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Nokia 8 Sirocco Preview: A refined flagship with better design and cameras

06 April 2018 5

HMD Global kicked off this year with a great success of last year products. In just one year the company produced a number of new smartphones to target different niche of buyers. The revival of nostalgic 3310 played a vital role in reviving of Nokia brand. HMD global stepped up their game by introducing new smartphones for this year at MWC 2018. The company bought a couple of new smartphones in the portfolio which were not present last year. Not just that HMD global also announced to bring the pure Android experience on the Nokia well build hardware. Now all future Nokia Android smartphones will be Android One devices which means you will be getting software updates straight from the Google.

HMD Global key focus is to bring reliable and durable products that's why in last year or so the company managed to revive the Nokia brand by shipping more than 70 million units in 2017. However, one area where Nokia brand didn't shine well was the premium Android segment. This year at MWC HMD global not only introduced a number of new mid-range and entry-level Android smartphones but also a premium flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco.

As the name suggests the Nokia 8 Sirocco isn't a brand new flagship instead the company brought an iterative variant over the last year's Nokia 8 with refinements under the hood as well as in looks. Like always, we put the latest Nokia 8 Sirocco in a head-to-head comparison with a number of Android flagships. Now it is perfect time to preview the Nokia 8 Sirocco to know in detail the pros and cons of the latest flagship from HMD Global. The Nokia 8 Sirocco will have to compete against Galaxy S9, Xperia XZ2, and other recently announced flagships. We are hopeful this preview will help you better understand where Nokia 8 Sirocco takes to lead and where it suffers. Without any delay, let's start with the design.

72.97 x 140.93 x 7.5 mm
5.5 inches - 2560x1440 px
Go to comparison page
Design

Surprisingly HMD global announced Nokia 8 Sirocco at a time when everyone was expecting Nokia 9. The Nokia 8 was the only flagship of the last year, instead of bringing a brand new flagship had global introduced an iterative variant with refinements in the design department. At the announcement, HMD global chief product officer stated the Nokia 8 Sirocco is "the ultimate fan phone"

No doubt the device looks like a premium smartphone specially designed to cater the Nokia fans requirements. The Nokia 8 Sirocco chassis is made up of stainless steel instead of aluminum to make it a robust smartphone. Apple also used stainless steel for the iPhone X to make it more robust than iPhone 8 with an aluminum body. The steel chassis is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 from the front and the rear side. Nokia introduced dual edge display to share looks with the Samsung's latest flagships. The Nokia 8 Sirocco thickest part is 7.5mm. Overall the device looks quite striking thanks to its glossy finish and dual curved display.

Despite having metal and glass sandwich design, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is one of the sturdiest flagship smartphones in the market. The glass rear attracts fingerprints so you have to take extra care to ensure the device remains clean. The device is IP67 certified which means it can be dunked into water up to 1 meters for 30 minutes without worrying about damage. The device lacks the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack.

If you are amongst those who liked the Samsung's dual curved display design the Nokia 8 Sirocco will surely attract you as well. Despite being an iterative variant, it brings enough improvements in design department to be trustworthy.

Display

The display panel is certainly a key aspect of the Nokia 8 Sirocco. HMD global introduced a curvy display but it's not as refined as the Samsung's Infinity display without borders on the edges. Despite having slim boarders around the edges, the overall feel of Nokia 8 Sirocco is more sort of smartphones with the edgeless display.

HMD global opted a plastic OLED panel so that it can be bent easily from edges. LG also used the same OLED panel for the G Flex series smartphones, so it's something which we have seen in past as well. Although the company didn't reveal the source of display panel most likely it's LG.

The dual curved display panel is of 5.5-inches with Quad HD screen resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 16:9 unlike most of the latest bezel-less smartphones. The display color details, contrast ratio, and deep blacks are pretty great like any other OLED display in the market. If you don't have any issue with the older aspect ratio, the Nokia 8 Sirocco display is certainly amongst the best.

Hardware

Under the hood, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is powered up by the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 835 SoC, yes it's the same SoC which powered most of the flagships in 2017. This certainly will be a set back for those expecting for the latest Snapdragon 845 SoC, however, the performance of Snapdragon 835 is also pretty great. It remained the greatest chipset until the Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Both the Snapdragon 835 and Snapdragon 845 SoCs are built on the 10nm process, So you shouldn't expect a drastic change in handling tasks. As a daily driver, you may not find any key difference between the devices running on latest or the last year's top-tier chipset. The Octa-core chipset is accompanied with 6GB of RAM and built-in native storage is 128GB. That's pretty much standard in the latest flagships of 2018.

Specs Nokia 8 Sirocco
Display 5.5-inches pOLED
Screen resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 835
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB
Rear camera 12+13MP
Front camera 5MP
USB Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack None
IP67 Yes
OS Android Oreo

Battery

The Nokia 8 Sirocco lights are kept on by a 3,260mAh battery cell. Considering the display size and resolution the battery cell isn't large at all but thanks to stock Android OS Doze its battery is well optimized to easily last one day on a single day. For connectivity and charging the device has USB Type-C port. It supports Qualcomm's fast charging tech to quickly recharges the device.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco is the first smartphone from the company with wireless charging support thanks to glass rear. So far the company didn't opt wireless charging because of unibody metal designs.

Camera

One key area where Nokia 8 struggles badly were the camera capability of the device. It's not because the company didn't do well but instead the standard at that time was pretty high. This year the competition will become even stiffer as the so far flagships announced in Q1 2018 are all camera-centric.

HMD Global tried to step up their game with the Nokia 8 Sirocco. The rear side is adorned with dual Zeiss certified lenses. The primary sensor is a 12MP normal sensor whereas the secondary sensor is a 13MP zoom lens. HMD Global once again brought the boothie feature which they introduced last year.

Both the camera modules aperture size is f/1.7 which means it captures a great amount of light in low-light conditions. The device captures great shots even in low-light conditions. The secondary snapper provides optical zoom up to 2x pretty much like the Samsung's Galaxy Note 8. The zoom lens allows you to capture amazingly long-range shots without affecting the image quality.

Last year Nokia 8 was featuring an RGB+ Monochrome sensor like the Huawei's smartphones. This year HMD Global introduced a different camera setup. The dual snappers bring portrait mode which allows users to capture solely subject blurring the other portion of the frame. The camera app is the only custom app from HMD Global. For the Pro users, the device features a pro mode so that you can manually adjust camera settings according to your requirement.

Software

At the MWC 2018, HMD Global announced all their devices will be Android One devices without bloatware from the manufacturer. This means you can enjoy the stock Android experience on the Nokia's hardware. This surely will be a treat for stock Android fans. All Nokia devices will have Android One branding on the rear, it is important to mention this branding doesn't remove any app instead it brings stock Android experience. The only addition from Nokia is the custom camera app.

The good thing is Nokia 8 Sirocco users will have the vanilla Android Oreo 8.0 and will also the latest security patches from Google for next couple of years. HMD Global put everyone in shame last year as far as updates are a concern, they updated all their devices with the latest Android Oreo. Under the Android One program, you will be getting two years software and security updates from Google.


Conclusion:

HMD Global's main focus is to bring Nokia branded smartphones with top-notch build quality. The best thing about Nokia 8 Sirocco is its striking glass and metal sandwich design. The dual curved display with Quad HD screen resolution makes it one of best display in the market. In terms of hardware, HMD Global didn't opt the latest chipset instead they relied on the last year's Snapdragon 835 SoC. As far as the camera is a concern, the new setup works significantly better than the last year Nokia 8.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is available in April 2018 at a price tag of €749 for the European customers. It will be interesting to see how Nokia 8 Sirocco stack up against the big giants like Galaxy S9 and others. Will you prefer the stock Android experience over the custom ROMs or not?

Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the Nokia 8 Sirocco preview in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons and previews.

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