Business

Hands-on Nokia 8 review – GSMArena.com tests

Introduction

This is a Nokia phone built by Foxconn for HMD in partnership with Zeiss and Google. Make no mistake, though, there’s Finnish blood running through Nokia 8’s veins. The new leadership tried to resurrect the qualities that were vital to the Nokia brand: quality, simplicity, trust and reliability.

We were hoping for a camera phone and we got a camera phone. It’s the first fruit of the reformed partnership with Zeiss. Nokia has its own camera division now, OZO, which was brought in to design the microphones and capturing algorithms for the phone.

Listening to HMD, it was easy to tell that that the camera is the differentiating feature of the Nokia 8. The target audience is people steeped in social networking, especially video content.

The phone shoots 4K video, naturally, and you can livestream it to YouTube and Facebook. A unique feature is picture-in-picture mode that shows footage from both the front and the back cameras – live! This will allow you to “tell both sides of the story”.

Nokia 8 hands-on

Camera aside, the Nokia 8 is built out of aluminum and glass and offers IP54 resistance. HMD did make it a bit on the small side for a flagship – most Android top dogs are well past a 5.3″ screen. Of course, some will view this as a good thing, not everyone wants a large phone.

The company tapped Qualcomm for the Snapdragon 835 chipset and Google for the software. Really, HMD and Nokia tinkered with some internals (especially relating to camera image and audio processing), but the Android OS is as it came out of the factory. That will allow for fast updates when the time comes.

Nokia 8 at a glance:
Body: 6000 series aluminum, IP54 splash resistance
Screen: 5.3″ IPS LCD, QHD resolution (554ppi), 700 nits brightness; Gorilla Glass 5; Always On Display
OS: Android 7.1 Nougat (basically stock)
Platform: Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (microSD card slot)
Main camera: two 13MP sensors (color + monochrome), 1.12m pixels, Zeiss lens with f/2.0 aperture; OIS on the color sensor, Laser and phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash
Video: 4K video capture, 360 spatial surround sound with 3 microphones; YouTube and Facebook livestreaming (with picture-in-picture)
Selfie camera: 13MP sensor, 1.12m 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

Well, this brings back memories of the metal-clad Nokia N8 and its awesome camera. But there’s no time for nostalgia now, the future of the brand is right in front of us.