Nokia announced its 2017 flagship smartphone at an event in August in the form of the Nokia 8. It joins the company's portfolio of three Android devices that were introduced at the beginning of the year, but it brings more advanced hardware and a couple of stand out polished finishes.

The HTC U11 is another flagship smartphone that offers a slightly more exciting finish, along with a great set of specs. The question is how do the two compare for those in the market for a device so shiny, they'd give a diamond a run for its money? We've put the Nokia 8 up against the HTC U11 to find out.

  • Both striking designs
  • HTC U11 is slightly larger, but waterproof
  • Both have USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack

The Nokia 8 features an aluminium body with a softly curved rear that measures 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm. The antenna bands are positioned on the top and bottom of the device rather than on the rear for a more seamless finish and the Nokia 8 comes in four colours, including a striking Polished Copper and Polished Blue glossy finish.

There is a fingerprint sensor within a capacitive button on the front of the device beneath the display, a slim dual-camera setup on the rear and both USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack are on board. The Nokia 8 offers no waterproofing however.

The HTC U11 also offers a striking finish, this time achieved with a liquid glass surface that features layers of refractive minerals to create beautiful colours. It too offers a curved rear but it is a little larger than the Nokia 8 at 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm and it has squeezable sides that deliver a set of functions when pushed. The antenna bands are positioned on the edges around the device, while a single lens camera sits on the rear with simple HTC branding below.

Like the Nokia 8, there is a capacitive button below the screen on the HTC U11 too, which also features a fingerprint sensor built into it and USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack are both present. Unlike the Nokia 8, the HTC U11 is waterproof with an rating of IP67.

  • HTC U11 has larger display 
  • Both LCD screens
  • Both 16:9 ratios and neither have Mobile HDR

The Nokia 8 has a 5.3-inch IPS LCD display that features a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels for a pixel density of 554ppi. It offers 700nits of brightness and it is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

A standard aspect ratio of 16:9 is present on the Nokia 8 and there are no extra thrills in place, like Mobile HDR, as there are on some other 2017 flagships.

The HTC U11 has a slightly larger display than the Nokia 8 at 5.5-inches. It too is LCD, with HTC calling it Super LCD, and it too has a Quad HD resolution, meaning its pixel density is a little lower than the Nokia because of the size increase at 534ppi. This is unlikely to be noticeable to the human eye though.

Similar to the Nokia 8, the HTC U11 doesn't offer Mobile HDR compatibility like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6, it sticks with the standard 16:9 aspect ratio too and it is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

  • Nokia 8 has dual-rear camera setup 
  • HTC U11 has higher resolution front camera
  • Nokia 8 offers simultaneous capture from front and rear cameras

The camera department is where the Nokia 8 is hoping to shine. It offers two 13-megapixel sensors on the rear, with one RGB sensor and one monochrome sensor. There is an aperture of f/2.0 on board, along with 1.12µm pixels, phase detection autofocus and IR focus assist.

Nokia has teamed up with Zeiss for its lenses in a drive for quality, and it has also introduced a feature called Dual-Sight that allows for simultaneous capture from the front and rear cameras with the ability to stream these live to FaceBook or YouTube. The front camera is a 13-megapixel sensor, also with f/2.0 and 1.12µm pixels.

The HTC U11 meanwhile has a single 12-megapixel HTC UltraPixel 3 sensor featuring 1.4µm pixels, optical image stabilisation, an f/1.7 aperture and what the company calls UltraSpeed Autofocus.

On the front is a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and features such as Live Make-Up, Auto Selfie and Voice Selfie. It doesn't however offer the "Bothie", which is what Nokia is calling the result of the dual capture and something the HTC Desire Eye did offer.

  • Both Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
  • Nokia 8 has larger battery capacity
  • HTC U11 offers bigger focus on audio specs 

The Nokia 8 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and microSD support for further storage expansion. There's a 3090mAh battery on board with support for Quick Charge 3.0 and as we mentioned previously, it is charged via USB Type-C.

In terms of audio, the Nokia 8 will be able to capture 360 audio with an Ozo audio feature.

The HTC U11 also runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage an microSD support, meaning the performance between these two devices should be very similar, theoretically. The battery is a little smaller at 3000mAh but it too offers Quick Charge 3.0 support and is charged via USB Type-C.

Audio has been a huge focus for HTC in its flagships and the U11 is no different, featuring BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition. It also offers 3D Audio recording with four microphones, HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation and support for Hi-Res audio.

  • Stock Android on Nokia 8
  • Extra features on HTC U11 with Sense Companion and Edge Sense
  • Quick updates to next Android software build for Nokia 8

The Nokia 8 runs on pure Android Nougat with no bloatware and no pre-installed apps, except a support app. Nokia reworked the camera app to incorporate the various features offered but aside from that, it is stock Android, meaning quick updates to the next build.

The HTC U11 also runs Android Nougat but it features a refined version of HTC Sense over the top, coupled with the HTC Sense Companion app that provides suggestions based on the things you do. HTC also has HTC Edge Sense, which launches a range of features when you squeeze the phone and it offers Amazon Alexa.

Ultimately, the software experience between these two devices will therefore be quite different, despite them running on the same platform. 

  • HTC U11 more expensive

The Nokia 8 will go on sale at the beginning of September for €599, which works out at around £550.

The HTC U11 is available now and costs £649, making it around £100 more expensive than the Nokia device.

Look at the numbers and the Nokia 8 and HTC U11 are pretty much neck and neck. They have the same processor, same RAM, same storage and very similar battery capacities, as well as microSD support. They also both have the same resolution displays, along with the same display technology.

The Nokia 8 moves in a different direction to HTC in the camera department, offering a dual-setup over singular, but HTC has done dual before and gone back to singular so it's not that the company is late to the party, it's just chosen a different path this time.

The Nokia also offers stock Android, which some may prefer over HTC's Sense bloatware, while others may like the variation that comes with Sense. HTC also offers waterproofing, squeezable edges and a bigger display, while the Nokia screen packs in a few extra pixels. Both deliver in the design department though.

The decision between these two devices will come down to the features most important to you, as well as your budget. The HTC U11 is a great phone and the Nokia 8 has all the features to achieve greatness so it's unlikely you'll be disappointed with either. We will update this feature once we have reviewed the Nokia 8 in full however.