Hot topics

How the Nokia 8 won me over

AndroidPIT nokia 8 9020
© nextpit

Over Christmas and New Year, I tested HMD Global’s flagship phone, the Nokia 8, and after a month or more of use, it didn’t let me down. I can safely say that I would recommend this smartphone, especially if you are on a budget.

At first, I didn't have any opinions or expectations about the phone as i’m constantly testing devices, and I am quite used to using a variety of smartphones. Remembering the testing of the Nokia 6 I did last summer, I didn’t think the Nokia 8 would even come close to impressing me. Nokia offers more with this model than my colleague Pierre suggests in his Nokia 8 review, so I’m here to defend it.

Nokia’s updates are very fast

After activation in mid-December, I was able to update the Nokia 8 with the latest security patch. Then, on January 17th, the test device received the January patch. Thanks to the A/B updates, you can install them and not be disturbed while you are using your phone, and a quick restart will activate them. After this, you can use your phone as normal with no problems.

There are no software errors

Because I change devices so frequently, I quickly notice when something is missing in the software or if it hasn’t been implemented correctly. The last time I saw Android running this well was on a Nexus smartphone, so I have to take my hat off to Nokia! Here is a list of what I liked regarding the software: 

  • There are no gimmicks
  • Updates allow a lot of freedom to use the phone while they are installing
  • It saves resources to run my own apps
  • It takes Google's version of Android as it is, so all of the features are as they were intended
  • It ensures that most apps run on the device without errors

Only modding nerds are criticizing it

The only downside so far, is that the bootloader is locked, and currently, it's not possible to unlock it. Project Treble, a rework of the Android OS framework which is important for modders, is not supported by Nokia in this generation of smartphones. If HMD Global improves on this, the manufacturer could gain a significant fan base and become serious competition.

Nokia could kill the flagship killer

When Nokia opens up to the modder community, OnePlus should watch out. Nokia’s smartphones are cheaper than the OnePlus 5T, and they are also cheaper from carriers. Another great feature on the Nokia 8 is the MicroSD card slot, whereas unfortunately, OnePlus don't offer removable storage on their devices. Apart from this, the Nokia 8 has similar features that could compete with the OnePlus 5T.

The Nokia 8 opted for Android 7.1.1, with few additions, keeping the software simple. This means that the battery life is better than the OnePlus 5T, however, the time it takes to charge is longer and doesn’t compare to OnePlus’s Dash Charge.

What about the camera?

One of the major criticisms made by Pierre in the Nokia 8 review was against the camera. I have to admit that they should have made the effort to create a better one. I was only able to take good photos outside, whereas inside the camera seemed to lose focus quickly, producing blurry photos.

Unfortunately, the camera limitations are due to the hardware, and knowing this we can be certain that the quality of the camera and videos will not improve with updates. Hopefully Nokia will improve on this when developing their next generation of smartphones.

HMD Global wanted to draw attention to the camera technology on this phone and to its partnership with Zeiss. They installed a larger aperture, which has achieved good results overall. However, Huawei is now working with an f/1.6 aperture, and together with the AI technology in the Mate Pro 10, it takes much better shots in poor lighting conditions.

mate 10 pro npu contrast photos
The contrast can be significantly improved with AI (left), as Huawei shows with the Mate 10 Pro. © Huawei

Considering the price...

Although the camera is not great, it does fit the price. It’s important to remember that the Nokia 8 is much cheaper than the Mate 10 Pro, or the Pixel 2 XL for example.

AndroidPIT Nokia 8 Colours 2
Personally, my favorite was the polished copper version / © NextPit

What do you think about the Nokia 8? Are there any other features missing that you’d like to mention? Leave a comment.

 The best smartphones under $400

  Editorial tip Price tip 3rd place 4th place 5th place
Image Google Pixel 6a Product Image Apple iPhone SE (2022) Product Image Samsung Galaxy A53 Product Image OnePlus Nord N20 Product Image Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) Product Image
Review: Google Pixel 6a
Review: Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Review: Samsung Galaxy A53
Not yet tested
Not yet tested
Price (MSRP)
  • $449.00
  • $429.00
  • $449.99
  • $299.00
  • $399.00
nextpit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
Go to comment (8)
Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
Senior Editor

Eric has been with AndroidPIT since 2014. He’s writing articles and reviews for the German website. Topics are mostly privacy and new technology but there's also the occasional piece on environmental sustainability.

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • Anjula Ratnayaka 2
    Anjula Ratnayaka Jun 30, 2018 Link to comment

    Camera issue is not a hardware limitation , it's purely software. Using GCam produces stunning photos with the Nokia 8 , way better than most of the current flagships. I expected better from Nokia since they used to be known for their Camera Software. It's really poor from Nokia's part.

  • 1
    Álvaro Miguieles Lechenbauer Apr 11, 2018 Link to comment

    Dude, Nokias camera is not limited by hardware, it's limited by software, so it can improve with next updates. Meanwhile installing gcam mods can corroborate what I say.

  • BigBear Mato Tanka B 10
    BigBear Mato Tanka B Mar 6, 2018 Link to comment

    That nokia looks impressive .

  • Ashwin Iddya 1
    Ashwin Iddya Jan 26, 2018 Link to comment

    Hey Eric, I'm using Nokia 8 for a couple of months now. I have solved the Nokia 8 camera's blur photo problem with a free app called "Anti Blur Cam" by Lapis Apps. This app takes three photos in quick succession and merges them.

  • Nicklas Holmberg 1
    Nicklas Holmberg Jan 25, 2018 Link to comment

    After using Google camera mod for a while, I can assure you that the poor image quality is not a hardware issue - it's all about the software.

  • Brianna Castro 6
    Brianna Castro Jan 25, 2018 Link to comment

    Nice Article Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

  • 26
    Andrew Burgin Jan 25, 2018 Link to comment

    having been used to using Nokia phones for years and the brilliant cameras they used to offer,i keep looking for a Nokia phone that can replace any Samsung phone i have been using since the downpour of Nokia after the lose of Symbian,Microsoft and Windows was not right for Nokia,and now HDM are not doing well with Nokia with Android,hope in 2018 things can get improved at Nokia or like Lg they wil struggle in the Top End phones but just compete in the Budget phones

    • David Martrano 29
      David Martrano Jan 25, 2018 Link to comment

      The copper model which I like can be had on Amazon for 449.00. I can forgive the camera at that price. Stock android, 700 nits display, headphone jack, micro s/d expansion. I think this is a good effort for the price!

Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing