Verdict

There's no denying that Nokia 8 Sirocco is a step up from last year's model. With the Sirocco, HMD proves that it can design a phone that is stunning to look at and stands out in the crowded smartphone space.

HMD's choice of using last year's Snapdragon 835 processor might appear questionable, but pairing it with a clean Android One experience makes the Nokia 8 Sirocco operate faster than phones with the latest Snapdragon 845. The stock Android experience also makes sure there aren't any third party battery draining apps with the Sirocco easily lasting over a day.

Where the Nokia 8 Sirocco falters is with the camera. It's not bad, but the fact that HMD is using an identical camera on it's much lower priced Nokia 7 Plus makes you wonder why you're paying for a flagship but getting a mainstream experience in what is arguably one of the most important aspects of a smartphone.

While HMD is doing good with budget and mainstream models, their flagship game needs to be upped. The Sirocco has the potential to be the best mid-ranged phone, just like the Nokia 8 was last year but in order to do so, the price needs to be dropped by $100 or more and the camera needs to take better much better pictures.

Who’s this for?

The Sirocco is targeted towards consumers who don't like or want the new fashionable 18:9 or 19:9 screens on their phones and prefers the more traditional 16:9 ratio phone that is extremely well designed, has good specs and comes with a bloat-free Android experience. 

Should you buy it?

If you don't demand much from a smartphone's camera and want a premium phone that isn't over-sized, runs fast and offers stock Android with guaranteed updates, along with a great battery life, then surely look at the Nokia 8 Sirocco. 

After an alternative? Consider these three phones:

Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is last year's flagship from Samsung but offers everything you'll find on the Sirocco 8 with a better camera, expandable memory and dual SIM options if that interests you. It won't be as fast as the Sirocco because of Samsung's super customized skin and Android updates will be slower but it is priced similar to HMD's offering.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S8 review

Apple iPhone 7

Apple phones age well and the iPhone 7, which is priced similar to the Nokia 8 Sirocco will offer you a super fast experience with a good camera and guaranteed OS updates. It's design might not be as nice as the Sirocco but hey, it's an iPhone.

Read our iPhone 7 review

Nokia 7 Plus

We realize that we're comparing a premium phone to a mainstream version but the Nokia 7 Plus offers the same camera and a stock Android experience with guranteed updates like the Nokia 8 Sirocco. It might not have as great of a design and be a bit slower but it does cost a lot less and offers a bigger battery along and dual SIM capabilities.

Read our hands-on with Nokia 7 Plus

First reviewed: May 2018