The Nokia 8 is finally official. Nokia is back with a flagship smartphone meant to go head to head with some of the big names on the market. But can it compete? After all, a long time has passed since Nokia was one of the top brand names in the industry. Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google dominate the smartphone market. Needless to say, the Nokia 8 has a tough road ahead. Let’s compare it with one of the most popular flagship devices currently on the market: the Google Pixel. The Pixel is approaching one year old and will likely be replaced with a new model this fall but that doesn’t mean this smartphone is out of date or old by any means. It’s still a great device and you will likely see a lot of people still choosing the Pixel this fall rather than one of the new, full-priced smartphones. So, without anymore delay, let’s get into our Nokia 8 vs Google Pixel showdown!
I always have trouble comparing design because this is so subjective. What I like may not be what you like. I will try to be as open-minded as possible but I fully realize that some of you may not agree with my assessment of these devices in the design department. First, both smartphones have larger bezels than some new devices. They still look very nice but if you were to add a Galaxy S8 into the mix then you would see how ugly bezels can be. Nokia, for some reason, has chosen physical buttons which necessitates the need for a large bezel along the bottom of the device. I’m not a big fan of physical buttons in 2017. The back side of the Nokia 8 is beautiful. A metal finish is a nice change from the plastic or ceramic backs we have seen in almost every other device over the last 2 years. Just by looking at the Nokia 8 you feel like the device is well-built and tough.
WINNER: Google Pixel. I just can’t get over the physical buttons on the front of the Nokia 8. Lose the buttons, slim down the bezels, and it could have easily won this first Nokia 8 vs Google Pixel comparison.
Both of these devices have their strong points when it comes to the display. The Nokia 8 packs in a 5.3-inch IPS LCD display at a resolution of 1440 x 2560. On the Pixel you have a slightly smaller display with a 5-inch AMOLED display showing off a resolution of 1080 x 1920. The Nokia 8 quickly jumps out to the lead with a slightly bigger display and higher resolution. However, the Pixel sports and AMOLED display while the Nokia 8 has an LCD display. The LCD display certainly isn’t bad by any means. The iPhone 7 uses an LCD display and many people love it. However, you’re going to get much better colors out of an AMOLED display.
WINNER: Tie. Each device has their strengths and weaknesses. If you want a big display at a higher resolution then choose the Nokia 8. If you’re looking for the best colors in a display then you want to go with the Pixel.
Under The Hood
Looks aren’t everything. You want a device that can handle everything you’re going to throw at it. The Nokia 8 has some great specs packed into that metal smartphone body. Under the hood in the Nokia 8 we find a Snapdragon 835. This is the same chipset you will see in other flagships like the Galaxy S8. Alongside that Snapdragon 835 you will find 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, expandable with MicroSD up to 256GB. Those are not world beating specs but they are very solid. In the Google Pixel you have a Snapdragon 821 chipset along with 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 128GB of storage. The Pixel does not support expandable storage.
WINNER: Nokia 8. The updated chipset and expandable storage give the Nokia 8 the nod over the Google Pixel in this round.
We depend on our smartphones to be able to double as high quality cameras when we’re on the go. The Nokia 8 packs a lot of quality into their camera. On the back you with find dual camera sensors at 13MP with Carl Zeiss optics, OIS, and dual LED flash. The front camera is also 13MP and allows for what Nokia calls “Bothies” which are selfies with friends. On the Google Pixel you will find a single 12.3MP camera sensor on the back side and an 8MP camera sensor on the front.
WINNER: Nokia 8. Software makes a lot of difference about how a camera operates so we may get more idea about the software behind the Nokia 8 camera down the road. For now, simply based on hardware, the Nokia 8 wins this round.
Here’s some of the other factors that are hard to directly compare. For example: software. Both devices run Android. The Nokia 8 will be launching with Android 7.1.1 which is a great start. However, we know that Google devices are great for updates. When Android O comes in the fall, the Google Pixel will be one of the first devices running the new update. HMD Global, the company that markets Nokia-branded devices, says they want to keep a clean Google experience with fast updates. However, talking the talk and walking the walk are two different things. We will see what happens when Android O comes along. If Nokia is quick to update, that will be great news. If they lag behind other manufacturers then that’s a serious knock against the device.
There’s also the battery to consider.The Nokia is powered by a 3090mAh battery while the Google Pixel only has a 2770mAh battery. Of course, software optimization plays a big role in battery life but, just based on specs, the Nokia 8 has the advantage there.
I’m not going to tell you which device to go out and buy. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I’m not a big fan of the Nokia 8 design but you have to recognize the great specs they packed into that device. I would feel very confident with the Google Pixel knowing I’m going to get regular software updates in a timely fashion. We don’t have much history to go off with the Nokia 8 so it’s hard to make a judgement there. Pricing may end up being the ultimate decider. The Nokia 8 is launching with a price around $700. Since the Google Pixel is nearing end-of-life with the Pixel 2 coming soon, you’re likely to see some big discounts on the device which may bring it well below the Nokia 8. Saving a few hundred bucks isn’t really a feature but it is very nice.
What do you think? If you had to pick one of these devices, which one would you take?