In geographical terms, the Sirocco is a wind that originates from the African desert and then picking up the coolness of the Mediterranean Ocean, blows across the southern part of Europe. In phone terms, however, the Nokia 8’s Sirocco edition has just blown into Barcelona and has left just as pleasant an effect on consumers. The phone is a rejigged version of the Nokia 8, which was Nokia’s flagship device of 2017. Yes, some might point out that the core processor (Snapdragon 835) remains the same in both devices, but take our word for it, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is a very different beast – or should we say beauty – from its more plainly named predecessor. In particular, these eight (it would be eight, wouldn’t it, with two phones with 8 in their name) differences make the new edition stand out from the previous one (apart from the hefty USD 920 price tag of the Sirocco as compared to the 8, which is currently available at around USD 450 in India):
Design – from a metallic look to a glassy stare
The Nokia 8 was known for its typically solid Nokia looks and design – it was not a dazzler (the copper edition could turn heads with its color, though) but was rock solid with its metallic build and sleek enough. The Sirocco edition is, however, a bold design statement with glass (and Gorilla Glass 5 at that) taking over as the main component on front as well as back. And between them is a steel frame that Nokia proudly claims as “undeniable”! Top that all off with a build that is amazingly compact – the 8 was 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm while the Sirocco is 140.93 x 72.97 x 7.5 mm – and you can put the 8 Sirocco as the Bruce Wayne version of the Batman Nokia 8. The 8 was all about strength and performance; its successor is as much about style and flair.
Display – bigger and taller and yet…more compact
Design apart, the most evident change in the Sirocco version over the 8 is the display. It is a P-OLED one and is larger in size (5.5 inches as compared to 5.3), but most significantly, it now comes with slashed bezels and gives the phone a taller look, even though it remains more compact than its predecessor. The resolution remains at 2560 x 1440, but by all accounts, the P-OLED element of the Sirocco should result in deeper blacks and more poppy colors.
So much more to remember with more RAM and storage
The Nokia 8 had two variants – 4 GB/ 64 GB and 6 GB/ 128 GB – but the Sirocco is pretty much high-end stuff. It has only a 6 GB RAM and 128 GB variant from what we have heard so far. Some might consider that as compensation for retaining the same processor – the very able if now slightly venerable seeming Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.
Cameras – Z(e)iss is still good
Cameras used to be the forte of the Nokia series, and the Nokia 8 had seen the brand get into dual camera mode with dual 13-megapixel cameras (f/2.0 aperture and 1.12-micron pixels) on the back and yet another 13-megapixel shooter (f/2.0 and 1.12-micron pixels) in front. The Sirocco too goes with dual cameras, but this time the main one is a 12.0-megapixel one with a f/1.75 aperture of 1.4-micron pixels in size while the secondary one is a 13.0-megapixel one with a f/2.6 aperture and 1-micron pixel size, which provides 2x optical zoom. The front camera is knocked down to 5 megapixels but has a larger 1.4-micron pixel size. The camera interface too has been improved we are told, and (or should that be ‘but’ as per some) the Bothie is still there. And so are the legendary Zeiss optics.
Sorry, Audio Jill, no headphone jack
That insanely compact frame does come with one potential heartbreak for traditionalists – there ain’t no room for a 3.5 mm audio jack on that super sleek frame. There will be an adaptor in that pack, though.
Hooray, more battery…
The Nokia 8 came with a relatively moderate 3090 mAh battery. Quite amazingly, its Sirocco brother packs in a significantly larger battery in spite of having a much smaller frame – the Sirocco edition has a 3620 mAh battery. Of course, it also has a slightly larger display, so it remains to be seen how much difference it will make to the actual performance of the device.
…and wireless charging too.
The glass back of the Sirocco edition also means you have wireless charging as well. Not bad, huh!
It can take a swim too!
The Nokia 8 did come with some basic splash resistance, but the Sirocco version takes this to another level with a rating of IP 67, which means it can stand being in up to one meter of water for about half an hour. Resilient, this one is. Will be the Force be with it?