Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress has been an international stage for many things mobile for many years now. Whether it be new launches, old revivals, refinements or redefinitions. Sunday saw perhaps one of the most iconic technology revivals when Nokia, now handled by HMD Global unleashed Its new, dream flagship, named Nokia 8 Sirocco. Before we go deep into Nokia 8 Sirocco, let’s take a quick trip down the memory lane. Remember this handset?
Its the Nokia 8800 Sirocco, launched by the then behemoth, Nokia, in 2006, 12 years ago. This handset was state of art in its times, well until the iPhone changed the whole artboard in 2007. Featuring a 2MP camera, 128MB of storage, We still can not believe the craze this Nokia stirred in the public. Back to 2018, Nokia is on its way to redemption and Nokia 8 Sirocco takes it from the same point where 8800 Sirocco left off, the only difference being Nokia was probably the biggest name in the industry back then, whereas Its now as good as a new entry into the mobile space, clawing its way through to the upper echelons of the mobile industry it once ruled.
Design and Build
Nokia 8 Sirocco might bear the name of Nokia 8 but these phones are totally different. The new Nokia 8 Sirocco is made of stainless steel chassis, embellished with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front as well as back. The smartphone features an edge to edge 5.5-inch pOLED display, with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels at 16:9 ratio making a pixel density of ~534 PPI. The display is a stellar one. Its bright, rich in colours, vibrancy and an eye prison. You won’t be able to take your eyes off it. The display is curved of the side edges much like the Samsung Infinity displays but It's not 18:9. The phone gets superbly thin at just 7.5mm, which is the primary consequence of Nokia using pOLED as the display. The bezels up and bottom are reduced but are still big considering Nokia 8 Sirocco being a flagship.
On the rear, we have a dual camera, vertical organisation, placed at the horizontal centre. The camera is again from Zeiss optics. besides camera is the flash, and this whole setup finds itself above a circular fingerprint sensor. Sirocco is very beautiful and premium, but there are a few downsides to the glass design. Nokia 8 Sirocco gets more breakable, slippery and a big-time fingerprint magnet with this glass back.
If you are into performance, save a little shrug for Nokia 8 Sirocco as the smartphone is essentially a 2017 flagship instead of a 2018 one. The smartphone at its heart is powered by Snapdragon 835 chipset from last year, backed by Adreno 540 in graphics. Sirocco gets high on RAM with 6GB of RAM and a spacious 128GB internal storage, which is not expandable and we don’t think most users will ever need to but still, an expandable memory is always great.
Nokia has always been an impressive performer when It comes to cameras, and those Zeiss optics have many fans over the world. The dual camera setup is composed of a primary 12MP sensor, f/1.75 with 1.4-micron pixel size. The secondary sensor is a 13MP one with f/2.6. Sadly there’s no optical Image stabilisation, though HMD has tried to improve the camera experience by introducing a new Pro Mode which gives manual controls to users, using which almost every aspect of the camera can be controlled.
The front camera has seen a downgrade from the 8MP one on the Nokia 8 to a 5MP one on the Sirocco. There are 3 spatial microphones to get the most detailed sound in a video. We also have the much-touted dual-sight which enables the use of both front and rear cameras together, more like picture in picture, which can also be taken live or broadcasted to Facebook or others. We are disappointed with Sirocco in cameras, even though the cameras are great but HMD has not provided Sirocco with enough firepower to take on the existing flagships in cameras, not even by a long shot. This can be one of the major dealbreakers for customers when you are paying flagship prices, you also expect flagship features and a 5MP sensor on the front? that’s just lame in the age of smartphone photography.
This is one department where Sirocco delights us. Nokia 8 Sirocco runs on pure Android version, that goes under the Android One program by Google. Nokia 8 Sirocco is an Android One smartphone. What it essentially means is that besides having the purest form of Android, you are also assured of at least two updates to Android, fresh and fast. So if you plan on to get Nokia 8 Sirocco, you can rest assured that you’ll be one of the first to get the Android P update as well as the Q update whenever it comes around. There’s not much we can say about Android One, except that It's absolutely performant and relentlessly efficient. Its the gold standard of Android.
Battery & More
Nokia 8 Sirocco has a 3260mAh juice pack, given the pOLED panel, Nokia claims 22hours of talk time. In our opinion, It should last for a day easily. To make things sweeter, there’s Qi-enabled wireless charging as well as fast charging, so you get 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes of charge. The fast charger is included in the box. The type C charger is a welcome addition and must have in 2018. And it also doubles as audio out port, yeah, Nokia 8 Sirocco has bid goodbye to the good old headphone jack.
The smartphone is IP67 dust and water resistant, though It's not as good as the IP68 rating on the Galaxy S9 but it will save the smartphone a lot from accidental liquid spills and showers.
Nokia 8 Sirocco Price in India and Release Date
Nokia 8 Sirocco is expected to be priced in India at $900 (Approx Rs 70000) and the Release date has not been announced yet but the phone will be available sometime during April.
Finals Thoughts on Nokia 8 Siroco: Style vs Substance
HMD has taken a somewhat risky decision with the Nokia 8 Sirocco. For a company that’s looking for revival, Nokia 8 Sirocco doesn’t exactly fit in the revival game. It takes on from where Nokia 8800 Sirocco left off. In a language, where style matters more than substance. Sirocco is HMD’s attempt to attract the long-lost fanbase which loved Nokia for its design language and the style it represented. It also reminds us of what LG tried with G6, at the start of 2017, despite being a great smartphone, It failed miserably owing to the 2016 hardware it featured. Nokia 8 Sirocco does exactly that, what’s worth seeing is that will HMD be able to pull off some solid sales with this new emphasis on design. In a world where It is all about latest and greatest specs, we feel a little uncertain about Sirocco.
Even if you can look past performance, Nokia 8 Sirocco costs too much to a consumer for a previous year hardware, $900 to be precise. We can’t get our head wrapped around the concept and strategy behind Nokia 8 Sirocco, why won’t one buy a Pixel 2 XL or an iPhone at this price? Why won’t one consider OnePlus 5T priced at just half and still offering a lot more?
HMD has made the ultimate choice to give style a lot more weight than substance on the Nokia 8 Sirocco, while Its, not the most enticing smartphone around, We don’t think Its a great buy for any consumer unless you are a hardcore Nokia fan, who was in line to buy the Nokia 8800 Sirocco but couldn’t get one back then.
So that was all that we think about the all new Nokia 8 Sirocco. What are your thoughts on this gorgeous smartphone? Do tell us in the comments. Do you think Sirocco will bring change in the stars of HMD and the Nokia brand name since It has seen some mixed reactions over the past couple of months?
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