Review: Nokia 8, a challenge for the flagships

Published: March 13, 2018


HMD Global has taken their game up by a notch by finally making the flagship Nokia 8 available in the market.

Before dwelling into the review, here’s a look at some of the specs of the device. Packed with a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, the device has a 5.3-inch display, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, 1440 pixels by 2560 pixels screen resolution and 13MP front and rear cameras.


One major hit for the company is the sleek design. Although the phone isn’t bezel-less, the thin curving edges certainly enhance the aesthetic of the device.


The design uses a mixture of aluminium and glass with an aluminium rim around its dual-camera. In terms of the fingerprint sensor, the Nokia 8 has attached the sensor to the phone’s home button. Other devices including the Google Pixel series, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 support the fingerprint sensor on the back of the device rather than the front.

Both Samsung and Google faced a lot of criticism for problems faced by users in using the fingerprint scanner at the back of the device.

Despite this, Nokia has decided to join the fray by adding the fingerprint sensor at the back of their latest device — the Nokia 8 Sirocco.

The display is further enhanced by the Corning Gorilla Glass used making the content of the screen brighter and more visible. The bezel-less design is a little out of trend but the sleek curving edges compensate for that. There is one downside though, the device is identical to the much cheaper Nokia 5.

Performance and battery life

With a built-in Snapdragon 835 processor similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S8, the device is on par in terms of its app functionality with the high-end devices in the market. It initially came with the factory default Android Nougat 7.1.1 OS but the latest update adds the Android 8 (Oreo) Operating System to the phone.

The company is more efficient in giving updates of the latest Android versions and has created a good balance between the Android Oreo interface and the Nokia 8’s own interface.

There’s unlimited storage for Google photos making it impossible for you to run out of space to store your pictures.

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In terms of battery, the smartphone is equipped with 3090 mAh battery giving a run for about 16 hours comfortably. The long-lasting battery certainly helps in terms of streaming shows and other battery draining applications.

It is also the first phone by HMD Global to feature OZO spatial 360° audio helping with noise reduction and focusing on the right sounds.

Nokia 8 home screen PHOTO: ZORAL NAIK

For the accessories, thankfully, Nokia has stuck with the 3.5mm headphone jack, unlike Apple who discarded the slot with the iPhone 7.

Camera and Bothie

The camera of the Nokia 8 is one of the downsides of the device. Although the device boasts a 13-megapixel dual camera (13-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear camera), it lags behind its competition in terms of image quality.

The cameras are unable to capture depth as accurately compared to the iPhone 8 or the Galaxy S8/S9. The Bothie feature — a term used by the company when both front and rear cameras are used simultaneously — certainly helps things but isn’t the most popular of features.

That title goes to the monochrome feature which captures images with a nice blend of contrast while not completely fading away the contours of the subjects.

The monochrome picture taken from Nokia 8 showing a good mix of contrast and the subjects shown PHOTO: EXPRESS

The ZEISS powered lens certainly attaches much credibility to the camera but the mix between image quality and the lens hasn’t quite developed for the company. The Nokia 8 Sirocco, may showcase a better attempt to create the right combination.

Will Nokia 8 help the company regain its market share?


One of the most appealing aspects of the device, if not the most, is its price. With most flagship devices of its competitors having a price ranging in the Rs 70,000-80,000 bracket, Nokia 8 is priced significantly lower.

Priced at Rs 50,000, the device has an edge over its Android competitors. Of course, it may not boast the same specs as the Samsung S9 but has driven in a good performance given it’s the company’s first flagship device ever since the HMD revamp.


Nokia has made a great effort to reestablish itself in the race for flagship smartphones. Although the device has an appealing design, with a bright display to complement it and an efficient interface, it misses a few pointers with its camera.

The new Nokia Sirocco – an update of sorts to the Nokia 8 – has answers to some of the questions that the Nokia 8 was unable to answer.

That being said, the device has certainly carved its own niche in the market especially given the popularity the Nokia brand enjoyed in the earlier days of the mobile phone era.

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