The Nokia 8 screen is not flagship-grade

The Nokia 8 has got a flagship-grade Snapdragon 835 system chip, fast performance and aspirations to be a true Android flagship like all the rest, but it has one critical flaw: its screen is inexcusably bad.

While the Google Pixel 2 XL is facing harsh criticism over the blue tint that appears when you look at its screen from an angle, the Nokia 8 has it even worse: a similarly bad blue tint is actually apparent even when you have the phone square, facing you.

First, let's look at the specs: the Nokia 8 ships with a 5.3-inch IPS LCD display with a very high, 1440 x 2560 pixel Quad HD resolution, and a pixel density of the whopping 554ppi. So far so good.

What these specs never mention is one critical component of the viewing experience: color temperature. It is something that you notice right away, but to make sure our eyes are not deceiving us, we double-checked our display benchmark tests that we do for our reviews.

And here is the Nokia 8's blueish screen compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Apple's iPhone 8 Plus:

Turns out it wasn't just us. The Nokia 8 screen does indeed have a bad case of the blue-itis. The bottom row in the picture above shows how white should look like on a phone's screen, while the Nokia 8's actual results are in the upper row.

We also have detailed measurements for color temperature. The standard value that all phones aspire to is D65, or 6,500 Kelvin, anything over that would make whites appear blueish and anything below that will make them look yellow-ish, or reddish. The Nokia scored way above 6,500K, it's actual result is 8,515K, which grants it a 'poor' rating in our scale. And while there are other phones that don't get this one right, they at least offer the option to change white balance in display settings. We could not find such an option on the Nokia 8.

The two results that we want to highlight here are color temperature and delta e grayscale. Both are way off, and you can see the stark difference when you compare them with other flagship phones.

So how did this happen and why?

We do not know the answer, but we have an educated guess.

The Nokia 8 sacrificed color accuracy just to get... brighter. Boosting blues has been an easy way to get higher brightness output and the Nokia 8 does indeed have one of the highest brightness scores ever on a phone: over 700 nits.

Here is the thing: this high brightness only really matters when you use the phone outdoors, under harsh sunlight. The screen can then boost its brightness and provided it is not too reflective, this makes it easier for you to see what's on the display outdoors. Indoors, this does not matter much: all phones have sufficient brightness to look perfectly well in such conditions.

At the end of the day, display quality seems to still be an issue that not all phone makers have perfected just yet. The LG V30 and the Pixel 2 XL are prime examples, but while they use OLED displays that are tougher to produce, we are surprised to see an issue like this on a proven technology with an LCD display in 2017.

Related phones

  • Display 5.3 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Dual camera)
    13 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3090 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie



47. damian101

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 05, 2019

My Nokia 8 display has excellent color accuracy. They seem to have used another display for my phone. But I got heavy screen retention at the edges of my display. It wasn't there at the beginning, it seems to get worse over time.

45. vinod9987

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 17, 2017

If Nokia 8 has blue-ish display, then according to side by side comparison, I can see Iphone has yellow-ish display, and Note 8 has red-ish tint. Does that mean Nokia 8 has bad screen? definitely not..!!

44. vnathu

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 08, 2017

If you want to compare the more accurate whiteness of the screen, just compare those three with the color of the bezels of the iPhone and you'll get your answer...unless the reviewer denies that the iPhone does not have a white bezel." - atty.bep

39. atty.bep

Posts: 10; Member since: Oct 24, 2017

If you want to compare the more accurate whiteness of the screen, just compare those three with the color of the bezels of the iPhone and you'll get your answer...unless the reviewer denies that the iPhone does not have a white bezel.

43. vnathu

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 08, 2017

lol, it's damn right. I just have to create this profile only to thumb ur post up.

38. atty.bep

Posts: 10; Member since: Oct 24, 2017

Among the three phones showing "white" screen, the one in the middle is close to accuracy. The iPhone has a yellowish white, and the Samsung phone has a tint bordering to a slight pink. This article is trying to say that consumers should be OK with the Pixel 2 XL screen fiasco. Clearly, this article is just a way of damage control to whoever...

35. rj_78

Posts: 74; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Note 8 brightness is around 1250 nits right?

36. Pabliell

Posts: 189; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

It's a peak brightness while displaying HDR content. Not during everyday use.

33. shoman94

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 16, 2015

Actually Green is what gives you your gamma and brightness. Yes a software update could fix it if they choose to.

27. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

It's not correct to compare a quality control issue with a design decision. By the way I could buy 2 Nokia 8's with the price of pixel 2XL and still be left with money in my country. I prefer the slightly inaccurate colors of the Nokia 8 to the burnt out display and quality control issues. Many of the free blue light filters on Google play could fix the colors on an IPS LCD but a burn in cannot be. I have very few complaints on the Nokia 8. It's been a long time since I am using a good Android device. The phone has excellent stand by time.

31. hemedans

Posts: 763; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

gsmarena praise Nokia 8 display and say it produce accurate color.

32. Bfrenz

Posts: 285; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

Yes, they're right. Our comments will be gone soon.

42. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

yep i made a comment very early on saying this and they just deleted my comment !

26. Shubham1221

Posts: 153; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Looks like night mode is on-on iphone.Display looks that muchYellowish only when you on that night mode.

25. Pabliell

Posts: 189; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Yep, Nokia 8s screen has a blue tint. But the Note 8 has a red-ish tint and iPhone 8 has yellow. Nothing wrong in them, only the Nokia 8 has a bad screen... sigh...

21. tokuzumi

Posts: 2021; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Is this something where you only notice it when comparing other screens side by side?

15. blackwildboar84

Posts: 14; Member since: May 13, 2017

battery swell and split, yellowish display, camera taking oversaturated picture. why only on fruit model.

14. jellmoo

Posts: 2687; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

In what world is a cold screen a bigger issue than burn in?


Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

Isn't it sad? 2017 is almost over, and OLED burn-in is still a thing!

13. bannytour

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 26, 2017

Nokia Mobile is robust and very good

11. cmdacos

Posts: 4412; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I would take the blue on the Nokia over what ever is going on with that iPhone in the picture. eww

16. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Exactly. That yellow iPhone screen looks worse in my opinion. Of course Apple would probably tell me my retinas don't match their "retina" displays.

9. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Unlike OLED screens LCD screens are pretty customization via software updates. If they care, they can just correct this via a nice software update.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 4412; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

No customization via software for OLEDs? Hmm, wasnt aware... My RGB sliders must be useless... II'll will aslo ignore updates on other devices that have rectified some color issues for OLEDs. Thanks for the clarification!/s

8. Seany

Posts: 94; Member since: Sep 28, 2012

Doesn't look that bad, I'd hate to have red tint more so

7. miketer

Posts: 547; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

LG V30 underwhelming loudspeaker and display glitches NOkia 8, unacceptable screen quality. XZ premium, less volume output, too quiet. Google pixel2, creaks and unacceptable screen quality. Samsung S8 and Note 8, finger print placeement and camera smudges Iphone 8 and 8 plus, no issues reported yet, except complaints on design Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 compact, no issues reported yet, except complaints on design. Seems tried and tested design and a little bit conservative approach gives a better product.

22. Peacetoall unregistered

Literally this

34. harsh_732006

Posts: 70; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Buy a oneplus 5t

37. treypoundz

Posts: 92; Member since: Sep 05, 2017

Iphone 8 no issues. Wtf. Um. The phone blow up to where it slpits open. The speaker has cracking sounds. Fuk u mean no issues.

5. twens

Posts: 1191; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

But the iPhone looks yellowish

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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