Video²: Nokia 8 positively received by critics; but camera could be better

Photo credit: Suomimobiili.fi

Judging by the reviews published so far, Nokia 8 could turn out to be the best received Nokia-branded flagship device ever. Frankly, all Nokia-branded Lumia flagships were innovative and special, but Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS and the restrictions of the OS lowered the score of Nokia flagships in every review, so it was not strange to expect that an Android-running Nokia smartphone would be well received. It would be a shame not to mention Nokia N9 or Nokia N8, but again the OS situation had been always a burden for the fantastic hardware, but not any more.

The well known “global” tech sites, like GSMArena and Recombu published, among first, their reviews of the Nokia 8 and they are mainly positive. They note that a €599 price point is reasonable for a device running Snapdragon 835, even though the lack of a “bezel-less” display puts the Nokia 8 more in the OnePlus 5 category (affordable flagship) and not with the “big boys” like Galaxy S8 or now LG V30.

Photo credit: GSMArena.com

GSMArena surprised me personally with the Nokia 8 review, because they had some strange complaints about the Nokia 3 and 6 (like strangely placed fingerprint sensor or smallish battery capacity (3000mAh), but good endurance(?)). They loved the Nokia 5, though, and they did a fair thing by revising the Nokia 6 review, which is much better with the global variant. GSMArena’s review of Nokia 8 in written form can be found here, but down below you can check the newly added video review.

YouTube

The video review mostly reflects the written one, and without a Nokia 8, I cannot judge how good the device really is. One thing I noticed, apart from the small mistake in the battery capactiy (3090mAh, not 3100mAh), is that the guy in the video says that “the bottom (mono 🙁) firing speaker is not the loudest, but has pretty clear sound”, when in fact, by measurements made by GSMArena itself, Nokia 8 has the loudest speaker. Maybe the loudest phone on the market was not included in the table below.

As well as GSMArena, Recombu also notes that camera, considering Nokia and ZEISS were always best in that field, could be better on the Nokia 8, especially in low-light. It still produces decent photos in low-light, but lacks behind flagship phones from Samsung, LG and Apple. Daylight shots turn out great, but both reviewers noticed autofocus problems. Two segments Nokia 8 is the new king of on the market is the selfie camera and audio recording. Both sites noted that the selfie camera is excellent, and that the 8 produces fantastic audio using Nokia’s OZO Audio Technology. Videos taken in 4K resoulution could be better, but a positive thing is that the front camera shoots 4K as well. Recombu’s written review can be checked here, while the vide review follows down below.

YouTube

Two respected German tech sites, Computer Build and Chip gave their opinions about the Nokia 8, too. Computer Builds likes the performance, design, camera with the bothie and livestream function and the display. They don’t like the lack of waterproofnes, an easy to scratch back and no exchangeable battery.  They gave the 8 a grade of 2.31, described as “Good”. Chip.de likes basically everything that Computer Bild likes, but with the exception of the camera, that has problems in low-light. They gave the 8 a 92.2/100 grade. Computer Build review can be found here, while Chip.de’s can be read by clicking this link here.

One “first impressions” article I really like is from Gizmodo India. The reason I like it is because the article is spot on why the Nokia 8 is created the way it is and what is the targeted audience. The title goes “HMD Global’s Nokia 8 is more ageing Professor X than Iron Man”, and it basically says that the 8 is a “conservatively” made smartphone, what is similar to what HMD’s Heads of design said about the product and that is that you won’t fall in love with the phone on the first sight, but the more you use it, the more you will notice how reliable, durable and timeless the device and design are. I definitely recommend reading Gizmodo’s “hands on” here.

Photo credit: Recombu.com

Finnish tech Suomimobiili.fi also did a hands on take on the Nokia 8. For Nokia fans, the 8 will be an awesome device, with a good, but not superb camera, says the author. He also noted that the 8 feels very different from the 5, even though they look similar. Very different in a way that it feels sleeker and more premium. The article can be found on soumimobiili.fi here.

YouTube channel Btekt has excellent content about the Nokia 8 and I really recommend visiting the channel here. From audio comparison, video comparison, livestreams about the 8 – everything can be found at Btekt. Down below, take a look at a “UI review” of Nokia 8’s camera app that nicely shows how much room for improvement HMD has.

YouTube

All in all, it seems that HMD’s first flagship device is a success with critics. It cannot beat the top of the line Galaxy phones, and it is not better in every segment from the competition, but for the price of €599, hardly any buyer will be disappointed with the device. Not to mention that in some markets the 8 is selling for under €400.

Judging how HMD nicely updates the software of the Nokia 3, 5 and 6, we can expect software updates that will further improve the camera experience and some stability issues some reviewers faced. At most, I want to see a more “professional” camera app, but the fact that it is Oreo ready is also a big plus for Nokia 8.

Until now, we at NokiaMob like what HMD did with 8, but are still expecting a higher-end flagship that will take on the Galaxy S8, Note 8, LG V30 and soon the Huawei Mate 10. Nokia 8 is priced below these phones, and is a more traditional flagship. We also are eagerly waiting for our review units of Nokia 3, 5, 6 and 8.

Tell us your thoughts about the 8 and first reviews in the comment section down below. 🙂

  • Stinger

    I think the Nokia 8 is a fantastic device! The things that I hear most folks complaining about don’t matter to me:

    1) Waterproofing – I don’t shower or swim with my phone, (this is probably why
    speaker performance was so good. Slight compromise between
    waterproofing and decibels) so splash-proof is fine.

    2) “Big” bezels – I like a good grip on my phone and like to be precise with a
    touchscreen phone. This means my palm won’t be accidentally
    selecting options on the screen. I’m a one-handed user.

    3) Non-AMOLED – The screen looks great to me!

    Quite a few reviewers had trouble with the software. I know Btekt & GSMArena said the phone either froze or restarted a few times. But they did admit that they reviewed pre-production models, so the 8s coming of the production line might run smoothly. They should, since it’s mostly stock Android. All things considered, it’s a great phone. Especially for my tastes. The price is a bit high for me, but still reachable.

    Cheers!

    • Michael

      The problem is this phone has the term “flagship” attached to it. It also have a Nokia name with big shoes to fill. Any Nokia flagship, regardless of reality will get compared to other flagships.

      What I have noticed is that Nokia has really annoyed some people on these tech-sites. The 3310 especially. I now read the word “nostalgia” when talking about Nokia. That word has a very bad connotation. To a young person, it means/implies something your parents liked and to young people that is very bad.

      Samsung has been putting out phones about as long as Nokia and you never read the word “nostalgia” when talking about Samsung phones.

      The Nokia name is still strong, but walking a very fine line. They (HMD), needs to find a way to leverage the name but cut the ties with the past.

      • Stinger

        The mis-step with Nokia is that they were not producing smart phones for two or three years. I can’t remember how long. Whereas Samsung has been producing phones continually. So Nokia re-emerging now, would seem like a blast from the past to a lot of millennials. However, no matter the generation, when a young person can “rock” an old man’s item (Ferrari, Mansion, G6 Jet) it says to the world that you’ve “arrived”. You know taste. You know quality. You know “the real thing”. For example: a Nissan Skyline is just as fast as any contemporary Ferrari, but which one gets more attention at the parking lot? I think the youngsters of today will still respect the brand NOKIA. Legends are hard to kill.

        • Michael

          What you say is correct in that it is another side to consider. But Ferrari is much like Samsung in that they have successfully transitioned. They are both premium brands of today. As are bugatti, mercedes, porsche, alfa romeo, bentley, etc The way Nokia is being referred to in some tech sites is much different. It is an old brand trying to make a omeback. 3310 was both a great marketing move but at the same time I feel like it also hurt the brand in a way. HMD would do well to figure out how to leverage the name as a premium name of today and cut with any nostalgia. Just my opinion, but I havent had a good feeling about the words I have been reading lately.

          • Stinger

            DUDE! You are awesome!!!! Thank you for that video! I suspect you and I can talk cars all day long. ha ha

            I have faith in HMD. We’ll see how it goes. Cheers bro!

          • Boogieman

            Who cares what the tech sites call Nokia =)
            If the phone is good and well priced they can call a phone crap for all I care. It will still be good. The problem is that a lot of people don’t know about the bias on some sites and base their buy on other people’s (biased) opinion. Btw I currently have Samsung note 3, Huawei p8, iphone 7+ so no bias here.

          • Michael

            Absolutely some probably even most have some sort of bias. That is why I have been happy about some of HMD’s choices. Takes some BS talking point ammo away. For example, I like that they went with stock android because it forces sites to cover Nokia in a positive way a couple times a month.

            We currently have an Xperia Z5, Huawei P9 plus and Nokia 8. 8 is for my partner and she loves it. I like it the more I play with it. Slightly better photos than p9, feels nice in hand. Stock Android runs fast and battery lasts as long as my p9. I load Nova launcher on all phones so look and feel is same.

        • Michael

          Oh, and you do realize that Nissan relies hard on that Skyline GT-R heritage from the 70s right? GT-R has been successful with the young successful crowd. Depending on the group, more popular than Ferrari.

          If you like engine sounds. check this out: https://youtu.be/EAXGuD_f3Kw. 🙂

  • PNHD

    I am guessing the camera will receive a lot of updates so i am not concerned. Anyway for a first gen device that done pretty quickly it’s pretty awsome. We’ll see next yrar how the products evolve and the teck they will start introducing in them

  • Boogieman

    Regarding American review sites complaining about the camera not being up there with the best (I have other reviews further down) I think it boils down to inte thing, sponsorship from the big brands and of course apple being an American brand and Americans being Americans =)

    If looking on this review vs note 8 in low light, the Nokia crushes the note in almost every image. Colors way more natural (not supergreen grass or mega red plastic with loss of details in the yellow atm rest on the note) and a lot more detail and sharper images.
    https://youtu.be/fZZagzgmxrw

    Or vs samsung j7 pro
    The colours on the Nokia once again true to life while j7 is even more insanely or saturated than the note. Makes everything look unnatural.
    https://youtu.be/U7tZP6fKrfw

    • Hi there. These videos are fake. I was quite shooked at first, but for views, people make fake videos. Consider every video where the device is not shown first as fake.
      We fell for it with the Chinese variant of Nokia 6, but nevermore, nevermore.

    • Michael

      “Regarding American review sites complaining about the camera not being
      up there with the best (I have other reviews further down) I think it
      boils down to inte thing, sponsorship from the big brands and of course
      apple being an American brand and Americans being Americans =)”

      GSMArena was founded by Orlin Milinov in 2000, and is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria. Recombu is based out of London. I know it is popular to dislike things America(n), but your thinking in this case is misplaced. Having said that, it’s pretty clear the sites have biases with their pretty clear inconsistencies.

      As far as the Nokia 8 camera, it is a good camera, not great. A few years ago, it would have been great, but not now. It’s appropriate for the phone category and price point.

  • EricLovesSymbian

    EricLovesSymbian says:

    Wow! Stipe, very well written, very well put together and fluid.
    This is one of the best posts I’ve read on this site.
    You did I wonderful job addressing shortcomings, pros and cons, memorable mentions of the the Nokia N8, cross referencing platforms with appeal and discussing other websites and their results.

    Very impressive!
    Job well done!

    You composed a very well thought out and complete story that was fluid and easy to follow.

    Believe it!

    • Thank you (and to everyone who is reading it) and glad you like it. 🙂

  • EricLovesSymbian

    EricLovesSymbian says:

    Just finished reading a bunch of reviews on the LG V30.
    Does anyone here think the upcoming Nokia 9 will be identical to LG V30? Or that Nokia should have come out with the Nokia 9 before the LG V30, before the LG V30 was debuted?

    For some reason, I can see the Nokia 9 resembling the LG V30 a lot!

    Based on the renders and sketches, I have a feeling the upcoming Nokia flagship will look very similar…

    • Considering that Nokia 8 uses LG’s LCD, wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a 6-inch OLED screen on the 9, just like on the V30. It’s just that LG’s LCD on the 8 is the best one on the market, while LG’s OLED isn’t as good as Samsung’s AMOLED, first reports suggest (Android Authority). 🙂 And as far as I remember, Foxconna bought Sharp so it may use Sharp-made OLED’s, but they are not in the OLED game just yet, so the 9 could be the first.