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Thanks to HMD Global – Pakistan , we just got our hands on Nokia 8, the current flagship by the new Nokia.  Personally I had been looking forward to buy a Nokia Android device for myself to check it out and see what makes it different from other smart phones in my drawer , ,mainly iPhone X , iPhone 7 Plus , Samsung Note 8 and Samsung S8 Plus .  Just a quick look at the snap below will show you, how Nokia 8 stands in size amongst all of them.

I’m lucky to get the ‘ Polished Blue ‘  color and it sure is a head turner albeit all the smudges I’ve been putting on it , but this is the color , you won’t put a cover on , it’s for showing not hiding and  a solid body chiseled out of a single piece of aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front , don’t make it  fragile like my iPhone X , which is secured in a thick Spigen cover with side protection .

The Unboxing

Nokia has kept it simple with Nokia 8 , there is the Phone , Charging Wire ( USB -C ). Charger and headphones along with a SIM Tray Pin and user guide.

Nokia 8 supports fast charging ,  the supplied charger does support fast charging but it’s a but chunky as compared to Samsung Fast Charger .  Do note that Nokia 8. Does not support wireless charging which is becoming a norm with many manufacturer’s flagships.

The Specs

Technically speaking , Nokia 8 is at par with the current flasgships on offer by Apple and Samsung , featuring ,  Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa Core processor , 4GB ROM and 64 GB RAM with support for additional 256GB SDCard.

I Inserted by 200GB Sandisk SDCard , from Samsung , but was prompted to format it , so hadn’t had the chance to try it

Still with unlimited Google Photo storage onboard , 64GB will suffice for many ,  just a side note , you will not get complete 64GB , 12GB is taken over by operating system , so you have 52 GB of useable storage for apps and content.  Update :  After Oreo Security update , the OS space fell to 9.8GB giving me 54.2 GB of space.

Current manufacturers can’t decide whether to go big or small in screen size , with iPhone X hovering in  5.8 inch territory and Samsung breaking the bounds with 6.3 inch Note 8. , Nokia 8 , stays at 5.3 inch which sits comfortably in hand . The screen itself is LCD with 2K resolution

Having 2560 X 1440 Pixel resolution , bright enough to be used in broad sunlight and to make you squint when the brightness is turned to full.

Connectivity wise , Nokia 8 has all the usual bands , LTE Cat 9 , 802.11a/b/g/n/ac ( MIMO ) WiFi which works great with my beast of TP-Link Archer 5400 and 500mbps FTTH connection .

Thankfully , Nokia has kept the 3.5mm Audio Jack , as not every time I have Bluetooth headset handy like the case with my iPhone X  and Nokia 8. Comes with 3 mics , making it easy for you to be heard despite the noisy conditions.

Imaging wise , Nokia 8 comes Zeiss , Dual 13MP lens , one having Color +. Optical Image Stabilization and other 13 MP Lens to be Monochrome .  In the stock camera app , you have the option to use either one of the both or both lens .

Some reviewers have complained about the image quality  taken by Nokia 8 , however for me I found it acceptable and somewhat creative that in Dual Lens mode , I can easily take Bookeh images.

On the software front , the new Nokia has been the fastest , while I’m still waiting for my Samsung Note 8 to get Android Oreo , Nokia 8. Prompted me for update right out of the box and with a 1.5 GB download it updated itself to Nokia Oreo .  That’s not the end of it. Another 75.5 MB download , updated it to Google’s March Security patch keeping the device uptodate and secure all the time.  Given the exploits on Android , rest assured with Nokia 8 , you always have the latest security updates , as promised by Nokia .

First Look 

As I mentioned , with looks it was love at first sight.  The sleek metallic blue sheen , the engraved Nokia logo at the back and Dual Cameras and flash  encapsulated in a metallic outline makes it a  looker.

On the right side ,Nokia 8 has the power and Volume Up and Down Key

On the left is the Dual Tray , capable of handling two nano SIMs or One Nano SIM and One SD Card.

The SIM Tray is not flimsy as I’ve found with Samsung Note8 and easily accommodated the Nano SIM and SD Card , on my Samsung , I have to push them in.

On the bottom is USB C charging /data port capable of 5GBPS data transfer and also speaker and Mic .

On the top is the 3.5mm headphone jack

On the front screen are the Navigation buttons , Home Button which also acts as a fingerprint scanner , 13 MP Front Cam and a subliminal Nokia Logo on the top right .

Nokia 8 has a great shape with curved sides which feels good in hands

Going Deeper

Upon starting the Nokia 8. , for the first time , I was given the option to choose my language , given it’s a Pakistan region device , it was good to see that Urdu was the default language but given translation limitations from Nokia side , which always  amuses me  , I shifted the language to English – US with added options of choosing English UK / India / Australia .

I’ve yet to find out difference between Indian English and British English .

As I setup my data connection , I was prompted for an available update .  Now if you don’t have WiFi available , you are stuck as the 1546 MB data won’t download on cellular connection despite me having 10GB data bundle and LTE connection running at 25mb/s . Alas my FTTH at home was also down so had to resort to my iPhone X Peronsal Hotspot , having 35GB bundle at LTE speeds

After a while , the phone downloaded the update and updated itself , one thing to note is that unlike my iPhone or Note8  which become extremely hot , when updating , Nokia 8 remained cool to touch , thanks to it’s liquid based cooling inside.

In the beginning , Nokia 8.  , gives you the option either to set it up as a new phone or get data from iPhone or another Andrpid device , I didn’t had the chance to try it , as I wanted to go further then again get stuck on downloads

There is also an option to setup Finger Print unlock on setup , haven’t done that either J and feel content with my 4 digit password.

Coming to password , one thing I dislike in Android , which was covered by Note 8 , was I have to press OK after entering the code , can’t it be instantaneous as I enter the code.

Nokia 8 is pure Android , i.e. there is no skins or bloatware loaded by Nokia as common with other Android device manufacturers,  the applications are all stock except ‘Support’ App by Nokia .  The stock apps include

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Camera
  • Chrome
  • Clock
  • Contacts
  • Drive
  • Duo
  • Files
  • Gmail
  • Google
  • Google Handwriting
  • Keep
  • Maps
  • Messages
  • SIM Tools ( For me it’s Mobilink )
  • Newsstand
  • Phone
  • Photos
  • Play Book
  • Play Games
  • Play Music
  • Play Store
  • Settings
  • Wallpaper
  • YouTube

When I went to Play Store,  all 27 apps were updated to latest version.

The default home screen has Play Store ,  Duo , Photos and Google Apps shortcuts as default. Swipe left to right and you will get Google Search .  Nothing happens when you swipe right to left .  Swipe upwards and you will get the app list which can be pulled down.

Keep the finger on home button ( it’s capacitive ) and you will get Google Assistant  with voice support.

Swipe down from the top and you will get the option Shortcuts / Settings menu .  Through shortcuts , you can manage

  • Wifi
  • Mobile Data
  • Battery Saver
  • Do no Disturb
  • Torch
  • Auto Rotate
  • Bluetooth
  • Airplane Mode
  • Nearby
  • Screen Capture
  • Data Saver
  • Night Light  options

Conclusion

There is a lot more on Nokia 8 to be explored , it’s capable of ‘casting’ the phone image onto Chromecast enabled devices , It has NFC for transfer of data , It has Nokia Glance Screen , which shows useful information on lock screen while consuming minimal of battery , it even has gesture controls , enabling you to reject the class by flipping the phone over , or muting the ringtone on pickup or Jump to Camera by fast pressing the power button twice.  I won’t be able to cover them and many more features in this post , and there will be many more about device tips and tricks and available options.

Overall , in my brief time of usage of Nokia 8 , I found it to be responsive , fast with exceptional battery life which lasted even after updating the firmware , updating apps and using it for a while . For the next few days I’m replacing my Samsung Note 8 with it ( blame WhatsApp data not being able to easily transfer between iOS and Android ) .  I will be using it extensively for taking photos ( hint , I’m travelling and taking it along ) navigation and for media consumption like Netflix and Youtube .  I have yet to install Microsoft Office suite for my work use and see how it performs in demanding environment .

As per my initial thoughts , I’m very satisfied with Nokia 8 performance , will I recommend to buy it , Yes , but do remember the next big thing the Nokia 8. Sirocco is around the corner