Nokia finally has a flagship Android phone and it's beautiful

With a supercharged processor and dual camera stuffed inside a gorgeous metal body, the Nokia 8 is the phone we've been craving.

Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
3 min read

Read our full review of the Nokia 8 Sirocco, the latest Nokia phone from HMD Global. 

At last, there's a true Nokia flagship Android phone to get excited about.

It's called the Nokia 8 and unlike existing Nokia Androids -- the 3, 5 and 6 -- this one is a real powerhouse.

At its core is a top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM. I've already run some benchmark tests and its scores easily rival Samsung's Galaxy S8. In my experience so far, there's not much you can throw at this phone that it can't handle.

The 5.3-inch display is pin sharp, thanks to the ultra HD resolution (2,560x1,440 pixels) and it's bright enough to use under the midday sun.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Around the back you'll find two cameras. One shoots in color, the other only in black and white -- good news if you love dramatic, moody portraits. They both have 13-megapixel resolutions and both shoot video in 4K. There's a 13-megapixel camera on the front, and thanks to some software trickery you can take photos with both the front and back camera to combine them into a single, split-screen image.

I took the Nokia 8's camera for spin -- take a look through the gallery below to see how it performs.

Taking the Nokia 8's dual camera for a test drive

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You can also livestream that split-screen view directly to YouTube or Facebook. It's not a killer feature for me personally, but you'll enjoy this unique skill if you love sharing your whole life with the world.

That's all wrapped up in a really slick metal body with a highly polished finish. I think it looks extremely smart and elegant, although it is something of a fingerprint magnet.

The phone is splash-proof, not waterproof, which is disappointing given that proper waterproofing is something we're now often seeing on top-end phones . On the upside, it has a fingerprint scanner on the front, a USB-C port and the latest version of Android Nougat on board.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Nokia 8, which is made by HMD Global, will cost 599 euros when it goes on sale in September. The expected UK price is £599 and although there are currently no plans for it to reach the US or Australia yet, it's likely the phone will eventually go on sale in both countries. For reference, 599 euros converts to around $700 or AU$900.

No, it's not a cheap phone, and that price puts it squarely in line with the Galaxy S8 (a phone with pretty much the same specs, on paper), which you can now pick up on Amazon for $575 in the US or £560 in the UK. In Australia you can find it for AU$899. Then there's the OnePlus 5, a superb Android phone that's also packed with top-notch tech and a brilliant dual camera system. It even won our coveted Editors' Choice award. The OnePlus costs even less at $479 in the US and £449 in the UK (AU$750, converted). 

We'll have to wait to properly test the Nokia in our full review to decide on whether it's a wise purchase over the S8 or OnePlus 5. A price closer to or below $600, £500 or AU$750 would really help sweeten the deal. There's no question, however, that splashing that top-end cash will snag you a top-end phone that's absolutely worth considering, particularly if you have any sort of nostalgia for the Nokia name.