Opinion | DxOMark: Nokia cameras continue to underperform with the Nokia 8 Sirocco
Nokia’s resurgence in the smartphone space began at the start of last year. Since then, the Finnish brand has gained a reputation for being one of the most prolific out there, as it has constantly released devices across different market segments.
Two major issue fans have taken with the company is the lack of true flagships, and the relatively poor camera performance of current Nokia devices. The Nokia 8 Sirocco is one of only two flagships that have been released with the Nokia logo but it somehow managed to disappoint on its trip to DxOMark.
According to DxOMark, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is one of the worst-performing flagships this year—camera-wise, of course. The LG G7 ThinQ is another contender. The Nokia 8 Sirocco achieved an overall score of 84, on par with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge that was released back in 2015 and 2016’s iPhone 7. On the other hand, the phone fails to compete with devices like the first-gen Google Pixel that was launched back in 2016, or even with recent midrange offerings like the Asus Zenfone 5 or Mi Note 3.
In the photo category, the Nokia 8 Sirocco attained a score of 85, on the same level as the iPhone 7, Xperia XZ Premium, and LG V30. Notable weaknesses included low detail and high noise in low-lighting conditions, and terrible bokeh.
In the video category, the Nokia 8 Sirocco made do with a score of 82, about par with devices like the Mi Note 3, iPhone 7, Galaxy S6 Edge, and Xperia XZ Premium. Notable weaknesses included limited dynamic range, loss of textures, and chromatic noise in sub-optimal lighting conditions.
All of this considered, it goes without saying that the Nokia 8 Sirocco is far from the ideal camera phone. It was released at the start of the year as an improved version of the Nokia 8—another device that performed terribly on DxOMark, earning a laughable overall score of 65. The Nokia 8 Sirocco may be an improvement on its cheaper sibling but HMD Global still has a lot to do in the camera department.
Nokia devices sport fine camera hardware, so the only culprit here can be software and the company’s image processing algorithms. Thankfully, we know that improvement in software is very much doable. Look no further than Xiaomi for a perfect example of an OEM that gained a reputation for sub-par camera performance but then managed to turn it around splendidly.
Hopefully, we can see Nokia emulate the Chinese OEM, because, as it stands, poor camera performance may be a stumbling block on the company’s journey towards the top. The Nokia 9 is said to feature a game-changing penta-lens setup but even that will make no difference if the supporting software fails to do a proper job.
As always, DxOMark scores are not to be regarded as definite proof of camera performance. They do offer a mostly objective, level playing field for testing the prowess and capabilities of cameras, though, and serve as excellent reference points.