The Nokia 8 launch event finally brought to us a flagship device bearing the Nokia brand after several years. The smartphone will hit several markets in early September, though fans in India will have to wait till October to get their hands on the device. For those unaware, the Nokia 8 puts the camera front and centre, and the biggest camera innovation is the 'bothies' feature that allows users to capture videos and photos from both the front and rear cameras simultaneously. While the feature is certainly unique, the wait till October seems a little too long, and you are in the market for a high-end smartphone right now, you have other options to consider.
To help you with your buying decision, we've chosen popular ones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or a comparable chipset, zeroing down to the OnePlus 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S8, which are doing quite well. We pit the Nokia 8 with the other two flagships to see if the HMD Global offering has an edge over the other two reigning champions or not.
With respect to price, the OnePlus 5 wins hands down with a price tag starting at Rs. 32,999. The Nokia 8 smartphone has been priced at EUR 599 (roughly Rs. 45,000), while the Samsung Galaxy S8 is priced at Rs. 57,900. Even the 128GB variant of the OnePlus 5 is cheaper than the other two at Rs. 37,999.
To recall, in the US, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is priced at $720 (roughly Rs. 46,700). OnePlus 5 prices in the US and select European regions for the variant with 6GB RAM, 64GB storage, and Slate Gray colour are $479 (roughly Rs. 31,000) and EUR 499 (roughly Rs. 35,900), respectively. The 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant in Midnight Black paint job costs $539 (approximately Rs. 35,000), and EUR 559 (about Rs. 40,000) in the US and the select European markets, respectively. It is important to note that the Nokia 8's India price has not been revealed yet, so a fair comparison is not possible, and just a generic assumption can be made.
While the OnePlus 5 and the Nokia 8 both sport a dual camera setup, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a single camera setup at the back (loaded with features though). Samsung keeps its fingerprint scanner at the back, while the other two prefer to keep it in the front, underneath the home button. The biggest takeaway for Samsung is its stunning Infinity Display that makes the smartphone almost bezel-less and a real looker. The other two have sufficient bezels on the top and bottom chin. Lastly, when it comes to slimness, the OnePlus 5 wins at 7.25mm, while the Galaxy S8 is the thickest at 8mm.
The Nokia 8 has the smallest display at 5.3-inch, but OnePlus loses the battle in the resolution game. All the three smartphones are powered by the latest Snapdragon processor, though Samsung uses the Exynos 8895 variant in some regions like India. While Nokia and Samsung both offer 4GB of RAM, OnePlus takes it further to 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. Apart from the 64GB internal storage option that is available on all the three phones, the OnePlus 5 also has a 128GB variant up for grabs. Samsung and Nokia offer expandable memory slots though, while OnePlus prefers the Apple route in this case.
Possibly the biggest buying decision is going to be the dual camera setup. While on paper, the OnePlus 5 looks strong with a telephoto lens in the mix, while the Nokia 8 uses one monochrome and one RGB sensor for improved contrast and colour accuracy. As we mentioned, the Nokia 8 also has a unique feature called 'bothies' i.e., the ability to capture images and videos from front and rear cameras at the same time. However, dual cameras or not, we cannot ascertain camera quality of any smartphone just by pure specifications comparison, and you'll have to await our review.
The OnePlus 5 has the biggest battery at 3300mAh, with the Nokia 8 bearing a 3090mAh battery, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 bearing a 3000mAh battery.
On the software front, all the three phones are neck to neck, currently running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. However, OnePlus has shown itself to be quite fickle with its own promises, and we'll have to wait and see just how many version updates beyond Android O will the OnePlus 5 receive. Nokia - or rather, Finnish startup HMD Global with the licence to the Nokia brand - is new in this space, and while it has been quick in providing security updates, we wonder just how frequent will version updates be for the four Nokia Android smartphones, and how long each device will be supported. Samsung on the other hand, while slow with updates, is steady, and provides version updates for flagships for roughly two years.
Nokia claims to offer pure, stock Android, while OnePlus has minor customisations built into OxygenOS, and Samsung has reduced bloatware in the past but still retains a level of customisation above and beyond stock Android.
As you can see, all the three phones compete neck to neck on paper, with camera and display being the only big differences between the two. Coming to price, the OnePlus 5 wins hands down for now, but we will have to wait and see the price tag attached to the Nokia 8 when it arrives in India. That, in our opinion, will be the biggest decision making factor for all consumers.
Is Nokia 8 the flagship killer that HMD Global needs? We discussed that on our weekly technology podcast Orbital, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.
|Overall NDTV Rating|
|Release date||June 2017||August 2017||March 2017|
|Dimensions (mm)||154.20 x 74.10 x 7.25||151.50 x 73.70 x 7.90||148.90 x 68.10 x 8.00|
|Battery capacity (mAh)||3300||3090||3000|
|Colours||Midnight Black, Slate Grey||Polished Blue, Tempered Blue, Steel, Polished Copper||Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold|
|Screen size (inches)||5.50||5.30||5.80|
|Resolution||1080x1920 pixels||1440x2560 pixels||1440x2960 pixels|
|Pixels per inch (PPI)||-||554||570|
|Processor||1.9GHz octa-core||1.8GHz octa-core||1.9GHz octa-core|
|Processor make||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Samsung Exynos 8895|
|Expandable storage type||-||microSD||microSD|
|Expandable storage up to (GB)||-||256||256|
|Operating System||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.0|
|Wi-Fi standards supported||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v 5.00||Yes, v 5.00||Yes|
|Number of SIMs||2||2||1|
|Ambient light sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes|