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(MWC 2018) Nokia 8 Sirocco Edition Hands-on, Quick Review: Almost All Glass Flagship

HMD Global is on a roll

Aside from announcing a retro smartphone, HMD Global also released a special edition smartphone in the form of the Nokia 8 Sirocco Edition. While its name suggests it’s re-worked flagship from last year, the fact of the matter is that the externals have been thoroughly re-worked by HMD Global, with only the internals being the same. It’s a step forward for the brand in terms of creating a smartphone that can go head-to-head with their competitors, and a good indicator where the Nokia brand’s design language is going moving forward.

Nokia 8 Sirocco Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor
  • Qualcomm Adreno 540 graphics unit
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch QHD OLED display, with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and Always On display
  • 64/128GB of expandable storage, up to 256GB via microSD
  • 12-megapixel Carl Zeiss rear cameras wide camera with f/1.75 aperture, secondary 13-megapixel 2x optical zoom camera with f/2.6 aperture
  • 5-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • Fingerprint sensor, IP68 certification, Nokia OZO Audio
  • 3260mAh battery, with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (Android One)

Initial impressions: Almost entirely built of glass

It’s a bit odd that HMD Global decided to keep the Nokia 8 branding on the new phone, since it’s a completely different animal on the outside. While the regular Nokia 8 was crafted out of aluminum and glass, the Nokia 8 Sirocco Edition is made with 95% Gorilla Glass 5, with 5% of the body being the stainless steel chassis of the phone.

The phone’s design is proof that ex-Nokia design engineers still have the chops to make a beautiful looking smartphone, which is kind of a requirement nowadays considering the competition. It really does feel like a different smartphone altogether despite last year’s internals. The display has been upgraded from a 5.3-inch panel to a 5.5-inch OLED display with the same QHD resolution as the original.

The rear camera has been changed up a bit, with the Nokia 8 Sirocco Edition sporting a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with a f/1.75 aperture along with a secondary 13-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and a f/2.6 aperture. The selfie camera has taken a hit though, coming in at just 5-megapixels.

Other specs include IP67 water-resistance, a larger 3650mAh battery as well as wireless charging capability. The phone’s other internals are similar to the elder Nokia 8, with the phone running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

The phone has Android Oreo, and we’re loving the fact that HMD Global decided to go with stock Android moving forward for all of their phones.

HMD Global’s all-glass phone won’t come cheap, unfortunately, as it’s set to retail at around €749 or Php 47.8K.

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John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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