Nokia 8 Review

Nokia is back. It has embraced Android and it’s got a Snapdragon 835 flagship phone to compete with the big guns like the iPhones, Galaxies and Pixels. Welcome the Nokia 8.

Nokia has built its flagship smartphone following a few simple principles: keep Android clean and bloatware-free, deliver good performance, and provide timely software updates. In many ways, the Nokia 8 is a “stock” Android phone done right, with little flare except for that new “bothie” camera mode.

There are a few things to keep in mind, though: the Nokia brand is now licensed to HMD Global: a different company with some Nokia executives at the helm, but it’s no longer that huge giant out of Finland with its own manufacturing plants. Secondly, while the Nokia 8 does feature hardware on the level of Samsung’s and Google’s best phones, it’s sold for a much lower price than the Galaxies or the Pixels.

So how good is the Nokia 8 and does it live up to the expectations? Let’s find out.

In the box:

  • Phone
  • Еarbuds, black, with 3 different sizes of rubber tips
  • USB-C to standard USB cable, black
  • Wall charger, black (supports fast charge, up to 18 watt output)
  • Sim ejector tool
  • User Manual

Design

Solid aluminum build quality with some curves for a better in-hand feel, but no water proofing.

Nokia 8 Review
Nokia 8 Review
Nokia 8 Review

The Nokia 8 is a phone with a 5.3” screen of a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. Its big bezels on the top and the bottom seem unnecessary and make it look a bit dated compared to all the “edge-to-edge” flagships out there.

But what Nokia did right is the screen size. While many phones go with larger and larger displays these days, a 5.3” screen was picked for the Nokia 8 – a tad bit below the average, but of big benefit to actual comfort and ease of use. The Nokia 8 is not too big to carry in a pocket and not too big to do some things on it with just one hand.

Here is the exact size of the phone:
5.96 x 2.90 x 0.31 inches (151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm), weight of 5.64 oz (160 g)

Nokia takes pride in the construction of the 8: it’s made of aluminum with very nice curves at the edges that make a big difference in terms of in-hand fit and feel. It’s not quite as sleek as say the OnePlus 5 and it does not feel as well made, but it’s not too far behind either.

Up front you have a tiny home key with a fingerprint scanner built in it. It’s our first gripe with the Nokia 8: it’s too small and not as accurate as on other phones, so I often had to press it a few times and re-position my finger to get it to work. Those are all issues related to its too small size.

Then we have the recents key on the right and the back key on the left, and there is no way to change their places. Unfortunately, there is no water-proofing on the Nokia 8, so be careful not to get it wet. On the bottom there is a single USB-C type port for charging and – thankfully – a headphone jack.

Nokia 8

Nokia 8

Dimensions

5.96 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches

151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

Dimensions

6.07 x 2.92 x 0.29 inches

154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm

Weight

5.40 oz (153 g)

LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

Nokia 8

Nokia 8

Dimensions

5.96 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches

151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

Dimensions

6.07 x 2.92 x 0.29 inches

154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm

Weight

5.40 oz (153 g)

LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

The 5.3” screen might be sharp, but colors are cold and dull.

The Nokia 8 ships with a 5.3” IPS LCD screen with Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixel) resolution, which looks very, very sharp.

We’ve already mentioned the situation with the big bezel on the top and bottom, it definitely looks outdated. The screen is the traditional 16:9 size, so most videos fit perfectly, without any black bars or cropping.

Nokia 8 Review

How about the actual quality and the color reproduction, though? They are not great. In fact, among the top phones out there, we’d say that the Nokia 8 ranks worst. Colors are very cold, the screen looks a bit dim and lacking vibrancy. There are no additional color modes, no fine settings, so what you see is what you get, and the screen is definitely one of the weaker spots in the Nokia 8.

On a positive side, it does get very bright, peaking over 700 nits, which helps a lot for outdoor visibility (but does not matter much for anything else).

The display also has something like an “always-on display” function that shows you the date and how many missed notifications you have and from which app. Unfortunately, text on the screen is too dim in this mode and it’s very hard to see, rendering the option nearly useless.



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44 Comments

1. afrohoxha

Posts: 221; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

'Big bezels, colors not as lively as on other screens', where is 'Big bezels' as a con in iPhone 8 Plus? 'It lacks personality, it’s just another Android phone'. You could say that for every iPhone from iPhone 6 to iPhone 8 : 'It lacks personality, it’s just another iPhone'.

17. You_Dont_Say

Posts: 431; Member since: Jan 26, 2015

u mad? ROFL iPhone > any android device

23. afrohoxha

Posts: 221; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Time to go to bed kid

30. Victor.H

Posts: 1042; Member since: May 27, 2011

The big bezel on the iPhone 8 is definitely a downside. We don't mention it explicitly in the cons section of the review because it's virtually the same design as in previous years.

2. .KRATOS.

Posts: 440; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

Just 7 oh come on really

10. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

That maximum brightness tho

11. shamrock_sean

Posts: 37; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

Jeez Phone Arena the bezels aren't that big

12. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

That only works for an iPhone. They are as biased as it gets here towards anything with an apple logo on it.

28. Victor.H

Posts: 1042; Member since: May 27, 2011

They are bigger than on most other Android flagships: Galaxy S8, Note8, LG V30, LG G6, and Essential Phone.

16. znellu

Posts: 82; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

"It’s not quite as sleek as say the OnePlus 5 and it does not feel as well made." What, Really?!

29. Victor.H

Posts: 1042; Member since: May 27, 2011

It does not look as good. The OnePlus feels way thinner, has more ergonomic curves and none of the contrasty, unsightly antenna bands.

33. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

And its Chinese. :P

36. Boogieman

Posts: 33; Member since: Jun 02, 2013

I have both and what you are saying is just (want to say BS) totally FALSE Besides, regarding "well made", go check out both phones on Jerry rig everything on youtube and find out that your"feeling" is (BS) wrong too If that not enough read up on both phones manufacturing process. If still not enough, go to a doctor and have them test your finger sensitivity. You probably lost all fingertip feeling

37. znellu

Posts: 82; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Guess it comes down to personal preference. In fact, I haven't even noticed the antenna bands when I used the device and didn't find it a problem at all. For me the design of the device is a 5 out 5. (Lesser bezels would have been a plus, but it's not a con at all.) Coming to build quality, I would say the Nokia 8 feels way much better than the OnePlus 5. I actually went and checked both the devices again to confirm this. Well, this is my opinion. But considering that I've personally used the device and that I've read a lot of reviews for the Nokia 8 from different tech people, I would say that its build is really well made. I don't remember any reviewers complaining about the build quality of the phone.

38. Boogieman

Posts: 33; Member since: Jun 02, 2013

Totally agree. Build is SUPERB & SOLID. if on doubt check jerry rig everything on youtube. One plus 5, bend and add screen pop out Nokia 8, doesn't bulge...not even a little as his knuckles turn white from pressing from front or rear. iPhoneArena has the feeling of an infant obviously as they are the only site complaining. I can understand why though. Nokia 8 64/4Gb is A LOT CHEAPER than iCrap8 , but few Apple People trust the chinapopup oneplus (for good reasons) and thus the main competitor Nokia, is pushed into the gutter without relevant testing

31. majom17

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 25, 2017

Come on Victor. Do you really delete the comments which you do not like and which proves that you do not have right in this review. You should think a little bit about yourself and why are you doing this. You just mess up the reputation of the phonearena.com. (Other reviews from all over the world shows totally other picture about the device... They are all wrong or just you?) Peace..

34. Boogieman

Posts: 33; Member since: Jun 02, 2013

He deleted my comment to. A bunch of facts, that he obviously did not like to show to the community as they proved him totally wrong and biased. I am sure this comment will disappear too. Or maybe they don't like being called iPhoneArena even though everyone knows the bias here :)

32. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Kind of knew iPhone arena was gonna give bad review for Nokia 8. What about pure Android experience without Samsung-style bloatware? Not a plus, eh?

35. Xan4eto

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

It's funny to read this review. It's look like you and the boys from gsmarena are testing different examples of Nokia8. For you the phone is smooth,but not the smoothies and for the is the best in this aspect. For you the screen is dull for them is one of the best LCD screen on a phone. My wife always had android phone, but her dream was iPhone. I bought it iPhone 7 and guess what? She told me that this expensive toy doesn't deserve the money it cost here in Europe. But for you iPhones will always get 9+ out of 10, even if iPhone9 or 8s have the same size, ugly bezels and etc.

39. Mehran

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 29, 2017

With all these bad points about the camera and its interface, is there a chance that you can take better photos using manual settings like ISO and exposure? Is there a possibillity that an update can fix some of these issues?

40. vinvan

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

No wonder your Nokia 8 review just can be found on page 2 of google search.. Your review are so biased, not so trusted like other respectable review site. Hope phonearena can improve this in the future.. what a shame !

41. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

42. mousesports

Posts: 286; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

Allways phonearena hated NOKIA . Apple pays lots for the rewiev :))

43. jojon

Posts: 426; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

..what a dreadful review, i think Victor needs to go back to his day job of running up and down the glass stairs at an Apple shop

44. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Such a negative review. I just bought Nokia 8 from Black Friday discounts. Its a damn fine bargain for the price wiping the floors with my old Galaxy S6. It has the new camera interface which is really good. Plus its a NON-Asian phone which is a huge plus for me. Won't be buying any of those Chinese ripoff phones on any price.

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

8
  • Display 5.3" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3090 mAh

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