The "1-Minute" Review
- Camera slow to focus and capture images
- Uninspired design
- Not waterproof
- Aluminum rear attract smudges and fine scratches
Nokia has gone through quite a few name changes. They even disappeared for a few years after their acquisition by Microsoft. But the company is back, and while it had a shaky start, they hope to bring people back into the fold with the Nokia 8.
Does it check all the boxes?
For years, Nokia was renowned for their bright colors and playful designs. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll be let down by the design of the Nokia 8.
While it comes in an eye-catching copper (as well as tempered blue, polished blue, and steel) most reviewers weren’t wowed by the look of the phone. Some reviewers went so far as to call it boring. They also noticed the aluminum rear attracted smudges and, after a few weeks of normal use, fine scratches.
Still, they felt the rounded edges combined with a low weight of 160 grams made it nice to hold for long amounts of time. Though, if you have smaller hands, the large size made it difficult for them to use one-handed.
While touted as splash-proof, it does not have an IP rating. So, you’ll want to make sure you don’t spill water on it or drop it in a puddle.
In the age of bezel-less smartphones, the Nokia 8 seems like a blast from the past with its chunky top and bottom bezels. They are so large that the screen-to-body ratio does not even reach 70 percent.
Fortunately, the screen that's there gets high marks. The 5.3-inch LCD panel offers Quad HD resolution (1,440-by-2,560). Experts called it “pin sharp” with excellent sunlight legibility.
The only downside they noticed was that the LCD could not achieve the same level of inky blacks as an AMOLED panel—ultimately leading to less contrast. They also experienced some dimming when viewing at different angles although it wasn’t a huge problem.
Most were happy with the realistic colors, fine details, and decent brightness. Reviewers agreed the downsides were heavily outweighed by the positives.
Performance-wise, reviewers had no complaints. The octa-core Snapdragon processor and 4GB of RAM offered a super-fast experience regardless of the whether they were multitasking, playing games, or just navigating their home screen.
The 3,090mAh battery lasted most around a full day with moderate usage. While not the best on the market, it’s on par with other smartphones.
Nokia has revived their relationship with Zeiss for their rear camera. The dual 13-megapixel lenses are meant to work together to create higher quality pictures. When put to the test, reviewers were less than impressed.
Although images were well-balanced, they were let down by slow and unreliable auto-focusing—even in good lighting situations. While it comes with optical image stabilization, they still noticed a fair amount of noise. The slow focus and capture speeds led to blurry images more often than not.
Still, when the camera nailed a few shots, the pictures were very detailed and colors were vibrant without being over-saturated.
Although it’s a decent first Android flagship for Nokia, reviewers have a hard time enthusiastically recommending it. Trusted Reviews states, “... there’s nothing that really stands out about the Nokia 8... it will need to do more with its effort if the brand is to stand out among the elite…” Tech Advisor adds, “Although the Nokia 8 offers some decent specs for the price, it’s just not a device that stands out in a crowded market.”
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