HMD Global overnight announced the addition of the Nokia 8 to their growing range of new Nokia smartphones, following up the global announcement with a media launch here in Sydney this morning letting us get our hands on the device.
If the company’s Android offerings haven’t quite piqued your interest just yet, the Nokia 8 is the phone that should make you sit up and take notice. It’s one of the first few phones to market running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and it comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The Nokia 8 is the company’s first foray into flagship territory for Android smartphones, and brings with it a few notable of technology firsts.
Physically the Nokia 8 is a little larger than (for example) a Pixel. It’s got a fairly standard top/bottom bezel, with capacitive back/apps buttons flanking a front-facing fingerprint reader. There’s a slight camera bump on the back, but it’s centrally located so it doesn’t cause the phone to rock on your desk and the main phone body is just 7.3mm thin. The rear of the phone is free of antenna lines, having moved those to the top and bottom of the device.
The phone is considered “splashproof”, with an IP54 rating. There’s a USB-C port dead centre at the bottom of the phone and a speaker port. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack on top. The phone also features an interesting new cooling system inside – a full-length graphite-shielded copper cooling pipe inside the phone’s body should ensure the phone runs cool even when you’re asking a lot of it.
On the camera front, you can indeed ask much of the phone. The Nokia 8 brings a few party tricks to the fore, with content creators a core market. First of all, there’s dual rear cameras, both 13MP splitting duties between colour shooting (with OIS) and monochrome. The cameras feature 1.12um pixels and an f/2.0 aperture, 76.9 degree field of view, phase detection auto-focus and a dual tone flash. We saw great results earlier this year from Huawei’s P10 with a dedicated camera module for monochrome shooting and may see similar from the Nokia 8.
Secondly, the Nokia 8 introduces “Dual Sight”, a feature that allows you to capture output from both the front and rear cameras simultaneously in the same frame, in both photo and video mode. They’re calling this “Bothie” (a play on the selfie, if you couldn’t tell).
Putting those all together, the Nokia 8’s camera software features integrated live streaming to Facebook and YouTube. You just log in to your account and a “live” button will appear in the camera UI. You can live stream the Dual Sight video output to make for some engaging live streams – you’ll be able to show viewers what’s happening and your reaction to it.
On the audio side the Nokia 8 features OZO Audio, three microphones that work together to provide 360-degree spatial audio recording. This audio can be recorded into videos as a binaural audio track for playback on other devices.
HMD hosted some Australian media on a seaplane ride around Sydney Harbour this morning to take the Nokia 8’s camera out for a spin. While I didn’t really end up using Dual Sight mode (it turns out sea planes are pretty cramped, and you could really only make out my chin), it was still a good opportunity to take the camera out for a spin.
As you’d expect from a Nokia “Pure Android” device, the Nokia 8 is running Android 7.1.1 out of the box. Our review unit is running July 2017 security patches, so it’s already more up to date than some other phones out there. HMD has committed to keep the phone up to date with monthly security patches, and has proven their commitment to updates with their lower end devices already receiving the August security update.
The Nokia 8 will be sold for $899 from JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman. Pre-orders will open at JB Hi-Fi tomorrow, with the phones expected to arrive in early September.
HMD’s been busy. Considering the company only came into being last December, getting their initial portfolio (Nokia 3, 5 and 6) to market alone was quite a feat – we saw a local launch of those devices just a month and a half ago – now, adding a flagship phone to that portfolio is an impressive accomplishment.
We’ll have a review of the Nokia 8 up in the next week or so, but if you’ve got any burning questions in the meantime feel free to ask them in the comments below.
|Key Specifications:||Nokia 8|
|Screen technology||IPS LCD|
|Core config||Octa-Core up to 2.45GHz|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 256GB|
|Android OS||Android 7.1.1|
|Dimensions||151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm|