The Nokia 8 was supposed to be the brand’s big challenge to the iPhone Xs and Galaxy S8s of the world, but a new DxOMark test has found that the handset is severely lacking in the photography department. It only managed to score 68 overall, way below the current top ranker, the 98-scoring Google Pixel 2.
At number 17, the Nokia 8 is one step below the Lava Z25 and 3 steps below the iPhone 6. It’s still a bit higher than the 19-ranking Nokia 808 PureView, but that’s an ancient smartphone. Still, the Finnish brand was once considered one of the best when it came to imaging and it’s surprising to see it do so badly after its triumphant comeback.
Making things worse is the fact that the Nokia joined hands with Carl Zeiss for the 13MP dual cameras on its flagship handset, a highly regarded partnership in the olden days. This didn’t stop the smartphone from scoring 72 in the photography test and 62 in the video one.
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Starting off with the positive highlights, the Nokia 8 had a good general white balance and target exposure in all conditions. Subject isolation was solid in the bokeh-using portrait mode, but not as good as rival devices. DxOMark also found that the dynamic range was fairly decent in high-contrast scenes, but only when the Auto HDR mode kicked in, which it often didn’t.
As for video, DxOMark reports that there was good color rendering in bright light and indoor environments and precise target exposure under the same conditions. Moving on to cons, images apparently showed high levels of noise even when there was plenty of light about and got worse in darker surroundings.
Other major drawbacks include low levels of details and color shading in all lighting conditions, loss of sharpness around the edges of the photo, strong exposure instabilities, and terrible zooming with plenty of pixelation and no detailing. The last is so bad, DxOMark is recommending users limit themselves to 2x zoom or just drop it altogether.
Videos don’t come out looking too great either, with poor autofocus skills in low light, hardly any detailing, limited dynamic range, and lots of residual motion and deformations on handheld videos.