Nokia 6, 7 Plus, and 8 Sirocco handsets rock stock Android

Finnish phone maker HMD Global took this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as an opportunity to unveil three new handsets. The midrange Nokia 6 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC and a 5.5" display, the spiffier Nokia 7 Plus packs a Snapdragon 660 and a 6" screen, and the flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco brings a Snapdragon 835 to go along with its curved 5.5" OLED panel. The newcomers are also part of the Android One line of phones running an unmodified version of the Android OS. Let's take a closer look.

Nokia 6

The Nokia 6's display is an IPS unit with a resolution of 1920×1080. The Gorilla Glass 3-covered display shares the front of the phone with an 8-megapixel self-portrait camera. The phone has 3 GB of LPDDR4 memory and 32 GB of internal flash storage. The aluminum backside houses the 16-MP main snapper and a fingerprint reader. Storage is expandable through a microSD slot capable of reading cards as large as 128 GB.

Nokia 7 Plus

The Nokia 7 Plus' aluminum back is studded with a fingerprint reader and a pair of picture takers—a 12-MP wide-angle unit and a 13-MP telephoto camera. The front of the phone is dominated by a stretched-out 6" IPS screen with a resolution of 2160×1080 and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The user-facing camera has a 16-MP sensor. The 7 Plus' Snapdragon 660 SoC fetches data from 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory backed by 64 GB of internal storage. If users need more space, the microSD slot reads cards up to 256 GB in capacity.

Nokia 8 Sirocco

The mack-daddy Nokia 8 Sirocco has a curved 2560×1440 OLED panel and slim bezels under a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The back of the phone is also made of glass, and a thin sliver of steel separates the front and back sides of the phone. The self-facing camera is a 5-MP unit, and the main rear camera configuration is the same dual-snapper setup from the 7 Plus. The 'Rocco has 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory. If the 128 GB of internal UFS 2.1 storage isn't enough, users will have to turn to the cloud, as no microSD slot is included in the deal. The glass back allows for built-in Qi wireless charging.

Smartphone buyers looking for a simple unit can also check out Nokia's 1 Android Go handset. The 1 packs a 1.1 GHz MediaTek chip, 1 GB of LPDDR3 memory, 8 GB of internal storage, and Google's pared-back Android Go OS—all for a reported $85.  Those who really value standby time over features might like the new 8110 feature phone, a revival of the curved unit Thomas "Neo" Anderson used in his unsuccessful attempt to evade capture by nefarious agents in The Matrix.

All three phones have USB Type-C connectors, though the Nokia 6 and 7 Plus are restricted to USB 2.0 throughput instead of the USB 3.0 support of the 8 Sirocco. The Nokia 6 and 7 Plus still have headphone jacks, though the 8 Sirocco casts it away. Buyers that insist on a swappable battery can fall back on the Nokia 1 or the 8110.

The Verge reports that all three Android One handsets will hit the EU in April. The Nokia 6 will bear a 279€ price tag (around $286 without VAT), the 7 Plus will come in at 399€ (around $409), and the mighty 8 Sirocco will set buyers back a princely 749€ (around $768).

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Just curious. What are the chances that the real Nokia would acquire the Nokia brand from HMD and make Android cellphones themselves?

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      HMD is made up of ex-Nokia engineers and executives.

        • fyo
        • 2 years ago

        HMD’s corporate headquarters are located at:

        ‎Building 2, Nokia Campus, Karaportti, Finland.

    • strangerguy
    • 2 years ago

    Rounded display corners are so stupid when they have the space for right angles.

    As for OLED vs LCD, I really don’t care as long as both are properly calibrated. As a S8 user OLED’s infinite contrast is overrated. It’s not noticeable at all versus LCD unless it’s in a truly dark room displaying low brightness images and even then dark details that aren’t visible on the LCD isn’t also visible on the OLED either. It’s just very dark grey vs black, big deal.

    • barich
    • 2 years ago

    I love the direction Nokia is going here. It’s going to be hard to recommend any Motorola phones in these price ranges anymore when the Nokias are actually going to get updates.

    • tsk
    • 2 years ago

    Your Eur to USD conversion is a bit off Wayne.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      if the Euro value has VAT and the USD doesn’t, that might explain it.

    • backwoods357
    • 2 years ago

    Does anyone actually want a curved display? I just don’t get the draw factor, and everyone I know that had one hated it. I would rather just buy the 7 to replace my aging Nexus 6p and call it a day.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      Curved displays are just bling.

        • backwoods357
        • 2 years ago

        Did you down-vote me just for asking why people like them?
        To each their own, I just don’t see the appeal. I found holding the curved display awkward and clumsy.

          • ronch
          • 2 years ago

          I did not downvote you. Oh I forgot I already replied to your post and I crossed the street without looking left or right, so I replied again below.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      It’s the same thing with the notch on the iPhone X that everyone seems to be copying these days. And the curved screen corners. Just stick to plain, rectangular displays.

        • backwoods357
        • 2 years ago

        Seriously, I wish a phone maker would make a phone that was fairly plain on the outside, durable, up to .6″ thick because it contains a large replaceable battery that can last 5 days and a solid camera. Midrange PPI screen, something sharp but not going overboard. Most importantly running stock Android. I would buy the shit out of that phone.

          • ronch
          • 2 years ago

          Yup. I’ve always said adding a few more mm in thickness to cram a big battery in there will be a big selling point for most people. Been on an Acer phone with a 5,000mAh battery since late 2016. Recently got the missus a Motorola with a 5,000mAh battery too. I honestly don’t care for 8 cores and 500ppi screens and notched screens. I want dual SIM support, a dedicated memory card slot, a 5.5″ 720p screen is fine and actually means higher framerates in games, at least 32GB/3GB, and of course, a big 5,000mAh battery. There’s no way I’m getting a phone with a smaller battery now. I’m totally fine with 4 x 1.3GHz Cortex A53 cores too, which is what’s inside my phone these days. They’re not really slow at all for me and having just 4 little cores could actually help save battery power even further.

      • alrey
      • 2 years ago

      I like it on my note 8. Its not as curved as s7 edge.

        • backwoods357
        • 2 years ago

        I’ll give it a feel next time I’m in a store if they have it. I’ve held the Edge and the S8 and in both cases I felt it was definitely an annoyance.

    • smilingcrow
    • 2 years ago

    If they are quick with security updates and offer 2 to 3 years of Android version updates AND keep the prices in check I can see these doing really well.
    There must be a decent market in-between Chinese import pricing and high end ripoffs.

      • Deadsalt
      • 2 years ago

      They have had plenty of updates to my 2017 Nokia 6. The phone came with Android Nougat in late Oct and received the Oct, Nov and Dec security updates OTA. This month I got the update to Oreo.

      Now it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows; cases are hard to find, screen protectors don’t fit that well, and I do have very light scratches on the screen edges. Also the camera is okay and this is not a gaming phone except for casual players. These cons though are minimal for me as I do not game and treat my phones rougher than most. The software update experience and having a extremely minimal skinning/customization for me is great. Now I just have to hope that I am at least getting security updates by the time my phone is two years old, but so far this is better than Samsung or Motorola did for me in the past.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        There is a Nokia 5 in the family here, my main complaint is that they were very uninspired with their design. They played a very safe game with a thin metal body and marginal battery. Very attractive price though.

        • Aegaeon
        • 2 years ago

        My wife has been very happy with her 2017 Nokia 6, stock Android with no OEM/carrier crapware means it’s responsive and she couldn’t care less about Snapdragon SOC spec envy for a flagship phone. Just got Android Oreo as well.

    • DataMeister
    • 2 years ago

    Do you think “main snapper”, “dual snapper”, and “pair of picture takers” make the article seem cooler or something?

      • Eggrenade
      • 2 years ago

      Yes.

      • Wirko
      • 2 years ago

      A camera should be called a camera! (if these phones had 808’s optics)

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 2 years ago

        Heh, its called a “snapper” because its not a proper camera!

        I wonder why nobody bothers to make another 808-style phone, I guess it was too expensive, and everything is about margins and risk.

        There is still an 808 working pretty fine in the house here. The camera software isn’t half as intelligent as the modern level of course, it routinely turns in worse photos than a regular phone would, but in the right situation it delivers.

    • sweatshopking
    • 2 years ago

    Hmd is now one of the biggest phone manufacturers, outselling almost everyone but Samsung. HTC, google, OnePlus, all sell fewer phones then hmd. Wonder what would have happened had Nokia gone with android from the start instead of trying itself to another burning platform.

      • End User
      • 2 years ago

      [url=https://www.androidpolice.com/2017/12/22/hmd-global-estimated-sold-around-16-million-nokia-phones-q3-2017/<]"HMD has not offered any official sales numbers since it was founded, so these [b<]estimates[/b<] are all we have to go by."[/url<] "places HMD at the #3 feature phone manufacturer worldwide, and [b<]#16 for worldwide smartphone sales[/b<]." HMD is a bit player in the smartphone arena.

    • MrDweezil
    • 2 years ago

    Yay for stock android, the rare feature that makes a phone better while costing the company less money, and yet so few of them do it.

    • RdVi
    • 2 years ago

    The 8 Sirocco looks great aside from the curved screen. I love that it’s 16:9 AND has small top/bottom bezels while having a decent sized battery. Win win win. It should be very pocketable and just small enough to use one handed for most people while being large enough to do anything on.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    The 6 looks decent.

    The 7 has weird aspect that will letterbox most content and waste the extra screen space, the better specs aren’t [i<]better enough[/i<] to matter, and the only real difference seems to be the selfie camera upgrade, which is a 2016 feature people have already grown tired of. The 8 Sirocco is just a train-smash; It copies all the mistakes of the other brand flagships (thin, small-battery, fragile, curved-edge, hyper-PPI inflation, "courageously" missing SD and 3.5mm) whilst making no improvements and not having the brand recognition that the fashionistas pay their annual smartphone upgrade tax for.

      • w76
      • 2 years ago

      Regarding the PPI thing, yeah, my Galaxy S7 never runs at 1440p, I keep it on 1080p ’cause I can’t tell the difference visually and don’t see the need to impact battery life driving the higher resolution. 1440p or higher on a smartphone is just a marketing spec.

        • RdVi
        • 2 years ago

        How much battery do you actually save? Remember it’s lighting up the extra sub-pixels in the screen that put the largest drain on the battery. That doesn’t change with changing the resolution. Outside of gaming the battery improvements should be marginal. OS stutter may be reduced though.

        I personally find 1440p displays fine on most phones these days wrt battery life. You do notice the extra ppi when switching back to a lower ppi phone and I personally appreciate it.

          • Chrispy_
          • 2 years ago

          The only battery savings are from GPU use, assuming the application using the GPU is framerate capped at 60Hz or whatever the display runs at. You’re right that the whole GUI experience seems smoother because the GPU needs to do only half the work for any given task.

          Sadly, a true 1080p screen would consume significantly less power and still be pin-sharp even under close inspection. It would also be cheaper, but that’s irrelevant for the “more money than sense” target market.

        • arunphilip
        • 2 years ago

        I couldn’t see a difference in running my 5.1″ S7 work phone at 1080 and 1440 resolutions on its 1440 panel, so assumed 1440 was overkill.

        However, I recently bought a 5.2″ A5 to gift a friend, and this phone runs at 1080 on a 1080 panel.

        There is a subtle but observable difference in text crispness when you compare the the S7 at 1080 with the A5 at 1080, despite both coming from Samsung with AMOLED screens. More than can be accounted for by the 0.1″ screen difference.

        I can only conclude that something about the AMOLED PenTile pixel arrangement makes the panel’s underlying resolution also relevant.

        Maybe it’s different for IPS displays where there isn’t an observable difference between a native 1440 and native 1080 display, but there is one for AMOLED. It’s noticeable in a side-by-side comparison, and also in isolation if you peer at the A5 screen from 3-4 inches away.

          • Chrispy_
          • 2 years ago

          Pentile is grainer than an RGB stripe of the same resolution and size because the horizontal subpixel density is 30% lower for red and blue pixels. It has to antialias everything anyway because the horizontal/vertical grid of pixels from the GPU doesn’t match the subpixel layout exactly.

          You’re probably seeing the benefits of antialiasing rather than the difference in resolution, and the antialiased image will be taking advantage of the pentile 1440p hardware antialiasing built into the display.

            • arunphilip
            • 2 years ago

            Thank you for that great explanation, that helps me better understand those close-ups of the Pentile arrangement that I’ve seen.

      • Aegaeon
      • 2 years ago

      If they can use extra profit margins from fashionistas to subsidize making better midrange phones, more power to ’em.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      Nokia? No brand recognition???

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Nokia aren’t recognised as a high-end brand, no.

        If you’re after a sturdy, drop-proof feature phone, or a communications device that will survive a warzone/school playground/house fire – then look no further than the 3310 from 20 years ago.

        When it comes to smartphones, Nokia’s image is now one of affordable budget android models that run stock Android. That’s a good USP but it’s not one that the fashionistas care about (Man, it must suck to be a fashionista).

    • ludi
    • 2 years ago

    And according to the manufacturer’s website, the new 6 and 7 included both USB-C [i<]and[/i<] a 3.5mm headphone jack. It's almost the Pixel that Google won't build anymore.

      • Mumrik
      • 2 years ago

      Well, Nexus, but yes.

    • Voldenuit
    • 2 years ago

    No headphone jack on 8.
    Pass.

      • wabbit
      • 2 years ago

      Buy a regular 8. It’s the same thing with a different design and has the headphone jack.
      I bought one in December and it’s a tank.

    • Airmantharp
    • 2 years ago

    Mother of God…

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