Ten days after the global premiere of the Nokia 8110 4G, Nokia 1, Nokia 6 (2018), Nokia 7 plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco at the MWC2018 in Barcelona, HMD Global organized a regional press event for the Central and Eastern Europe, where NokiaMob was also invited. We spent two days in the beautiful Vienna, had a great time there while chating with HMD people and spent some time with the newly announced devices. Our hands on experience with photos and videos follows down below.
Nokia 8110 4G
Nokia 8110 4G is the second devices of HMD’s “Originals” series looks funky and attractive. The slide “mechanism” also unlocks the display but you can unlock the display by power button just to check notifications and time. I would like to see spring loaded slide mechanism even though this manual one looks great and it is sturdy enough. HMD used KaiOS to power this 4G version and thanks to that Nokia 8110 comes preloaded with some Google services like Assistant Maps and other. UI is the same as seen in Nokia 3310 and the phone is rather quick. The battery should enable long talk times, but hopefully you can use it for two days as a WiFi hotspot.
Here is our Hands On video. I’m sorry about the sound since the mic we used wasn’t set up properly. Just mute it if its annoying :).
The device will be available for €79 before taxes, and, as far as what we have heard, will initially target developed markets in Europe, Middle East and China, starting May 2018.
The first Nokia-branded Android GO device and the cheapest Nokia smartphone unveiled, the Nokia 1, surprisingly leaved good initial impressions on us. It’s nicely designed, looks good and feels solid considering the 85 dollar price point HMD announced for some markets. The design looks characteristically Nokia, reminding us of older Nokia (Lumia) devices. The 1 will be available in Red and Blue, but HMD will also offer a range of Xpress-ON covers for the device that will be sold separately for about 8 dollars. The device is small and it sits in hand perfectly. The screen maybe small but it is enough to surf a bit on it. Screen is sharp enough but color reproduction is not so good. We must add that the device was pretty fast and UI was fluent, without any stuttering. Android Go seems to be well polished. Camera is not the best one, but will serve you well, and hopefully you can edit it a bit in the Google’s gallery app. We’ll check it more when we get our hands on a review unit. Here is a short hands on video which shows how easy is to take the back cover and replace it with other one.
We can expect Nokia 1 to hit the shelves globally in April.
New Nokia 6
The new Nokia 6, as HMD calls it, or Nokia 6.1 or 6 (2018) as some call it (including us) to distinct it from the 2017 model, is the first device from 2018 lineup that is a direct successor to a previous model. The new Nokia 6 is significantly improved compared to the previous one, but with a price hike as well. The 6 comes with a more powerful processor and even better design, with the dual-color body scheme. The camera uses a 16MP Samsung sensor in size with ZEISS optics, which means that even the 6 is under care of the German camera company and that the 6 will have the new Nokia Pro camera app. During our relatively short time with the device, we didn’t notice any hardware or software problems, even though the Android 8.1 build was from January. The photos seemed good, but for any better interpretation of the camera samples we have to wait for a test unit with the final software build. When we were filming the device we noticed some kind of Glance screen, but we still need to verify that.
Check out the hands on video where you can see probable Glance screen on Nokia 6, or maybe Google’s Ambient Display in action.
The new Nokia 6 goes global in April for €279 before taxes.
Nokia 7 plus
By many, the best value-for-money device HMD announced this year is the Nokia 7 plus. HMD’s first phablet is beautifully designed with an aluminum unibody, and back side painted with 6 layers of paint that simulate a ceramic feel under the hand. The ceramic-like coating, in our opinion, gives more a plastic than a premium metal feel, but it’s pretty fingerprint resistant, and a bit slippery. Because of the narrower 18:9 display, it’s easier to hold it, even though 6-inches are quite big for a lot of folks. I like the dual color body scheme, flat side edges made out of aluminum and back and frond in contrasting color. The transitions from side to back is a bit sharp to the touch, but that improves the grip.
Here is a massive gallery and below it you can see our hands on video of the device.
Under the hood the device is powered by Snapdragon 660, a powerful and efficient Snapdragon processor. Throw the 3800mAh battery in there, and battery will surely be above average. On the back, the 7 plus carries a 12MP +13MP (telephoto) camera configuration, almost identical to 8 Sirocco. The optics are made by ZEISS, that also makes software and takes part in the designing of the modules from ground up, which also means the 7 plus comes with the new Nokia Pro camera app. First photo samples are promising, but the 7 plus features the January (non-final) build of Android 8.1 Oreo so any final conclusions we’ll made when we got it with the final software.
I must conclude that the device would be even bigger success if HMD made it as a combination between Nokia 8 Sirocco and 7 Plus. The device comes in two color options: copper-black and copper-white. The sales start in April for €399 before taxes.
Nokia 8 Sirocco
Nokia 8 Sirocco is HMD’s masterpiece of design. On the first day of our HMD press trip, we spent a half of the day with the regional head of marketing discussing the role of Sirocco in HMD’s lineup. The Sirocco is HMD showing to the world how good can they design a product. The Sirocco showcases that Nokia phones aren’t just feature phones or low/mid range phones, but can also be present in the higher end spectrum.
The 8 Sirocco is really, in terms of the design, something unique on the market. Thanks to the guys from our partner site Mob.hr that brought with them a lot of phones, including the higher end Note 8, One Plus 5 and HTC U11+, we had a chance to directly compare the looks and feels to 8 Sirocco. Beauty is always in the eyes of the user, but it’s hard to ignore how much profound the Sirocco’s design is. It’s impressive how the device goes to just 2mm of thickness on the sides, and how the Gorilla Glass 5 was molded on the front and back, making everything seem so seamless. The edge screen looks attractive, especially while displaying black or darker background, but it becomes problematic with lighter colors, when color distortion can be noticed on edges.
It’s really a shame HMD didn’t push all the areas in the spec sheet to the top of the device, but the current specifications, a lot of memory (that HMD found customers value more than SoC), and in start 100 to 200 euro lower price compared to competitors like Galaxy S9 and iPhone X should attract customers that want an attractive device for everyday usage.
A lot of people can’t ignore the lack of OIS, 3.5mm jack or Snapdragon 845 that competitors offer (S9 for example, but for a higher price), and they shouldn’t. After all, everyone should look to buy the device that suits their interests the best. Let us just explain one thing here, Nokia 8 Sirocco isn’t supposed to be a flagship model, or top model. This device is just Nokia 8 but with the implementation of premium design and quality materials. And that is it. Trust us, this device looks and feels supreme, maybe not in specs but definitely in its build and design. Take a look at our hands on video and see that for yourself.
As with the 6 and 7 plus, the Nokia 8 Sirocco we had a chance the spend time with had the final hardware, but the January software build, so any photo comparisons or direct performance comparisons wouldn’t be fair. We didn’t notice any problems in both of these categories, and we can already say that the photos on 7 plus and 8 Sirocco look better than the Nokia 8 when we had the device on review (keep in mind, HMD pushed software updates since our review and the old 8 will also get the new camera app). We will have a clearer picture about all of them once the review units with final software arrive, hopefully sooner than later.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco will be available starting April for €749 before taxes.
To conclude, HMD announced a solid 2018 lineup and, what’s more important, all announced devices are physically distinctive from other Android phones of the market. The 8 Sirocco, because of the edge display, could remind some of Samsung phones, but once you get them in the hand, all of the devices are uniquely Nokia, a new Nokia. Overall, we were satisfied with what we saw and we can say that HMD really believes that these devices will make an impact on the market, but as always, thing could be better – less on Nokia 6 and 7 plus, but more towards the higher end. And we are sure that HMD will surprise us with more innovative things later this year.