System Performance and Battery

This handset’s main processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8 Cores, 2.5 GHz) which has access to 6 GB of memory (RAM).

The amount of RAM is important for heavy usage, or for having many apps/services on the phone. When the memory is tight, the system may become less responsive if the OS has to read/write from the slower Flash storage instead. This used to be one of the big differences between low and high tiers of phones, but this line is blurry now. You can look at various benchmarks results below, but in our opinion, this smartphone’s performance puts it in the Premium class of phones.

It is critical to understand that most benchmarks are only loose pointers, usually for system or graphics performance. It is possible to notice sharp performance deltas between different classes of devices (entry-level, mid-range vs. high-end), but it is much more difficult to do so within handsets of the same class. Benchmarks alone should NOT drive a smartphone purchase decision. To learn more, read our Are Benchmarks Important? article.

Gaming performance tests apply mainly to heavy applications using 3D graphics. Casual apps like puzzles and 2D games do not require this kind of performance and can run pretty much on any modern handset.

Perhaps, the most important aspect of the Nokia 8’s performance is how much speed you get for every dollar spent. As the chart below shows, the Nokia 8 has an excellent value when it comes to computing.

Wireless Broadband Performance

Wireless networks (3G/4G) performance is often thought as peak download/upload speeds, but it is the average speed that counts. These days 4G/LTE is the primary network of interest, but 5G is coming. The higher the paper LTE performance and the better the average actual performance. Also, cellular carriers have better and more efficient LTE networks to lower their own costs.

The Nokia 8 has an LTE CAT9 modem. This level of performance is below-average in its category but remains very good in general, because high-end phones tend to have technology beyond the network capabilities for most users.

The battery of the Nokia 8

The battery capacity of Nokia 8 is 3090 mAh, which is very good in general, and slightly above average in its own category. With a charge speed of 49 mAh/mn, the Nokia 8 charge speed is fast in absolute terms, and well in line with many high-end devices. However, to give you some perspective, the fastest-charging phones out there can top ~65+ mAh/mn, which is truly extraordinary. As you can see above, the value proposition is quite interesting for this handset.

Battery life is one of the most critical features of a handset. A key metric is obviously the battery capacity — especially within the same ecosystem (Android, iOS or other). Battery life can be affected by a great many factors, but the main ones are the main processor aka SoC, display and wireless radios (LTE broadband, WiFi, the cell towers location and more). It is impossible to accurately predict through synthetic tests how much energy drain YOUR unique lifestyle will create. However, two things are without a doubt always good:

  • A higher battery capacity
  • Faster charging

It is generally impossible to predict real-life battery life by running synthetic tests. Factors such as display brightness, (LTE/WiFi) radio usage and distance to access points will vary too much. Also, the number of apps on-board and their usage is unpredictable. Battery capacity is the most important battery-life indicator for YOUR usage.

This product does NOT have a detachable battery, which is the norm for a smartphone these days. Closed batteries cannot be taken out or easily exchanged, but they do allow for smaller designs and slightly larger battery capacity within the same product volume.

This device has an extremely sharp display (2560×1440). This is great to show extremely crisp images, but handling 1.61M pixels more than a 1080p/FHD (2M pixels) screen will draw a bit more power from the battery.

Conclusion

One can continue to sing praises of its robust metal design and its sharp display, the fact that it’s powered by 2017’s flagship Qualcomm chip, and that it comes with a vanilla iteration of Android that doesn’t bog down the handset in any way. The battery life is good too, and you can expect to get a day’s life out of it with mixed usage. However, this was meant to be a flagship-level device, and despite all of that, it just doesn’t hit that mark.

The dual cameras at the back leave much to be desired particularly in low-light conditions. It’s hard to miss the exposure and focusing issues from time to time, and the lack of advanced options won’t appeal to pro users as well (Nokia is finally rolling out the Pro Camera mode for this device, though).

"THE NOKIA 8 UNQUESTIONABLY OFFERS A LOT OF PROMISE FOR THAT PRICE POINT"

It feels a bit underwhelming compared to its rivals particularly the Galaxy S8 which is far ahead with its bezel-less display and its exceptional camera. Those who want a vanilla Android experience with better cameras than the Nokia 8 may find the Pixel 2 to their liking as well. The fact that it doesn’t offer any protection against water ingress stacks up the cards against the Nokia 8 even further.

That being said, Nokia has jumped on the latest smartphone design trends with its more recent handsets like the Nokia 7 Plus which features a 6 inch 18:9 aspect ratio display.

Now available for under $400 on Amazon, the Nokia 8 unquestionably offers a lot of promise for that price point. You get an elegant and comfortable design, solid power package, stock Android, and swift firmware updates for the handset. Nokia has proven itself to be one of the fastest OEMs to roll out new updates for its Android smartphones and that’s one area where it does better than the likes of Samsung.

Above all, it proves that HMD Global is on the right track as the Nokia 8 is a commendable effort on its part for the brand’s return to the flagship market. It leaves us with the hope that the company will be able to deliver better flagships that hold their own against rivals in the coming years.

Overall product rating: 7/10

Filed in Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about Editorspick, Nokia, Nokia 8 and Smartphone Reviews.

Display
5.3"
2560x1440
IPS LCD
554 PPI
Price
~$375 - Amazon
Camera
13 MP
F2 Aperture F-Stop
OIS
Weight
160 g
Battery
3090 mAh
Non-Removable
No Wireless Charg.
Launched in
2017-10-01
System
6GB RAM
Snapdragon 835 + MicroSD
Storage (GB)
128
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