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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂