Design & Build7.8
The Nokia 8 is the first Android-powered flagship to be introduced by Nokia’s affiliate HMD Global. The smartphone packs in a few top-of-the-line specifications but the Finish company has marred one of the notable aspects on its flagship phone.
While flagships from major OEMs have carried over the most distinguished feature of this year- the minimal bezel or edge-to-edge display (Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6 to name a few), the Nokia 8 doesn’t offer this attribute. The Finnish company rather brought its flagship sporting thick bezel display.
Although the company is trying to venture on the nostalgic value of Nokia fans, but for a smartphone to hold the flagship title, it needs to have at least two or three (trending) aspects to match with other flagship devices.
The Nokia 8 does have decent looks and it is built out of a single block of series 6000 aluminium and comes with two matte and two glossy colour choices. The matte finish has tempered blue and steel colour option while the glossy finish comes with either copper or polished blue paint. We had the matte finish silver colour variant for review.
The smartphone features a polished aluminium unibody, but the design is nothing ravishing like the Samsung Galaxy S8. The device, as we mentioned has thick bezels on top and bottom which makes it appear a bit dated.
However, not all that is bad on the Nokia 8, the phone has a compact form factor and is light weighted. The phone quite perfectly fits in the palm of user’s hand, even those having small hands, they can comfortably use it with a single hand. The power button can be easily reached with your thumb, and the volume keys are placed right above the power key.
Fine antenna bands run along the top and bottom curvature. The 3.5mm audio jack sits at the top while the USB Type-C port and mono speaker are drilled at the base, above the antenna band. The SIM/microSD tray is located on the left edge of the smartphone.
At the back, the Nokia 8 houses the dual camera setup with Zeiss branding imprinted on it and LED flash module, all stacked vertically. Up front, the Nokia logo is inscribed at the top right while the front-facing camera is placed at the left side. The Nokia 8 has backlit navigation keys which means you don’t need to scramble much while using the phone in a complete dark room or in low light situation. The fingerprint sensor is encapsulated on the home button itself.
Talking about the build quality, the Nokia 8 feels sturdy when you hold it. The rectangular shaped smartphone has smooth curved edges. The front has a shiny glass panel which means you will get a fair bit of smudges and fingerprints. Even we ended up wiping off the screen panel with fibre cloth as every time we swiped left and right to navigate apps we could see thumbprint all over the screen. Further, the phone felt a bit slippery perhaps because of the aluminium design. The Nokia 8 is IP54 certified splash proof which is another letdown given that the device will be able to withstand slight water splash but might not survive long if you immerse it for more than five minutes.
Ergonomic-wise, however, the smartphone is good. The Nokia 8 measures 7.9mm and weighs 160 grams but like we said it’s not that heavy even when you operate with one hand. If you compare with other flagships, the design could be a disappointment. If you can avoid those premium facets (which is now prevalent in some mid-range smartphones as well) then Nokia 8 might be a good option given its sturdy build and polished finish.