Nokia 8 Review: Nokia’s Flagship Smartphone

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Nokia’s premium flagship handset, the Nokia 8, is a device that can generally be described as sleek, classy and a top-tier phone that easily fits into one’s lifestyle – especially mine that involves a lot of events, travel and running around. It has a good build, is easy to handle and feels premium with its metal unibody and finish.

I had it for a couple of weeks and here’s my take of the device:

Design and display

With an all-metal build that is said to ‘represent all the hallmarks of a true flagship Nokia smartphone, the Nokia 8 feels solid and substantial on your hand without feeling too heavy. It also is quite the thin device and it seems thinner with its curvature from the sides to the back – giving it an overall design that is really appealing when you whip it out during meetings and events.

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However if you mind scratches and scuffs, make sure you get a screen protector.

With a fingerprint reader which also doubles as the Home button at the bottom chin that’s bordered by the navigating buttons, it’s almost easy to forget that the reader is at the front, I honestly would have preferred if it was at the back but it looks like from the looks of the design, they wanted to give more amplification to the rear camera.

Display

The Nokia 8 has an LCD panel and it boasts QHD resolution, and at 5.3″ in size that’s protected with a sheet of Gorilla Glass 5, the device puts up quite the decent screen.

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The front came with some all-up-in-your-face bezels which was really unfortunate since shrinking bezels have been the trend since sometime in 2011 but the size of the bezels wasn’t and isn’t something that bothers you since I forgot about it in a few seconds.

Camera

I had really high expectations with the Bothie feature and after a few test shots in low-lit conditions for the first few days, I wasn’t as impressed.

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It however produces some decent pictures with ample natural light. The autofocus feature also took some time to adjust to especially when it came to taking multiple images one after the other; with the Auto HDR mode on default, the processing time takes quite a while.

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Selfie mode at a night event with moderately good lighting

The Bothie feature – the ability to take pictures with both the front and rear cameras simultaneously – however comes in quite handy for Facebook and YouTube live streams, making it the ideal device for vloggers. The fact that they love ensuring good lighting on their videos will make the Nokia 8 a plus for them.

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Another selfie at an event

Some more images:

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In terms of video, the OZO Audio feature made shooting videos bearable especially in concerts or events where you’re shooting next to the speakers. The OZO microphones really helps in capturing what other smartphones find a bit hard to accurately capture and in my opinion, this will work really well for content creators!

Performance

Its performance was quite interesting considering the amount of things I did with it in the span of two weeks.

Clean and lag free, the Android 7.7.1 Nougat which comes with Snapdragon 835 made its performance almost impressive. Of course there were a few hiccups in the fast few days but it’s nothing Android users aren’t used to (giggles)

On the battery, I barely felt any heating up from the device with the amount of time I had it. During the launch, they said they’ve installed an advanced heat management solution which is basically a liquid-copper pipe that runs across the length of the phone and with graphite shielding works to potentially extend battery life.

It also has a USB-C Cable and Quick Charge 3.0 charging brick that makes its fast charging capabilities quick, impressive and without overheating the phone – I compared it with my current phone, the Samsung S7 Edge in fast-charging and the Nokia won in keeping the phone at normal temperature while the S7 sadly overheated

Verdict

I had a generally good experience with the phone and I think Nokia really put their best foot forward with their premium flagship Android device. Despite the amazing battery life and other clearly distinguished specs, I feel it might struggle with the crowded Android world. It retailed for about Kshs 60,000 when it got into the market but the prices should have come down by now.

I’d give it a solid 3.7 out of 5 and hope that some of the issues I got with the Nokia 8 won’t be there with the Nokia 7 Plus that launched last week.

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