Finally, Nokia has made its comeback in the highly competitive smartphone market with an awesome device. It is the Nokia 8. The beautiful design, shiny effect, decent rear shooter and the stunning QHD display have made it one of the best Android phones that we have ever seen. But the lack of unique features has made it a bit inferior to its major competitors. However, on the bright side, it is a relatively cheap device. But should you prefer to buy it over the top flagship phones, including the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8? Read this Nokia 8 review to find the answer.
Nokia 8 Review: Design
Nokia has a great reputation for making smartphones with an impeccable build quality. The Nokia 8 is no different. It comes with a great combination of aluminium unibody design, metal edges and metal back. All these things have made it look really attractive. However, we find that the design is a bit uninspiring. There is no uniqueness.
The Nokia 8 is very thin. Having a thickness of 7.9mm, it has become slightly thinner than the 8-mm Samsung Galaxy S8. However, it is still much thicker than the 7.3-mm iPhone 8. The chamfered edges and curved sides have made it very comfortable to grab.
The only major downside of the design is the lack of waterproofing option. Unlike most of the flagship smartphones, it is not IP68 certified. So, you should never take it around the swimming pool.
The Nokia 8 is available in different colors, including Polished Blue, Tempered Blue, Steel and Polished Copper. The last one is our most favorite, as it looks quite different. However, it is more prone to scratches. Same thing goes for the Polished Blue. If you want to get rid of these issues, you should choose tempered blue. The steel model is our least favorite, as it looks really dull.
Nokia 8 Review: Display
While most of the manufacturers decide to use 5.5-inch displays in their flagship phones, Nokia chooses a 5.3-inch screen for its new handset. It supports a high resolution of 1440×2960 pixels, which results in an outstanding pixel density of 554 ppi. It is a way higher than the OnePlus 5 display (401 ppi), but a bit lower than the Galaxy S8 screen (570 ppi). The screen of the Nokia 8 is coated with Gorilla Glass 5. As a result, it can survive the accidental drops. So, you will not have to worry about getting the display shattered easily.
Unlike Samsung and OnePlus, Nokia decides to use LCD panel, rather than AMOLED. When the device was launched, we were really concerned about the move, as LCD panel doesn’t deliver as vibrant colors as AMOLED. But after getting it on hand, we are very pleased with the overall performance. The display produces a dazzling view. It makes everything look super crisp. It has a peak brightness of 700 nits, which is amazing. The videos look really great on the screen.
You will have no issue watching through the display in the bright outdoor. In GSMArena’s Sunlight legibility test, it posted an outstanding contrast ratio of 4.239, which is far better than most of the smartphone screens on the market, including Google Pixel XL.
Nokia 8 Review: Camera
During the glory days, Nokia made smartphones with outstanding cameras. They were far superior to the competitors. So, there is a huge expectation for the new Nokia 8 to deliver a much better performance than the leading smartphones of the present time.
However, the dual 13-MP rear shooter fails to become the best of this era. Despite showing a pretty decent performance in capturing reasonably well-balanced photos, it still comes a way short of the very best smartphone cameras on the market. The autofocus is very slow. You cannot rely on it. You have to tap on your desired subject frequently, which is very frustrating.
The dual camera setup is quite different from the new iPhone 8 Plus shooter. While the extra sensor on Apple’s flagship phone camera offers an impeccable zooming capability, the functionality of the second camera sensor on the Nokia 8 is limited to taking monochrome shots. Nokia thought that it would help the camera to perform better in the low light condition. The company has definitely achieved a little success with that aspect. However, the Nokia 8 shooter fails to perform as good as the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy S8 cameras in the specific condition.
Don’t get us wrong. The camera on Nokia 8 is pretty decent. It can take super sharp shots in the good lighting condition. But still, the performance is not up to the mark in terms of the leading smartphone shooters.
On the bright side, the camera supports live stream directly to Facebook and YouTube within the camera interface. That means, you just need to initiate the camera app and sign into your social media accounts to start live streaming right away, which is really cool.
The video recording ability is pretty decent. The camera supports OZO Audio technology, which enables you to record 360-degree sound while taking the footage.
Nokia 8 Review: Hardware and Performance
Nokia 8 has been powered by the Snapdragon 835 chip, which is considered as the fastest smartphone processor on the market. It also features Adreno 540, the best mobile GPU till date, along with 4 GB RAM, which is enough to run everything lag free. There is also a model that features a whopping 6 GB RAM. All these components have made the Nokia 8 one of the best performing smartphones that we have seen in this year.
The inclusion of high-end components have been reflected in the benchmark tests. In the Geekbench 4 (multicore) test, the Nokia 8 scores 6293 points, which is higher than the mighty Galaxy S8 (6175 points) and Galaxy S8 Plus (6106 points). However, OnePlus 5, which scored 6406 points, is still the phone to beat. Same thing happens in the AnTuTu test. The Nokia 8 becomes the 2nd highest scoring smartphone with 175872 points. On the other hand, OnePlus 5 takes the first spot with 180331 points.
The Nokia 8’s performance in producing stunning graphics while running high-end games is phenomenal. We are blown away by the amount of details it produces while playing games like Injustice 2 and Asphalt Xtreme. In GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p off-screen) graphics benchmark test, it scores 39 points, which is same as the Galaxy S8+, Xperia XZ Premium. However, OnePlus 5 once again becomes the chart topper with 41 points.
Overall, Nokia has done a great job in reviving its smartphone lineup in an extremely powerful way. As a result, it gets a great feedback from us in our Nokia 8 review. If you tell us to pick a smartphone that offers the most responsive and smoothest user experience, we will definitely pick the new Nokia phone.
Nokia 8 comes in two different storage options, including 64 GB and 128 GB. They offer sufficient space to keep all of your favorite songs and photos. However, if you prefer to keep a lot of high-end games and HD movies in your device, you can use the microSD card. You can get up to 256 GB of additional space, which is massive.
Nokia 8 Review: Battery and Charging
Before getting the Nokia 8 on hand, we were a bit concerned about the 3,050 mAh battery. We thought that it would struggle to last a long time, as the device comes with a QHD display. However, after using the phone, we are very happy with its performance. After going through medium to extensive usage, the battery manages to survive a full day without any issue. The Snapdragon 835 chipset is very power efficient. In this sense, the battery has received a massive advantage.
In GSMArena’s endurance rating test, the 3,050 mAh battery lasted 78 hours, which is a pretty decent performance. It is better than the LG G6 battery, which survived 72 hours. However, it fails to beat the leading smartphone batteries, including the 3000 mAh battery of Galaxy S8, which lasted a staggering 84 hours. Overall, the battery performance of the Nokia 8 is not outstanding, but above average.
One of the highlights of the Nokia 8 is the new cooling system. It prevents the battery from being burnt out quickly. As a result, while playing graphics intensive games, we didn’t notice the usual heat that we get from the other smartphones.
The Nokia 8 comes with the Quick Charge 3.0 technology. So, you can get the battery charged from 0% to 40% in just 30 minutes. However, it doesn’t support the wireless charging technology. It is really disappointing to see Nokia excluding one of the most common features in today’s major phones from its flagship device.
Nokia 8 Review: Software
Nokia 8 doesn’t come with the latest Android OS, called 8.0 Oreo. Instead, it features 7.0 Nougat in vanilla configuration. Everything is in stock, except the camera app, which has been customized for a better user experience. It is not a bad move, as it ensures no bloatware and smooth performance.
The glance technology has returned from the Lumia series to the Nokia 8. It wakes the display up from sleep whenever any movement is detected. After a pre-defined-time out, the screen goes back to sleep. You can customize the things that you want to see on the screen when the system is activated, including the number of missed calls and unread messages, the clock, different app notifications and more. It might not be as appealing as the latest Always-on technology. But it is definitely an amazing option that can save more battery power.
The home screen looks amazing. All the pre-installed apps are and system icons are painted in Nokia blue, which provides them with a unique identity. However, it doesn’t apply to the icons of the third-party apps. They retain their original color scheme. So, you might like to put them in a separate screen to distinct them from the stock ones.
Nokia 8 Review: The Verdict
Nokia 8 is not the best smartphone on the market. It has a dull design, which severely lack the uniqueness that we are looking for. There is no wow factor. It also doesn’t support wireless charging, one of the most common features of today’s flagship smartphones. But on the bright side, it has been packed with the high-end hardware, which has made it one of the most powerful smartphones that we have ever seen. The battery and camera performance is pretty decent, but not the best.
There are several devices on the market, including OnePlus 5 and Honor 9, which offer almost the same features as the Nokia 8. You can get them at a cheaper price. So, you might go after them if you want to make the best use of your hard earned money. However, if you are a loyal fan of the Nokia brand and want to be a part of its revival, you should definitely buy Nokia 8.