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Nokia 8: Hands on Review

  MPC Team

Nokia 8 smartphone has been built by Foxconn for HMD Global in collaboration with Google and Zeiss. However, it must not be ruled out that the new Nokia 8 would still be having the Finnish blood running through its veins. HMD Global has done best job to revive the traditional qualities possessed by a Nokia phone, i.e. simplicity, reliability, quality and trust.

Everyone was expecting a Nokia smartphone featuring the hi-fi megapixel camera, and good news is that Nokia 8 does feature the advanced dual camera, thanks to the revived partnership and collaboration with Zeiss. Nokia also has a camera division of its own, i.e. OZO, which was introduced for capturing the phone’s algorithms as well as designing microphones.

According to HMD announcement, the most distinctive feature of Nokia 8 is its camera, whereas the target audience for this smartphone will be the individuals who frequently use the social media and more particularly the video content.

Nokia 8 is capable of shooting 4K videos which can also be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. Another unique feature in Nokia 8 is the picture-in-picture mode, through which the users will be able to show the footage not just from back but also the front cameras, and that too, live! Hence, this feature will help user to present both the sides of a story.

Apart from the camera, new Nokia 8 is manufactured with glass and aluminum. It also provides the IP54 resistance. The company however did not make the screen comparatively large, which has become a norm with most of the Android hot-shot phones featuring 5.3-inch display. The main rationale could be that not everyone wants a larger smartphone.

Nokia 8 will run on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and Android 8.0. The new Android version will be released alongside Nokia 8 release, and it is a great thing that Nokia will run on an operating system that has straightaway come out of the factory. Through this, there will be fast updates with the passage of time.

For finding out the new Nokia 8 specifications at a glance, click here.

Moreover, these specifications definitely bring back the older memories of Nokia N8, which was metal-clad and possessed a durable and awesome camera. However, fans do not need to be nostalgic anymore, as the Nokia’s bright future is shining right in front of our eyes with respect to Nokia 8.

Overview of Nokia 8 Hardware

The new Nokia 8 will come in matte finished and polished form. The polished copper as well as polished blue models of Nokia 8 may take about 22 hours to fulfill their high-gloss mirror finishing. It has also been known that the tempered blue and matte steel versions need to go through a multi-stage procedure of machining as well as anodizing.

Nokia 8 smartphone will begin its life as a single piece of 6000 aluminum series, which gets the ultimate form of 7.9 millimeter thickness. What one wonders is that both Samsung and Apple have already moved on from the firm 7000 series in order to prevent the smartphones from pliability. Whether HMD Global has designed the metal shell to prevent this bending and pliability or not is what we need to look forward to. The company has however claimed that it has used best quality aluminum material to keep the phone from bending. The benefit of doubt must then be definitely given to the company due to immaculate manufacturing quality of Nokia 6 released earlier.

Moreover, there is still no question about the beauty of Nokia 8 smartphone. This is also because the aesthetical preferences of the market have also changed with the release of earlier Nokia 6, which became the symbol of Nokia’s shift towards the new design language. The latest hot feature in smartphones is the bezel-less display, whereas Nokia 8 has still stuck itself to the classic bezel looks on top as well as bottom.

On the top bezel, we have 13MP front camera that features autofocus and Zeiss lens. It has been mentioned quite a lot before that the selfie or front camera with the fixed focus are vulnerable due to blurry photo results. In Nokia 8, we see that there is no dedicated flash on front side. However, where there is more light required, the screen can also step in. Moreover, the bottom bezel features a fingerprint sensor/reader as well as capacitive keys.

Some critics were expecting the new Nokia 8 display to be OLED, but the company remained committed with the IPS LCD, which is a 5.3-inch panel, i.e. relatively smaller than display screen of Nokia 6. However, Nokia 8 display will be much more sharp and bright, which will be due to the QHD resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. The brighter display will also allow the maxing out at 700 nits, which are way better than the 450 nits featured in modern-day mid-range models.

In addition to that, HMD Global preferred not to go for the bezel-less design just like HTC and Sony; however, what HMD did differently was to enable the display to remain turned Always On.

Nokia 8 will be 7.9mm thick and will curve to 4.6mm on both of the sides. We also see the smallest camera bump on backside, which is only 0.4mm. The weight of the phone is 160g and such weight strikes the right balance between not-too-heavy and durable.

Looking at the back, we see a dual camera placed on top and the Zeiss logo which is quite noticeable. We will discuss the camera details later on, but right now we will discuss about some internal details. Firstly, the antenna is placed in similar fashion like in Nokia 5, but one of the two antenna is placed on bottom and the other on the top. This adjustment will help you hold the phone firmly so that you are not able to block both of these antenna simultaneously. According to the company, such placement will not only improve the reception but also not put a burden on battery.

Nokia also worked in collaboration of Qualcomm to ensure that Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset will allow the phone to handle the livestreaming simultaneously from both the cameras. In order to maintain this chipset in better set, the company also used a heat pipe so that heat is drawn away easily. However, one also wishes that the company also improved water resistance, as IP54 for splash and dust resistance does not appear satisfactory in case of this flagship device. This is most especially required because the competitors such as LG, Apple, Sony and Samsung have already been offering the latest IP67 for better resistance.

Moreover, one would also be pleased to see the 3.5mm headphone jack. Along with that, it is also a good news that Nokia has released the Active Wireless Headset with Nokia 8 flagship. The similar design made of aluminum and further having dust and water resistance will let you forgo the wires at the moment though. However, if not, then you can also have the USB-C port at the bottom, which is 1st Gen and having speed of 5Gbps.

This USB-C port is capable to deliver 18W of battery power, which is due to Quick Charge 3.0 battery. The Nokia 8 battery will have a capacity of 3,090mAh, which is neither huge nor mediocre.

Nokia 8 Performance

As mentioned above, Nokia 8 has been powered by Snapdragon 835 chipset and Android 8.0. The company has not made its own chipset. The actual model has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. However, the Polished Blue variant of Nokia 8 will have 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

Upon release, Nokia 8 will run on Android 7.1.1, and as soon as Android O is released, there will be update for it. So Nokia 8 can be regarded as among the first ones to get this update. We can also still allow it to compete with the benchmark, which is due to variety than any other factor, and while Nokia 8 can really give tough competition to the other top flagship brands, Nokia 6 really can’t.

But that is not an issue at the moment. We must appreciate HMD on how awesome Nokia 8 is running. Upon re-running the multiple benchmark tests in simultaneous periods, we came to know that the graphite shield and heat pipe are doing cool work, as the phone did not get warm. However, it can still not be told how the chipset will react on heat radar, as generally it is obvious about the smartphones having bad heat management.

When it comes to different benchmarks, we cannot tell much about it. There is a thing about Snapdragon 835 phones that they quickly cluster together whereas the results are clearly within the error margins. The only exceptions breaking away from this group are S821-powered LG G6 and Exynos-based Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Camera

It has been reported earlier that Nokia 8 is running on the unmodified Android. However, one major exception is that Nokia itself has written its Camera app. It is a good news for Nokia fans. Google has shown that it is likely that sometimes the better camera app will be able to comparatively better photos as compared to those dual newfangled cameras.

There are two cameras in Nokia 8, and both of them feature 13MP sensors that are sitting behind the Zeiss lens. One sensor will take the shots in black and white, whereas the other sensor will take color shots. The latter sensor also has optical image stabilization. The aperture is not the brightest at f/2.0 and the pixels are not largest at 1.12µm. Google Pixel too had the same f/2.0 lens but the pixels were larger, i.e. 1.55µm. On other hand, the second camera will be helpful in bokeh effects, but it is not capable of offering the zooming capabilities.

It has also been mentioned earlier that the 13MP selfie camera will have the f/2.0 Zeiss lens and there will also be same size of the pixels. In this regard, treatment of both of the cameras as being equals of each other makes up a point, which means Dual-Sight. This is also what the company has also described as the feature, which combines the videos from rear as well as front cameras in simultaneous time.

As a matter of fact, the company also developed the term ‘bothie’ for taking the combined photograph from both of these cameras; however, we have still not heard of this word more often. Anyhow, Zeiss may be enjoying the market as the biggest brand in camera business, however, there is a new-comer which is known as OZO. This is famous for the insane 360-degree VR camera introduced in Nokia, and the company has the knowledge about sound of it and Nokia 8 has also taken advantage of this technology.

Moreover, the phone will also feature three highly sophisticated microphones and the similar audio recording algorithms as were found in the big OZO camera. The result of this will be ab engulfing 360-degree surrounding voice. Furthermore, effective stills as well as special codecs are also offered for binaural audio sound.

So if you have not tried it before then you must know that it will create a better realistic sound with a clarified direction. You will be able to hear the things behind, side and in front of you. It must also be noted that you will need headphones for better effect; however, you do not need the Nokia 8 for listening to the effects within the videos that you record.

First Impressions

The company has ensured that units of Nokia 8 are being shipped across the word in different retail stores and the sales will begin in September. The Nokia 8 price will be globally $700. This must still be affordable for everyone as still this smartphone is the Nokia’s flagship. However, there is a bad news as well. It turns out so far that US fans will not be able to get the hang of Nokia 8 initially, but it is expected that they will get it later on. China has been given a special treatment thus far.

We have however heard from HMD that there will be quick updates as the company has not customized most of the Android OS. Google Pixel will definitely have some competition in this regard, as Nokia 6 was not able to compete it. HMD has also been targeting millions of content creators to give good reviews of Nokia 8. Everyone knows what Nokia was back in its glorious days. Everyone is waiting for Nokia to become mainstream competitor once again and leave behind a legacy once and for all.

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