The wait is finally over as the brand that was once known for making high-quality and stylish smartphones with stellar ZEISS cameras is back with their first Android flagship smartphone – the Nokia 8. With HMD Global recently launching the new and powerful Nokia 8 at a very attractive price in the UAE, we are here to take a look at how the new device fares against the ongoing competition. Read further for our comprehensive review of Nokia 8 in UAE.
Ah! The days when Nokia used to release smartphones with unique form-factors were something that can never be forgotten. That was then. And while one may say that the Nokia 8 is just another Android smartphone, it’s designed with high-quality materials and fused in a seamless design. The 5.3’ inch IPS panel offers a total brightness of 700 nits and the display has a sharpness count of 2560 x 1440 that ensures good quality of images and video, along with good viewing angles. However, after seeing many rumors in the past, the Nokia 8 doesn’t feature a bezel-less screen as the high-end competition like the Samsung Galaxy S8/ Galaxy S8+, the LG G6, and the recently announced LG V30 smartphone. The introduction of near bezel-less smartphones has sparked a new trend of design and preference for many users, and the bezels of the Nokia 8 on the upper and bottom area of the screen are disappointing, to say the least. The display neatly interconnects to the aluminum edges and the sides are perfectly curved, which then flows to the rear panel.
And words alone may not be enough to justify it. Now here is a surprise for those who loved the old days of shooting with a Nokia and ZEISS camera. The new smartphone has a dual-lens ZEISS camera, which is a first in the market. While we can talk about it in a later part, the vertical camera module only protrudes slightly. It means that you won’t always feel the large camera bump that’s seen on many smartphones, and for a 13MP dual-lens camera, that’s very impressive. The NOKIA logo is also vertically aligned with the camera module. The power button and the volume buttons are conveniently placed on the right edge of the device, and the slot for Dual SIM cards or a MicroSD card is located on the left side. There is a 3.5mm audio jack on the top (we are glad Nokia didn’t remove it for a thinner body). HMD Global has also included a new audio tech called Nokia OZO that helps to record the best of 360-degree audio recording while capturing 4K videos. Speaking of which, the Nokia 8 has a thickness of 7.9mm and the overall weight is 160g. We wished that HMD Global used more than one speaker grill, that’s also located next to the USB Type-C port. Oh, and there is a home button on the front side that houses the fingerprint scanner as well and the directional keys are of the capacitive type. We also would like to point out that the Nokia 8 is IP54 certified for dust and water splash resistance. We were expecting a lot more than that.
Specification and Performance of Nokia 8
The Nokia 8 isn’t just all about having a thin body and stylish design. Inside this metal smartphone lies the Snapdragon 835 chip that’s presently the fastest, for now, and the RAM included is a dual-channel 4GB LPDDR4X, along with a fast 64GB UFS storage. Unlike in the past where Nokia used a forked version of Android on devices such as the Nokia X, the new Nokia 8 features a clean and pure version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS.
It’s one of the best things I liked in the Nokia 8 because, without any presence of unwanted bloat-wares, users will get a fast and snappy experience. HMD Global did confirm in the past that the current generation Nokia Android smartphones are bound to receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update and we are sure that it will run well on the Nokia 8. After running Antutu benchmark, we got a massive score of 176119 points.
The camera of the Nokia 8 was the most interesting part I couldn’t just wait to try out. The main camera is configured as a dual-lens shooter. Behind the ZEISS lens that has an aperture of F2.0, the first image sensor is a 13MP is meant to capture standard images and the other 13MP for monochrome photography. While the front camera also comes with a 13MP and a ZEISS lens of its own with F2.0 aperture, Nokia has introduced a new “Dual-Sight” mode that takes images from the front and rear camera at the same time. You can shoot images or video and even go live with this setup and Nokia calls it the “Bothie”. As for the main camera, users will be able to select either the color sensor, the monochrome or using both that’s called the “Twin Mode”. As per our observation, we feel using the twin mode brings in slightly colors that look vivid than the normal color mode. The main camera also features PDAF (Phase Detection AutoFocus) that worked quite well, but not as fast as the likes of Samsung and Huawei.
While the camera is quite impressive, we can’t help but notice that the manual mode of the camera doesn’t allow you to adjust the ISO, shutter speed and aperture, which is one of the most important aspects while snapping a picture. On the contrary, many Nokia Lumia smartphones with Windows Phones had that option, and we wonder why wasn’t it introduced in the Nokia 8. The only thing that can be controlled is the exposure, the white balance, the region to focus on and whether landscape or macro. This may become a letdown for many mobile photographers, so HMD Global should consider adding them via an update. We also noticed that the camera doesn’t feature a dedicated night mode or a food mode, which can be very useful for social media influencers and foodies. We guess that the auto mode already knows to shoot at the best settings while taking snaps of night landscapes or delicious foods. That said, there is a “Live Bokeh” mode where you can adjust the depth of field before snapping a picture. The Nokia 8’s main camera is also capable of recording 4K and 1080p videos. Take a look at some of the photos we have taken.
Battery Life of Nokia 8
HMD Global keeps up with the tradition by featuring the Nokia 8 with a large 3090 mAh battery. From a full charge, the Nokia 8 drained down to the lowest percentage by the end of the day, after I used the camera for a good amount of time, browsed the internet via WiFi and LTE on the Chrome browser, made some calls and installed some social media applications. So, in other words, the device manages to last for a day on a single charge, and it also supports the fast charge capability, which Qualcomm calls it the Quick Charge 3.0.
However, the battery of the Nokia 8 is not removable. That said, the Doze mode of Android Nougat and the efficiency of the new Snapdragon 835 processor should also help for better battery life. It’s also worth saying that Android Oreo features improved Doze mode and battery life capabilities, so expect a slight bump in battery life once the update is out.
NOKIA 8 REVIEW VERDICT:
While the smartphone may not have a bezel-less design factor, HMD Global has certainly returned the iconic brand with a bang. The Nokia 8 is a beautiful looking smartphone with an aluminum chassis and packs the best mobile chipset and configuration in town for now. It’s also IP54 certified for splash proof but not IP68 water resistant, and that should be fine for most of the users out there. The addition of a dual-lens ZEISS camera on the rear and another 13MP ZEISS on the front is a first on the market, along with the Bothie dual mode should be a fun feature for many users who are a lot into social media. We were certainly surprised to know that the Nokia 8 is priced at AED 1699 in the UAE, and HMD Global gives out a message that premium smartphones, from a premium brand, can be priced at an affordable rate.