Nokia 8 searches for its identity, offers good value
By Chong Jinn Xiung September 21, 2017
- Unique Bothie feature lets you livestream two-sided images to Facebook and YouTube
- Packs a high-power processor, great looking screen and runs stock Android
WHEN the Finnish startup HMD Global took over the license of the Nokia brand name, it launched a new range of devices in Malaysia in late May 2017. The lineup seemed incomplete then. The one question many asked during that launch was where was their flagship smartphone?
Well, wonder no more as the Nokia 8 is finally here and it is everything long-time Nokia fans hoped it would be.
HMD Global’s hero for the year has a lot to live up to considering its long lineage with phones like the 808 Pureview coming to mind. But does the Nokia 8 measure up to our expectations or will it be lost in the stream of new flagships this season?
When placed next to other flagship smartphones the Nokia 8's design looks a tad too conservative in comparison.
Much like every other flagship on the market, the Nokia 8 is manufactured from a block of aluminium so expect the build quality to be sturdy.
The aesthetics definitely have that premium look and feel that one has come to expect from a flagship device. Depending on the colour you choose, you may get a rather plain steel (like our review unit) and tempered blue colour with a matt finish or you could go with the funkier shiny copper and blue colour. Either way, you should get a casing pronto because it is likely to pick up scratches or fall if you aren’t careful.
Surprisingly, the Nokia 8 is marginally smaller than its mid-range cousin the Nokia 6 as it sports a smaller screen. The body is pretty thin coming in at just 7.9mm at its thickest point. The edges curve down so it feels pretty comfortable to hold.
While the Nokia 8 does not follow in the footsteps of 2017’s most notorious trend, i.e. bezel-less screens, it does have a reasonably good 5.3-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 resolution) IPS display that offers very bright, sharp and vibrant images to rival OLED screens.
The screen’s brightness was actually very good and with so many pixels per inch, the Nokia 8 proved to be a great device for reading as well as watching YouTube or Netflix videos.
You get your standard capacitive home button that doubles up as a fingerprint reader flanked by the two Android navigation buttons. Apart from that, you will find the 13-Megapixel selfie camera right next to the earpiece.
On the back, you will find the Nokia 8’s dual camera setup. If you are a fan of cameras that sit flush in the phone’s body, then you will be disappointed to know that the Nokia 8 has a slight camera bump. It’s a minor annoyance but shouldn’t be too big of a deal.
Around the sides, you will find both the volume rocker and power button gathered on the right side of the device.
The only things left to mention are the USB Type C port together with the microphone and speaker. Don’t fret, there is still a headphone jack so you can use your wired headphones. Of course, it comes with Bluetooth connectivity if you decide to go wireless.
One thing to note is the Nokia 8 is actually splash resistant at a rating of IP54, however, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S8 or even the new iPhone 8, it isn’t waterproof.
As you would come to expect from a top-tier device, the Nokia 8 carries the processor of choice for flagship phones this year, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 along with 4GBB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage (expandable up to 256GB) and it is running on stock Android Nougat.
From the onset, the Nokia 8’s performance certainly did not disappoint as it handles apps with buttery smooth precision and managed multitasking be it web browsing, music listening or social media checking with relative ease.
To the Nokia 8’s credit, it boasts remarkably high PCMark scores so it’s good for productivity tasks and its 3DMark scores are also through the roof, making it an excellent device for gaming.
You get a pure stock Android experience on the Nokia 8 with Android Nought 7.1.1 installed and there is word that the Nokia 8 will get an update to Android Oreo soon.
For the most part, the unadulterated feel of stock Android yields great benefits. There is no bloatware so there is more storage on hand to install your favourite apps. It is worth mentioning that the Nokia 8 feels incredibly responsive as it opens apps practically immediately and hops between apps like Usain Bolt on a 100m dash.
All that would be for nought if the battery performance was horrible but thankfully that isn’t the case. The Nokia 8 may have a 3,090mAh battery but it is pretty power-efficient. Case in point, the handset was able to comfortably last for a good 17 hours on a single charge even as we played videos at moderate brightness.
To top it all off, the battery also supports Quick Charge allowing you get from 0 to 50% within 30 minutes.
Next page: It's all about Bothie