After Nokia 3, 5 and 6 phones, Finnish company HMD Global is bringing the Nokia 8 to India. Unlike the other three, the Nokia 8 has premium features and top-of-the-line hardware. It will be available from 14 October at 36,999 through and select retail outlets.

It is competing in a segment which includes heavyweights such as the HTC U11 (Rs 51,900), Samsung Galaxy S8 (Rs 53,900) and OnePlus 5 (Rs 32,999 onwards).

Nokia isn’t the first phonemaker which is trying to make a comeback in the premium segment. Motorola, under Lenovo, came with a slew of high-end smartphones such as Moto X Force and Moto Z in India. How the Nokia 8 fares will depend on what extras it offers over its rivals. From what we have seen, it doesn’t really stand out.

In terms of hardware, the Nokia 8 has the best-in-class Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor which has been paired with 4GB RAM. Internal storage stands at 64GB and you can add up to 256GB over it using a microSD card. The HTC U11 and the OnePlus 5 also uses the same Snapdragon 835 processor. The former clubs it with 6GB RAM and offers 128GB storage, while latter comes with 6GB RAM+64GB and 8GB+128GB (Rs 37,999) variants.The Galaxy S8 uses Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 8895 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM and offers 64GB internal storage with the option to add up to 256GB more via microSD. Hardware is one area where the Nokia 8 looks at par with the rivals, except for perhaps the lesser RAM.

Nokia 8 has missed out on some key elements, though. The 5.3-inch screen is one of them. While it offers a resolution of 2,560x1,440p, the screen size is smaller than the OnePlus 5 (5.5-inch, 1,920x1,080p), HTC U11 (5.5-inch, 2,560x1,440p) and Samsung Galaxy S8 (5.8-inch, 2,960x1,440p).

Due to the smaller screen size, the Nokia 8 has a lower footprint compared to HTC U11 (153.9x79.9mm, 169g) and OnePlus 5 (154.2 x 74.1mm, 153g). The Galaxy S8 (148.9x68.1mm, 155g) is smaller than the Nokia 8 as there are no vertical bezels in it.

Nokia 8 comes with a metal body and IP54 rating which makes it splash proof. However, at this price point, we expected a bit more from it. The HTC U11 has got IP67 certification which means it is water resistant up to a depth of 1 metres. The Galaxy S8 has got IP68 certification which makes it water resistant up to a depth of 1.5 metres.

In terms of software, each smartphone brings something unique to the table. The Nokia 8 runs pure Android with version 7.1 underneath. The OnePlus 5 comes close with its OxygenOS, running on Android 7.1. It looks a lot like plain Android but offers slightly more customization. The Galaxy S8 runs Android 7.1 with a custom user interface called the TouchWiz UI. Samsung has changed the layout for the S8 a bit. It looks more polished than the TouchWiz used in other Samsung smartphones.

The HTC U11 also runs Android 7.1 with Sense UI, which is the best designed custom UI around. It offers customization without feeling complicated or looking cluttered.

For camera buffs, the Nokia 8 includes two 13-megapixel camera powered by Carl Zeiss lens. It has an aperture of f/2.0, OIS (optical image stabilisation) to reduce shakes and PDAF (phase detection auto focus) for faster focus. It has a unique Dual Sight mode which uses both front and rear camera at the same time to capture a shot. The HTC U11 has a single 12-megapixel camera with OIS and aperture of f/1.7, which means better low light photos. The OnePlus 5 belongs to the dual camera club and packs in a 16-megapixel camera powered by Sony IMX 398 sensor and a 20-megapixel camera with Sony IMX350 sensor. It has an aperture of f/1.7 and supports OIS. The Galaxy S8 has a single 12-megapixel camera with aperture f/1.7 and OIS support.

What goes in favour of the Nokia 8 is the price. It is the only sub 40,000 smartphone after the OnePlus 5 which runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and the only smartphone to use a Carl Zeiss lens.

My Reads Logout