Nokia 8 Review: A solid high-end smartphone


HMD Global’s foray into the high-end device with the Nokia brand began with the Nokia 8.

The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 processor, 13 Megapixel dual back camera by Zeiss that can record in 4K, high-res LCD screen, premium aluminum unibody and the last Android OS (stock Android).

Out of the box

  • Nokia 8 itself
  • 18W charger plug
  • USB cable (Type C)
  • Earphones

Nokia 8 features

  • Body: 6000-series aluminum, IP54 splash resistance
  • Screen: 5.3 inch IPS LCD, QHD resolution (554ppi), 700 nits brightness; Gorilla Glass 5; Glance screen
  • Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat (Upgradable to Android 8.0 Oreo)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • RAM: 4GB RAM
  • Internal storage: 64GB with microSD card slot
  • Back camera: Two 13MP sensors (color + monochrome), 1.12µm pixels, Zeiss lens with f/2.0 aperture; OIS on the color sensor, Laser and phase detection autofocus, dual-LED flash
    Video: 4K video capture, 360° spatial surround sound with 3 microphones; with inbuilt YouTube and Facebook livestreaming
  • Front camera: 13MP sensor, 1.12µm pixels, Zeiss lens with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus
  • Connectivity: 2G/3G/4G/4G+
  • Battery: 3,090mAh
  • Others: Fingerprint reader, unlimited Google Photos storage


The Nokia 8 has the following measurements; 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm and weighs 160 grams. It comes in an aluminium body that is easy to grip.

The front of the phone is covered completely with an LCD screen. The front camera is at the top left with the earpiece in the middle. The fingerprint sensor is at the bottom in the middle and it also acts as a home button. The rest of the controls are on the left and on the right.

There’s a SIM card plus MicroSD port on the left side of the phone. The right side has a power button and the volume buttons. At the top, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on top of the phone and on the bottom there’s a USB Type-C port, the loudspeaker, and a mouthpiece.


The Nokia 8 comes with a 5.3 inch IPS LCD touchscreen with 1440 x 2560 pixels and 16:9 ratio (~554 ppi density). It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

The screen produces colours almost perfectly and it works well even in sunlight. You can enable adaptive brightness in settings to enable the phone to automatically adjust the brightness depending on the light situation. It also has a night light feature that turns the phone screen amber. This feature is awesome because it helps you read at night without affecting your eyes or your ability to sleep.


The Nokia 8 comes in single and dual SIM. The dual SIM is the hydrid one, with a choice between two SIMs or one SIM and a memory card.

The phone supports Cat.9 LTE for theoretical maximums of 450Mbps on downloads and 50Mbps on uploads. On mobile (with Safaricom), I was able to achieve downloads of between 20-40Mbps and uploads of 15-20Mbps.

The phone is one of the few in Kenya that supports 4G+ and the usual 2G, 3G & 4G. It also has dual-band Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC. It however doesn’t have FM radio.


The phone comes with Android 7.1.1 (Nougat) which is upgradable to Android 8.0 (Oreo). The entire phone is run by the stock Android with the exception of the camera. One major advantage of the stock Android is the fast updates, direct from Google, and a very smooth phone experience.


The Snapdragon 835 chipset and the 4GB RAM combine to give the Nokia 8 fantastic performance. Heavy apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Netflix, and Tumblr work well even together.

Video and games on the phone are seamless. However, you have to clear other running apps before playing a game.


The Nokia 8 has two 13MP cameras at the back seating plus a Zeiss lens. One takes pictures in black & white and other in colour with optical image stabilization. It also has a 13 Megapixel front camera for selfies.

The camera app has features such as:

  • Choosing between taking pictures in a colour, monochrome or a combination of both, which they call twin. Taking pictures in twin is extremely slow which is annoying. However it combines the colour and monochrome into a picture with a bit more detail.
  • It allows you to choose between the back and front camera.
  • It also allows you take pictures and video with the back and front camera simultaneously.
  • It has a feature that allows you to livestream directly from the app to YouTube and Facebook.
  • Video is shot to a maximum of 4K and pictures are at 4:3 resolution for both back and front cameras.
  • In video mode, you can choose between normal video, time-lapse and slow motion.
  • In picture mode, you can choose between normal, manual, Live-Bokeh, Panorama and Beautify.
  • Additional features include HDR for low light photos and a handy 10 second timer.


The 3090mAh battery on the Nokia 8 and lasts about 12 hours with average use and about 6 hours with power use (normal use + heavy apps, video and some games). Using it on battery saver mode can push the life of the battery by an additional 2-3 hours.

Final thoughts

The Nokia 8 is a pretty solid phone & I would definitely recommend it. At a price of Ksh. 60,000, it’s a steal, considering what it is bringing to the table.

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