Nokia 8 review: Returning to the world of Nokia without Windows

The Nokia 8 is a Nokia without Windows phone, but is it worth making the switch to Android for ardent fans?

A lot has changed since we last reviewed a Nokia flagship smartphone here at Windows Central. Not including Microsoft branded Lumia handsets, the last 'Nokia' flagship phone we reviewed was the Nokia Lumia Icon/930 back in 2014, almost four whole years ago. The Microsoft-Nokia acquisition that took place that year marked the end of an era for Nokia. The brand was all but dead, with no new smartphones planned under the infamous 'Nokia' moniker.  

However, not all was lost for Nokia fans. Just two years after the acquisition took place, Microsoft sold the Nokia brand to a company called HMD Global who wanted to start building Nokia branded smartphones again, but this time running Android. Good news for Nokia fans, bad news for Windows Phone fans. That sale was finalized in December 2016, and a year later, HMD Global now sells a line of high-quality Android handsets under the Nokia brand.  

Here at Windows Central, we understand that a fair few Windows Phone fans are only here because of Nokia. When Nokia adopted Windows Phone in 2010, die-hard Nokians were obliged to start using Lumia branded handsets too. Since the acquisition in 2014, however, Nokia fans have had to put up with Microsoft-branded Lumia devices because that was all that was left of Nokia. Well, not anymore.  

We've seen immense interest in the Nokia Android phones from current Microsoft Lumia branded smartphone owners here at Windows Central, and as such we thought it would be a great idea to review Nokia's latest flagship; the "Nokia 8" for those remaining Lumia 950 users who want to jump back on the Nokia branded smartphone bandwagon. So here it is, our review of the Nokia 8, powered by Android. 

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Nokia 8 specifications

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Operating SystemAndroid 7.1.1 (Android 8.0 update available)
Display5.3-inch IPS LCD 2560 x 1440 (554ppi)
Gorilla Glass 5, 2.5D curved glass
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 835 (MSM8998)
Octa-core up to 2.45GHz
GPUAdreno 540
Storage64GB or 128GB UFS 2.1
ExpandableYes, up to 256GB
ChargingUSB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
Quick Charge 3.0
Water resistanceIP54 splashproof
Rear Camera 113MP RGB, Carl Zeiss optics, f/2.0, 1.12-micron pixels, OIS
Dual tone flash, PDAF, laser autofocus
4K 30 fps
Rear Camera 213MP monochrome, Carl Zeiss optics, f/2.0, 1.12-micron pixels
Front Camera13MP, f/2.0, 1.12-micron pixels, display flash
4K 30 fps
ConnectivityLTE 3xCA, Cat 9
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, ANT+
SensorsAmbient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, E-compass, Gyroscope, Fingerprint Sensor, Hall sensor, Barometer
Audio3.5mm headphone jack
Three microphones, 360-degree sound capture
SecurityOne-touch fingerprint sensor at the front
SIMDual SIM slot
NetworkLTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28/38/39/40/41
WCDMA: Band 1/2/4/5/8
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Dimensions151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm
ColorsPolished Blue, Polished Copper, Tempered Blue, Tempered Steel

Nokia 8 design and display

Let's start with what is always a hallmark feature when it comes to Nokia smartphones, its design. The Nokia 8 comes in several color configurations, including silver, copper, blue, and glossy blue. We're using the glossy blue model, which feels fantastic in the hand. All variants feature an aluminum body, with the glossy blue and copper variants featuring a mirror-like finish on the back that makes it feel a little like glass. This makes the phone feel a bit fragile in hand, unlike the old Nokia Lumia flagships that felt like tanks.  

I do prefer the mirror-like finish found on the copper and glossy blue models, if only because it makes those variants feel a little more premium in hand. Not everyone will enjoy the glass-like finish, however, as it attracts fingerprints very quickly and is super slippery. If so, the silver or standard blue versions will be more to your liking. Outside of the mirror-like finish on the body, the Nokia 8 is a relatively uninspired looking smartphone, with no real outstanding design decisions.  

And that's okay, because not every smartphone needs to push the boat out when it comes to design. The Nokia 8 is still a great looking phone and feels fantastic to hold and manipulate. The unibody design curves around the edges of the phone, all the way up to the glass front which makes the device feel like a single slab of aluminum and glass, similar to the iPhone 7. The volume and power buttons are located to the right of the phone and have a very satisfying, clicky feeling to them. No complaints there. There's also a USB-C port and headphone jack.  

Moving on to the front of the device, here's where things start to fall down a bit for me. This is a 2017 flagship that's rocking the face of a 2016 flagship. It features huge bezels on all sides and is rocking a relatively standard 16:9 QHD IPS LCD. It's a nice display with great viewing angles and gets super bright when outdoors, similar to how the old Nokia Lumia handsets did. Now, this is a personal preference of course, but I wish HMD Global had opted for an 18:9 display with less bezel. The front of this phone makes the handset feel dated, and I'd much rather have a bigger display in the same size form-factor. 

I also wish the Nokia 8 was rocking an OLED panel instead of LCD. Don't get me wrong, the LCD panel on this phone is great; more than enough for the price you pay, but OLED is just better. Deeper blacks, brighter colors, and better battery life are all great advantages to using an OLED panel. The LCD on the Nokia 8 has some great viewing angles, but rarely am I looking at my phone at any angle other than dead-on, so great viewing angles is a moot advantage for me. 

Below the display features capacitive back, home and multitasking buttons, which I'm glad are here considering how big the chin is on this phone. The home button also acts as a fingerprint reader, which I'm not overly impressed with as I find it to be too small and somewhat slower than the fingerprint readers found on other flagship devices. Above the display, we're rocking an equally large forehead bezel, featuring a speaker grill, front-facing camera, and the infamous Nokia logo. 

Nokia 8 software

The Nokia 8 is not running Windows phone, much to my dismay. Instead, it's running a super clean, almost stock version of Android, which I always prefer over the clunky, incredibly customized versions of Android that you often find on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy or HTC flagships. This version of Android on the Nokia 8 is essentially a clean slate, allowing you to customize it in any which way you want without there being already predefined customizations set by the OEM. 

The Nokia 8 does come bundled with a bunch of Google apps out of the box, but most of them can be disabled. This means if you wanted, you can disable everything Google has to offer and download Microsoft's own offerings instead, which is exactly what I did. Instead of using the default app launcher, I use the Microsoft Launcher, along with Cortana as my default assistant, Edge as my default web browser, Outlook for email and many more Microsoft apps for specific things. 

There are a couple of customizations that Nokia has done here, mostly to aid some of the Nokia-specific features that you won't find on other phones. For example, there's Glance screen (hey, remember that?) which is configurable in the Settings app. It's not as useful or as configurable as it was on Windows phone, but it does show you how many new text messages, phone and email messages you've missed. It also shows the time, date and battery percentage. 

The other notable change Nokia has made here is the camera app. It's not the best camera app I've ever seen. In fact, I'm not impressed with the camera app on this phone at all. We'll talk about image quality in our camera portion of the review, but for now, I just want to focus on the camera app itself. It looks like something that was designed in Paint. It's also super slow to open and very unintuitive and clunky.  

For example, the camera app features a whole bunch of configurable options, which is great, but the configuration menu is hidden behind a hamburger menu that takes you away from the viewfinder so you can't see the changes you're making. The old Nokia Camera app on Windows phone was so much more intuitive, with menus that were transparent so you could see the changes you were making. It's fair to say the Nokia Camera app on Android is poor and holds no candle to the old Nokia Camera app that we had on Windows phone. Hopefully, this improves over time. 

A lot of Windows phone users are wary of making the switch to Android because of the horror story that is OS updates. A fair few Android OEMs are bad or slow at supporting their devices with official Android releases, which sucks and contributes to the atrocity that is Android fragmentation. Luckily, those interested in the Nokia 8 can rest easy, as Nokia has promised at least two years of speedy Android security and OS updates. In fact, my Nokia 8 updated to Android 8.0 from 7.1.1 over the weekend, bringing with it a whole bunch of new features and optimizations.  

So, if the frequency and efficiency of official OS and security patches are important to you, the Nokia 8 is a better choice over the likes of Samsung or HTC made devices. Even OnePlus takes its sweet time in pushing out the latest version of Android on its smartphones. Nokia has been quicker than most in this regard, and that's great.  

It's also worth noting that with all the Microsoft software and services installed on the Nokia 8, this device is pretty much a Windows phone without the live tiles. It hooks into all my Microsoft services and is even paired up with my Windows 10 PC thanks to Cortana and the Microsoft Launcher / Edge. The only thing I'm missing is live tiles, which you can technically achieve if you download a third-party live tile launcher from the Google Play Store. I'd rather stick with Microsoft's own launcher, however. 

Nokia 8 performance and battery

Thanks to Nokia's super clean version of Android, this device simply flies when it comes to using the device day-to-day. I've seen no slowdowns or laggy performance when scrolling through or multitasking between apps. I would often see frame drops on the Samsung Galaxy S8; there's no such issue here on the Nokia 8. This is aided by the 4GB or 6GB of RAM that comes bundled with the device. Since there's no extra crapware running on top of the Nokia 8, there's more memory to keep your device running nice and smooth. Just the way I like it. 

Battery life is always an important factor for any smartphone, and I can confidently say that the battery life on the Nokia 8 is superb. I'm able to get through a full day with ease, sometimes lasting almost two days before dropping below 5% battery. I would often be hitting around 25% at bedtime, and thanks to quick charge support, charging via the USB-C port on the device takes no more than an hour at most.  

There's no wireless charging here, which I know is going to annoy many Nokia fans looking to switch from the old Lumia flagship devices, but I honestly feel quick charge is better and more convenient in 2017. It's faster, that's for sure, making top-ups via cable often more convenient than using a wireless charger anyway.   

Nokia 8 sound and camera 

I'm not incredibly impressed with the sound quality of this device. Featuring a single, downward firing mono speaker, it's not super bassy or impressive. It can get pretty loud, but that's not necessarily a good thing. I do wish HMD Global had opted for a stereo speaker set with another one in the front-facing earpiece at the top like on the iPhone.  

The cameras, on the other hand, is a different story. The rear cameras are great, capable of clear, high-quality photos and video in well lit scenarios. It's no Pixel 2 camera by any means, but it's better than your average $500 smartphone camera. It's rocking dual 13MP cameras, one a standard shooter and the other a monochromatic lens. The monochrome lens allows you to shoot in black and white, something I really couldn't care less about.  

Nokia opted for a monochrome lens alongside the standard shooter as it allows for greater color accuracy when taking photos. It's a small difference and one that I wouldn't miss if the Nokia 8 didn't have it. The dual-lens setup does allow for that "Bokeh" effect that so many other flagship devices are obsessed with, which is a nice addition but isn't something I ever found myself using.  

The camera is okay when it comes to low-light photography. I found that photos often came out a little grainy and soft, however, it's definitely not the worst low-light shooter I've ever used. There's also the "bothie" mode, something Nokia is boasting about for reasons that I can't think of. A bothie is both a selfie and a rear shot photo, at the same time. It splits the viewfinder in half, allowing you to take a photo of yourself using the front camera and the subject in front of the rear camera. I can't see the point in this.  

The selfie shooter on its own is pretty good. It's also 13MP, meaning your selfies are going to look crisp and clear, and maybe a little too detailed for a selfie camera. Overall, the cameras on the Nokia 8 is about what I'd expect from a $500 device. It's more than capable in most scenarios, if sometimes a little slow to actually take the photo. And as mentioned above, the camera app itself needs some serious work if it is to be taken seriously, especially considering the "Zeiss" branding etched on the back of the phone. 

Nokia 8 closing thoughts

As a fan of Windows phone and a long time Nokia Lumia user, using the Nokia 8 is like bumping into an old ex that you loved but has moved on and is happier than ever. HMD Global has built a fantastic, affordable flagship with great performance, a clean version of Android and a set of cameras that are more than capable.  

I do admit; I really didn't want to like the Nokia 8. My evil, bitter side was hoping that without Windows phone, the Nokia brand would crash and burn in the chaos that is the world of Android smartphones. But now I've used the Nokia 8, I like it a lot. Sure, not every aspect of the device is deserving of the Nokia brand, but that's fine because this is still a great phone.  

There's just plenty to like about this device, even down to the little details. Things like the vibration motor, which feels great in this phone with sharp, clean vibrations. There's also the volume and unlock buttons, which have a satisfying clicky-ness to them. Admittedly, there are some annoyances with this phone too, mainly referring to the slow and small fingerprint reader on the front of the device.

Regardless, do I recommend the Nokia 8 for those looking to make the switch from an old Lumia? Yes, I think I do. For the price you pay, I don't think you can go wrong. The Nokia 8 is a well-rounded, affordable flagship with plenty of good things going for it.

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The Good

  • Premium build
  • Great battery
  • Buttery smooth performance

The Bad

  • Terrible camera app
  • A fingerprint magnet
  • Slow fingerprint reader
  • Traditional 16:9 aspect ratio in a world of 18:9 displays
Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • I also wish the Nokia 8 was rocking an OLED panel instead of LCD.
      Why do I have a feeling if it was rocking an OLED, there'd still be something to complain about with the screen.
  • this an Android device aimed at the low to mid-range and OLED is usually only for the $500+ phones
  • Low end with SD835 and 500$? Yeah, right
  • The Lumia 650 had a OLED screen...
  • What. No, really. What.
  • You'd better delete this nonsense
  • I like your evil side
  • SO, if the Nokia "Brand" was sold to HMD, how much of this is actually Nokia beyond the name?
  • From my understanding, they are made of of mostly former Nokia employees.
  • The Nokia brand was NOT sold to HMD, it's being exclusively licensed. Exclusively because Nokia itself is behind the creation of HMD. The original plan was for Nokia Technologies itself to release the phones (the Z Launcher was to be the interface). Then Nokia Tech scrapped those plans, called some ex-VP's and staff and formed HMD (kinda like Microsoft never actually integrated the D&S division into the Microsoft Corporation and created Microsoft Mobile instead).   Nokia has a sit on the Board of Directors and has supervising power over everything HMD does. Which is why HMD's first CEO was kicked out. Nokia was not only displeased with the phones being put out with their brand, but also with the time HMD was taking between announcement and release.
  • Almost none of it. Nokia "approves" the phones and "aids in design" but from what I understand it's almost entirely HMD Global with very minimal input from Nokia itself. Nokia just doesn't have that infrastructure anymore.
  • I picked this up on 10 days ago and I love it for speed and function compared to my previous Huawei P9 which had their own EMUI software on top. On Friday I got the update to Oreo and it is now even faster. The design reminds me of my old L1520 just a bit smaller, especially in the hand with no case. I don't like the camera app but there are rumours the old Nokia camera app from WP will come to it in the future.
    Fingerprint sensor is very fast for me but the problem is it is too small and I can't get used to how I need to position my finger on it without looking.
    On m P9 it was at the back and easily found in the dark but on the Nokia it is impossible for me, even looking at it in light I get the wrong posiition / angle.
  • Not too bad,,,,,, but Android😣😣😣😣😣
    Still, another option besides the norm.
  • only if Microsoft wants to support its own platform which for the past 2 years and ongoing has been a resounding NO.
    Microsoft wants everyone to use Android / ChromeOS or iOS/Mac OSX
  • But it is "the norm". Another snoozefest mid ranged Android headset. Doesn't do anything special. Its not a true Nokia (which would have cast iron build and amazing camera optics/experience) And well, its Android.  Much more excitement around things like home automation these days, as tablets and phones have homoginized into boring glass slabs. This phone might appeal to someone like DJCBS the MS hater, but I am defintely not falling over myself to grab a Nokia 8.
  • Just here for the comments...
  • There doesn't seem to be much of Nokia left. These phones are extremely boring, same as most of Android phones. Where is the innovation or cameras that put everything else to shame?
  • this more looks like a white label phone that a lot of other Chinese and Indian companies go with these days because there is a higher profit margin.
  • I agree DLLS, very boring. Pleasant enough, but certainly not an aspirational device, and _nothing_ unique/special about it.
  • They are just attaching the name to a decent android phone. Move along nothing interesting here.
  • I would've considered this if it had a camera button.
  • The volume down button probably functions as a camera button.
  • It's not an acceptable replacement, though. Specially because that is normally a hit and miss solution (hald the time it just turns off the screen).
  • Why would the volume down button shut off the screen?! I have never seen that happen. I personally prefer the onscreen button because it doesn't require as much pressure and allows you to keep the phone more steady. I just use the volume down button when I can't see the screen or am holding the device in a weird way. Complaining about a dedicated camera button is just searching for anything to complain about. It isn't genuine. This device does have a camera button. It just pulls double duty.
  • "Why would the volume down button shut off the screen?! I have never seen that happen." Sorry, my mistake. You wrote volume down and I thought about the power button which is used to launch the camera. Normally most people who want the camera button is not to take the shot but to launch the camera.   So no. This device doesn't have a dedicated camera button. And it's not an acceptable solution still. To launch the camera the power button is terrible for the reason I said. To take the photos it's also not a good option because you lose the ability to have those programmed to do other things. Besides, real Nokia phones have a camera button. The Nokia 8 has no good reason to lack one. And judging by the threads on HMD's official Forums, most fans think the same.
  • There are a million ways to quickly launch the camera without a button than can be accident hit. I see what you mean about the double tap, it has happened with my phone. I like the twisting motion of the Motorola phones personally but could get past the old school bezels on the Moto Z.
  • Only somebody who never used a dedicated camera button would find it not important to not have one.  The real advantage of such a button is that you van half press it and it focusses on what you want it to focus, and when you press it completely it takes that picture immediately.  Any button that you cannot half press in order to focus can not be considered to be a camera button. I'd never want a phone without such a button.
  • Cameras in modern phones focus as soon as you point it at something.  I can take 3 pictures - all perfectly focused - on my iphone 8 plus in the time it takes me to get one focused pic on my 1520 using the camera button.   Only somebody who has never used a modern phone camera would find it important to still have a dedicated camera button  
  • I currently have an HTC 10 and I couldn't agree more about the lack of updates. With the u11 currently upgraded to Oreo I fear I may be left in the cold. It's a great device overall and I love the customizability of Android, but it's just another one of those annoyances that has carried throughout Android's legacy. The Nokia 8 looks great though. Wish it had front facing speakers to make use of the extra bezel space and an OLED display, but I imagine that would probably add to the price. I've been thinking of switching to the OnePlus 5t, but this definitely gives me another option if this phone were ever to come to the States.
  • This has an SD slot and headphone jack so it pipped the OnePlus for me.
  • Would you really see any difference if HTC updated the 10? Their UI would likely overshadow any changes in Android 8. You will still get updates to Google Play Services for several years and that is more important than some imperceptible Android version update.
  • I'm holding out for the Nokia 9. I can switch in February next year. Also, with all those Surface Phone/Andromeda/Courier rumblings, the Windows on a mobile device hope keeps burning, which would still be my first option.
  • Snd 835 everywhere
  • I guess I'm the last person on the planet who prefers the 16:9 aspect ratio over 18:9.
    Also, I wish current and upcoming flagship phones would incorporate a dedicated camera button.
  • I might prefer 16:9 if it didn't require giant bezels and wasted space. 18:9 is nice in portrait though. The device can be taller without being so wide.
  • i think the xiaomi mi mix or the mi mix 2 is 16:9
  • Many smartphones use the volume up button as a shutter button, and double pressing Samsung Galaxy phones' power button it launches the camera. It's not a dedicated button, but you could remap the Bixby button to be a camera button with an app if you really want one.
  • Thanks. That is good to know.
  • No.  If you are going to go android get the S8, Pixel 2, HTC U11, or the Sony XZ1. Don't waste your time with the Faux-kia. 
  • Agreed, the NOKIA brand needs to fade away with the respect it still has.
  • You don't say. The device is actually faster then most of what you just listed. And funny has way better battery life.
  • Those are all 50-60% more expensive too.
  • This might be my next phone but I'll settle for the Nokia 3.
  • Don't. That's a terrible device. It's actually the first Nokia branded phone EVER that I returned. And I never return phones, let alone Nokia phones. If you want a cheaper option from Nokia, get the Nokia 5 and sideload the Google HDR+ camera app from XDA. You'll be good until HMD puts out a Nokia branded phone worthy of that name (the 8 ain't it ;) )
  • I've got a 6. Worse phone I've ever had. Cracked screen and scratched back day 1 after 1 drop and it's even slower than g5 plus which I didn't think was possible. 
  • Ehhh, I'll still stay with my L950 XL, Nothing on Nokia 8 thus far is compelling for me to ditch the old gal... This old gal still has it and if some of them folks that I know can still rock their iPhone 4S and 5SE (YES it is True), for pete sake, my old gal is a young babe in that crowd. If anything though, I like the clean Os that coulld get faster update you alluded to, that in itself creates good renewals for these phones and help extend their life span.
  • I prefer 16:9 displays Must be my age
  • This isn't a NOKIA. They should just brand it as HMD. I want to see someone smack this with a 2x4 and see if it still works like the 920 did. The NOKIA cameras were always stellar, and it sounds like this imposter has a pbarely assable camera. Lets allow the NOKIA mobile brand to fade away with the dignity it has left.
  • Oh, shut up!
  • Got the Nokia 8 about a month ago after 10+ years of Windows Mobile / Phone. The apps dieing off and other niggly things creeping in on the Elite X3 finally pushed me over.
    I put this phone on par with the happiness with the HTC HD2, and the Lumia 1020 and 950XL when I got each of those.
    The fingerprint reader has been great for me (the one on the X3 was pretty good, but I find this one even quicker and easier - especially the haptic feedback so I know if it's unlocked without having to look at it).
    The camera could be better (but after the Lumia 1020 and 950XL it'll probably be a while before any other camera seems great).
  • My Lumia 950xl died on me after 2 yrs. Changed it for Nokia 8. I could not agree more with u. The câmera (fotos this is) is crap Next to 950xl. Videos is very good. God i miss the pureview 20mpx of Lumia 950xl. When u Change is when u realize how there is not yet a match for it.
  • The câmera of 950/950xl is just superb
  • Well, you knew this was coming we go:   "The brand was all but dead, with no new smartphones planned under the infamous 'Nokia' moniker." Actually, Nokia had their return plans ready since 2014. Back then Daniel wrote an article saying "Nokia phones won't come back" blah blah blah (I'm paraphrasing). I told him he was wrong. And I was right. Not my fault that you people didn't believe me :P Anyway, as I was saying, Nokia had their return planned since then. The only thing that actually changed was that the original plan envolved Nokia itself doing the phones. Nokia Technologies had prototypes working and plans in place. But then they opted for a less risky approach and decided to go with the creation of a puppet-company - HMD - to do it for them and not risk the value of the Nokia Corporation in case the thing fell apart. That's why Nokia made it very clear that "they had no financial investment in HMD" when it was announced. _____________________   (Henceforth I'm arguing based on my use of the really-bad-for-a-"flagship" Nokia 8. 'cause I know some people around here might be interested in my veredict judging by the PM's I got)   "Outside of the mirror-like finish on the body, the Nokia 8 is a relatively uninspired looking smartphone, with no real outstanding design decisions.   And that's okay, because not every smartphone needs to push the boat out when it comes to design." Well, when you're carrying the Nokia brand, you kinda do...   "The volume and power buttons are located to the right of the phone and have a very satisfying, clicky feeling to them." They are, however, placed a way too high on the frame of the phone, making them harder to easily reach with one hand. No matter how big your hands are.   "This is a 2017 flagship that's rocking the face of a 2016 flagship. (I also wish the Nokia 8 was rocking an OLED panel instead of LCD.)" But because we're speaking about Nokia, it's the face of a 2012 flagship. The last Nokia flagship using an LCD display was the Nokia 920. The 1020, the 930 and later the Microsoft 950 all had AMOLED displays and they were trickling them down already. To have a so called "flagship" with an LCD display in 2017 is just downright inadmissible. The bezels are also ridiculously big, I agree. Specially the bottom one - because they're not symetrical (another annoying thing) - that sports a way too small (I agree with you here as well) fingerprint scanner.     "The Nokia 8 does come bundled with a bunch of Google apps out of the box, but most of them can be disabled."   Fortunatelly, the amount of apps Google forces OEMs to bundle has decreased. And for those of us in Europe, eventually they will stop altogether as the EU isn't too keen on the practice.   "It's not the best camera app I've ever seen. In fact, I'm not impressed with the camera app on this phone at all. (...) Hopefully, this improves over time. "   This is the part where you *could* have listened to what I told you to appeased the more concerned people :P The design copyrights to the Nokia Camera app (later "Lumia Camera") on old Windows Phones were held by Microsoft. This, however, has changed earlier this Summer and HMD has now acquired the design of the old Lumia Camera app. That means that THWY WILL update the camera app to bring the Lumia design back to it. Sarvikas, HMD's CPO, has all but directly confirmed it ;)   "The only thing I'm missing is live tiles, which you can technically achieve if you download a third-party live tile launcher from the Google Play Store. I'd rather stick with Microsoft's own launcher, however. "   If you want the tiles though, I'd suggest you give "SquareHome 2" a look. Otherwise, Nova Launcher is by far the best launcher on Android, far far superior to the Microsoft Launcher. But to each their own. You're on Android, TRY THEM ALL. If there's something you won't be missing are options.   "There's no wireless charging here, which I know is going to annoy many Nokia fans looking to switch from the old Lumia flagship devices, but I honestly feel quick charge is better and more convenient in 2017. It's faster, that's for sure, making top-ups via cable often more convenient than using a wireless charger anyway."   It will annoy them Hell out of any Nokia fan and rightfully so. No phone in 2017 should even dare to come without wireless charging. And it's irrelevant if quick charging is faster. Not only there's fast wireless charging available, but they're not mutually exclusive. Wireless charging is slower, yes. But it's also infinitely more friendly to the longevity of your battery. Because the charging is slower, there's less strain on your battery which means its lifespan will be longer. If you constantly use quick charging, you're getting the phone charged up faster, sure. You're also shortening the life of your phone. Why? Well, because there are no more removable batteries these days.   "The rear cameras are great, capable of clear, high-quality photos and video in well lit scenarios. (...) Overall, the cameras on the Nokia 8 is about what I'd expect from a $500 device."   This is where we will completely disagree. The cameras on the Nokia 8 are downright horrible. IF you're used to sh*tty cameras like those of OnePlus or Sony devices since the Z3 line, then the Nokia 8 will be more than satisfactory. But this is a phone carrying a Nokia badge AND a Zeiss badge. So you'll be judging by Lumia standards. And it won't meet them. First of all, let me dispell any delusions right from the start: HMD has not yet used any of the PureView patents on the camera. Second, the lenses are Zeiss certified...but Zeiss did NO work at all on the camera as they did with Lumias. Then you have the uselessness of the monochrome sensor. The likes of Honor have adopted the same strategy to great results. HMD? Not so much. The monochrome sensor is only useful if you like to take B&W photos. Then you have to deal with the focus problem. The Nokia 8 (much like all other HMD phones) struggles way too much to lock focus on anything. So you have to constantly pay attention to that. Then you have a complete absence of real Manual controls. Forget being able to manually create light paintings and all those cool shots you could with the Lumia Camera app on WP.   The good news, however, is that the problems with the Nokia 8 camera are ALL software-related. So my advice if you opt to buy the Nokia 8 (and you should only buy it IF you find it for 400€ or less), is the following: - Either wait until the Nokia 9 is released and the camera software overhauled; - For manual controls, get "Manual Camera" from the Google Play Store (paid) or any other manual camera app; - Go to XDA and install the port that was made of the Google HDR+ Camera. That's the camera from Google's iPixel devices. If you shoot manual, believe me, you WILL want to sideload that app into your phone. The difference you'll see between the stock camera and the HDR+ Camera is astonishing, specially in terms of post-processing quality, low light quality AND speed.   The beam of hope here is that Nokia itself cancelled the Nokia OZO VR camera. And our old pal Juha has been often pushed into stepping in to "save" HMD's cameras. Well, let's hope he does ASAP ;)   Finally "Sure, not every aspect of the device is deserving of the Nokia brand". I will be completely blunt: the Nokia 8 is NOT worthy of the Nokia brand. Or rather, it's not worthy of it as long as you call it "a flagship". As a mid-ranger, it might be. But not as a flagship. It misses all the basics of a Nokia flagship: no AMOLED, no wireless charging, no dedicated camera button and most egrigeous of all, no great camera. As long as you call it a flagship, it's not worthy of that brand in it. Once you see it as a mid-range device and you don't pay more than 400€ for it, then sure. Go ahead. might want to wait a couple of months ;)
  • Holy $hit, man!
  • Lol I did give fair warning :P
  • @DJCBS, great review. As you are probably the most vocal and die-hard Nokia fan here, I was curious what you thought of it. Nice to see where it syncs with Zac's review and where not. Wireless charging and AMOLED are both important to me, so I'm with you on those. One feature Zac pointed out that you didn't hit (maybe just because it's not a key feature to everyone) is Glance. I'm not sure if that was entirely unique to Nokia, but that is something I miss most on my Nokia Lumia 930 from my prior Lumia 928. How's that on this guy? And I always think of Glance as making sense on AMOLED, due to the battery hit that having an LCD screen on all the time would create. Anyway, thanks for the detailed comment!
  • Ah yes. I never actually liked Glance that's why I probably skipped it. Glance on the Nokia 8 is pretty much back to the state it was when Nokia came up with it. Google has meanwhile stolen the feature (much like LG and Samsung) and baked it into Android. Anyway, on the Nokia 8 Glance has a major problem and that's battery. As you said, because the Nokia 8 uses an LCD display, the entire thing is lit when Glance is turned on. So it's wasting battery not only to display the clock and notification icons, but also with the rest of the battery. On a dark room, you'll see the entire screen emiting light which you will end up noticing, specially if you're used to real Glance on OLED screens.   Glad you found the comment useful :)
  • Do they make a dual sim version?
  • Yip
  • Yes but you lose the microSD slot. The only phone they do with both dual SIM and microSD is the Nokia 5.
  • I mostly use Smartlock, unlocks the phone with your face. In my car when connected to Bluetooth it also keeps unlocked...
    No app required, it's in the phone settings..
  • Funny article, cause last time i remember, microsoft f**ed nokia and it's Customers right in the a***. Then killed their system and a great brand. Still, you wanted to not like Nokia? Got to admit, sometimes stupidity prevails...
  • I got the Nokia 6 as soon as it came out on Amazon back in July. It has gotten a little sluggish but is fairly quick enough. Downloaded the Microsoft launcher and several apps...also have the Lumia 950 which I switch to when I'm charging the Nokia. Nokia is what brought me to windows mobile originally. This Nokia 6 has one main thing going for it and that is the build quality is excellent. That is one thing HMD nailed. Rigid construction with no flex or very little. Feels great in the hand. Has more of the older Nokia design with it's straight edges than the Nokia 3, 5 or 8. I am not a big power user so this phone is more than fine for me. I enjoy using it and its battery is much much better than the one in my Lumia 950. The battery in the Lumia is a joke. I will wait for Nokia to see what they will do with future phones as far as cameras are concerned before I purchase another one. All in all I am glad Nokia came back and I would buy another of their phones. Always had a Nokia phone of some sort since 2000 when I got my first mobile. I wonder if we will get the Nokia 7 in the US ? I really don't want a phone wrapped in glass though, but the specs are a little better. Until then the Nokia 6 fills the bill nicely and gets regular updates and will be getting the Oreo update. Pat.
  • True storyboard there. They bought Nokia at the time (smartphones this is) for nothing. Nothing!
  • I'll wait for the next iteration before I consider this a true nokia phone. At best it's a descent, well rounded android smartphone. Nothing unique in the sea of android phones and I can't live without a dedicated camera button. Would never had captured so many moments without it, as all the other alternatives are slow and clunky.
  • My LG V30 opens the camera with a double press of the volume down button and the same button takes a photo. It's only inferior to a dedicated button by the slimmest of margins. That only works when the phone is locked mind you, so a dedicated button is significantly better if you're doing something else on your phone at the time.
  • My phone is always locked and in my pocket, I don't carry it out around in my hands nor am I attached to my phone 24/7. So a dedicated button is a big deal for me. Especially it's apparent OEMs don't really care about your phone pocket dialing and phones not auto locking whilst in your pocket. Living in a multiplatform household has shown that they just don't, as everyone has issues with pocket dialing.
  • I've just replaced my 950 XL with an Android device in the last few weeks. My previous phone was a Lumia 925 and I had never had a non-Nokia phone before that, so I seriously considered the Nokia 8 when making my decision. Unfortunately, my Lumias had got me used to wireless charging and I wasn't prepared to do without that. Many other options were rejected on that point too, including the Pixel 2. If the Nokia 9 had been announced at least and was to include wireless charging then I'd have waited. Instead, my main options boiled down to being the Galaxy S8, the Note 8 and the LG V30. I ended up choosing the latter.
  • I had a Nokia Lumia 925. It was my upgrade from the very short lived 810 on TMO in 2013.
    The 925 was an excellent phone with a great camera and great build with the metal edge that I think was so much better than the squared off look of the 830 and 930.
    It had that beautiful AMOLED screen too. That phone had the best..well not the phone, but win 8.1 predictive text was excellent. I could literally tap out whole sentences that's how accurate it was.
    I have no idea what happened in win 10 because it isn't nearly as good.
    I have gotten used to larger phones now and 5.5" is nearly ideal for me with my Nokia 6. I don't think I could go back to a 4.5 " screen anymore.
  • The auto correct in WM10 has become comical, It's almost as bad as ios...
  • This 18:9 thing bothers me.  Should just be 2:1.
  • Nah mate, it should be 6882:3441   Bu in all seriousness, it is to prevent inevitable confusion, and to imply the screen is bigger now. Generally if you are comparing 16:9 to 18:9 your brain interprets that as "ok, that's bigger", regardless of the atual screen size. If you instead compared 16:9 to 2:1 the implication is that lower numbers means worse so people would see it as a negative.
  • This phone doesn't look like it's compatible with the USA LTE bands. Nice to know that Nokia hasn't learn their lesson about getting their products into as many hands as possible which is part of the reason Lumia as well as Windows Phone didn't catch on in the U.S. If they do decide to bring this Phone into the U.S., I won't be surprised it's going to only be available on At&t as an exclusive.
  • These new Nokia phones seem to mainly target markets Nokia traditionally did well in.
  • Zac didn't actually mention using the phone for making calls.  Too bad since that's the primary purpose for the device.  HMD has confirmed that the Nokia 8 is not banded for the US.  The Nokia 9 will probably be the next best bet (when it's released).
  • Another Minus: it's larger than 4,7". Despite that, i would really love the MS Camera App coming to android, including the lenses feature.
  • I hope Nokia does well. I don't need a phone right now but if I had to go with Android, Nokia seems like a good choice. Can't wait to see what they come up with next.
  • Nokia should have gone this way from the start instead of trusting Microsoon
  • They would have gone belly up much sooner then.. The pre Windows Phone Nokia shot themselves in the face several times and it all went downhill form there. It's not like Elop ever had a chance, certainly not when Microsoft actually started to sabotage any attempt at actual innovation.   Android will not save this brand, it will only make the deathknell last a bit longer still.
  • Actually Nokia was the over all winner in the acquisition of the d&s acquisition by Microsoft (primarily because Microsoft after Satya's SLT took over {except xbox} axed almost the entire mobile division, talent and acquired factories). Where as Nokia, got rid of a loss making division, they were no longer liable for redundancy payments, they offloaded almost all their factories, got a few billion in the process, started up a company made almost entirely of ex-nokians, who has the brand license from Nokia as it still exists as a seprate company, phones still designed by Nokia in-house and the phones are made by ODMs. So yeah Nokia was the winner in the deal.
  • Actually, they wouldn't;). Research more before talking the same nonsense all die hard ms fanboys talk. This comments are pathetic this days.;)
  • HMD Global (the new Nokia) are now no:4 in the German market. I think they going strong in India to and some other places. Not bad for 1 year start up company. So the Nokia brand is here to stay it seems, even without Microsoft.
  • I bought a Nokia 8 at the start of October. It is a really solid phone. The battery life is fantastic. Mine upgraded to Oreo on Sunday. I've had no issues with the fingerprint scanner on either Android 7.1 or 8.0.
  • Off the shelve Chinese phone from at least a year ago with the name NOKIA slapped on.. Also not sure what this has to do with Windows Central, but I guess bills need to get paid..   
  • Snapdragon 835 from last year? Go troll somewhere else, dumbass!
  • If it had Windows it would rock. With Android, not interested.
  • Mexico users have a lot of interest on Nokia phones, much more than Microsoft Lumia phones had, and I think the reason for that is that Microsoft never made a marketing campaign to verify if they should have rebranded Nokia brand to Microsoft, anyway that is history and now these Nokia Android flagship phones look to be good contenders side to side with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8
  • You guys are delusional if you want OLED from a 500$ phone. And btw it is not lag-free, me and many other Nokia 8 owners are having lag issues (especially in Oreo) Finger-print reader is pretty fast, dont know what is the reviewer talking about. He is right about camera tho, which will be sorted out by update (hopefully) He could also mention that the "Luima camera" app is coming back to Nokia, it was officialy confirmed by Nokia CEO on Twitter
  • OnePlus 5T is $500 with OLED...
  • Nokia without Windows Phone/Mobile... no thanks!
  •  I'm also a Windows user ,  sadly I'm also looking for a change and thinking  between Nokia  and Sony ..... Which one to  choose?
  • I would really go with nokia if it came down to these two. I think Sony's Android Skin is quite ugly and unintuitive. Also their smartphones are kind of lackluster lately.
  • At last we get a genuine smartphone from Nokia. No more dumb phones running Symbian or Windows.
  • So where are all of the Android fans trolling all over the internet that said "If only Nokia was an Android phone, I'd buy tt."  Yet these same fans are still in bed with Samsung, and not a Nokia phone to be bought.  Bunch of liars.  Say what you will about Apple fans, at least they have some class and don't spend all day in comment sections trolling other mobile OS's.