So the long-awaited Nokia flagship Android device is here and it was launched last week at Putrajaya. The device promises many things… things that are ‘flagship’ level which is comparable to other smartphones of the same category.
With this device, Nokia is now officially back in the market, bringing along some familiar items and some new and innovative features not found in competitor products.

Before we continue, here’s the specs list:

OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat (Android 8 Oreo available for update very soon)
RAM: 4GB
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa core
Display: 5.3” IPS QHD (2560 x 1440 resolution) Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Internal memory: 64GB (supports MicroSD card up to 256GB)
Primary camera: 13 MP (Colour + OIS) + 13 MP (Mono), 1.12um, f/2.0, PDAF, IR range finder, dual tone flash
Selfie camera: 13 MP PDAF, f/2.0 with display flash

With the brand gone missing for a long period of time, it’s not easy to gain trust and love from consumers like you and me nowadays, especially when we have already ‘tasted’ so many other smartphones throughout these years.
Nokia has to prove itself worthy and good with this Nokia 8 flagship. Can it do so? Does it provide everything as advertised? Let’s see.

BUILD & DESIGN

According to them, the Nokia 8 is machined from a single block of 6000 series aluminum. It is supposed to give a solid and sturdy feeling. Is this true?

Well, YES it definitely is. From my test for the past week, I really like the feel of the Nokia 8 in my hands. The curved back is super comfortable to hold. Though I must say, that I personally prefer the solidness of the Nokia 6. Somehow that gives me a WOW feeling when I held it. The Nokia 8, however.. gives me an ‘AWWW’ feeling cos it’s so comfy.

DISPLAY SCREEN

The Nokia 8 comes with a 5.3″ screen. To be honest, I am so used to big screen smartphones nowadays that I cannot accept anything smaller than a 5.2″ (that’s what she said).

The display has a 2K resolution and it’s the sweet spot for smartphone displays in my honest opinion. By not pushing it to 4K, it promises longer battery life and that’s a very important issue to keep in mind when it comes to smartphones.
Texts are super crisp and visuals look vibrant and sharp, though I notice a slight blue tint which I don’t prefer. It’s obvious when I compare it side by side with another device.

There are no options in the settings to change the white balance or temperature of the display so I guess we have to live with it.

CAMERA

The Nokia 8 comes with three 13MP cameras. 2 on the back and 1 on the front for selfies. According to them, the systems are using ZEISS optics. (If this slipped your mind, all Nokia flagship devices from back in the days come with ZEISS optics.)
With this new device, they are also introducing a new photo-taking feature called #BOTHIE.

With this BOTHIE feature, we can activate both front and back camera to capture ourselves along with what we see at the back of the phone.

This new photo taking technique can be used for LIVE STREAMS as well. For the first time ever, we can now Live stream on Facebook and Youtube with both cameras turned on, so we don’t have to switch camera while we broadcast our lives to our fans and followers.

I personally love this feature a lot. Especially for content creators like me, Live streaming while using both cameras is definitely brilliant. Here’s one I did during the launch.

Now let’s take a look at some camera samples. [Click to enlarge]

Using both cameras (Mono + Colour) to capture the best quality shot:

Close up using both cameras (Mono + Colour):

BOTHIE mode, front and back at the same time:

Portrait mode with Live bokeh control:

The photo outcomes are definitely great, but not SUPER MIND BLOWING.
I expected the dual-camera combo (mono + colour) on the back to produce super sharp and vibrant photos. The outcome is somewhat 80% of my expectation. BUT STILL GOOD ENOUGH FOR MANY!

Another thing to note. The front camera takes the same great quality photos as the back. So you can freely use either camera to capture your day to day shots AND I LOVE IT! I’m specifically noting this as I seldom encounter a phone that uses the same back cameras on the front so it’s definitely a PLUS POINT.

THE EXTRA FEATURES

We’ve talked about BOTHIE, which is a photo-taking feature that stands out amongst all the other smartphones in the market. There’s also another thing that Nokia users would know and love.
It’s the Glance screen. This feature has been passed down from the old Nokia days to the new Nokia 8 and it’s definitely one of the most loved features.

It’s basically an always-on display that tells us the time, date and notifications. I kinda miss the ability to add patterns and photos on the Glance screen. Hope it will be added in future offerings.

To audio buffs and videographers, the Nokia 8 also comes with OZO Audio. According to them, “Nokia 8 is the first smartphone to feature Nokia OZO Audio, placing exclusive Hollywood technology in the palm of your hand. OZO spatial 360° audio brings a fully immersive audio experience to your 4K video. Leading-edge 360° audio capture ensures the playback lets you truly relive the moment so your memories never fade.”

From my testing, it’s actually a better sounding surround sound system. We can now use this technology to record our videos in order to capture sounds from all angle.
Audio Focus allows us to amplify the sound from a certain direction when we zoom in. Sounds too good to be true but it does work (though may not produce perfect result all the time).

OVERALL

“So should I buy the Nokia 8?”

If you ask me this question, I will say “why not?”.
It’s definitely a good contender for flagship level devices in the market currently. The key features like BOTHIE cameras and OZO audio are great additions for people who love creating content that are not available elsewhere.
If you are tired of brands like Huawei, HTC, Samsung and is on the lookout for a great Android device… then the Nokia 8 is definitely one to check out. The price is RM2299 by the way, and it comes in 3 colours currently; Polished Blue, Tempered Blue and Steel.

Before I end this article, I just wanna say to Nokia… “pls make the bezels smaller and include water resistant on the upcoming devices OK?”.

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Watch me unbox the Nokia 8 here:

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