Hello readers! My name is Ali, and I am a student pursuing my bachelors in business and administration. As a student, I was always on a tight budget, but also needed a powerful smartphone that could satisfy my numerous needs. I needed a phone which, first of all, could last me the entire day as I moved from one class to another. Hence, buying a phone which had a battery of less than 3000mAh was not an option. Moreover, I have a habit of taking photographs and recording videos whenever I am outside, and so needed a camera that could meet these demands. Consequently, my search for the “best budget flagship” phone began. And after countless hours of searching the internet, reading multiple articles and watching review videos on YouTube I ultimately concluded that there is only one option that could satiate my thirst for a powerful phone while keeping my pocket in check. This smartphone was none other than the latest flagship phone by our long-forgotten friends at Nokia. But before you start complaining about how windows phones don’t live up to your standards, Let me tell you that the Nokia 8 is not a windows phone, in fact, it runs the latest version of android (Android 9 – Pie, at the time of writing this article). Furthermore, Nokia promises that it will keep the phone updated by giving you all the security patches and updates from Google as soon as they become available. So, let’s take a comprehensive look at the features and the nitty-gritty details of the Nokia 8 and you will be convinced that it is indeed the best budget flagship smartphone available.
Design and Build QualityAvailable in four different colors – Polished Blue, Polished Copper, Tempered Blue, and Steel. The Nokia 8 proudly boasts an all-metal build (made from 6000 series aluminum) which is sturdy enough to keep it running perfectly, even if you are to drop it from your pocket (because of its metal body and damage-resistant glass.) However, the rigidness of the Nokia 8 is only possible because the phone does not use a glass back (which means that wireless charging is not an option!).
Operating SystemApart from the aforementioned “speedy updates” and security patches from Google, the Nokia 8 also runs on Google’s stock Android, which means that it does not carry any unnecessary software or bloatware that will make your device slower or cause third-party applications to damage your privacy or steal your personal information.
DisplayThe Nokia 8 is a compact device that feels small and natural to hold, which can be a potential solution for people with small hands (who find it harder to grip the larger flagship models.) Additionally, the Nokia 8 comes with a 5.3-inch screen with a Quad HD display resolution of 1440×2560 pixels, as well as a whopping 554 PPI (Pixels per inch) density. This makes the Nokia 8 the best option for people who are looking for a phone with a rich and vibrant display without breaking the bank.
CameraUsing two 13-megapixel cameras for its front-facing and rear cameras, the Nokia 8 gives its competition a run for its money (quite literally) by taking crisp shots using the built-in optical image stabilization and autofocus. HMD Global is also proud of the Nokia 8’s Zeiss optic lens, which claims to take high-quality, detailed pictures in any environment.
Audio And VideoNokia introduces its very own virtual reality surround-sound audio technology (OZO) stating to capture “hearts and minds and stunning audio.” Apart from capturing audio, the Nokia 8 also has loudspeakers at the bottom of the device which gives decent sound-quality at mid-ranges as well as high ranges. Moreover, Nokia decides to keep the headphone jack for this model, which can be a good thing for people who still use 3.5mm ports. Besides clicking pictures, the Zeiss optic lens also helps the Nokia 8 to shoot 1080p video at 60 fps and clear, high-quality 4K video at 30fps.
Unique FeaturesApart from taking breathtaking pictures from the back camera and highly detailed selfies, this phone has a unique feature that lets it utilize both of its cameras simultaneously. This unique feature is known as the ‘bothie,’ and is useful for vloggers and travelers who would like to stream their videos directly on YouTube live or Facebook live. Another characteristic that sets it apart from other smartphones is the ‘monochrome’ sensor, which captures true black-and-white pictures from the source, these pictures look stunning and are a perfect solution for photographers who are on a budget and would like to take true black-and-white photos.
PerformanceIn terms of performance, I was just blown away by the responsiveness of this phone, as well as the benchmark scores it got (beating the iPhone 7 plus, and barely losing to the iPhone 8.) This is because of its powerful Snapdragon 835 processor (similar to Samsung Galaxy S8) and 4gb of ram. Secondly, the phone also has ample storage of 64gb, which can be expanded with a MicroSD card (up to 256gb.) Furthermore, I found the fingerprint sensor to be very responsive, and I also liked the fact that it vibrates every time I unlock my phone, giving me tactile feedback. The flashlight is very bright and comes in handy when you are looking for a lost item under your bed, or to navigate through areas with low light.
BatteryThe Nokia 8 has a 3090mAh battery, which is very well optimized and easily gives you 6+ hours of screentime at least. The phone also has a “battery saver” mode, which can be enabled to stop background applications from running and draining your battery life. Moreover, the phone also supports rapid charging, which makes it charge-up very quickly (it charges from 0% to 50% in approximately half an hour, in my experience.)
Cons Of The Nokia 8
- The MicroSD card slot can only be used if you do not use two sims. (You are forced to choose between a second sim and the MicroSD card.)
- No notifications LED (but it does include a ‘glance’ feature, which shows you the time, recent calls, text messages, and E-mails.)
- The default camera application does not take pictures that do justice to the hardware capabilities of the camera, so I use the Google camera application to take photos.
- It does have bezels and may be old-school for some people who are looking to switch to a more modern bezel-less screen option.
The Final VerdictI think that the Nokia 8 is the best phone to buy at the price, as it offers a lot of premium flagship features as well as regular Android upgrades and security patches. Personally, I am very satisfied with my purchase and am planning to keep this phone for quite some time, because it hasn’t shown any signs of lag or jitter in the two months that I have been using it (even though it did turn off unexpectedly a couple of times but that’s a problem I addressed to crashing applications and not the phone’s hardware/software.) Hence, if you require a premium phone which doesn’t just look like a flagship, but also performs like one, and if you are on a budget. I think this is the best phone that you can find. Since I consider this phone to be the king of budget flagship phones, my rating for this phone would be a solid 9.5 overall.
- Performance : 10
- Cost-Effectiveness : 10
- Camera : 8.5 (if you use google camera instead of the default one it performs better)
- Sound Quality : 8.5
- Video Quality : 8.5
- Build Quality : 9.5
- Responsiveness : 10
- Battery : 9
- Price : 10
- Overall : 9.5