After reintroducing their first every Android flagship last year, HMD Global is back with the latest iteration called the Nokia 8 Sirocco. Apart from the hardware upgrades such as a faster processor, bigger batteries, and ZEISS dual-lens cameras, the smartphone comes with a newly designed body with curved edges. Is the Nokia 8 Sirocco worth considering over the previous Nokia 8 smartphone? Let’s find out.
While Nokia has a lot of catching up to do with the biggest names of the smartphone industry, their re-entry with a series of devices proved that a popular smartphone maker can sell mobiles at affordable rates. The previous Nokia 8, was HMD Global’s flagship device of 2017, that cost only AED 1699 at launch. However, the new Nokia 8 Sirocco is priced a bit high at AED 2399. While that’s a huge jump in price rate, Nokia did manage to bring a slew of design and hardware changes that justify the hike. While the Nokia 8 featured a 5.3-inch IPS screen, the new Nokia 8 Sirocco comes with a larger 5.5-inch P-OLED screen. However, the pixel density is a tad lower at 534ppi. That said, the screen resolution is the same (1440 x 2560) at 16:9 on both the devices. Thanks to the OLED screen technology, the Always-On feature is very convenient on this device. Speaking of which, the integration of P-OLED display means that the colors pop vibrantly while watching videos or scrolling through a set of images. The curved edges of the display on either side remind us of the time when Samsung tried with the Galaxy Note 5. However, we were told that there aren’t any native edge-screen based applications preloaded on the device, and users will need to try out 3rd party-based apps instead. While there is an aluminum frame around the device, the buttons on the sides appear to be slightly stiff when we try to press them. The buttons are quite thin in such a way, it takes a bit of time for us to realize that we are actually pressing the buttons or the wrong side of the frame. Personally, I would prefer the buttons to be a tad bit taller and the previous Nokia 8 did a fine job about that.
Both the power button and the volume rocker buttons are placed on the right side of the device. You will find the USB Type-C port on the bottom, along with the speaker grill. Unfortunately, HMD Global decided to get rid of the 3.5mm audio jack and this is something I didn’t expect at all on a Nokia smartphone. I get the fact that Apple iPhones don’t have the audio ports as well but that doesn’t mean everyone should follow that, as the majority of the crowd still prefers to have the traditional headphones than going wireless. On the rear are the dual-lens ZEISS camera setup and the fingerprint scanner. The camera module is clearly protruding outwards. And since the module is located in the upper middle portion, the smartphone doesn’t appear to be wobbling when we keep the device on a flat surface. Other smartphones such as the Huawei P10 Pro or the Apple iPhone X has the camera modules located on the upper left side of the rear panel. This results in an unusual balance of the whole body while being on a flat surface. It should be noted that both the front and rear glass panels are protected with Gorilla Glass 5.
Performance and Features
Underneath the glass shell of the Nokia 8 Sirocco, comes a sizable packed spec list that includes Snapdragon 835 SoC, RAM memory of 6 GB, 128 GB of internal storage, dual lens rear camera and so on. On the software front, the phone runs on Android Oreo. While Android One used to be the optimized OS version for budget smartphones, HMD Global and Google took at step further to include the enhancements of Android One for flagship devices. In simple words, you get the purest of Android experience and free from bloatware. The phone is also ensured to receive two years of OS upgrades which makes the Nokia 8 Sirocco work well for a long time. There is a 3260 mAh Battery in the phone that supports Qi Wireless Charging. The battery is able to charge half battery life (50%) in just half an hour. This ensures enough power for working through the day when you are time bound.
Camera and Battery
The Nokia 8 Sirocco's camera technology is backed by Zeiss Optics as seen in many many earlier Nokia smartphones. The primary camera setup consists of dual lens sensors, one with a 12 MP wide-angle lens with a f/1.75 aperture lens along with OIS and one with a 13 MP Telephoto lens with a f/2.6 aperture. They combine to give blur effect in the background while highlighting the main subject. The user can have complete mastery over the camera settings and can tune the settings to their requirement. The camera interface also includes a Pro camera mode for photography enthusiasts. They can play with white balance, exposure, shutter speed, focus, and ISO. This is a welcome feature as the camera software in the earlier Nokia 8 was very basic with a minimal interface. There is a decent 5 MP camera on the front for taking selfies and making video calls. Quality wise, the Nokia 8 Sirocco's main camera is capable of snapping good-looking images. However, our test review unit came with some camera bugs where the stability wasn't that great and the camera app crashes occasionally. We were told that the smartphone will be receiving updates soon to fix those bugs.
The battery of the Nokia 8 Sirocco comes holds a capacity of 3260 mAh and also brings support for fast charge support. In our usage, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is quite capable of lasting for a day and a half, while we used to click snaps, surf the net, make calls and so forth. We were surprised to see that the device can last for days while being idle.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco is clearly one of the most beautiful looking smartphones of 2018 and we are glad that HMD Global is taking the design innovation to match up with the likes of the top smartphone makers. While we would love to say that the Nokia 8 Sirocco is a worthy sucessor to the 2017 Nokia 8, the lack of some features such as the ommison of headphone jack is a no-go for many users out there. Also, the price of the Nokia 8 Sirocco is little bit costlier as compared to the Nokia 8 of 2017 (AED 1699 launch price). Honestly, we wished that the Nokia 8 Sirocco was priced at AED 1999, but since it's current price is listed as AED 2399, we would advice for the prices to fall a bit for now.