Nokia 8: First impressions

Over a day has passed since Nokia 8 came for a test and there I have some things I could say and push it as first impressions about the device. I’ll be using this device as a primary for the rest of the test period and then I’ll be able to give clearer, and more objective thoughts about it.


First impression after seeing this device was how much it resembles on the Nokia 5. Well, it is no wonder since Nokia 5 is beautifully designed and it made the aluminium body phones even more attractive. For example, Nokia 6 offers more orthodox approach to the design of the aluminium body, while Nokia 5 brought more style and warmth to it. It almost feel like it’s made from polycarbonate.

Nokia 8 and 5 have many things in common, but then again, many things that differ them. Nokia 8 has slightly bigger dimensions causing her body seem much slicker, and sides of the body are a bit pointier then in Nokia 5 which are rounder. It has great built quality but there are some things I don’t like, maybe with this silver version. Those antenna stripes at the top and bottom of the device stand out too much and make it look plastic. On the other side, like Zack from JerryRigEverything YouTube channel pointed out, it makes the device more resistant to falls since plastic absorbs the kinetic energy much better and it prevents the aluminium body from being damaged.

What I like with this device is its ergonomics and well-balanced mass. This is crucial for taking good photos since more mass will make it easier to stabilize the device in your hands.

If you previously owned and older flagship, or cheaper android phone, you’ll instantly see how Nokia 8 flies because of its powerful hardware. Sound quality from ear piece and loudspeaker is great, and better earphones in the retail box are welcomed. Those are probably not as good as the Nokia Stereo Earphones, but are quite nice.

The screen of the device is nice and sharp, and visible in strong day light since it is polarized (like screens of all the other Android running Nokia devices). But, I noticed problems with the automatic brightness adjustment when going from well-lit to not so well-lit room. This can be improved with a software update. There is also a problem with music played over BT speaker being stopped while unlocking the screen with the fingerprint sensor. I got a feeling that the current 7.1.1. Android isn’t optimized enough for the Nokia 8 hardware. It seems that even the purest Android software needs to be tested much more before it is shipped with the device. Maybe HMD will improve the software glitches seen in the device with the Oreo update. I’ll definitely be smarter at the end of the testing period.

The glance screen and double tap to unlock options are present on the Nokia 8, and that brought me back to the good old days of the Nokia Lumia 920. So, the Nokia 8 offers three ways to unlock the screen, by double tapping it, by scaning your fingerprint and by pressing the power button. That is nice and definitely more stable way to unlock the device.


The last paragraph of this post I left for the camera which is a big step forward if we compare it with the Nokia 6, and 5. Daylight photos are great, sharp and have good enough dynamic range, but night shots could be polished a bit more. The sensor noise is evident and photos could be sharper. Anyway, this could be polished with software updates, and I believe HMD should invest more in this segment. Particularly in the camera app UI design. Bring us the pro mode! Of course, I’ll test the cameras more during the next few days and give the final judgement in the review, but till then, check out few shots down below.

The full resolution photos you can check at our Flickr profile.



Your comments are welcomed as always 🙂

  • marty farrell

    Will there be a mid-ranger…Nokia 7 ? If so any guesstimate on price ?

    • Wow, you missed the point of the post by a planet, but I don’t know what to say. It looks to me that Nokia 9 and Nokia 2 will be the next phones to see… Something is missing between the Nokia 8 and Nokia 6. Nokia 8 was pushed because HMD desperately needed so they pushed it before 7 and obviously Nokia 9 wasn’t ready. If you remember, Nokia 8 was two months late.

      • marty farrell

        High end toys hold no interest for me.

        I have been waiting all year for a decent mid-ranger from “Nokia”.

        • Nokia 6 is that but with Snapdragon series 6 would be the phone of the year. And with the design of the Nokia 5 🙂

          • marty farrell

            At $350 with series 6 they could own the segment.

  • Stinger

    Very nice! The camera samples look great to me. I’m not very picky when it comes to photo quality, but these look very sharp and accurate. Thanks so much for these first impressions! Cheers!

  • Tarun Suresh

    Does this phone support hdr10?

    • I think not.

      • Tarun Suresh

        Hmm… Thats a shame…

    • Michael

      Informative article on Dolby Vision (and HDR10)

      Sounds like if Nokia wanted to pay a licensing fee that they could enable Dolby Vision via software update. Dolby Vision has a couple advantages over HDR10 (discussed in the article). Wonder what that would add to the cost of a mobile device.

  • Michael

    Here is a couple sunset comparison shots between our Nokia 8 and my Huawei P9Plus. Very similar camera hardware. NO idea why the Huawei had such a problem with that lighting, but I could not get a decent photo. The Nokia 8 looks pretty good for a small sensor camera. The sky looked even more stunning.

    During bright daylight photos. Results are pretty comparable, although I would give the edge a bit to the Nokia 8 in color reproduction.

    • Michael

      Comparing the two screens, the Nokia has more vibrant colors..whiter whites. And as Marin mentioned, viewable and usable in full bright sunlight.

    • Really good photo made by the 8 🙂

      • Michael

        Thanks, we were on the way back from shopping on our motorbike. In front of me, the clouds had a weird lighting and when I turned to my left, I saw that very cool looking sky. Asked Nat if she had her Nokia 8 with her to take a quick comparison shot with my Huawei. Wish I had been on the beach which was a few kilometers away.

        That’s what it is all about right?… The best camera is the one you have with you 🙂