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Nokia 8 review
Posted on 12-Nov-2017 11:59 by M Freitas | Filed under: Reviews

Nokia 8 review

Nokia is back in the smartphone market, this time with no Symbian or Windows Phone on sight. Thanks to HMD Global, the company behind the Nokia brand now, a new series of Android-based smartphones is available now - in New Zealand through an exclusive arrangement with Spark.


Nokia supplied me with a Nokia 8 handset, their current top of line handset. It is actually a very well done smartphone. The body is made of a single machined aluminium piece, polished to a mirror finish. This results in a beautiful device with a seamless structure, nice to touch and not slippery at all.


The Nokia 8 is a mid-sized phone - not huge phablet but more of nice comfortable size, with a 5.3" 2K display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 - which makes it harder to break but still not completely scratch resistant as I found out early on - I managed to scratch the glass (a hairline) just above the speaker.


Powering the Nokia 8 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, incorporating the Qualcomm Kryo 280 ARM CPU. This provides an efficient use of power, with a nice battery life, which can extend for a couple of days with light use.


Supporting the Snapdragon 835 the Nokia 8 comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, expandable through microSD card to up to 256GB. With this memory and good sized initial storage the Nokia 8 is fast and responsive, with no visible lag when switching between apps - even initial setup with reinstalling apps from a previous smartphone setup from Google backup was just a breeze.


The phone is another example of dual lenses - it comes with ZEISS optics and two 13 megapixel image sensors (BW and RGB) in the back and a wide-angle 13 megapixel sensor for the front camera. The camera is very responsive and images are sharp. It also allows you to take photos with images from both front and rear camera side by side so you can see both sides of action shots and video - Nokia marketing is calling this a "bothie". An interesting thing that may come useful for some people is the ability to super-impose a compass over the camera viewer so you know the compass orientation when you point at a subject.


The Nokia 8 also comes with a fingerprint scanner that doubles as the home button and can be used to both unlock the device as well as log into apps that support it - I tried with PayPal, BNZ, ANZ LastPass and others without a problem. Also supported is NFC so you can use Android Pay if your credit card bank issuer supports the standard.


Perhaps the most important feature is the pure Android experience. Nokia is probably the best well known brand to offer this. Pretty much every other large OEM add some (unnecessary) apps or launcher overlay that most of the times get on the way of using the phone the way you want it. Not with the Nokia version. It is pretty much vanilla Android Nougat 7.1.1 - the only additional app is the Spark app.


Also worth noting is Nokia's promise of timely OS and security updates, something that some large OEM still struggle to deliver. Perhaps this is possible thanks to the Android package being used. Currently the device I am testing has the august 2017 Security level.


For those users who want to live at the bleeding edge, Nokia has opening its Nokia Beta Labs - you can register to get preview versions of Android O for the Nokia devices and start using it now.


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