Nokia’s 8 is its ‘toe in the water’ at the upper end of the Android market. It is the best Nokia made by the new and passionate owners, HMD of Espoo in Finland.
HMD has just turned one-year-old and has hit some good home runs in the first year. It is no mean feat to resurrect the once iconic brand, and we should all support that as competition drives innovation.
But, HMD needs to do a little more R&D as the Nokia 8 is very good in parts but is let down in some areas as a flagship. That could be why it is online for around A$500 (could be grey/parallel market) when its suggested price is A$899.
Added to that are the rumours that we will see a revised Nokia 8 and the new Nokia 9 flagship at the Mobile World Congress in late February. I suspect we will see the 8 repositioned as a mid-market device.
So, this reviewer has a conundrum. Do I rate it against a mid-market phone where it outclasses or a $900+ flagship where it does not?
I think it is safest to review it as a $500-600 phone.
- The phone
- USB-C Qualcomm Fast Charge 3.0 (5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
- USB-C to USB-A cable
- Earphone buds/mic
First impressions are a thin, light body, 5.3” screen, mostly flat metal back (with a very small camera bump) and the dual camera. It is made from a single block of 6000-series milled aluminium.
The home/fingerprint, forward, and recent apps buttons are part of the bottom bezel not taking up valuable screen space but has a lower screen-to-body ratio of 69.4%. The screen is the ‘older’ 16:9 ratio so it’s wider than the newer and larger 18:9 screened phones.
Setup is simple – it is almost pure Google Android, but the surprise comes when you find a 1.5GB update to Android 8.0 Oreo and several Google and app updates that chew up nearly 2GB so make sure you do this over Wi-Fi.
Another noticeable thing is the top, and bottom ‘ends’ are colour co-ordinated plastic to accommodate two 4G antennas. Nokia says this improves reception, but it detracts ever so slightly from the otherwise premium finish.
It has an IP54 rating – splash proof but nowhere near IP67/68 of some flagships.
It is a 5.3” IPS LCD, QHD, 2560 x 1440, 554 ppi, covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. As mentioned earlier the lower screen-to-body ratio makes this look ‘old school’.
It hits 700 nits’ brightness (very good) making it very daylight readable. Its blacks are solid, and contrast is 1840 (above the Apple iPhone 7). But the adaptive brightness setting is too aggressive, and I turned it off and simply set the slider bar to where I felt comfortable.
Colour accuracy is good with a slightly cool cast. Overall it is a tad ahead of the LG G6 making it the best IPS LCD screen I have seen to date.