Nokia 8 Sirocco review

It has the looks, but does it have the tech to match?

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Look at the Nokia 8 Sirocco and you might guess its designers spent so long agonizing over its curves and glassy bits that by the time the phone was ready, the rest of the world had moved on. Some parts are a little dated.

If you’re not enchanted by its design, and you may well be, the Nokia 7 Plus seems better value.

There are a few deeper tech issues too. The Nokia 8 Sirocco has a slightly dated chipset and the phone’s curved front highlights the technical shortcomings of its P-OLED screen.

It doesn’t do itself any favors and recommending it over phones of superior value like the OnePlus 6 is difficult. However, it has its own set of charms.

Who's this for?

The Nokia 8 Sirocco suits those after a phone that looks and feels expensive and, of course, Nokia loyalists.

Should you buy it?

If you don’t fall in love with its stripped-back software and the minutiae of its design, there are too many better-value options out there.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco proves Nokia has engineers who know how to make a luxury phone, but the tech is a little behind in too many areas to keep up with the competition.

First reviewed: June 2018

There are lots of strong alternatives to the Nokia 8 Sirocco. Consider one of the following three phones instead:

OnePlus 6

At least £200/$300 cheaper than the Nokia 8 Sirocco, the OnePlus 6 is much better value. And despite the lower price you get a more powerful chipset, a larger screen and a stabilized camera that works a little better at night.

There’s no true 2x zoom here, it’s digital. And in-hand the OnePlus is friendlier, without the imposing hard and dense feel of the Sirocco. But in terms of what you get for your money, the winner is clear. It’s the OnePlus 6.

Nokia 7 Plus

Not too bothered about the Sirocco’s glamorous design? The Nokia 7 Plus is worth looking at. It’s 2.5mm wider but that gets you an extra 0.5 inches of screen space thanks to the 18:9 screen.

While it has a mid-tier chipset, it’s a good one. The Snapdragon 660 is newer than the Sirocco’s Snapdragon 835 and has enough power to keep the phone ticking along nicely.

Their rear cameras are extremely similar and the front one here is actually much higher-res: 16MP instead of five. The Nokia 7 Plus is a class below in most respects, but better value overall.

HTC U12 Plus

The latest big-screen HTC phone has a few more out-there ideas than the Nokia 8 Sirocco. It has squeezy sides and buttons that don’t click in. They’re just pressure sensitive and you get a haptic response on a press.

We’re not huge fans of these parts, and the design is less dynamic than Nokia’s. However, it has a newer Snapdragon 845 chipset and an 18:9 aspect screen, to which we’re already accustomed. The HTC also has smarter camera HDR processing, which can produce seriously attractive results.

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.