HMD Global, after reviving the Nokia brand last year has launched its first flagship smartphone, the Nokia 8 in August 2017. However, it was late last month HMD brought this smartphone to the Indian market, and it recently went on for sale on Amazon India.
Back in June 2017, HMD launched its first batch of Nokia phones- the Nokia 3, the Nokia 5, and the Nokia 6, but none of them impressed the consumers, thanks to the steep prices. However, with the Nokia 8, HMD seems to have understood the Indian consumers and priced the device aggressively at Rs. 36,999. To be frank, no one among the tech industry was expecting this price from the company, but the company impressed one and all with the price, at least on paper.
And for the asking price, the Nokia 8 battles with the likes of OnePlus 5 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 (First Look), both of them feature similar hardware as the Nokia 8. The OnePlus 5 is the fastest phone out there in the market, whereas the Mi Mix 2 offers a bezel-less screen. What does the Nokia 8 offer? Here are my first impressions on the Nokia 8 after using it for more than 24 hours.
Before we head out to the content, take a look at our unboxing and first look video of the Nokia 8.
Design and Display
The Nokia 8 is a good-looking smartphone. With its all-metal body, the device offers excellent in-hand feel. While it doesn’t feature any bezel-less design, HMD has done a right thing by opting for a 5.3-inch screen which makes the device feel compact when taken into hands. Nevertheless, the Nokia 8 doesn’t stand a chance against the gorgeous Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, but it does look better than the OnePlus 5.
I received the Tempered Blue colour variant of the Nokia 8, and it’s gorgeous. The smartphone is also available in two more colours- Polished Blue and Steel, and the latter looks better than the two. The volume rockers and power button are located to the right, and yes, they offer decent tactile feedback. The USB Type-C port along with a single speaker grille can be found at the bottom, and the top is left to the 3.5mm headphone jack. The Nokia 8 is a dual-SIM smartphone, but sadly, it’s a hybrid card setup, meaning you can either use two SIM cards or a single SIM and microSD card.
Talking about the display, HMD has used a 5.3-inch screen on the Nokia 8, which has a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. The Nokia 8 is one of the affordable smartphones to offer a Quad HD screen, the other one is the Huawei’s Honor 8 Pro. This display gets enough bright in outdoor conditions.
Hardware, Software, and Connectivity
Being a flagship smartphone, the Nokia 8 offers top-notch hardware- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with a clock speed of 2.45GHz, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. As said earlier, the storage can be expanded 256GB with a microSD card. So, performance won’t be an issue with the Nokia 8, and the software is also optimised well, unlike the Nokia 6 which disappointed me to the core.
The software side of things, the Nokia 8 runs pure Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, and right after taking it from the box, I received the October 2017 security patch update. HMD’s goal is to offer Pixel-like interface at an affordable price point. The only third-party application that comes preinstalled is the Support application, and the camera app is also a customised one. The smartphone will receive Android 8.0 Oreo update in coming days.
Connectivity options in the Nokia 8 include 4G LTE, VoLTE, and both the SIM slots has support for 4G. The smartphone also comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C 3.0 port, and NFC.
HMD has added a 3090mAh battery to keep the things running, which also comes with fast charge support. The Nokia 8 also has a fingerprint scanner, which unlocks the device in a split second, but the scanner doesn’t match the speed of the one present in the OnePlus 5.
Camera and Audio
Cameras are something Nokia is known for in the past. To continue its reputation as a camera leader, HMD Global has partnered with Carl Zeiss and the first outcome between them is the Nokia 8. The Nokia 8 has three 13MP sensors- two at the back and one at the front.
The primary 13MP sensor at the back captures colour shots, whereas the secondary sensor is a monochrome one claimed to capture images with more details. As seen with several dual camera smartphones in the past, the Nokia 8 also offers a Portrait mode. The 13MP sensor on the front is also certified by Zeiss. As stated earlier, the camera app is the only third-party application in the Nokia 8 and has several features such as manual mode, and a dual sight mode.
You might be wondering what is the dual sight mode- it’s the same and much hyped- Bothie feature. What essentially this feature offers is you can use both the front and rear camera at the same time, and the best part is you can broadcast using this feature. This Bothie feature would be very much useful in broadcasting events.
The Nokia 8 comes with a single loudspeaker which is located at the bottom beside the USB Type-C port. Another feature which HMD highlighted is the OZO Audio that records 360-degree audio while capturing a video. This feature will also be useful while broadcasting live streaming.
The Nokia 8 is a great phone for the price tag and the features such as Zeiss lens, OZO Audio make the device exciting option. However, the Nokia 8 doesn’t feature any standout feature, and the Bothie feature which is hyped by HMD Global is more of a software thing.
We will be testing out the Nokia 8 in the coming days. Would you like to see a comparison between the Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5 or between the Nokia 8 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2? Let us know by commenting below.
Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.