Nokia 8 has more to offer than just an affordable price tag

It’s been over a month since HMD Global unveiled the new Nokia phones in Kenya, but as we all know, the trio was just the company’s way of announcing itself to the Android world.

The Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 are all budget phones aimed at the entry-level market, shipping with price tags of about Ksh 30,000 and below. With the impressive market performance the phones have received across the globe, the Finnish company has decided to go big with a brand new Nokia 8.

As you may have guessed, the Nokia 8 is a superior version to the other three in just about everything, be it the specs, features and even the price, but they all use Android Nougat out of the box. The phone was unveiled mid this month and shipping should kick off this September, but it may take another month before showing up locally – and officially.

On Monday this week, HMD Global was in Dubai to unveil the flagship phone. While many had already given themselves a taste of what the Nokia 8 brings to the fold, they were met with a huge surprise when the Finnish company confirmed the price tag in the Middle East country. Apparently, the phone will be valued at Dh 1,699, which translates to about Ksh 48,000. This is way cheaper than the €599 price tag of the same phone in Europe and we are keeping our fingers crossed the Nokia 8 price in Kenya will also get an affordable price tag.

This is an interesting one, given the recent price tags we’ve seen on the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, phones that the Nokia 8 has a number of core specs in common. At such a price tag, one would think of this phone as a close competitor to the Note 8, but I think that OnePlus and the new OnePlus 5 should be more worried than ever.

Samsung has established itself as the king in the smartphone industry and even with Nokia’s impressive reputation in the mobile phone industry, it still can’t put up a fight with the South Korean behemoth. In short, Samsung will still sell even more Galaxy Note 8 units than you’d imagine, despite the Ksh 100,000 price tag. If anything, the Nokia 8 is here to battle with the so called flagship killers, led by OnePlus 5, and not the top dogs like Galaxy Note 8 or even the new LG V30.

So, what makes us think the Nokia 8 has more to offer than just the affordable price tag? Read on…

Premium design with ultimate craftsmanship

HMD Global boasts that the Nokia 8 is made of a 6000 series aluminum full metal unibody with refinements done through “a rigorous 40-stage process of machining, anodizing and polishing” and the end result is a very beautiful mirror finish that perfectly fits into your hand. The phone also gets up to four stunning color variants – Polished Blue, Steel, Tempered Blue and Polished Copper.

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Nokia 8

Clean Android experience

One amazing thing about Android OS is that anyone, including you, can get the source code files of the OS and modify them into a whole new experience. This is ideally what Android partner OEMs like Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Tecno Mobile, Infinix Mobility, Oppo and many others do. While some have a cute approach to these customizations, some clearly overdo it, thus adding more clutter and unnecessary apps to the original ones provided by Google.

If you want a pure Android experience right from Google, you have the option to get any of the two Pixels or the 2015 Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, but good luck getting either of the latter two. Apparently, Nokia 8 is here to offer you another alternative into a pure Android experience without having to sweat over tracking down the Google phones.

With such a clutter-free user interface, it means the Nokia 8 will be receiving software updates at about the same time as the mentioned Google phones. This should make the phone one of the most secure at all times, something many Android OEMs are not the best at doing despite Google’s efforts to provide them with the necessary updates on a monthly basis.

OZO spatial 360-degree audio experience

The Nokia 8 has a feature known as OZO spatial 360-degree audio that lets you experience Hollywood-quality sound in your hand. This feature promises a fully immersive audio experience with your 4K videos, a feature you’ll definitely enjoy. When recording a video, the phone will capture sound with extra details thanks to the 3 super-enhanced microphones – the end result of which is a truly whole new experience, the company says.

13MP dual camera with Carl ZEISS optics

You’ve probably heard of Carl ZEISS, which is one of the best – if not the best – in the optics business. HMD Global partnered with the Germans to come up with a super slim dual 13MP camera that includes OIS and a wide-angle phase detection autofocus, promising the best shots all the time.

Even though the front camera doesn’t get a dual-lens setup, the 8MP sensor is also a product of ZEISS optics. This should also promise much more superior selfies than what many other phones offer.

You get to enjoy bothies

You are probably wondering what in the hell is a bothie. Well, this is what you get from the Nokia 8. The phone has a dual-sight feature that lets you use the back and front cameras at the same time. Your screen will divide the view into two, representing what each camera is capturing, be it photos or videos. A combination of both cameras to capture a selfie shot is probably where the “bothie” comes from.

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Nokia 8

Whatever the name, this is simply a cool feature to have on a phone.

The perfect size, at least for me

At some point, Samsung was the only smartphone OEM that bothered about large screens on phones. However, this is no longer the case, with staunch proponents of the compact 4-inch sizes such as Apple making the switch to 5.5-inch panels and an even bigger 5.8-inch panel for the rumored iPhone 8.

While phablet phones have a massive following out there, not everyone, including me, is a fan of such massive display real estate and the sheer size of the devices. This is why the Nokia 8 with its 5.3-inch QHD display screen is already winning me over. The LCD panel is also protected by the best from Corning – Gorilla Glass 5.

This screen size coupled with the premium design of the phone and the price makes the Nokia 8 one hell of a threat to Samsung, especially when looking at the price of the new Galaxy Note 8. But there’s more to this beauty when you take a tour under the hood.

The specs

Like the rest of the Android flagship fraternity from 2017, the new Nokia 8 has the best hardware on the market. There’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor running the show alongside a 4GB RAM. The onboard storage is perfect at 64GB and in case this isn’t enough, you get a microSD card slot that can handle up to 256GB.

Given the top quality cameras of the phone, you’ll definitely be one photogenic person. Of course, the company knew this and that’s why you get unlimited storage with Google Photos, just like owners of the Pixel and Pixel XL phones.

Similarly, the phone comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and the Google Assistant out of the box.

Nokia 8 price and release date in Kenya

We still don’t know the exact release date and price of the Nokia 8 in Kenya, but given it has already been confirmed for the Middle East region – including UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain – you can rest assured that it won’t be long before the phone hits the local market. We’ll be here to let you know when this happens. Stay tuned.

Also, feel free to weigh in with your thoughts on the new Nokia 8 via the comments section below.

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Hillary Keverenge

Still working on my bio. Meanwhile, you can trust me, I'm a tech-savvy dude. Find me on Twitter @raskeverenge