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Nokia 8 Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 10/21/2017

Three lenses. With the Nokia 8, HMD Global now also revives the legendary Finnish brand in the premium range. At a fair price of around 580 Euros (~$682; $565 in some US online retailers), the buyer gets a well-built and well-configured 5.3-inch handset whose dual-camera can score with a never before seen feature.

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For the original German review, see here.

HMD Global has revived the brand Nokia with the three affordable entry-level Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 handsets, and its comeback has been successful. However, it takes more than just a respectable result to permanently exist beside leaders such as Apple and Samsung. Thus, HMD Global has come up with something even better: The company - we will simply call it Nokia in the following - now also wants to infiltrate the premium-smartphone range with the Nokia 8.

Nokia packs all kinds of features into its upper-league smartphone to ensure the comeback in the premium range. It comes in an unusual form factor of 5.3-inches and has a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels (QHD). The specification list contains features like Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and the latest Android 7.1 in a pleasant-to-the-touch aluminum casing. Although the premium-range competition also offers a similar configuration, it does not have the dual-lens combination that is only found in the Nokia 8. The smartphone with an official price of 579 Euros (~$682; unofficially $565 in some US online retailers) can shoot photos and record videos at the same time using its webcam and primary camera. It can do this in a 4K resolution, as both cameras have a 13 MP sensor.

Our test reveals how well the Nokia 8 can stand up to the premium range. The smartphone competes against strong rivals such as the Apple iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11, and OnePlus 5.

Nokia 8 (8 Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
, LPPDDR4X
Display
5.3 inch 16:9, 2560 x 1440 pixel 554 PPI, capacitive, QHD, IPS, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 2.5D Glass, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 64 GB 
, 49.9 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD cards max. 256 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: proximity sensor, accelerometer, e-compass, gyroscope, fingerprint scanner, Hall sensor, barometer, ANT+, Android Beam, DLNA, USB-OTG
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), UMTS (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), LTE Cat.9 (band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41), downloads max. 450 MBit/s, uploads max. 50 MBit/s, head SAR 0.711 W/kg, body SAR 1.330 W/kg, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.9 x 151.5 x 73.7 ( = 0.31 x 5.96 x 2.9 in)
Battery
3090 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 23.5 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 23.5 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 208.8 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 208.8 h
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix dual 13 MP, f/2.0, 1,12 µm, field of view 76.9°, dual-tone flash, OIS, PDAF, IR range finder
Secondary Camera: 13 MPix f/2.0, 1.12 µm, field of view 78.4˚, PDAF, screen flash
Additional features
Keyboard: virtual, charger, charging/data cable, headset, quick start guide, SIM card slot tool, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
160 g ( = 5.64 oz / 0.35 pounds), Power Supply: 35 g ( = 1.23 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
579 (~$565 in some US online retailers) Euro

 

Case

According to the manufacturer, the Nokia 8 goes through a 40-level production process where it is milled from one piece of aluminum after which its surfaces are oxidized and polished. The much-used attribute "pleasant-to-the touch" very suitably summarizes the total impression - its feel can only be called superb.

The 7.9-millimeter slim smartphone chassis with elegantly rounded corners and edges is not completely made of metal. A plastic bezel inconspicuously hides the antennas and frames the speaker, microphone, USB port, and headset jack on the slim sides. The plastic covers match the casing color and feel almost just as good as the metal and glass surfaces. Nokia uses a 2.5D panel made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for the latter.

The back cover of our review sample with the matte casing color "Steel" feels pleasantly silky while the fingers still have a good grip on the handset. The second matte casing color is called "Tempered Blue". The Nokia 8 also comes with glossy back covers in colors called "Polished Blue" and "Polished Copper". They attract even more attention but are also more sensitive to fingerprints. The dual-camera is situated in the upper-third of the back cover and protrudes very slightly out of the casing. Thus, the smartphone does not rock significantly when placed on a table.

We end this chapter with a small point of criticism: The Nokia 8 is dust and splash-water resistant in compliance with the IP54 protection rating only. By contrast, the iPhone 8 remains protected for up to 30 minutes in a maximum water depth of one meter with its IP67 protection rating.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 835 SoC with an integrated Adreno 540 graphics chip alongside 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage create the performance basis of the Nokia 8. This should prevent performance bottlenecks in everyday use - now and in the near future.

"Uncompromising" is the keyword for the USB port. It is a USB 3.1 port Gen.1 Type-C. Thus, the smartphone can transmit up to 5 GBit/s. Although more is quite possible - the present maximum is 10 GBit/s with USB 3.1 Gen.2 - the available bandwidth should easily be enough for current application scenarios. In addition to Quick Charge (the corresponding Quick Charge power supply is included) the USB port also supports USB OTG, which allows connecting USB peripherals.

50 GB of the 64 GB storage capacity is available in a reset state or factory new condition. The storage can be expanded by up to 256 GB via a micro-SD card. However, the Nokia 8 does not support moving apps to the micro-SD card since the card can only be formatted as a portable storage. Thus, only photos and other media data can be stored on it. Our review sample has room for a nano-SIM card in the micro-SD card slot. The Nokia 8 is also available in a dual-SIM variant.

Left: Micro-SD/SIM slot
Left: Micro-SD/SIM slot
Right: volume control, power button
Right: volume control, power button
Upper edge: headset jack
Upper edge: headset jack
Lower edge: speaker, USB 3.1 Gen.1 Type-C, microphone
Lower edge: speaker, USB 3.1 Gen.1 Type-C, microphone

Software

Pure Android 7.1.1, i.e. a stock version without additional software, runs on the Nokia 8. Nokia has only adapted the camera app due to the camera module's special qualities - more about this in the camera chapter. However, the Android system remains unmodified in its core, which allows prompt security updates since the manufacturer does not have to make time-consuming and perhaps buggy modifications. The Android security patches were dated September 1, 2017 at test time (mid-October 2017), which is relatively up-to-date. Speaking of up-to-date: The Nokia 8 and the other new Nokia smartphones are to receive an update to Android 8.

Communication and GPS

The Nokia 8 comes with a well-configured communication module. It achieves a download speed of up to 450 MBit/s and an upload speed of up to 50 Mbit/s. Many LTE frequencies (band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40 and 41) are also present. Compared with the competition, this frequency coverage is only middling. Some rivals such as the Apple iPhone 8, OnePlus 5, and Samsung Galaxy S8 support twice if not three times as many LTE frequencies and can thus easily set up a connection in virtually every country in the world, while some will be missing with the Nokia 8. Furthermore, Gigabit LTE has become standard in many high-end smartphones, for example, in Apple's iPhone 8, HTC's U11, and Samsung's Galaxy S8.

Nokia has done a good job on paper in terms of near field communication with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0 (which can first be used with Android 8). In practice, the strong rivals defeat the Nokia 8 smartphone in the comparison as it lacks the MIMO antenna technology. Although the Nokia 8 is everything but sluggish with a maximum of 235 MBit/s in transmit and receive when exchanging data with our Linksys EA8500 reference router via the 5 GHz frequency band, its Wi-Fi performance is in last place.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 8
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
915 MBit/s ∼100% +289%
HTC U11
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
394 MBit/s ∼43% +68%
OnePlus 5
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
371 MBit/s ∼41% +58%
Samsung Galaxy S8
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
329 MBit/s ∼36% +40%
Nokia 8
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
235 MBit/s ∼26%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Galaxy S8
Mali-G71 MP20, 8895 Octa, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
651 MBit/s ∼100% +177%
HTC U11
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
639 MBit/s ∼98% +172%
OnePlus 5
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
539 MBit/s ∼83% +129%
Apple iPhone 8
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
354 MBit/s ∼54% +51%
Nokia 8
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
235 MBit/s ∼36%
GPS reception indoors
GPS reception indoors
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception outdoors

The Nokia 8 determines its position with GPS and GLONASS. The smartphone accomplished this with an accuracy of three meters both indoors and out in the test.

It presented the same accuracy on our roughly 12-kilometer bike test route. We also use Garmin's Edge 500 professional navigation system for comparison. In total, Garmin's navigation system is a little bit more accurate, but the Nokia 8 can provide tracking apps with very accurate information.

Nokia 8: total route
Nokia 8: total route
Nokia 8: turning point
Nokia 8: turning point
Nokia 8: bridge
Nokia 8: bridge
Garmin Edge 500: total route
Garmin Edge 500: total route
Garmin Edge 500: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: bridge
Garmin Edge 500: bridge

Telephony and Call Quality

The Nokia 8 delivered a decent call quality when telephoning and ensured clear communication at both ends of the line. However, the integrated noise suppression sometimes had difficulties transmitting our voice clearly in louder environments. Calls sounded satisfactory when using hands-free mode, but pleasant conversations require quiet surroundings here.

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Cameras

Primary camera: HDR photo
Primary camera: HDR photo

The camera in the Nokia 8 is something special. A dual-camera module is situated on the smartphone's rear. The prestigious name Zeiss is beside it. However, the Finnish manufacturer does not reveal just how much Zeiss is really in the camera. It is a fact that the camera module consists of a monochrome and an RGB sensor, both with a resolution of 13 megapixels, a nominal aperture of f/2.0 and a pixel size of 1.12 µm. Features such as an optical image stabilizer and a phase detection autofocus alongside common software features like HDR, Bokeh, and a beauty mode are also present. The front camera also has a resolution of 13 megapixels and, like the primary camera, videos can be recorded in a maximum resolution of 4K at 30 frames per second.

The first special feature is seen in videos: The Nokia 8 uses Ozo 360 ° surround sound for videos recorded up to and including 4K. According to the manufacturer, only Hollywood moviemakers and music producers use this otherwise. The Nokia 8's three microphones capture a first-rate 3D sound in practice that really has a surround sound with headphones. However, this is not the only special feature.

The Bothie feature in action
The Bothie feature in action

Is "Bothie", the second special feature, a familiar term? Well, we had never heard it before we held the Nokia 8 in our hands. Bothie is something like a plural of selfie - but instead of staging just the user, a second person is simply put into the picture. However, the person does not have to sit, stand or lie beside the user like with a normal smartphone. The trick: The Nokia 8 can shoot a photo or record a video with both its webcam and primary camera simultaneously. The screen is divided equally in this so-called dual-sight mode and a camera view is displayed in each half - no other smartphone can do this to date. Possible applications are, for example, interviews where the interviewer and the interviewee are displayed at the same time. Matching this, Nokia equips its smartphone with a live broadcast function for streaming videos to Facebook or YouTube in a resolution of up to 4K.

3D audio, Bothie, 13 MP lens - does this make the Nokia 8 the perfect camera for photo and video fans? Yes and no: The smartphone's photos almost always look very good, are high in contrast, convince with a high degree of dynamics, and they reproduce even fine image details with clear structures. However, the camera tends to become extremely noisy in dark areas. When disregarding the special features, it is ultimately a good but not superb camera.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

We performed further tests with the primary camera under defined light conditions. We examined the smartphone's color reproduction with the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. Only the primary camera's RGB sensor was used for the first ColorChecker Passport photo. The second was taken with both the RGB and monochrome sensor. The color reproduction is always a bit too saturated since the white balance is slightly warmer. This results in high-contrast and colorful photos.

The Nokia 8 reproduces an almost overall sharp test chart when ignoring the minor sharpness decrease in the outermost edges. The smartphone does not have problems with color transitions. The reproduction only becomes slightly blurred in photos with dark lettering on a dark background.

ColorChecker Passport: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch (RGB sensor only).
ColorChecker Passport: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch (RGB sensor only).
ColorChecker Passport: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch (RGB  and monochrome sensor).
ColorChecker Passport: Target colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch (RGB and monochrome sensor).
Test chart section
Test chart section
Test chart (click for original)
Test chart (click for original)

Accessories and Warranty

The box contains a Quick Charge power supply, a charging/data cable, a headset, a quick-start guide, a leaflet with product and safety notes, and a tool for opening the SIM-card slot beside the smartphone. Nokia did not offer any special accessories for the Nokia 8 at test time.

The Nokia 8 comes with a 24-month warranty. The manufacturer limits the warranty on the battery, USB cable, headset, and charger to six months. This does not affect the two-year legal warranty.

Input Devices and Handling

The Corning Gorilla Glass 5-protected screen of the Nokia 8 offers very good gliding properties and detects up to 10 fingers at the same time. Its responsiveness and accuracy do not give reason for complaint, either.

The fingerprint-sensor that Nokia incorporates into the home button delivers an equally good feedback. It is lowered slightly into the casing and can thus be found immediately. It unlocked the smartphone quickly and reliably in the test. The other two Android buttons are implemented as touch-sensitive areas that light up when touched.

The volume control and power buttons are situated on the casing's right. They have the same high-quality feel as the other components and please with accurate pressure points.

Google's standard Gboard keyboard app is preloaded. It can be replaced with another keyboard from the app store.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Subpixels
Subpixels

The Nokia 8 can display the QHD resolution of 2560x1440 pixels on its IPS panel. This equals an extremely high pixel density of 554 PPI on its 5.3-inch screen diagonal. The smartphone accomplishes another superlative in screen brightness.

With an average of 707.2 cd/m² on a white background and maximum screen brightness, the screen is very bright while it still manages a very homogeneous illumination (92%). Even up to 751 cd/m² is possible when distributing bright and dark areas evenly (APL50). However, Samsung's Galaxy S8 achieves almost 800 cd/m² here. These brightness rates easily make the Nokia 8 suitable for outdoor use.

Although the rivals cannot keep up here, they are not less suitable for everyday use. Apple's iPhone 8 (580 cd/m²) and Samsung's Galaxy S8 (564 cd/m²) also deliver excellent brightness rates. OnePlus' 5 also still shines very brightly with 431 cd/m². However, this is only average compared with the premium-range standards.

We determined a slight PWM-flickering in the test of the Nokia 8. However, this only occurs at a very high frequency of 2358 Hz and then only when the brightness is set to 17% or lower. Thus, sensitive users should not notice PWM-flickering in practice.

The Nokia 8's other image parameters are not quite as impressive as the brightness. With a comparatively high black level of 0.79 cd/m², the smartphone only manages a weak contrast ratio of 930:1. Apple's iPhone 8 and HTC's U11 do a better job here and reproduce considerably more vivid colors.

708
cd/m²
716
cd/m²
691
cd/m²
679
cd/m²
735
cd/m²
709
cd/m²
702
cd/m²
721
cd/m²
704
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 735 cd/m² Average: 707.2 cd/m² Minimum: 3.39 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 735 cd/m²
Contrast: 930:1 (Black: 0.79 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.7 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 8.3 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.24
Nokia 8
IPS, 2560x1440, 5.3
OnePlus 5
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
HTC U11
Super LCD5, 2560x1440, 5.5
Samsung Galaxy S8
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 5.8
Apple iPhone 8
IPS True Tone, 1334x750, 4.7
Screen
24%
29%
23%
38%
Brightness middle
735
426
-42%
482
-34%
566
-23%
604
-18%
Brightness
707
431
-39%
472
-33%
564
-20%
580
-18%
Brightness Distribution
92
93
1%
90
-2%
94
2%
91
-1%
Black Level *
0.79
0.33
58%
0.44
44%
Contrast
930
1461
57%
1373
48%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.7
1.6
76%
3.2
52%
2.7
60%
1.2
82%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.9
4.1
68%
5.4
58%
5.4
58%
2.3
82%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.3
1.7
80%
2.2
73%
3.1
63%
1.6
81%
Gamma
2.24 107%
2.25 107%
2.22 108%
2.15 112%
2.25 107%
CCT
8906 73%
6329 103%
6581 99%
6335 103%
6688 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
81.57
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.87

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2358 Hz ≤ 17 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2358 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 17 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2358 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8882 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
13.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3.6 ms rise
↘ 9.6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
26.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.2 ms rise
↘ 19.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.4 ms).

The spectrophotometer and CalMAN analysis software reveal more shortcomings. The color temperature of 8906 K clearly shifts the reproduction into blue and thus looks much too cool. The Nokia 8 does not do a very accurate job in color and grayscale reproduction. DeltaE shifts of <3 are not visible for the viewer - a hurdle that the smartphone does not take in either colors (DeltaE 6.7) or grayscales (DeltaE 8.3). Thus, the Nokia 8 cannot compete with its rivals that all deliver exemplary rates here.

ColorChecker (target color space: P3)
ColorChecker (target color space: P3)
Colorspace (target color space: P3)
Colorspace (target color space: P3)
Grayscale (target color space: P3)
Grayscale (target color space: P3)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: P3)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: P3)

The Nokia 8 is very outdoor suitable thanks to its extremely high brightness reserves. It also presents a well-recognizable image when the light is too bright for other smartphones. However, the user will have to look for a shaded place in direct sunlight even with the Nokia 8. As typical for IPS, the screen content is still well-legible also in flatter angles and then only looks a bit darker at most.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Outdoors
Outdoors

Performance

Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 835 SoC, which is the successor of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 SoC, operates in the Nokia 8. It is one of the first smartphone chips that are built in a 10 nm manufacturing process. Its eight processing cores are divided into two clusters; one for high performance with four Kryo 280 cores and a maximum clock of 2.45 GHz and another energy-saving cluster with four more Kryo 280 cores and a clock speed of up to 1.9 GHz. The Adreno 540 graphics unit is integrated into the SoC. It displays even very demanding games in high resolutions smoothly.

The CPU-GPU combination can fall back on 4 GB of RAM and turns the Nokia 8 into a very fast smartphone in everyday use. Its extremely good system performance in the synthetic benchmarks (see PCMark) is particularly impressive. In total, it is roughly on par with the also very powerful HTC U11, OnePlus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S8. Apple's iPhone 8 is in a class of its own.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Nokia 8
177018 Points ∼77%
OnePlus 5
177156 Points ∼77% 0%
HTC U11
175032 Points ∼76% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S8
171884 Points ∼75% -3%
Apple iPhone 8
204270 Points ∼89% +15%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 8
6959 Points ∼68%
OnePlus 5
6579 Points ∼64% -5%
HTC U11
6828 Points ∼66% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S8
5370 Points ∼52% -23%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 8
8282 Points ∼81%
OnePlus 5
7826 Points ∼76% -6%
HTC U11
8295 Points ∼81% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S8
6035 Points ∼59% -27%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Nokia 8
1262 Points ∼74%
OnePlus 5
1287 Points ∼76% +2%
HTC U11
1221 Points ∼72% -3%
Samsung Galaxy S8
1156 Points ∼68% -8%
Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 8
5958 Points ∼64%
OnePlus 5
6144 Points ∼66% +3%
HTC U11
5976 Points ∼65% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S8
6096 Points ∼66% +2%
Memory (sort by value)
Nokia 8
3540 Points ∼74%
OnePlus 5
4423 Points ∼92% +25%
HTC U11
2085 Points ∼43% -41%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3039 Points ∼63% -14%
System (sort by value)
Nokia 8
5671 Points ∼55%
OnePlus 5
5902 Points ∼57% +4%
HTC U11
5570 Points ∼54% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S8
5386 Points ∼52% -5%
Overall (sort by value)
Nokia 8
3505 Points ∼81%
OnePlus 5
3790 Points ∼88% +8%
HTC U11
3034 Points ∼70% -13%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3277 Points ∼76% -7%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
OnePlus 5
8005 Points ∼56%
HTC U11
8281 Points ∼58%
Samsung Galaxy S8
8490 Points ∼59%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 8
6479 Points ∼22%
OnePlus 5
6799 Points ∼24% +5%
HTC U11
6443 Points ∼22% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S8
6711 Points ∼23% +4%
Apple iPhone 8
10380 Points ∼36% +60%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 8
1924 Points ∼32%
OnePlus 5
1973 Points ∼33% +3%
HTC U11
1906 Points ∼32% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S8
1997 Points ∼34% +4%
Apple iPhone 8
4162 Points ∼70% +116%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 8
3010 Points ∼82%
OnePlus 5
3026 Points ∼82% +1%
HTC U11
2841 Points ∼77% -6%
Samsung Galaxy S8
2494 Points ∼68% -17%
Apple iPhone 8
1989 Points ∼54% -34%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 8
3894 Points ∼72%
OnePlus 5
3757 Points ∼70% -4%
HTC U11
3883 Points ∼72% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3472 Points ∼64% -11%
Apple iPhone 8
2581 Points ∼48% -34%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Nokia 8
3655 Points ∼77%
OnePlus 5
3566 Points ∼75% -2%
HTC U11
3590 Points ∼76% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S8
3194 Points ∼67% -13%
Apple iPhone 8
2421 Points ∼51% -34%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 8
3002 Points ∼82%
OnePlus 5
3012 Points ∼83% 0%
HTC U11
2832 Points ∼78% -6%
Samsung Galaxy S8
2440 Points ∼67% -19%
Apple iPhone 8
1774 Points ∼49% -41%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 8
5818 Points ∼70%
OnePlus 5
4765 Points ∼57% -18%
HTC U11
5877 Points ∼71% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S8
4923 Points ∼59% -15%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Nokia 8
4814 Points ∼75%
OnePlus 5
4219 Points ∼66% -12%
HTC U11
4744 Points ∼74% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S8
4015 Points ∼63% -17%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 8
20951 Points ∼27%
OnePlus 5
19411 Points ∼25% -7%
HTC U11
20140 Points ∼25% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S8
21543 Points ∼27% +3%
Apple iPhone 8
24131 Points ∼31% +15%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Nokia 8
56531 Points ∼12%
OnePlus 5
58001 Points ∼12% +3%
HTC U11
55725 Points ∼12% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S8
36347 Points ∼8% -36%
Apple iPhone 8
112424 Points ∼24% +99%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Nokia 8
40968 Points ∼20%
OnePlus 5
40229 Points ∼19% -2%
HTC U11
40014 Points ∼19% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S8
31532 Points ∼15% -23%
Apple iPhone 8
62006 Points ∼30% +51%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 8
99 fps ∼6%
OnePlus 5
115 fps ∼7% +16%
HTC U11
91 fps ∼5% -8%
Samsung Galaxy S8
121 fps ∼7% +22%
Apple iPhone 8
161.3 fps ∼9% +63%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 8
54 fps ∼12%
OnePlus 5
60 fps ∼13% +11%
HTC U11
58 fps ∼13% +7%
Samsung Galaxy S8
60 fps ∼13% +11%
Apple iPhone 8
119.8 fps ∼26% +122%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 8
51 fps ∼9%
OnePlus 5
61 fps ∼11% +20%
HTC U11
51 fps ∼9% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S8
62 fps ∼11% +22%
Apple iPhone 8
70.8 fps ∼13% +39%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 8
31 fps ∼8%
OnePlus 5
56 fps ∼15% +81%
HTC U11
29 fps ∼8% -6%
Samsung Galaxy S8
41 fps ∼11% +32%
Apple iPhone 8
114.5 fps ∼31% +269%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 8
36 fps ∼7%
OnePlus 5
42 fps ∼8% +17%
HTC U11
33 fps ∼6% -8%
Samsung Galaxy S8
24 fps ∼4% -33%
Apple iPhone 8
54 fps ∼10% +50%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 8
17 fps ∼10%
OnePlus 5
41 fps ∼23% +141%
HTC U11
15 fps ∼9% -12%
Samsung Galaxy S8
23 fps ∼13% +35%
Apple iPhone 8
109.7 fps ∼62% +545%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 8
24 fps ∼6%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼6% +4%
HTC U11
24 fps ∼6% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S8
25 fps ∼6% +4%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 8
13 fps ∼11%
OnePlus 5
25 fps ∼21% +92%
HTC U11
13 fps ∼11% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S8
13 fps ∼11% 0%

Legend

 
Nokia 8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
OnePlus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
HTC U11 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa, ARM Mali-G71 MP20, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Apple iPhone 8 Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)

Apple's iPhone 8 dominates in the browser benchmarks and shows the Android rivals their limits. However, none of the smartphones provide reason for complaint. The Nokia 8 also loads websites very quickly and displays sophisticated HTML5 browser games, such as Ouigo (letsplay.ouigo.com), smoothly.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Apple iPhone 8
206.7 Points ∼100% +226%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
71.6 Points ∼35% +13%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
69.51 Points ∼34% +10%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
65.846 Points ∼32% +4%
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
63.365 Points ∼31%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPhone 8
34163 Points ∼100% +207%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
12941 Points ∼38% +16%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
11945 Points ∼35% +7%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
11781 Points ∼34% +6%
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
11131 Points ∼33%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
3159.8 ms * ∼100%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
2760.3 ms * ∼87% +13%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
2621.7 ms * ∼83% +17%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
1886.6 ms * ∼60% +40%
Apple iPhone 8
730.8 ms * ∼23% +77%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPhone 8
359 Points ∼100% +106%
Samsung Galaxy S8 (Samsung Browser 5.2)
194 Points ∼54% +11%
Nokia 8 (Chrome 61.0.3163.98)
174 Points ∼48%
HTC U11 (Chrome 58)
162 Points ∼45% -7%
OnePlus 5 (Chrome 59)
161 Points ∼45% -7%

* ... smaller is better

One of the presently fastest UFS 2.1 storage devices on the market is in the Nokia 8, and this is seen impressively in Androbench. The 64 GB storage can be expanded by up to 256 GB via a micro-SD card. We test the micro-SD slot's speed with our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference card (read max. 270 MB/s, write max 150 MB/s). The competition's results are only average compared with the maximum transfer speed of 76.9 MB/s.

Nokia 8OnePlus 5HTC U11Samsung Galaxy S8
AndroBench 3-5
10%
67%
-1%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
51.66 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
46.25 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-10%
53.5 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
4%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
76.85 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
68.82 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-10%
63.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-17%
Random Write 4KB
14.57
19.3
32%
79.97
449%
15.25
5%
Random Read 4KB
145.73
141
-3%
91.45
-37%
127.17
-13%
Sequential Write 256KB
199.15
201.5
1%
206.41
4%
193.23
-3%
Sequential Read 256KB
680.39
748
10%
717.33
5%
792.86
17%

Games

Buyers of the Nokia 8 will also be purchasing a gaming machine. Not only because the position and motion sensors function impeccably - this is the case in virtually every smartphone. The powerful SoC with its high-end Adreno 540 graphics chip will make players happy since they allow playing every up-to-date game smoothly in maximum details. We installed Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Trigger 2 for testing purposes. Both games have high hardware requirements, and both achieve the maximum possible frame rate in maximum details. This is limited to 30 FPS in Asphalt 8: Airborne and to 60 FPS in Dead Trigger 2.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high60 fps
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
 very low30 fps

Emissions

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

Temperature

When idling, the warmest spot on the Nokia 8 is just below 40 °C. Its highest rate of 45.1 °C during load is also within an absolutely uncritical thermal range.

The smartphone does not struggle with high temperatures under the hood even if the GFXBench Manhattan ES 3.1 test scenario shows a completely different picture at first glance. The benchmark runs 30 times in succession and the frame rates remain at approximately the same level for half the test. They then drop rapidly and settle to a lower level until the end. However, this throttling is so slight that it will not be noticed in everyday use.

Max. Load
 39.2 °C
103 F
38.1 °C
101 F
43.2 °C
110 F
 
 39.7 °C
103 F
39.5 °C
103 F
45.1 °C
113 F
 
 39.4 °C
103 F
38.1 °C
101 F
40.6 °C
105 F
 
Maximum: 45.1 °C = 113 F
Average: 40.3 °C = 105 F
35.9 °C
97 F
36.9 °C
98 F
38.3 °C
101 F
36.6 °C
98 F
37 °C
99 F
38 °C
100 F
36.3 °C
97 F
37.4 °C
99 F
38.1 °C
101 F
Maximum: 38.3 °C = 101 F
Average: 37.2 °C = 99 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.9 °C = 86 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260

Speaker

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

Unlike the video recordings that receive a first-rate sound thanks to Ozo 360 ° surround, the speaker is just standard. A mono speaker is situated on the smartphone's lower edge. It achieves an impressive maximum volume of up to 91.6 dB(A), but it delivers a thin, very treble-heavy sound with virtually no audible bass. The speaker provides a satisfactory sound for playing YouTube videos or making calls via hands-free mode. The sound improves quite a bit when using the included headset.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.629.52525.435.93125.3304032.930.65033.634.46331.636.68028.437.41002741.412520.8411602243.720021.346.125020.853.331521.256.440019.460.150019.563.363017.764.480017.961.7100017.867.3125017.373.6160017.474.1200016.775.8250017.278.6315018.281.8400017.982.4500017.686.6630017.783.8800017.879.51000017.977.91250018.1791600018.269.6SPL3091.6N1.382median 17.9Nokia 8median 69.6Delta1.311.631.639.125.437.625.336.932.940.833.635.231.633.328.433.82733.520.842.82250.821.351.520.849.821.253.919.45619.558.717.761.617.962.917.866.217.368.217.468.416.768.517.267.318.26817.969.817.668.817.767.517.861.717.959.118.160.618.256.23078.41.343.6median 17.9Apple iPhone 8median 61.61.37.531.635.125.433.525.334.832.93433.629.431.629.628.424.92731.220.834.72239.821.348.320.855.321.259.519.462.219.567.117.77017.973.617.874.217.373.217.472.716.773.217.272.118.269.717.96917.666.317.766.917.86717.951.618.145.218.247.73082.41.354.8median 17.9Samsung Galaxy S8median 66.91.311.8hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Nokia 8 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (91.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.7% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 11.9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 32% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 61% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 32% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple iPhone 8 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 22% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 72% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy S8 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.44 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 18% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 71% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 49% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 43% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Nokia 8 is just as economic as its rivals in power consumption and places itself pretty much in the middle of the test field during load (4.65 watts). The smartphone has the highest consumption of almost 10 watts only in the rather unrealistic full load scenario.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.04 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.86 / 2.13 / 2.16 Watt
Load midlight 4.65 / 9.99 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Nokia 8
3090 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
HTC U11
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S8
3000 mAh
Apple iPhone 8
1821 mAh
Power Consumption
9%
11%
33%
29%
Idle Minimum *
0.86
0.73
15%
0.73
15%
0.78
9%
0.54
37%
Idle Average *
2.13
1.44
32%
1.96
8%
1.1
48%
1.63
23%
Idle Maximum *
2.16
1.5
31%
1.98
8%
1.16
46%
1.67
23%
Load Average *
4.65
6.91
-49%
4.82
-4%
4.15
11%
2.74
41%
Load Maximum *
9.99
8.51
15%
7.15
28%
5.12
49%
7.78
22%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Nokia has provided its upper-league smartphone with a good battery capacity. The Nokia 8 runs for almost 8 hours in the realistic Wi-Fi test (websites are opened every 30 seconds using a screen brightness of 150 cd/m²). The smartphone plays the H.264 video for over 12:13 hours. Among the rivals, only Samsung's Galaxy S8 lasts a bit longer. In total, the differences are too low for speaking of an advantage or disadvantage, perhaps with exception of HTC's U11.

The Nokia 8 supports Quick Charge 3 and is completely recharged in approximately 1:30 hours when connected to an outlet in a turned-off state.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
25h 06min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 50min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
12h 13min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 57min
Nokia 8
3090 mAh
OnePlus 5
3300 mAh
HTC U11
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S8
3000 mAh
Apple iPhone 8
1821 mAh
Battery Runtime
-7%
-19%
10%
-6%
Reader / Idle
1506
1534
2%
1250
-17%
1667
11%
1629
8%
H.264
733
623
-15%
498
-32%
771
5%
698
-5%
WiFi v1.3
650
518
-20%
560
-14%
719
11%
585
-10%
Load
237
247
4%
212
-11%
264
11%
202
-15%

Pros

+ very bright screen
+ good build
+ fast SoC
+ pure Android 7.1.1
+ very good GPS
+ decent camera
+ videos recorded with surround sound
+ USB 3.1 Gen.1
+ long battery life
+ Quick Charge 3.0

Cons

- not waterproof or dustproof
- only average Wi-Fi speed
- no Gigabit LTE
- relatively few LTE bands

Verdict

In review: Nokia 8 courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Nokia 8 courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

The Nokia 8 scores with its superbly built aluminum casing and a very bright, 5.3-inch QHD screen. It also earns sympathy points with its high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. This, alongside 4 GB of RAM and the swift Adreno 540 pixel accelerator, always ensures a fast operating speed. Then there is the long battery life, fast recharging via Quick Charge 3.0 and even a real unique selling point with the "Bothie": The 13 MP camera in the Nokia 8 can simultaneously shoot photos and record videos with its webcam and primary camera in a kind of split-screen mode and creates a quasi double-selfie. This also functions in the 4K resolution in videos and is accompanied by a great Ozo 360 ° surround sound thanks to three microphones.

With the Nokia 8, HMD Global offers a premium-range smartphone that is far up front in almost every aspect and thus rightly places itself in the orbit of leaders such as Apple's iPhone 8 or Samsung's Galaxy S8. However, it does not quite measure up to the strong rivals.

When disregarding the cameras' innovative special mode that will likely appeal to creative users, the Nokia 8 is still a very good smartphone. However, minor discrepancies prevent it from reaching a higher rank. For example, an IP67 protection rating that protects the handset from ingress of water and dust can be expected from a premium-range device. We would have also wished that the fast LTE module would support more frequencies. The one or other missing frequency band prevents the Nokia 8 from being a real globetrotter. The Wi-Fi transmission speed is not very exhilarating compared with the premium-range competition, either.

In addition to the single-SIM variant that we tested, Nokia also offers the 8 in a version with a dual-SIM slot. Furthermore, a model with 128 GB of storage is to be launched soon. However, information concerning this could not be found on Nokia's German-language website at test time.

Nokia 8 - 10/19/2017 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
71 / 75 → 94%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
48 / 60 → 80%
Weight
91%
Battery
93%
Display
83%
Games Performance
64 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
68 / 70 → 98%
Temperature
85%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
75%
Average
79%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nokia 8 Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2017-10-21 (Update: 2017-10-22)