Nokia 8 V 5G UW: A mmWave 5G Phone With Great Battery Life But Lackluster Cameras
At 171.9 x 78.6 x 9mm and 230g -- and with a large 6.81-inch screen -- the Nokia 8 V (for short) is a big and heavier phone. It feels substantial but looks pretty generic. Its build quality is high, but while the rear is shimmery glass, the mid-frame is glossy plastic -- which seems out-of-place for a $700 handset. It’s available in just one color (Meteor Gray), but two things stand out: its substantial (10mm) chin below the display, and its Zeiss-branded rear camera pod.
Nokia 8 V 5G UW Camera Configuration
You’ll find the SIM / microSD tray, volume rocker, and power / lock key (which doubles as a capacitive fingerprint sensor) on the right side. The bottom is home to a headphone jack, primary mic, USB Type-C port, and mono speaker. A Google Assistant button is located on the left edge, and a secondary mic along the top. There’s a generous 4500mAh battery under the rear glass, but no wireless charging or IP rating for water resistance.
|Processing and 5G Platform||Qualcomm
|Display||6.81" FHD+ IPS, 2400x1080
|Storage||64GB + microSD
f/1.8 Main PDAF - 12MP f/2.2 120º Ultra-Wide - 2MP Macro -
|Front-Facing Cameras||24MP f/2.0
|Video Recording||Up to 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 1080p slow-mo|
|Dimensions||171.9 x 78.6 x 9mm|
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0+LE,
NFC, USB-C, LTE, 5G
|Pricing||Find the Nokia 8 V 5G UW Starting at $700
Nokia 8 V 5G UW Display Quality
Nokia 8 V 5G UW Camera Performance And Image Quality
The obvious miss here is the lack of OIS on the main shooter, and the lack of AF on the macro lens. Interestingly, the ultrawide (which has a 16:9 sensor) features autofocus -- making the dedicated fixed-focus macro even more redundant. Video is captured at up to 4k 30fps in the rear, and 2k 60fps in the front -- stabilized, with stereo audio. There’s also a super stable “action” mode (1080p 30fps), and macro video mode (1600x900).
Cinema mode allows 4k 24fps 21:9 video recording with manual controls that supports the H-Log format, and includes a bunch of color filters and lens flare effects. You’ll also find the usual slow motion and time lapse options. Night and pro (manual) photo modes are available on both the main shooter and ultrawide, but not the selfie camera. Like on other recent Nokia phones, portrait mode offers several (Zeiss-curated) bokeh lens effects.
If watermarking pictures is your thing, the Nokia 8 V packs some interesting settings beyond the standard “Shot on Nokia”. We have a couple niggles with the camera interface, though. The digital zoom resets to 1x as soon you switch to another app, and there’s no quick way to select 2x zoom other than pinching the screen until you reach the desired magnification (the macro button is where the 2x button is found on other handsets).
Both the main and selfie cameras benefit from 4-to-1 pixel binning -- outputting 16MP and 6MP images, respectively. The resulting photos and videos are acceptable, as long as you don’t mind muted colors and lower contrast. Zoomed shots are oversharpened, and often underexposed. Low light photos are okay, and night mode helps, especially on the main shooter. Selfies are decent, but macro shots are poor on account of the 2MP fixed-focus lens.
Overall, this camera system is in need of some serious tuning. Even affordable Snapdragon 765G phones like the $450 Moto One 5G and $400 TCL 10 5G UW do a slightly better job. When it comes to imaging, the Nokia 8 V trails far behind the $700 Pixel 5, $500 Pixel 4a 5G, and €399 OnePlus Nord, and even behind the so-so $600 LG Velvet. It’s just a shame, considering what Nokia’s capable of -- especially given its $700 price tag.
Nokia 8 V 5G UW Audio, Data, And Call Reception
Nokia 8 V 5G UW Performance And Battery Life
The Nokia 8 V pairs Qualcomm’s speedy Snapdragon 765G with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, plus microSD support up to 1TB. While 6GB of RAM is mostly fine (it’s the bare minimum required to run Android smoothly these days), 64GB of storage is just stingy for this phone's price point. Other specs include CAT18 LTE, WiFi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0 (LE), NFC, A-GPS/ GLONASS / BeiDou, and the standard roster of sensors.
|PCMark Work 2.0
|3DMark Slingshot Extreme
Nokia 8 V 5G UW Software And User Experience
Nokia 8 V 5G UW Review Summary
Ultimately, we can’t recommend the Nokia 8 V. It just delivers too little bang for the buck. $700 buys you Google’s Pixel 5 (also with mmWave 5G support), or Samsung’s Galaxy S20 SE (with a Snapdragon 865 and telephoto shooter). Both pack far better cameras (with OIS), wireless charging, and water resistance (IP68). We want Nokia to succeed, but for this to happen, it needs to step up and compete. Instead, this time, it stumbled.