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Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5: Which Android flagship is best for me?

The new Nokia 8 flagship phone shares many specs and features with the mighty OnePlus 5, including a dual-lens camera, Snapdragon chipset and a sleek Android interface. Here’s how the Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5 stack up, so you can tell which one is worth your money.

HMD Global has just launched its first Nokia-branded flagship phone, and the fourth smartphone using the name in 2017. While the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 were cut-price Android mobiles, the new Nokia 8 boasts premium hardware to take on other flagships – and so far, we’re suitably impressed.

Of course, the Nokia 8 has some incredibly strong competition right now, most notably from the OnePlus 5. The latest OnePlus device is a solid all-rounder, offering a great camera experience, cutting edge performance and plenty more besides, from just £449 here in the UK.

So how do the Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5 compare, and is this even a fair competition?

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5: Specs

Phone Nokia 8 OnePlus 5
Screen size 5.3-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 2560×1440 1920×1080
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Water resistant? Splash resistant only (IP54) No
OS Android 7.1.1 Android 7.1.1
Processor Snapdragon 835 Snapdragon 835
Memory 4GB 6GB
Storage 64GB 64GB
microSD? Yes No
Battery 3080mAh 3300mAh
Rear camera 13MP dual-lens 20+16MP dual-lens
Front camera 13MP 16MP

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5: Design

Although the OnePlus 5 offers the bigger screen here (5.5-inches compared with the 5.3-inch Nokia), both blowers are around the same dimensions and weight. The reason for that is the Nokia 8’s slightly chunkier bezels surrounding the screen. As well as being about the same height and width, these Android flagships are pleasingly slender. Neither hits the 8mm mark, even though their camera modules stick out from the surface.

A sturdy aluminium one-piece frame forms the body of each mobile, with aerial bands that blend in up top and down below. You get a choice of three matte colours with the OnePlus 5, while Nokia offers up four in all. As well as a standard matte silver or blue, you can pick up the Nokia 8 in a shiny ‘polished’ blue or copper finish. These glossy designs are total fingerprint magnets, of course.

Want a spot of waterproofing? You’re out of luck, then. Neither handset here offers full water resistance, so you best not go browsing in the bath. That said, Nokia’s new blower is at least ‘splash proof’ (IP54) so you can get it moist without too much stress.

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5: Screen and media

The OnePlus 5’s AMOLED panel produces vibrant visuals, which the Nokia 8 can more than compete with. In either case, you get punchy image reproduction, without any nasty over-saturation issues. Both displays are also powerfully bright, to counter glare.

However, Nokia does beat the OnePlus when it comes to resolution. The OnePlus 5 serves up Full HD visuals, which means solid detail levels when watching video or checking out your photos. The Nokia 8 is a step beyond though, with its own Quad HD panel. You might struggle to notice the difference unless you stick these mobiles side-by-side, yet the Nokia phone produces seriously crisp images that are well and truly eye-pleasing.

When it comes to storage, the OnePlus is again on the back foot. Although you get from 64GB of storage space, just as you do on the Nokia 8, HMD’s handset is the only one to accept microSD memory cards for easy expansion.

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5: Features and OS

Both the Nokia 8 and the OnePlus 5 deliver the latest version of Android, although in quite different forms.

OnePlus has tweaked and polished up Google’s OS with its own OxygenOS overlay, adding in some bonus functionality. You get bonus gesture controls, some one-handed help, a gaming mode and a fair few other add-ons, many of which are actually quite helpful. Check out our OnePlus 5 tips and tricks guide for more info.

On the flip side you have the Nokia 8, which instead packs a very vanilla version of Android Nougat. While that means less bonus modes and gesture support than the OnePlus 5, you can also expect faster updating to Android O later in 2017 as a result.

Both handsets boast a responsive fingerprint sensor, for fast and effective security.

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5: Performance and battery

When it comes to performance, you’re in good hands no matter your mobile choice.

The OnePlus 5 and Nokia 8 offer up a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is one of the most capable platforms available right now. You can expect smooth operations for ages to come, as well as general energy efficiency and strong connectivity (up to 1Gbps peak speeds).

Of course, the OnePlus 5 with its 6GB of RAM trumps the Nokia 8, which has just 4GB. That’s still solid, although the OnePlus 5 is more capable when it comes to multi-tasking and so on.

We’re yet to fully test the Nokia 8’s battery prowess, to see if this flagship can match the day and a half of life we get from the OnePlus. We’re expecting a similar performance in this area however, even though the Nokia handset packs a slightly smaller cell. You get fast charge support (Quick Charge 3.0 on the Nokia, Dash Charge on the OnePlus) and Type-C USB connectivity in both cases.

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5: Cameras

Dual-lens camera tech is the order of the day here.

The Nokia 8’s new ‘Dual Sight’ snapper seems to be a serious rival to the OnePlus 5’s own double-lens shooter. Although the OnePlus wins on megapixel count, the Nokia 8 boasts Optical Image Stabilisation on the colour lens, to help prevent blurry results. In comparison, the OnePlus makes do with EIS – although a recent OxygenOS update has significantly improved the video stabilisation when shooting in 4K resolution.

Both phones here offer up to 4K video capture, as well as slow-mo and timelapse modes. You also have full manual controls, the ability to shoot panoramas and a depth-of-field setting to produce a neat bokeh effect. The Nokia 8 also serves up the new ‘bothie’ mode, which can be used to capture photos and videos with both front and rear cameras at once – with the option to live stream your life to YouTube or Facebook.

You can expect a fast shutter action from either phone, and so far in our hands-on tests the Nokia 8 seems to produce high-quality photos to rival the OnePlus 5. Of course, only our in-depth testing will reveal if we have a true competitor here – although we suspect the OnePlus will be better in low light, thanks to its f/1.7 aperture wide-angle lens.

Check out our Nokia 8 camera preview and in-depth OnePlus 5 camera review for all you need to know.

Nokia 8 vs OnePlus 5 video comparison

Here’s how the Nokia 8 and OnePlus 5 really stack up in a side-by-side showdown.


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