of the Nokia 8 is largely positive. The smartphone has a powerful and high-quality housing, a good screen, excellent battery life and fine software. Especially the fact that the Nokia 8 runs on stock Android and quickly receives (security) updates is something that will delight many Android enthusiasts.

Are you looking for a decent smartphone with good specs, then the Nokia 8 certainly worth considering? Do you prefer a phone with an exciting design and excellent camera, then, you better search further especially because you get 599 euros (the recommended price of the phone) better and more beautiful devices.

Buy Nokia 8

Are you planning to buy the Nokia 8? Then take a look at the overview below for the best offers. You pay 599 euros for the device.


Nokia 8 Review


Superb Nokia

Our impression of the Nokia 8 is largely positive. The smartphone has a powerful and high-quality housing, a good screen, excellent battery life and fine software.

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User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)
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