Note: Although we've had the Nokia 8 for over a week, we've yet to give the Nokia 8 a score as it's not running final software. HMD Global has said, "We are continuously working on updates and improvements and will look to address this before the sales for Nokia 8 start."
We've found the early unit we've been provided with has some issues and will revisit this review when the new software is officially rolled out.
The comeback of Nokia is perhaps the most interesting story in phones of 2017, and now its first range of devices seems to be complete, with the introduction of the brand new Nokia 8.
Nokia 8 price and release date
The exact release date for the Nokia 8 is currently unclear, but we’ve been given a launch window of September this year for most markets around the globe. We know for certain it’ll be coming to the UK and Australia, but there's no clear word about the US yet.
So far we don’t know what networks and carriers will be stocking the phone around the world, but we hope to see some deals information coming soon.
With the Nokia 8 being the brand’s first flagship for a few years, a big emphasis is being put on its camera, which was a highlight feature of the last Windows Phone Nokia devices from 2014.
The Nokia 8 features a dual-sensor rear shooter that can capture ‘bokeh’ images with an attractive background blur, and uses a RGB and monochrome sensor in tandem for better low light photography.
The camera has been made in partnership with Zeiss too, although it’s not entirely clear what input the German lens specialists have had.
There are lots of extra features squeezed in here in an attempt to make this one of the best phone cameras on the market.
You may have heard of the new ‘Bothie’ mode, which uses both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras at the same time, so you can capture what’s behind your phone – probably yourself – as well as what’s in front.
On top of that there’s also Nokia’s OZO 3D audio capture tech, which should allow for more immersive video when you’re recording.
Design and display
The design of the Nokia 8 is one of the key elements, and it’s one of the most – if not the most – beautiful phones we’ve ever seen with the Nokia branding emblazoned on the rear.
It’s an aluminium unibody design with metal edges, but while the back is metal too, the feel on the rear will depend on which finish you opt for.
There are steel and tempered blue colors, but both of these have a matt finish, and look a little bit lackluster when put next to the shiny copper and blue options.
For our review we’ve used the steel and shiny blue options. The shiny blue finish is by far the more eye-catching, although you may want to invest in a case for it, as we found we’d picked up a few scratches after only a week or so of use.
The body of the phone is thin, coming in at 7.9mm at its thickest point, but the edges curve down, so it sits comfortably in the hand.
Nokia 8 specs
Dimensions: 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm
OS: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Screen size: 5.3-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 2560
CPU: Snapdragon 835
RAM: 4GB of RAM
Rear camera: 13MP + 13MP dual lens
Front camera: 13MP
Those with smaller hands may also enjoy this device, as it comes with a 5.3-inch screen. It’s an LCD panel that has a QHD resolution and 700 nits of brightness – that's high for a smartphone, and should mean your phone's display is easily viewable even in glaring sunlight.
Video looks beautiful on the Nokia 8, although at such a small screen size it’s unclear whether a QHD resolution is really necessary here. Nokia has yet to reveal if any virtual reality functionality is planned for the Nokia 8.
If you want your regular video to look great though, the super-bright and high-resolution display on the Nokia 8 will be a great fit for you. It offers 554 pixels per inch, although it doesn’t compete with the likes of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium with its 4K front panel.
Antenna bands are visible along the top and bottom of the phone, but these don’t detract from the overall look. The company has placed them on the top and bottom to try and give you a better signal when you’re holding the phone.
Below the screen is a fingerprint scanner, which sits between the two navigation buttons and is in an easy-to-reach position to tap to unlock the phone. We found it quick at unlocking the phone from a single tap, although it is quite small, so you need to make sure to place your thumb or finger precisely.
The Nokia 8 isn’t waterproof like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or iPhone 7, but it’s splash-resistant at IP54, which should mean you’ll be able to use it in the rain without having to worry about flooding the internals.