Nokia 8 Review – Lackluster Specs, Design and Cameras

HMD Global’s Nokia 8 flagship phone debuted today, but with Samsung Note 8, iPhone 8 and Mate 10 coming soon, Nokia 8 specs and price doesn’t impress us. Is Nokia 8 a bit too late for the party, like the Nokia 3,5 and 6 were?

Nokia 8 Review – Full Specs

Body: 6000 series aluminium, IP54 splash resistance
Screen: 5.3″ IPS with QHD resolution (554ppi), 700 nits brightness; Gorilla Glass 5; Always On Display
OS: Android 7.1 Stock Android Nougat
Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (4×2.45 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)
Memory:4GB RAM, 64GB storage (microSD card slot); 6GB / 128GB on the Polished Blue model
Main camera: Dual 13MP sensors (color + monochrome), 1.12µm pixels, Zeiss lens with f/2.0 aperture; OIS on the color sensor
Camera Features: 4K video capture, 360° spatial surround sound with 3 microphones; YouTube and Facebook live streaming (with picture-in-picture)
Front camera: 13MP sensor, 1.12µm pixels, Zeiss lens with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus
Connectivity: single and dual SIM versions; Cat. 9 LTE (450/50Mbps), Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+, USB-C 3.1 (5Gbps)
Battery: 3,090mAh, Quick Charge 3.0 (18W)
Misc: Fingerprint reader, unlimited Google Photos storage

Right, looking at the specs you think Nokia 8 offers something more, but it doesn’t. In fact, almost every Nokia 8 specs is outdated or worse than most the competition offers. We will now analyze all the specs and compare with phones already out on the market like Samsung S8, Huawei P10, OnePlus 5 and Xiaomi Mi 6 to evaluate just where Nokia 8 stands.

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Nokia 8 Review – Design is Stuck in 2016

While I’m not one of those who gushes and blushes in front of the Samsung S8 and usually prefers a more practical phone the Nokia 8 is how to say it mildly – not a good-looking phone.

If you look at it from the back you’ll hardly make a difference between Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 if it wasn’t for the dual-cameras. Looking more like a 200$ phone, than a 600$ one, even Mi 5X looks more premium.

mi 5x

You would think that by packing just 3090mAh battery Nokia 8 will be a very elegant device, a? Well, the reality is not slim for HMD’s flagship phone.

Looking from the bottom is perhaps the most uninspiring view of all. Kudos for retaining the headphone jack, but I doubt that will save HMD Global. Nothing in this phone feels premium, even the QHD 5.3 display looks worse than OnePlus 5’s  FHD AMOLED.

nokia 8 display

And at this size, it’s clearly overkill, as nobody can notice the difference between FHD and QHD in a below 5.7-inch device. When you clearly compared it side by side next to S8 or Huawei P10, even Xiaomi Mi 6 looks slicker.

Xiaomi Mi 6
Huawei P10

Nokia 8 Review – Performance and Battery Life

While we have no doubts Nokia 8 runs very fast in daily activities since it’s powered by Snapdragon 835 if you are counting on topping some benchmarks, you’ll be disappointed. Usually, companies who use a chip later into their production produce better results thanks to newer revisions. With Nokia 8 this isn’t the case. Having a phone with SD835 3-4 months ago was really something, but after OnePlus 5, HTC 11 and Nubia Z17 it’s now not that impressive.

antutu benchmark

While it manages to at least trump the S8, Nokia’s flagship falls behind the much cheaper Xiaomi Mi 6 and OnePlus 5. Again, don’t think performance is bad or anything, but SD835 is now widely used and many phones match it.

geekbench benchmark

With Geekbench 4 you also see Samsung’s Exynos 8895 is still on top of the pile and again Mi 6 and OP 5 produce better results while costing up to 200$ less compared to Nokia 8.

Using a QHD display and just 3090mAh battery don’t expect Nokia 8 to power you through days of heavy usage. Most users will need to recharge on very heavy-usage days. It might still last you longer than the HTC U11, though.

Nokia 8 Camera Review – What A Joke!

nokia 8 camera

While dual-cameras are the trend in phones, HMD global decided to go cheap when it comes to the sensor. With overhyped Carl Zeiss optics, the camera can’t even compete with an Honor 8, not to mention phones like last year’s S7 Edge or even OnePlus 5. The main reason for this is the very small camera sensors that just don’t take enough light. For instance, any flagship camera phone has at least 1.25micron pixel size, while Nokia chose the same 1.12 sensor used in Nokia 6, but just added a monochrome one. The results as you can imagine are close to what a Samsung A5 2017 can match and exceed.

One of the sensors offers OIS according to Nokia, but it really doesn’t look like it actually helps.

Photos lack focus, sharpness and detail even in broad daylight. I have seen a better photo taken with 250$ phones than 600+$ Nokia 8.

You can clearly see the subjects on the bridge are de-focused and fuzzy, something even Huawei P10 Lite can do better.

The biggest joke is the monochrome photos which should look sharper, due to much less colour information, but simply look the same.
One of the things that actually made me LOL so hard was what Nokia calls “bothie”. That’s right they brag to be able to take a picture at the same time with the main and back camera, but as you can guess the results are laughable.

nokia bothie

Who in their right mind would want to do photos like these? HMD Global is really trying to be innovative, but they should try again with something actually creative.

For a much better camera phone for less, check out my Huawei Nova 2 Unboxing and First Impressions Video Below:

Nokia 8 Review – Redeeming Features

While I really don’t see anybody besides Die Hard Nokia fans picking this up, it does have a few neat tricks.

First of all, the Display may not look like much, but it’s very, very bright. Reaching 700 nits of brightness is second only to Samsung S8.

Second, Qualcomm and HMD Global(that’s right, not Nokia, Nokia is Finish, this is a Chinese Phone people, made by Foxconn) worked together to ensure the Snapdragon 835 delivers the best live streaming service on Nokia 8. While I haven’t seen anyone test that, I’m sure QC delivered on that promise.

Third, Nokia 8’s audio is powered by OZO Audio and has 3 microphones for recording sound instead of 2, making the sound quality in videos a notch above most phones, but I would definitely like to see it against LG G6 and HTC 11’s audio chips. There is a youtube video that aims to deliver the difference, but I feel it’s nothing more than a commercial, but you be the judge for yourselves.

Nokia 8 Pros and Cons

+ OIS and OZO Audio
+ Very Bright Display
+ Superior Live streaming

– Poor Cameras
– Design is stuck in 2016
– Average Battery Life
– Too expensive, compared to Mi 6 and OnePlus 5

Feel free to check out our Xiaomi Mi 6, OnePlus 5 and Meizu Pro 7 Reviews for better flagship smartphone alternatives.

If you need a discount on great tech, check out these deals below:

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Tech Expert, Cinema Enthusiast and an All-Round Good Guy :)

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