By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
A top-notch camera is just one of the pluses in this gorgeous phone
Fresh from HMD Global, the Nokia 8 smartphone boasts a good-quality camera, zippy performance and near-instantaneous Internet connection.
The main camera represents a dual-camera system with a Zeiss lens enhancing the image quality and Dual-Sight video technology for live-streaming motion pictures in real-time onto Facebook or YouTube.
Rather remarkably, Dual-Sight simultaneously harnesses both the front and rear cameras in a split-screen visual presentation of photos or videos.
Nokia’s OZO Audio technology encodes spatial 360-degree audio in a 4K video, so the sound is really immersive.
The Nokia 8 has a rugged build but it’s beautifully curved too, a design that makes it just 4.6mm thin at the edge, while the middle part is 7.3mm. The seamless body is milled from a single block of 6000-series aluminium, which HMD Global says is refined in a 40-stage process of machining, anodising and polishing.
The 5.3-inch display, protected by tough Corning Gorilla Glass 5, has a high-gloss mirror finish polished for 20 hours. The IPS LCD is 2,560×1,440 pixels and a very bright 700 nits. This makes it sensational for watching HD movies streamed, for example, via TrueVisions’ Anywhere app.
The Nokia 8 performs well thanks to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (MSM8998) with four cores running at 2.45GHz and four more at 1.8GHz. You have four gigabytes of DDR4 RAM (active memory) and 64GB of internal storage to play with.
The Google Android 7.1.1 is a “pure Android” version with no third-party user-interface on top of it.
AnTuTu Benchmark Version 6.2.7 gave my test model a score of 168,931 points. In global rankings, it was third as of October 5, after the iPhone 7 Plus (with 183,106 points) and iPhone 7 (173,767). These scores can be influenced by various factors, including apps running in the background.
Though equipped with Qualcomm’s flagship CPU, the Nokia 8 doesn’t overheat. The heat-dissipation design involves a graphite-shielded copper cooling-pipe that diverts heat across the full length and breadth of the phone.
I was amazed at the Nokia 8’s handling of graphics-extensive games and High-Resolution Audio music tracks. FLAC 24bit/192kHz files played through Sony’s MDR1ABT Hi-Res Audio headphones sounded fantastic in terms of clarity, instrumental detail and bass.
The Internet connection is very fast, letting you download apps and back up snapshots to a cloud in no time. The Ookla Speedtest app gauged download speed at 95.75Mbps and uploads at 33.08Mbps.
The fingerprint reader embedded in the home button provides assurance about security. I was able to use it effortlessly and effectively to unlock the phone.
The main camera’s dual nature produces impressive results. One sensor and lens capture RGB and others pick up the monochromes. When these are combined, the camera can achieve that magical bokeh effect of background blur, comparable to the quality offered by a DSLR camera.
To get this effect, select Live Bokeh mode, in which you can shoot first and focus the image later, using Bokeh Editor.
Other shooting modes are Manual, Photos (Auto), Panorama and Beautify.
Manual allows you to adjust exposure settings, white balance and auto, infinity or macro focus, and also choose among auto, evaluative or centre-weighted light-measuring.
Beautify mode, with a four-phase range (520), brightens and smoothes the subject’s face – it makes them look younger, in other words.
The shots I got in different modes were wonderfully sharp with well-saturated colours, and pictures taken at night were no less crisp, thanks to the f/2.0 aperture.
The Nokia 8 can use Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, so the 3,090mah battery is renewed very fast and, once charged, can comfortably last a full day.
The phone’s available from AIS, Dtac, True Move, Jaymart, TG Fone and other authorised dealers for Bt19,500.
Nokia 8 Key Specs
– Network: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900, WCDMA: 1, 2, 5, 8, TDSCDMA: 34, 39, LTE (Cat 9): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41
– Operating system: Android Nougat 7.1.1
– CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (four 2.45GHz Qualcomm Kryo, four 1.8GHz Kryo)
– Memory: 4GB LPPDDR4
– Storage: 64GB, expandable with microSD by up to 256GB
– Display: 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD 2,560×1,440 pixels, 700 nits brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 2.5D Glass
– Primary camera: 13 MP (Colour + OIS) + 13 MP (Mono), 1.12um, f/2.0, 76.9 degree, PDAF, IR range finder, dual tone flash
– Front-facing camera 13 MP PDAF, 1.12um, f/2.0, 78.4degree, display flash
– Ports: USB TypeC, 3.5mm headphone jack
– Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (MIMO), BT 5.0, GPS/AGPS+GLONASS+BDS, NFC (sharing) ANT+
– Sensors: Ambient light, proximity, accelerometer, ecompass, gyroscope, fingerprint, hall, barometer
– SIM slot: One nano-SIM slot, one nano-SIM or one MicroSD card slot
– Dimensions: 151.5×73.7x 7.9mm
– Weight: 160 grams