Nokia has released 3 android phones so far, the 3, 5 and 6. We had an encounter with them recently and noted down our findings. One thing that stood out was that none of the phones was competing at the premium flagship level due to their midrange specifications. Today, HMD just launched their proper flagship, the Nokia 8.
The phone pays homage to the Finn’s flagships of the olden days by making the camera to be crown jewel of the device. The smartphone packs dual rear 13MP cameras with a premium Carl Zeiss lens that made outstanding photography during the reign of Nokia. One camera in the duo is monochrome (black and white) for better low light photography while the other one is a standard colored shooter. They both have an f/2.0 aperture and 1.12µm pixel size. The colored one has optical image stabilization for blur –free shots and videos as well as laser autofocus and a dual LED flash.
The selfie shooter has the very same 13MP sensor as the rear shooter with f/2.0 aperture and even autofocus, a feature that is not often found in front cameras. Users can record video from both front and rear camera at the same time in a split-view viewfinder mode- a feature called Dual Sight- this footage can be streamlined live to Facebook and Youtube. So with the Nokia 8 you can record some live action as well as have yourself in the video at the same time.
HMD also equipped the phone with a new cutting edge sound recording technology dubbed OZO audio. OZO is Nokia’s camera division that specializes in virtual reality and 360 recording. They have come up with a surround sound recording technology that tries to capture audio the same way a human ear does in real life. With OZO audio, the sound recorded with Nokia 8 is not only crystal clear but you can tell exactly which direction it is coming from. The phone uses its 3 microphones to capture your surroundings in a manner that is direction-conscious and one that does not have any distortion whatsoever. You can find a recorded sample here, it compares OZO audio with normal stereo sound recording; the difference is mind blowing (tip: use earphones or turn up the volume to get the best experience).
The rest of the specs are up to par with other major flagship phones launched this year. They include a 5.3 inch IPS LCD with QHD resolution wrapped in 2.5D (slightly curved glass) and an aluminum 6000 series rear casing. The phone is resistant to elements to a slight extent thanks to IP54 rating. Under the hood is the latest snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM and 64GB expandable internal storage. Pure android 7.1 Nougat is running the show and ready for future updates such as Android O which was promised. Battery life is capped at 3090mAh juicer that has Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 for fast refills. All this fits in a slim 7.9 mm body that comes in polished blue/copper and tempered blue/steel color variants.
In terms of availability, the phone will ship first in Europe starting from next month and then trickle down to other markets after that. It will go for $700 (KSh 70,000), a price tag that is similar to bigwigs like the Samsung Galaxy S8 but more expensive than the LG G6 and the stunning HTC U11. Is the Nokia 8 packing enough oomph to justify that price tag, especially now that the iPhone 8 trio and the Galaxy Note 8 are just around the corner packing futuristic bezel-less displays? You decide.