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Nokia 8 Sirocco vs Samsung Galaxy S9: How do they differ?

09 March 2018 5

HMD announced the first flagship of the year as Nokia 8 Sirocco at the MWC 2018. On the same day, Samsung took the MWC stage to showcase their latest flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. Samsung further strengthens their position in the flagship market with the announcement of Galaxy S9 series. At this year MWC show, both the companies once again try to steal the limelight by announcing their latest flagship offerings on the same day.

The HMD global launched new Nokia branded flagship as Nokia 8 Sirocco. The key selling aspect of this device is top-notch build quality with solid hardware specs sheet. On the other hand, Samsung brought a refined flagship Galaxy S9 with an amazing camera sensor. A decade ago, Samsung and Nokia were very strong rivals. Samsung was amongst the first to adopt Android OS, Nokia didn't switch to the new OS that's why they slowly vanished away from the market. Surely the announcement of two top-tier smartphones on the same day from two old rivals brought back memories.

To be the best flagship smartphone, the Nokia 8 sirocco will have to face the wrath of Samsung Galaxy S9 which isn't easy at all. Today we will put the Galaxy S9 against the Nokia 8 sirocco to check out whether Nokia's latest flagship is powerful enough to compete against the well-settled Samsung's premium flagship. We are hopeful this comparison will certainly help you better decide which flagship is better. Will Nokia 8 sirocco have any chance against the Galaxy S9, let's start with the design of the two.

72.97 x 140.93 x 7.5 mm
5.5 inches - 2560x1440 px
68.7 x 147.7 x 8.5 mm
5.8 inches - 2960x1440 px
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HMD global finally enters the slim bezels arena with their latest flagship Nokia 8 sirocco that's why it brings a reasonable large display with a compact body. The device looks quite luxurious in hands and feels a worthy flagship device. The chassis is made up of stainless steel with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 covering the front and the rear side. The rear side is adorned with dual rear cameras placed vertically in the center with fingerprint scanner below it.

However, beating Samsung on the design aspect is not an easy task. This year Samsung didn't bring a new design instead the company opted a refined design which they introduced last year with the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S8 design is still one of the best in the market that's why it's forgivable to opt somewhat similar design like last year.

The chassis is made up of aluminum with glass covering the rear side. The fingerprint scanner position is now shifted below the camera module, that's surely one thing which was most criticized in last year's design. Despite being metal-clad design both the devices physical endurance is pretty good but having stainless steel chassis provide Nokia 8 sirocco more ruggedness over the Galaxy S9's aluminum.

In terms of water and dust resistance, the Nokia 8 sirocco is IP67 certified whereas the Galaxy S9 is IP68 certified. The Galaxy S8 has 3.5mm headphone whereas Nokia 8 Sirocco lacks traditional headphone jack. Though both the devices feature metal glass-clad design the Galaxy S9 design is certainly more refined and beautiful than the other.


The display panel on the Nokia 8 Sirocco is 5.5-inches with Quad HD screen resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. Its a Plastic OLED display with curved edges. The display aspect ratio is 16:9. The display pixels density is 534 pixels per inch. On first look, you will find it more like a Samsung smartphone with curved edges. On the other hand, the display panel on the Galaxy S9 is 5.8-inches with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. Though it comes with a larger display its pixels density is 570 pixels per inch. The Galaxy S9 Super AMOLED display aspect ratio is 18.5:9.

You simply can't ignore the display panel on any of these smartphones. Both the devices feature gorgeous OLED panels which provide pretty good colors saturation, amazing colors pop up and deep blacks being OLED panels.


Unfortunately, despite being the latest flagship, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is powered up by the slightly older Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC. It's the same chipset which was under the hood in Nokia 8 and many other top-tier flagships of 2017. The chipset is still one of the fastest SoC that's why Nokia 8 Sirocco performance is pretty smooth but on the other hand, the Galaxy S9 is one of the first flagships which is equipped with Snapdragon 845 SoC. The benchmark test reveals the new chipset performance is higher than the predecessor that's why the Galaxy S9 will have an upper hand in the performance department.

The Galaxy S9 Octa-core SoC is accompanied with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage which is further expandable up to 400GB using MicroSD. The Nokia 8 Sirocco comes with 6 gigs of RAM and 128GB built-in storage, its native storage isn't further expandable. Having an older SoC with more RAM doesn't guarantee Nokia 8 Sirocco will perform better than the latest Galaxy S9 which features the latest chipset. Both the devices are pretty powerful to handle HIFI tasks and games and no matter which smartphone you opt the performance won't disappoint you.

Specs Nokia 8 Sirocco Galaxy S9
Display 5.5-inches 5.8-inches
Screen resolution 14440 x 2560 pixels 1440 x 2960 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 835 Snapdragon 845
Storage 128GB Expandable via MicroSD 64GB Expandable via MicoSD
Rear camera 12MP+13MP 12MP
Front camera 5MP 8MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No Yes
IP-ratings IP67 IP68
OS Android Oreo Android Oreo

Last year HMD global followed the Huawei footprint of adopting dual rear cameras RGB+ monochrome lens. This year company brought a different setup. The primary snapper is 12MP module whereas the secondary 13MP module is a telephoto lens. Both the sensors are Zeiss optics certified with f/1.7 aperture. The camera performs pretty great in daylight conditions, it focuses pretty fast. However, the sensors might not bring the best in class low-light photography due to a smaller aperture. The Nokia 8 Sirocco once again have bothie feature which HMD global introduced with the Nokia 8. The bothie mode allows the user to capture using front and rear cameras simultaneously. The front-facing snapper is 5MP which isn't impressive considering most of the mid-rangers have similar camera lens.

The Galaxy S9 one of the key selling aspect is indeed the rear camera lens which is worth considering an upgrade over its predecessor. The Galaxy S9 retains the similar 12MP sensor with dual lens. The biggest change here is a variable aperture, in low-light conditions, the aperture is shifted to f/1.5 whereas in daylight conditions the aperture shifts to f/2.4. It is one of its kind sensors with the variable aperture as well as the largest aperture on any smartphone in the market. The Galaxy S9 large aperture will help to snap amazing pictures even in low-light conditions. The stable and powerful camera of Galaxy S9 will certainly outclass Nokia 8 sirocco's dual rear cameras. The Galaxy S9 front-facing selfie camera is 8MP with f/1.7 aperture.

In the video capturing department, the Galaxy S9 supports 4K video and slow-motion at 960 frames per second. The Nokia 8 Sirocco cameras are nowhere near in this competition. Although the camera setup of the Nokia 8 Sirocco is good but not as good to outclass the Galaxy S9 best in class camera sensor.


The battery life of the phone is based on a number of aspects including Display size, screen resolution, battery cell size, OS optimization and modes to enhance the battery life. Samsung once again didn't bring any change in the battery cell of their flagship. From last three year Samsung retaining 3,000mAh battery cell, same is the case with the Galaxy S9. The device supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 for fast charging and also Qi Wireless charging.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco battery cell is 3,260mAh, it also supports fast charging tech which performs better than Galaxy S9. According to HMD Global, the device charges 0 to 50 in just 30 minutes which is pretty fast. The device also supports wireless charging so you can charge it even without cable. This round is lead by Nokia 8 Sirocco due to having larger battery cell and better fast charging tech.


As expected to be the latest flagships, both the devices are pre-installed with the latest Android Oreo 8.0 but the custom UI layer approach is different. The Galaxy S9 comes with Samsung Experience UI which is way more refined than TouchWiz. Samsung removed a lot of bloatware in last year or so to make their UI slicker and also few positive additions to provide the better user experience.

With the Galaxy S9, Samsung introduced AR emoji feature which allows the user to turn their selfies in 3D cartoons which mimic user facial movements. The Samsung's own AI assistant Bixby is now further improved. The Nokia 8 Sirocco is the HMD global's first Android One phone which means it doesn't have bloatware instead brings clean stock UI which is not only pretty smooth but also will bring faster software updates than any other non-Google device.

Due to having stock Android OS, the Nokia 8 Sirocco owners will be getting latest updates in no time directly from Google whereas Samsung custom UI based software updates take months before rolling out to masses. Even though Galaxy S9's custom UI brings a number of additional features but having the stock Android OS experience with guaranteed faster software updates is something which surely Galaxy S9 users will miss.


As far as pricing and availability is a concern the Galaxy S9 is available for pre-orders from March 2 with a release from March 16. The Galaxy S9 can be grabbed for $720 in the US and the good thing is it will be available on carriers as well as its predecessors. It will be widely available in most of the regions in coming weeks.

At the moment it is still in the dark whether the Nokia 8 Sirocco will be released for the US customers or not. From what we know so far the device will be available in April for the European customers at 750 Euros which is roughly $900 at the current currency exchange rate. Despite the fact it's a flagship smartphone still, it will fall amongst the most expensive Android flagship smartphones. Also, it is important to mention the Nokia 8 Sirocco is an iterative special edition of last year Nokia 8, So the company might not release in many regions like Galaxy S9.

Considering better value for your hard-earned money, the Galaxy S9 is certainly a better choice. Mostly the Galaxy S series flagships are expensive than their competitors but that's not the case here. The Galaxy S9 wins this round providing better value for money.


The Galaxy S9 and Nokia 8 Sirocco are amongst the best new smartphones announced at this year MWC show. The Galaxy S9 takes lead in design, display, a powerful latest chipset with expandable storage, 3.5mm headphone jack, better cameras and a good value for your money. On the other hand, the display panel on the Nokia 8 Sirocco is amongst the best, the stainless frame with glass rear design is quite sturdy but not as refined as Galaxy S9. Having more RAM with older SoC will certainly not help the Nokia 8 Sirocco's cause to be the best flagship in the market. The Nokia 8 Sirocco battery cell is better than Galaxy S9 but also it is more expensive than Samsung's premium device.

Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the Nokia 8 Sirocco vs Galaxy S9 in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparison in coming days.

(last update 22 May 2019 @ 02:13)



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