Nokia 8 vs Galaxy S8

Nokia has unveiled its highly anticipated Nokia 8, an Android phone with a flagship specification. We see how it compares to the current king of the Android market, the Galaxy S8.

The Nokia 8 is a decent phone built for content creators. It stands out for its Carl Zeiss dual rear cameras and 13Mp selfie camera that can be combined in a new ‘Bothie’ mode to capture the full picture, and for its Dual-Sight streaming capabilities and Ozo spatial audio recording.

It matches the Galaxy S8 on core specifications, and Nokia promises timely updates to its vanilla Android operating system. But in other respects the Nokia 8 does little to stand out in the crowded market.

Nokia 8

Samsung, meanwhile, is the master of bells and whistles. Though its flagship might not feature a dual-camera (that is tipped for the upcoming Note 8), it does have one of the best phone cameras on the market.

The Galaxy S8 has fancy extras such as wireless charging, an always-on display, an iris scanner and a heart-rate scanner, and though it’s not plain Android the firm’s Touchwiz UI is no longer the resource hog it once was, now focusing purely on useful extras - including the Bixby AI assistant, though we’ve yet to experience its full potential in the UK.

And Samsung has perfected the S-series design with a combination of waterproofing (the Nokia 8 is merely splashproof), tough glass, dual-curved edges, and a virtually full-screen Infinity Display that is a sign of things to come in the smartphone market.

The screen technology itself has the edge, with Samsung specifying AMOLED in place of Nokia’s IPS, offering (in our opinion) more satisfying and vibrant saturated colours and richer contrast. It’s also brighter, though the Nokia 8 is very impressive at 700 nits.

The minimal bezels also give it a sleek appearance that the still-pretty 6000-series aluminium Nokia has no chance of matching, thanks to its decision to retain the home button (though this does mean the fingerprint scanner is in a more user-friendly position). In design the Galaxy S8 is the clear winner in this pairing.

Galaxy S8

Though the Galaxy S8 was by far the more expensive of the two when it went on sale in April, the price has now fallen such that it may even be a few pounds cheaper than the Nokia 8 when it goes on sale in September.

You can today buy the Galaxy S8 SIM-free from Amazon for £551.99, while the Nokia 8 has an RRP of 599€ that we expect to convert to around £550 in the UK.

We’ve compared the key specifications of each of these phones in the table below to help you form a purchasing decision.

Specification Nokia 8 Samsung Galaxy S8
Display 5.3in Quad-HD IPS, Gorilla Glass 5 5.8in Quad-HD AMOLED Infinity Display, Always-On, Gorilla Glass 5
Operating system Android Nougat Android Nougat (+ TouchWiz and Bixby AI)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (Exynos 8895 in UK)
Memory 4GB DDR4 RAM 4GB DDR4 RAM
Storage 64GB internal + microSD up to 256GB 64GB internal + microSD up to 256GB
Fingerprint scanner Yes, built into home button Yes, rear-mounted, plus iris scanner, heart-rate scanner
Waterproofing IP54 (splashproof) IP68 (waterproof to 30m)
Primary camera 13Mp dual-camera (colour + mono), f/2.0, OIS, 1.12um, LED flash 12Mp, f/1.7, OIS, LED flash
Selfie camera 13Mp, f/2.0, 1.12um, LED flash  8Mp, f/1.7
Connectivity 802.11ac MIMO, LTE Cat 9, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS + GLONASS 802.11ac MIMO, LTE Cat 16, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS + GLONASS
USB USB-C 3.1 USB-C 3.1
Audio Nokia Ozo, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3 mics Harman Kardon stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery 3090mAh, Quick Charge 3.0 3,000mAh, Adaptive Fast Charging - wired and wireless
Dimensions 151.5x73.7x7.9mm 148.9x68.1x8.0mm
Weight 160g 155g 
Available colours Polished Blue, Tempered Blue, Steel, Polished Copper Midnight Black, Orchid Grey, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver

Samsung Galaxy S8: Specs

  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 5.8in Quad HD display (2960x1440), 570ppi
  • Dual curved edge display
  • Exynos 8895 octa-core processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Micro-SD card slot (up to 256GB)
  • 12Mp rear-facing camera with OIS
  • 8Mp front camera
  • Pressure sensitive home button
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Heart rate monitor
  • 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE Cat 16
  • Headphone jack
  • USB-C
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • Wireless charging
  • IP68 dust & waterproof rating
  • 68x149x8mm
  • 155g
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 5.8in Quad HD display (2960x1440), 570ppi
  • Dual curved edge display
  • Exynos 8895 octa-core processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Micro-SD card slot (up to 256GB)
  • 12Mp rear-facing camera with OIS
  • 8Mp front camera
  • Pressure sensitive home button
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Heart rate monitor
  • 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE Cat 16
  • Headphone jack
  • USB-C
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • Wireless charging
  • IP68 dust & waterproof rating
  • 68x149x8mm
  • 155g

OUR VERDICT

With the two now coming in at much the same price Samsung is the clear winner in this pairing. Though the Nokia 8 boasts a dual-camera, Samsung’s single-lens offering is fantastic in its own right. Core hardware is similar, but Samsung wins on design - especially with its gorgeous Infinity Display. Unless you are a content creator who will make great use of Ozo and the Dual-Sight Zeiss cameras, we can’t see why you would choose the Nokia 8 over the Galaxy S8.

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