Nokia finally has a 2017 flagship

by Haadi Bakar
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Following a string of mid-range smartphones and feature phones this year, the world is finally getting a Nokia-branded Android flagship.

The Nokia 8 is HMD Global’s first premium Android smartphone after it acquired the brand from Microsoft last year. HMD Global is a private equity-backed firm led by former employees of Nokia.

The company hopes to establish itself as a major smartphone player using the iconic Finnish brand.

The Nokia 8 features high-end specs you would normally expect on any Android flagships in the market: an all-aluminum finish, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 5.3-inch Quad-HD screen, USB Type-C, 3,090 mAh battery and dual 13-megapixel cameras.

The Zeiss-backed dual rear cameras sport 1.12μm pixels sensors, optical image stabilisation, phase detection autofocus and a wide f/2.0 aperture. These two sensors combine data to improve photos in low light and create depth-of-field effects. The cameras can also shoot video in 4k.

A new feature unique to the Nokia 8 is its ability to use both front and rear cameras to take pictures and videos of the subject and the phone operator at the same time (in split view). These “bothies” can then be shared online.

To enhance the audio when taking a “bothie”, the Nokia 8 can also take 360-degree surround sound using the phone’s built-in “Ozo Audio” microphones.

The new Nokia phone will run on the latest Android O when its launched next month. HMD global said the Nokia 8 will also get software updates the same day Google releases them.

In terms of design, the Nokia 8 does look a bit dated, as it’s opting for thick bezels and old-school capacitive back and menu buttons. This makes the 5.3-inch phone massive when put side-by-side with a competing flagship that uses a bezel-less screen.

The Nokia 8 will go on sale in early September worldwide for 599 euro (B$962). It will be available in Matt Silver, Polished Blue, Matt Blue, and Polished Copper.

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