First Look: Nokia 8 in the UAE

The launch of the brand’s flagship device was slotted neatly between the Samsung Note 8 and LG V30 announcements

Gareth Kurt Warren, Editor - Guides
17:10 August 30, 2017

The HMD-developed Nokia 8 is the brand’s first flagship device in years. Seeing as how it’s a flagship, its sole purpose is to rival the likes of the Galaxy S8s and the HTC U11s.


New toy in the house. #Nokia8

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And stats place them neck and neck. While they all run the same OS, with the same Snapdragon 835 processor with similar memory and battery power, the Nokia 8 is priced at approximately Dh500 cheaper, at Dh1,699.

The device was launched last week in the UAE and here’s a quick first impression. 

Nokia 8: Outside

It’s light. It weighs in at 160gm, similar to the S8 and slightly heavier than the iPhone 7. The device is wrapped in aluminium though it feels a lot more plastic-y than aluminium-y.


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Regardless of how the aluminium feels — it doesn’t change that fact that it fits amazingly in your palm. It’s a clean on the front with subtle Nokia branding on the top left, and artfully placed, vertical ‘Nokia’ and ‘Zeiss’ branding on the rear of the device.

Nokia 8: Inside

Its stats match the big boys. If you’re a sports fan, think of the Nokia 8 is the ultimate underdog — possibly coming out of retirement or back from an injury. Back into a game with several other talented competitors. We all have a soft spot for this brand but it doesn’t need our pity. It’s here to fight.

The device has the same processing power of the brand new Samsung Note 8, the posh Sony Xperia XZ Premium, the OnePlus5 and the S8 Plus. On memory capacity, its packed with 64GB of internal memory and 4GB of RAM — similar to competitors... Well, except the Note 8 with 6GB RAM and the 128GB edition HTC U11 with 6GB as well. But you get the point right? Moving on...

Nokia 8: Camera

Cameras are important. The Nokia 8’s got dual 13 MP cameras on the rear with Carl Zeiss optics, Optical image stabilisation and a dual-LED, dual tone flash.

Nokia have worked with Zeiss before: Remember 2005’s Nokia N90 and the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView? Zeiss Optics have been manufacturing professional-grade lenses for photographers since 1890, it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing. What’s so special about a ZEISS branded dual camera set-up though?


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On the rear are two lenses, a 13MP RGB sensor with optical image stabilisation and another secondary monochrome sensor. You get incredibly bright and crisp pictures even in horrible lowlight conditions. The cameras can record 4K video as well — which is always a plus point.

While some of the inbuilt camera features are fun and interesting, such as its compass and altitude tags, the ones that stand out are its ‘Live Bokeh’ and ‘Bothie’ options.

The Live Bokeh is pretty self-explanatory, you can manually add and adjust the artistic blur in your pictures as you take them — giving your photographs that out-of-focus background blur that looks oh so professional.

What HMD are screaming about is the Bothie option. Which, tbh, is a nice option to have, if you’re always the one taking pictures of your friends, or you’re a video blogger or a live broadcaster.


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The Bothie option basically uses both your front and rear cameras, splitting your screen in half and capturing both a selfie and a snap from your rear cameras at the same time.

I’ve switched to the Nokia 8 as a daily smartphone now, let’s see how it does over the course of the next two weeks. Check back later for an in-depth breakdown and my two fils on the device.

What is HMD Global?

HMD Global is a Finland-based electronics company. The company purchased Microsoft Mobile’s feature phone business in 2016 and acquired the rights to use the Nokia brand. Bear in mind all this happened over the past few months. It’s quite new, and quite fresh.

In January this year, HMD launched the first Android Nokia smartphone, the Nokia 6. Then came everyone’s favourite throwback, the Nokia 3310 followed by the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5. And this month saw the launch of the flagship Nokia 8.