With the HMD Global riding along in the front seat, Nokia phones are believed to pave their way to the top of the smartphone brands. HMD Global recently unveiled its attempt to pair Android one with smartphones. Following the announcement, Nokia 8 Sirocco, a premium smartphone was launched. It is an unconventionally beautiful piece of machinery.
Nokia 8 Sirocco Review
It is thin, edgy and feels dense. Even more than a lot of far more expensive phones. It’s a solid smartphone that is out already. In short, it has the fancy looks a phone needs to look appealing. It aims to claim some top spots but there’s a notion that perhaps it might be just another fancy phone with style over substance.
- Premium looking
- Wireless charging
- Durable battery life
- Very clean interface
- Ample storage
- Denser than most of its rivals
- Utilizes a 2017 chip
- Camera quality not as great as rivals
- Curved screen gives off a blue tint
Nokia 8 Sirocco is the second Nokia ‘8’ phone. The first being a midrange all rounder kind of a device. Nokia 8 Sirocco has aimed to service the high-end part of the smartphone consumer world. It has been available in the market since April 2018.
For a price of £699 (AU$1,199) which roughly convert to $940, this phone is not meant to be economical in any way. Although it is not officially available in the US, it may be available through various online websites or vendors.
- Very stylish
- 55 mm slim
- Covered in Gorilla Glass 5 – front and back
- No headphone jack
The Nokia 8 Sirocco can easily be claimed as the most beautiful device Nokia has ever made. Upon first look, it is unique and eye-catching. Holding the device in hand, one can’t help but notice how incredibly slim it is. It measures 140.93×72.97×7.5 mm in dimensions. The build overall feels amazing. The device is made up of a stainless steel body and is literally coated in glass. The entire front and the back of the phone’s body reflects like one as well giving off a very fancy look. This makes it look extremely premium with Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
This is a win-win but at the same time, the fingerprints galore at the rear surface can get really messy. Thankfully, to avoid that, the pin-packed box contains a company provided plastic shell phone cover. Due to the glass coating, the phone weighs more than one would expect it to. In fact, as compared to other phones, especially the one it competes with, it is rather heavier.
The glass screen tapers at the edges giving off the curved glass side appearance we have all witnessed in Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7 edge. The phone itself feels sturdy in hands. The slimness and the weight put together can be slightly uncomfortable for some users. Due to its proportions, it feels more square shaped rather than rectangular.
Another feature that may be a turn off is the buttons present at the side. Due to the slim shape of the phone, the dual volume buttons and the power/lock button are very thin and rigid to press. There’s also a nearly invisible fingerprint scanner present at the base of the back of the phone. It is no doubt a very premium looking phone.
- 5″ QHD P-OLED display
- 1440 x 2560p resolutions
- IP67 certified – waterproof
The screen is a 5.5 inch and features a QHD P-OLED display. With a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, the color display is sharp and crisp. The display overall is beautiful and the clear brightness just adds to the phone’s beauty. It has a 534 ppi pixel density.
However, there’s a drawback here. The color shift on the side of the phone, around the curved edges, is very noticeable. This problem is non-existent for the same design in Samsung Edge smartphones. The blue tint given off is reflective on the entire screen and pretty distracting in bright conditions. Apart from that, the display quality is wonderful. The black is absolutely black and the color depth is incredible. The display gets this phone extra points for being so immersive.
Another noticeable feature is the screen ratio. Surprisingly, it isn’t the 18:9 like most flagship ratio, rather a 16:9. This was seen in iPhone 7 plus and is responsible for the slightly square shape of the Nokia 8 Sirocco.
Furthermore, it is IP67 certified against water and dust. This is good news for people who like to use their phones in the shower. The Nokia 8 Sirocco can also be submerged in water for up to 1.5 meters.
- 12MP lens backed up by the 13MP telephoto lens
- Good camera quality
- Pro mode enhances capture quality
The camera has become one of the deciding factors in making smartphones the best seller of their time. With trends of sharing photography, capturing moments and sharing on social media, a good quality camera is what makes or breaks a phone. Nokia 8 Sirocco features a 12MP lens with a 1.75 aperture with the same sensor found in Google Pixel 2 XL with 1.4-micron pixels. This is backed up by the 13MP telephoto lens that is capable of 2 x optical zoom just like we saw in HTC U12 plus. The lens is produced by Zeiss and despite the brand’s name, their performance with this lens is not as great as one would have expected.
Whats noticeable about the lens on the rear body is the big camera bulge. It appears outdated and doesn’t appeal to the style that the Nokia 8 Sirocco has got going on. When the phone is placed on a flat surface, the bulge gets in the way making the upper end of the phone lifted up slightly. It make’s the phone’s placing a tad bit wobbly and unstable. This is not a bother to any of the phone’s functions though. It can just be plain distasteful to certain users.
As for the camera results, the shutter speed is fast and the capture quality is impressive. Picture quality is great but not as impressive as its competitors which excel in camera departments such as HTC U12 Plus or Huawei P20 Pro, the pictures turning out to be the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8 is not a good news.
The camera app comes with shooting modes. The Pro mode is the high performing one where you can set your own customized shooting settings like ISO, white balance, contrast, shutter speed etc. Other effective modes offered are Dual mode and Bokeh.
Sound, Storage, and Extras
- 128GB internal storage
- No microSD slot
- Fingerprint scanner
Sound: Nokia 8 Sirocco features a single speaker placed at the bottom edge of the device. The audio output is nice and loud. Sometimes loud enough to fill an entire average sized room. The developers crossed out on the headphone jack on this one. Probably because it was a choice between putting in a headphone jack or making this handset as thin as it is. They definitely went with slimming it down.
The box comes with a company issued dongle though. As if they knew they’d cut out an important part of user experience and attempted to make it up to us for it. The dongle allows you to plug in your standard 3.5mm headphones in it and listen to music, videos or gaming.
Storage: An internal storage of 128GB is given which is ample enough to fill it with whatever sorts of substance one can wish for and still not run out of space. Although out of 128GB, 13GB is already used by system files. There are no options for expanding the storage. No slots for inserting microSD cards are present.
Extras: There’s a fingerprint scanner present at the bottom of the rear body of this device. It’s very efficient and responsive. As compared to the sturdy power on button, the fingerprint unlock comes in very handy and is convenient.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco also features an always-on display. This means that apart from the power on button, one can double tap the screen to unlock the phone. That is if one does not have a lock in place.
- 3260 mAh
- Lasts an entire day
- Fast wireless charging
It houses a 3260 mAh Li-ion nonremovable battery. It boasts of an impressive standby time of up to 496 hours and talk time of up to 22 hours. This sounds pretty good enough for daily use. However, it still is not as good enough as Nokia 7 plus. Standby time is also lower comparatively.
Though it does offer fast charging along with wireless charging as well. In fact, the glass back allows wireless charging and supports quick charge 4.0.
From a practical point of view, Sirocco does not do a good job with giving its rivals much of a challenge. It also seems to lag behind its predecessor as well. And it sure does not offer the value for what its worth the way Nokia 7 Plus did.
Software and Performance
- Android 8.0
- Negligible Bloatware
- Fewer customization options
- 2017 Old chipset
The Nokia 8 Sirocco runs a basic version of Android 8.0. Since Nokia’s current phones are paired with the Android One program, there is little to almost no bloatware. Just a clean interface which lets you use the massive storage space of 128GB to fill it up to your heart’s desire. The storage is twice the size that LG G7 ThinQ offers for the similar price.
The general performance is absolutely great. Since it’s backed up by HMD which has a good reputation for upgrading devices, the option of upgrading to Android 8.1 will be available as well. Being part of the Android One program, there’s also the chance of it being the first one to get Android P when it comes out.
For the premium look that Sirocco offers, the performance cannot be labeled as premium. It is pretty good no doubt but there’s no wow factor here really.
Another drawback is that it houses Snapdragon 835. Its fast but was present in the 2017 version as well. So there’s no upgrade there. It makes you wonder how its better than old Nokia 8 or even a Galaxy S8, where its used as well. Even though Nokia claims it’s the fastest but we’re not sure how. Comparatively, Snapdragon 845 that features newer Kyro cores, a much more powerful Adreno 630 GPU and a faster integrated 4G modem, is becoming more common now.
As for the Gameplay, the Adreno 540 GPU makes gameplay smooth and the experience a comfortable one. The massive storage does not let the memory get clogged hence chances of lagging are least. Because like mentioned above, the old chipset of 2017 was not bad or outdated. It’s just, not the latest. With the combination of that chipset, the performance is pretty good. It also houses a 6GB RAM but despite that, the phone has outdated or just not the latest technology one would expect.
The back of the device started to get warm after a while of normal use which seemed offhand. On the other hand, multitasking is very easy and all the applications run smoothly. It’s a delight in carrying out different tasks. There were tiny glitches with the Sirocco Firmware though but we’re optimistic that with the HMD’s constant invigilation, they’ll get rid of them with the new oncoming updates.
While we appreciate Nokia’s attempt at trying to break through to the top of the line phones, we think it still has a long way to go. This smartphone has also made us wonder if the company had chosen style over substance. There are far better-performing phones available than Nokia 8 Sirocco for much less than what its worth. This phone does not give the best performance the way it claims to but can do everything one would want it to.