It seems like we’ve been waiting for eons for Nokia – under the guidance of HMD – to release a proper, honest to goodness Android flagship. Well, now, the wait is over – the Nokia 8 is officially OFFICIAL.
The handset launched last night – August 16 – and was detailed in full by HMD and Nokia execs. As expected, this is NOT a mid-range phone – not by a long shot.
Instead, the Nokia 8 represents HMD’s first proper flagship phone, a phone that will do battle with Apple’s iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8 at the top of the smartphone market.
Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, said: “We know that fans are creating and sharing live content more than ever before, with millions of photos and videos shared every minute on social media. People are inspired by the content they consume and are looking for new ways to create their own. It’s these people who have inspired us to craft a flagship smartphone which perfectly balances premium design, an outstanding experience and powerful performance.”
The only difference here, however, is the price – Nokia is asking for €600 for the Nokia 8 and that makes it A LOT cheaper than Samsung’s incoming Galaxy Note 8, which is expected to retail for €999, and Apple’s iPhone 8, which will be even more expensive at €1000+.
Let's dive right into it and look at the key specs –
Design-wise it's looking about as gorgeous as we expected from Nokia (not to mention the leaks we'd seen already) with some great metallic colour choices, and curved glass edging meeting the metallic rear panel.
Nokia is offering the handset in two texture finishes, one is "polished" with a mirror finish and the other is a matte finish dubbed "satin" - your colour options are specific to those finishes, so polished will be for copper and blue, while satin will also see a blue option, plus a metallic grey "steel".
Tempered Blue, Polished
Tempered Blue, Satin
The Nokia 8 features quite a few USPs such as Carl Zeiss cameras on both the front and rear for optimum imaging performance, as well as OZO Audio, which utilises three microphones with exclusive Nokia acoustic algorithms to capture audio with immersive 360° spatial surround sound.
This aspect is clearly aimed at content creators that like to shoot on their phones – YouTubers and the like. I like that, rather than try and simply beat Apple and Samsung on specs, Nokia is implementing new technologies that actually add utility to the phone.
Some other interesting bits of info include the way in which Nokia's camera team has developed a "Dual-Sight" feature which allows users to livestream to Facebook and Youtube from both front and rear cameras. This also incorporates 360° spatial surround binaural audio recording, which Nokia claims will capture sound to a quality level intended to match the 4K video recording.
HMD has also partnered with Google to make Google Photos the default gallery application with unlimited cloud photo storage.
"Nokia smartphones always offer a pure Android experience," said HMD at launch, "with no unnecessary apps slowing down the performance of your device. And with Nokia 8, pure Android combined with our innovative engineering processes unleashes the full potential of the SnapdragonTM 835 Mobile Platform. With monthly security updates, the Nokia 8 is safe and up-to-date. Your device is secured with biometric fingerprint authentication, delivering enhanced security and making Nokia 8 a versatile companion whatever your needs."
HMD and Nokia have published a series of Nokia 8 promotional videos following the launch which give a really detailed look at the handset's design and features. In the first video we see the phone from every angle and also get a look at how Dual-Sight video capture works with the split-screen interface.
"Inside Tech" shows off the processor hardware which powers all of the Nokia 8's high-end features
"Form and Function" takes an in-depth look at design.And there are two videos showcasing the OZO audio recording.
Nokia 8 Release Date and Price
The Nokia 8 has been given an RRP of €599 and will be available globally from September. It will ship with Android Nougat initially, but should get Android O after it is officially announced by Google. HMD is yet to reveal the update schedule, understandably.
Head on after the jump for the pre-launch rumours to see how they compare to the final reveal!
Today's the day people. The hotly anticipated Nokia 8 flagship is finally arriving today, August 16, with the official HMD event scheduled to take place imminently.
The lead model will be the crowning glory in the HMD-made, Nokia-branded, Android-running range of smartphones. Mid-tier models such as the Nokia 6 have already proben tremendously popular, and the Nokia 8 is expected to be packed with high-end tech, including dual-sensor Carl Zeiss camera and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.
Event invitations had previously been sent out for the August 16 date. TechRadar reported that the invites read; "HMD Global invites you to an exclusive gathering to unveil the next milestone for Nokia phones."
Leaked photos have appeared showing the Nokia 8 up and running - and not only is it running Android but it also shows benchmarking results on the display. The images leaked via Chinese social network WeChat.
The results show the model number TA-1012, which has previously been associated with the Nokia 8, along with two other numbers: TA-1004 and TA-1052. Presumably these denote different models for different regions, connectivity types, and/or storage models. The results also reiterate specs we've seen previously; a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a QHD display resolution.
According to new details the Nokia 8 will have an RRP of around €520. The word comes from a Romanian website, reporting on a leaked internal document from Vodafone's Romanian branch. The document contains a table showing the pricing of several devices, including the Nokia 8, which is listed at €517.42; bearing in mind that this price may fluctuate between EU member states it could be anything between €515 and €520 across the continent. Either way, it's a good indicator of the approximate price bracket being closer to €500 than a previously rumoured RRP just shy of €600.
For a long while now there have been many rumours surrounding the HMD/Nokia flagship and much of it has been confusing. It's been variously the Nokia 8, Nokia 9, Nokia E1, and Nokia P1, and at times it hasn't been clear whether they've all been the same phone or multiple different editions.
It was previously thought both Nokia 8 and Nokia 9 handsets were in development - we wondered if we would see the Nokia 8 as a sort of high-mid-ranger, or a lower-tier flagship with slightly reduced specs from the Nokia 9 as a true leading model. But things have changed and it's now believed that the Nokia 8, and only the Nokia 8, will come out as the lead model. The Nokia 9, it seems, isn't even a thing, other than perhaps a codename or one naming option that was on the table during development.
One thing, however, was clear: this handset was the one everybody has been waiting for. In fact, I’d say there’s as much hype around this phone as there was for LG’s G6 and the OnePlus 5, which is pretty good going for Nokia, considering it’s been out of the limelight for a good long while now.
Most recently, as rumours began to coverage on the idea that one flagship was coming and it was called the Nokia 8, we also saw several leaks of the design emerging.
The phone has been pictured in dark blue, silver, and copper/gold, with only a blue/gold edition not yet seen from the range of colours already rumoured. The leaked images also confirm a dual-sensor camera, which carries Carl Zeiss branding following HMD's announcement of a partnership with the optics firm.
Like the Google Pixel, Nokia’s Android phones will run a stock version of Android, meaning there will no custom ROM on top of the software, which, for me, is a big USP for these handsets.
HMD has also stated that it wants to work closely with Google in order to get Android updates out as soon as they’re available. In this respect, given the price of some of Nokia’s other handsets, one could say the company is aiming to become the new Nexus phones of the Android space.
To recap on the specs, the leaks says it will feature an all-metal build, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 13MP camera sensors in the dual-camera setup, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and a 5.3in QHD touch display.