The "1-Minute" Review
- Poor viewing angles and color balance
- No microSD support
- Uncomfortable edges
- Hard to press buttons
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
Nokia has always been known for its sleek designs and attention to detail. With the latest release in their 2018 lineup, the Nokia 8 Sirocco pushes into flagship phone territory. However, the company has struggled to find that perfect balance of design, features, and price that could carry it back to its former glory. Does this phone reverse that trend?
The phone sports a familiar IP67-rated metal and glass design that, at first glance, wowed reviewers. However, upon picking it up, you’ll notice something -- they didn’t use aluminum, instead opting for stainless steel. This creates a sturdier feel at the cost of added weight. While far from bulky, the 177g Sirocco weighs as much as phones a good deal larger.
The rear of the phone includes a fingerprint scanner that reviewers found easy to reach and responsive. Heading to the sides of the phone, you’ll find a slight taper and a seam where the glass and metal pieces meet. While the thinness might look good, many reviewers found it uncomfortable to grip for extended periods. Even worse, they found the design made the power and volume buttons hard to find and harder still to press.
This curve extends around to the front as well with the 5.5-inch 1440-by-2560 pixel OLED display sloping to meet the edges of the case. While this has been a hit for Samsung in the past, reviewers found Nokia’s approach less successful. In the curved areas, many complained of distortion to both text and color. The display already runs slightly cool with bluish whites, but on the edges, the effect is even more pronounced.
Nokia chose a 2.36Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor with 6GB of RAM to power the phone. While not the latest chip on offer, reviewers found that the pairing offered more than enough performance for heavy multitasking, playing the latest games, and quickly bouncing around apps or snapping pictures. However, the curved screen sometimes caused issues for apps or games that used the edges of the display for controls.
As an Android ONE phone, the Sirocco ships with Android 8.1 Oreo and promises two years of rapid updates. Nokia’s touches to the interface are minimal and everything runs silky smooth.
You’ll find 128GB of internal storage but there’s no microSD card. Though, for the average buyer, 128GB is likely enough.
The phone’s dual-lens 12MP/13MP rear camera features 2x optical zoom and a dual flash for even tones and lighting. Reviewers found the phone up to the task in decent lighting and the 12MP lens produced decent results in low-light. However, many had issues with noise and blurring when using the 13MP telephoto lens and recommended avoiding it when possible.
The front-facing 5MP lens produces decent snaps for social sharing or video chat but is behind the 8MP lenses seen in many comparably priced phones in terms of detail.
If you’re looking for a phone that will last through the day with ease, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is a solid option. The 3260mAh battery with USB Type-C fast charging lasted most reviewers a full day and some of them could squeeze two days from a single charge. Fast charging provides a 50% charge in 30 minutes. There’s also Qi wireless charging for top ups while in the car or at your desk.
The phone only has one real flaw -- but it’s a major one. A screen with poor color balance and bad viewing angles isn’t something you expect at this price point. Due to that, most reviews recommend passing on the phone, despite its other strong points.
ZDNet says, “As the screen is the key to a smartphone, this failing makes it difficult to recommend the Nokia 8 Sirocco.” Phone Arena agrees, saying, “To sum the Nokia 8 Sirocco in one sentence, it is a phone that is more pleasant to look at than it is to actually use on a daily basis.”
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