SmartHouse - - CONTENTS - Writ­ten by David Richards

They were mer­ci­fully dumped by con­sumers, and like a lot of brands in the tech space quickly for­got­ten, now a Brit Com­pany is bring­ing the Nokia brand back to life and if their new Nokia 8 hand­set is any­thing to go by they have a big chance of tak­ing on Ap­ple and Sam­sung in the Pre­mium mar­ket.

The $899 Nokia 8 which will be avail­able at JB HiFi next month only has a slither of op­por­tu­nity in this mar­ket up against Ap­ple with their iPhones and Sam­sung with their top end Galaxy mod­els own­ing over 74% of the pre­mium mar­ket.

Where the op­por­tu­nity arises for Bri­tish Com­pany HMD is among peo­ple who want a top end pre­mium An­droid phone bit don't want to fork out $1,400 for an iPhone or $1.100 for a Sam­sung Galaxy S8. In this space, the com­pe­ti­tion will be the HTC U11 and LG with their new V30 two Com­pa­nies who have failed to dent the top two. This is not be­cause their smart­phones are in­fe­rior in fact both LG and HTC have ex­cel­lent smart­phone of­fer­ings. It's be­cause they lack brand clout and don't have the mar­ket­ing bud­gets to com­pete.

Also set to feel the heat from the ar­rival of Nokia are sev­eral Chi­nese brands who also lack brand clout in the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

Nokia have a great of­fer­ing with their new Nokia 8 which is a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment over their bot­tom end mod­els which will; strug­gle up against of­fer­ings from the likes of Al­ca­tel in the pre­paid mar­ket.

If the Nokia 8 takes off there is every chance that the Nokia 3 and 5 will get pulled up as de­mand for the Nokia 8 grows.

When I first got the Nokia 8 I was scep­ti­cal but af­ter us­ing this de­vice for sev­eral days I am se­ri­ously im­pressed. In fact, I in­tend to take the de­vice to Europe this week for the IFA trade show in Ber­lin so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how it re­ally stacks up in a busi­ness and leisure en­vi­ron­ment, at this stage I think I am go­ing to be im­pressed.

Out of the box this de­vice feels ex­tremely good in the hand, the Quad HD res­o­lu­tion 5.3-inch LCD screen de­liv­ers ex­cel­lent res­o­lu­tion. This de­vice is also the nicest look­ing and feel­ing HMD Nokia phone yet, with slop­ing sides and an alu­minium back It's also thin and light.

Nokia is also ship­ping it in both matte and glossy colours, so you don't have to put up with a fin­ger­print mag­net if you don't want to.

The shiny steel of my de­vice in­stantly stood out as my favourite colour, but the matte blue is slick and a lot more sub­tle.

Us­ing it over 3 busi­ness days and over a week­end I found the 3050mAh bat­tery re­ally de­liv­ered es­pe­cially as I use my smart­phone for busi­ness up to 10 hours a day. What I would like to see in this de­vice is wire­less charg­ing like the HTC U 11, and Sam­sung Galaxy 8.

One thing you im­me­di­ately no­tice about this de­vice it that it lacks all the bloat­ware and cus­tomi­sa­tion that other pre­mium brands are build­ing into their de­vices. It's run­ning an al­most stock ver­sion of An­droid 7.1.1, that Nokia said will be up­dated to An­droid O very quickly.

There are a few soft­ware ad­di­tions, but most feel like they may ac­tu­ally be use­ful. This de­vice runs the lat­est ver­sion and An­droid and that is it. You get ev­ery­thing run­ning on the An­droid OS that other de­vices are try­ing to em­u­late, voice, video call­ing, mes­sag­ing and a host of in­te­grated ca­pa­bil­i­ties that ap­pear to run smoother.

All you do is log into Google. The de­vice is pow­ered by a Snap­dragon 835 SoC, 4GB of RAM and a wa­ter-cool­ing el­e­ment that is de­signed to dis­perse heat around the phone more ef­fi­ciently.

This fea­ture ac­tu­ally works. Un­like other model smart­phones, you don't get heat build-up when mul­ti­ple apps are run­ning on the de­vice. On one oc­ca­sion, I had six apps open and there was still no heat build-up. The Nokia 8 has three cam­eras: two on the back and one on the front. They all boast cam­era tech­nol­ogy co-en­gi­neered by Zeiss.

This is the first Nokia-branded An­droid phone to fea­ture Zeiss op­tics on the front and rear cam­eras. Both are 13-megapixel sen­sors, with a dual-cam­era ar­ray at the rear that also in­cludes a mono­chrome cam­era.

HMD isn't cus­tomiz­ing the cam­era soft­ware very heav­ily here, but it has added what it calls a “bothie” mode. As with the Huawei P10, one of the rear cam­eras takes mono­chrome pic­tures and, ac­cord­ing to Nokia, will help en­hance low-light per­for­mance. This claim is ques­tion­able as I am set to see this tech­nol­ogy ac­tu­ally de­liver.

One gim­mick that Nokia is push­ing is called “Bothie” while unique to Nokia it does not work in a lot of en­vi­ron­ments.

When we first got our hands on this de­vice we took a sea­plane along the NSW Coast to Palm Beach and along Pittwa­ter.

When you ac­ti­vate the video cam­era and then the ‘Bothie' switch you will get two screens one aligned on your face and the other on the im­age you are try­ing to shoot, well that is the ob­jec­tive the only prob­lem is as I found out shoot­ing through the win­dow of an aero­plane was that

when I aligned the cam­era for the op­ti­mum im­age it ac­tu­ally shot my chin and not my face.

The Dual-Sight mode snaps a pic­ture with both the front and rear cam­eras si­mul­ta­ne­ously but for a gim­mick free phone this is one big tech fail.

Both Sam­sung and LG have tried and failed with sim­i­lar fea­tures be­fore and if a Dual-Sight mode is set to work it needs to record the two cam­eras images to sep­a­rate files when shoot­ing video so that one can edit in a two-way shot. With my still shot's the colours were strong and vi­brant. They were okay.

Then there is the Live-stream­ing straight from the app to so­cial net­work, to get this fea­ture to work HMD en­gi­neers have in­cor­po­rated the Ozo au­dio codec. This al­lows you to shoot a stream that de­liv­ers sur­round sound due to the use of three mi­cro­phones built into the Nokia 8.

I will tell you how well this works af­ter my trip to Europe.

The suc­cess of the Nokia 8 will come down to price, which cur­rently sits at $899. For JB Hi Fi sales guys this is the op­ti­mum smart­phone to rec­om­mend.


The Nokia 8 has plenty go­ing for it, and of course it has the nos­tal­gic Nokia name, but it'll need more than ‘Bothie' gim­micks to re­ally make a dent against the com­pe­ti­tion. I for one like to get the ba­sics right, phone, cam­era, mes­sag­ing and so­cial net­work ca­pa­bil­ity. I love the HTC U11 for its high res au­dio but he Nokia 8 de­liv­ers on all these fronts and is a de­serv­ing com­peti­tor in the pre­mium smart­phone mar­ket.

If they stay with less gim­micks and more raw ba­sics that work ex­cep­tion­ally well they will get a seat at the pre­mium ta­ble, the name Nokia still needs to have some brand­ing work done on it but if the phone works and is seen as a solid in­vest by con­sumers, word of mouth will work for this brand.

RAT­ING 9/10

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