Nokia announced three Android handsets at Mobile World Congress 2017, marking the company's return to smartphones. It also announced the new Nokia 3310, a retro play that appears to be more of a marketing stunt than anything else.
Missing from this line-up of devices is anything that breaks out of the affordable end of the market. The Nokia 6 offers premium design, but in many cases the specs don't climb out of the end of the market that's entry- or mid-range.
Prior to the launch of the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3, there were plenty of rumours of a high-end device, a device that's now being called the Nokia 8. We've been keeping track of all the details of Nokia's new flagship Android smartphone, which is expected to launch on 16 August.
Nokia 8, Nokia 9 or Nokia P1: The name
- Formerly Nokia P1
- Now known as Nokia 8
- Has been called Nokia 9
Nokia has done a good job on keeping its device names quiet. Rumours originally focused on the D1C and the P1, with the thinking that the D1C become the Nokia 6. The Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 didn't feature in rumours, but that could be because lower tier phones are often ignored, while flagship phones are often over inflated by expectation.
The name Nokia 8 first came from a leak claiming to be the forthcoming handset, but it was firmly rebuked by Qualcomm, who said this was just a Snapdragon prototype. But the Nokia 8 name stuck. Nokia Power User then obtained information from an unnamed source, which referred to the new flagship as the Nokia 9, while another Nokia Power User post said the Nokia 8 will in-fact be a premium, mid-range device instead.
Both names have stuck, but more recently we've seen the leak of what's reported to be marketing material for the Nokia 8, so many predict that Nokia 8 will be the go-to-market name for Nokia's flagship phone.
Nokia 8 design
- IP68 protection suggested
- Metal build rumoured
- Small bezel design
In terms of design, it's said that the Nokia flagship phone will offer a premium metal design. In terms of details, apart from metal, there's been talk of IP68 water and dust protection in the Nokia 8 flagship device.
All the Nokia Android phones so far have started life as a block of 6000 series aluminium, so we'd expect a flagship to be exactly the same to maintain the same story about quality that HMD Global - the company making the new Nokia phones - has been telling.
There's also a rumour that the Nokia flagship will come in two sizes with similar specs, taking a similar approach to Apple, Huawei and Samsung, which have lead to the Nokia 8 and Nokia 9 naming confusion, but that speculation seems to be less well founded, with recent leaks focusing on the one device.
The clearest image showing the design comes from Evan Blass, aka @evleaks, sharing the device on Twitter and VentureBeat, along with a video. We're looking at a design which is close to the Nokia 6 and not too far removed from many of the Nokia Windows Phones - rounded corners, flat back and a general simplicity to the design.
Following the leak from Blass, what appears to be a prototype Nokia 8 device appeared on Baidu (also in the gallery above) leaving little to the imagination when it comes to the final design of Nokia's flagship Android phone. Whether that shiny gold colour will make it to the final production device, we can't be sure.
Nokia 8 hardware specs
- 2560 x 1440 pixel display
- 5.5 or 5.3-inch display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- 4 or 6GB RAM
There's a possibility that the Nokia 8 will come in different sizes, although a rumoured 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution display will put this device in flagship contention, perhaps joined by a 5.3-incher, which is the size reported by Evan Blass. The existence of two different sizes has been suggested a number of times but we're still lacking clarity on what size it will settle on.
The Nokia 8 will likely opt for something powerful under the hood like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, a new chipset for 2017, and that's a rumour that's already appeared, backed by 6GB of RAM. This rumour continues, and Snapdragon 835 is now par for the course.
There's talk of different RAM quantities too and there's some logic there perhaps: when launching the Nokia 5, the company said it didn't need 3GB of RAM because of the size (unlike the Nokia 6). The Nokia 6 has 3GB RAM, but the Nokia 6 Arte Edition has 4GB of RAM, so we can already see a trend of fluctuating the RAM around devices.
The existing Nokia Android phones also all offer microSD card slots, so we'd imagine that convenience feature will be on the Nokia 8 too, perhaps with dual SIM as standard too. However, the unnamed source that leaked the supposed full specs of the new flagship, didn't mention a microSD card slot at all, and also claimed the battery would be non-removable.
The latest round of photos show a 3.5mm headphone socket on the top and USB Type-C on the bottom.
Nokia 8 camera
- Dual 13-megapixel camera
- Zeiss optics pretty certain
There's a passing mention of a 22.6-megapixel camera early on in Nokia 8 rumours, however this rumour has since been repeated in the form of a 23-megapixel camera. That might have just been a Nokia fan wishlist, as the latest leaks sound a lot more convincing: a dual 13-megapixel camera.
HMD Global and Zeiss have confirmed their partnership to bring Zeiss camera technology to future smartphones from Nokia and we suspect the confirmation of this on 6 July 2017 was timed to bring talk of a future Nokia flagship back into focus. You can read more about the new partnership with Zeiss here, but the Zeiss branding appears on the leaked Blass image.
There's currently no telling what the setup of the dual cameras might be - whether it's capturing depth data, offering a zoom or wide angle lens or whatever. There's currently a range of options available on rival devices and at the moment we've heard nothing on what advancements HMD plan to bring to this Nokia phone.
Nokia 8 software
- Pure Android Nougat
- Camera improvements
One of the underlying themes of the new Nokia phones is that they all run pure Android Nougat, with Google Assistant. Nokia was keen to point this out and Google was keen to say how happy the were that Nokia was doing this.
On the Nokia 6, 5 and 3, the only change from stock Android is the tweaked camera. There's no bloatware, no pre-installed apps or anything else. We'd expect the Nokia 8 to be exactly the same and the new deal with Zeiss has said that software is part of the camera experience that will be offered, so we'd expect quite a few changes there.
Nokia 8 release date and price
- 16 August event scheduled
- London launch venue
There have been plenty of dates suggested for the launch, but there are now reports that an event has been scheduled for 16 August 2017, in London.
Invites are being sent out to international media, suggesting that there's going to be something big happening. The scheduling seems to make sense: the first three phones were launched at MWC 2017, but the next big event - IFA 2017 - is likely to be dominated by the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the LG V30.
It looks like we'll be seeing this Nokia flagship on 16 August.