The Nokia 8 is official, meaning there's yet another flagship contending for your attention. But will the Nokia 8 woo buyers?
The Nokia 8 is official now, completing HMD Global’s portfolio and the return of Nokia. The company is a full range player now, with devices that compete with everything under the sun. But does the Nokia 8 match up to competing flagships? We can only determine that once we review the device, but the Nokia 8 certainly has the specifications of a flagship-class phone.
A budget flagship?
Not really. The Nokia 8 is priced at €599, which would stand around Rs. 45,000 if converted to rupees. Of course, that doesn’t determine the India pricing for the phone, which will be known in October, when the Nokia 8 comes to India. However, we can safely expect the device to fall between the OnePlus 5 to Samsung Galaxy S8 range. The Nokia 8 doesn’t have multiple variants, meaning it should have a single price point. Our expectations are that the smartphone will be priced around the Rs. 40,000 mark.
On the other hand, direct conversions of the EU pricing for the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 would have placed them at much higher price brackets than they are. So, HMD Global has already proved that it can cut margins to make products cheaper. Will the Nokia 8 battle against the OnePlus 5 and Honor 8 Pro then?
The bells and whistles
From the looks of it, the Nokia 8 is a flagship class device, but it certainly lacks the gimmicks that flagships are known for. There’s no curved display, Univisium aspect ratio etc. That may just act against the company, since flagships are no longer about simply putting the top specifications.
On the other hand, it would be unfair to say that the Nokia 8 doesn’t offer the bells and whistles at all. HMD is touting the phone’s binaural audio recording capabilities, leveraging technology used in the Nokia Ozo VR camera. We’re just not sure how many users will actually recognise such a feature. After all, enhanced audio recording capabilities didn’t work for the LG V20 last year.
Furthermore, there’s the “Bothie” camera feature, which falls squarely in the gimmick arena. Turning on front and rear cameras together isn’t new, and has been done by Samsung and LG before, without much deference from users. HMD has added the ability to go live on Facebook or YouTube using this feature, which makes it useful for creators, at least on paper. Is it something you buy a phone for though?
A Nokia flagship
Since MWC, many have realised that their expectations from the Nokia brand may have been too high. Keeping in line with that, the Nokia 8 seems to be a flagship in terms of hardware, but not something you will really hold your breath for. Much like other Nokia smartphones, the Nokia 8 seems to be a functional approach at designing a flagship. But so is a OnePlus 5, Moto Z series and other phones. Will Nokia be able to woo buyers when it brings this phone to India?
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