The Nokia 8 is a revelation. HMD did the iconic brand justice by delivering on all promises and there's no doubt that Nokia still has it when it comes to imaging and audio. The Nokia 8 is a newcomer but it doesn't look or act like one - it doesn't overdo it, it's not out of its depth. No rush to make up for the lost time - the Nokia 8 is methodical and confident, patient and prepared.
The Nokia 8 packs quite the flagship punch and one of the best IPS LCDs available. AMOLED may have worked better for marketing, but not everyone is a fan of the punchy palette, and it's hard to find fault with the class-leading screen HMD gave us. The clean no-nonsense design is another thing we liked about the 8 - it kind of fits with what Nokia stands for.
But the new camera is what we loved the most about the Nokia 8. It's a magic number for Nokia and the Android edition lives up to the standards of the 808 PureView and the N8. In short, HMD got everything right in the camera department. The image quality is great, the specs are as relevant as they can get, and the extra features are trendy yet not over the top. Color, monochrome, daylight, or nighttime, everything looks good that was shot with the Nokia 8. Even the selfies, whose dedicated camera got the same premium treatment as the primary unit, are top notch.
HMD worked with Nokia's OZO division to achieve the class-leading audio for the Nokia 8's videos. Any concert recorded with the 8 will be as compelling on video as on the venue itself. But you can also livestream on both cameras, which maybe a dream come true for many vloggers and avid social network users. We only wish 4K videos were sharper and better stabilized - they are only average as they are right now.
Now, for all that praise, it's clear that the Nokia 8 is up against the toughest competition. In no small part because Nokia and HMD are aiming pretty high with this one. Jam-packed with hardware, including iris recognition, the Galaxy S8 is an inevitable rival. You will be trading an awesome dual-camera for a superb single one, but gaining in terms of a borderless AMOLED screen and full water-proofing.
The OnePlus 5 is cheaper yet equally capable, powerful, and stylish. It also relies on near-stock Android though the Oxygen launcher is going further away from the vanilla looks with each update. Anyway, the OP5 has a great dual-camera with 2x zoom, an AMOLED screen, it just can't match Nokia's audio and that tinge of nostalgia that you can't put a price on. But Nokia can and it's a price higher than what OnePlus is asking for.
The LG G6 may have an older-gen chipset, but it has one of the top-quality camera setups in the market. It is surely a tough competitor mostly because of its super attractive price of €400. Its chipset is still relevant and the rest of the equipment is well up-to-date. The G6's wide-angle camera is an unbeatable feature right now and the G6 will even save you a good deal of money.
Android purists is who the Pixel XL was built for. Google's finest doesn't come with the latest chipset either, but its single camera turned out a real pleasant surprise with amazing quality in both stills and video. The phone is not cheap but it's the price of having a Google-made phone with the fastest OS updates.
Finally, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Probably the only one that matches and bests the levels of loyalty Nokia enjoyed back in its prime. The rest is there in heaps too: great build, a top-performing chipset, superb dual-camera and the standard-setting smartphone experience and ecosystem. With the next iPhone(s) just around the corner, the Nokia 8 better enjoy its time in the spotlight while it lasts.
Speaking of, another big launch looming will inevitably take away from Nokia's appeal - and ironically it's an 8 too - the Samsung Galaxy Note8. Magic numbers, right?
It's not by a stroke of luck that Nokia 8 is where it is today. It's hard work, respect of tradition and putting years of knowledge and experience to good use. It's long-standing partnerships too - like that with Zeiss.
We said in the beginning that Nokia and HMD have a future to build. Let us rephrase. The future is wide open. 9 is another special number in the history of the Finnish brand. The Nokia 8 has given us all the right reasons to look forward to it.