Nokia is brand that exudes a lot of nostalgia and when HMD Global announced that they would be bringing back the Nokia brand to smartphones and this time running on Android, the world over got excited. Well, time came and we saw the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 released earlier on in the year. Until then, HMD had not given us a true Nokia flagship to compete with the Galaxies and Apples of the world, then came the Nokia 8.
The Nokia 8 is a device that I can genuinely describe as classy, good looking and “Nokia” – yeah, I know, my English teachers taught me that I should not use a word to describe itself but what happens when only that word can describe what that word is? Get it? Well, simple explanation, from the moment you take the Nokia 8 from its packaging, the quality of the build, the subtle curves, the UHD display, the little details all over, all point to the quality that we remember to be of Nokia from back in the day when Lumia phones were still a thing.
Speaking of packaging, in the box of the Nokia 8 you will get the following:
- The device
- A USB-C Cable
- A Quick Charge 3.0 charging brick
- In-ear earphones
- Warranty papers
Moving on to the phone itself, the Nokia 8 is a premium device that HMD says is built for millenials who love to create. The device is built out of a single slab of aluminum that feels a lot like glass, it has curved edges on the back that blend seemlessly with the 2.5D (16:9) 5.3-inch QHD display at the front covered in Gorilla glass 5. There’s a front facing fingerprint reader on the bottom chin, flanked by capacitive navigation buttons, I wish HMD went with a rear facing reader and on-screen buttons then get rid of the bezels but wishes aren’t horses. On the top bezel, there’s a Nokia branding to the right, just to remind you what you are carrying.
Powering up the device, you are greeted Android 7.1.1 Nougat with a Pixel-like UI and zero bloatware with just the apps that Google counts as essential to using an Android smartphone. The software experience is clean and lag free, I know the device is still new, but it’s been long since we saw Android as naked as this, especially in our market.
The biggest attraction of the Nokia 8 is its dual cameras with ZEISS optics. The device has two 13MP lenses on the back, and no, they don’t work together to give you a 26MP image but one is a monochrome lens and the other is a coloured lens. You can take photos independently with each lens, or you can decide to use both lenses to produce an image with much more clarity and detail.
Other camera tricks include, a bothie mode, which is, simply put, using both the front and back cameras to capture what is happening around you. You can also take “portrait” photos where the background is blurred and the subject well in focus, this option can be found under the Live Bokeh mode in the camera. Other camera features include recording 4K videos on both the front and back cameras and Nokia OZO spatial audio that lets you capture 360-degrees audio while recording a video.
Sample photos (tap on images to view in full resolution):
Other features of the Nokia 8 include a Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage with Micro SD card support up to 256GB, 4G+ and VoLTE support, IP54 rating for splash resistance and a 3090mAh battery. The device retails at Ksh.60,000 from Safaricom shop and currently, there’s an offer that bundles a Nokia 3310 with every purchase of the Nokia 8.