The Nokia 8 comes tucked inside a flat paper box, which may miss the iconic Connecting People slogan, but there is a cameo of a handshake, a tribute to the good ol' days. Inside the box is the Nokia 8 itself, an 18W charger plug, a USB cable, and a pair of in-ear headphones.
The Nokia 8 measures 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9mm and weighs 160g - perfect for a 5.3" smartphone that's not even trying to pull any borderless display stunts. That's 6mm taller than the 5.1" dual-eyed Huawei P10, but also 3mm taller than the 5.8" Galaxy S8.
The Nokia 8 starts as a single block of 6000-series aluminum, not the hardest revision of the alloy and supposedly more bendable than 7000 - but there's nothing to suggest durability issues at this point. It's then orbed, cut through, and has ends carved out for yet another take on the smartphone's antennas. The placement of the latter is similar to the Nokia 5's - there's one on top and another at the bottom. This allows the phone to adjust to your grip since you can't block both antennas simultaneously. HMD claims this improves reception and goes easy on the battery life.
The rear panel comes with either polished or matte finish. The Polished Blue and Polished Copper models can take over 20 manufacturing hours to receive their high-gloss mirror finish. Even the matte Steel and Tempered Blue versions have to go through a 40-stage process of machining and anodizing. We got the Steel one, obviously, and it does look stunning.
A large piece of Gorilla Glass 5 is what keeps the 5.3" display safe, ending on those fashionable chamfer edges, of course. The touch-sensitive Home key has an always-on fingerprint sensor embedded within its surface. It's fast, but not as accurate as the scanners used on the latest Huawei and Xiaomi phones.
The Nokia 8 is beautiful all-round, but not striking, or stunning if you will. It seems HMD has prioritized the classic style in its design and the Nokia 8's looks reminds us of Swiss-made watch, if you will. Even the dual-camera setup on the back doesn't have any trimming or highlights - it's just four circles and the iconic ZEISS logo on a glass plate.
We wish HMD had scored a higher water resistance rating - IP54 (dust and splash resistance) doesn't quite sound flagship grade. Not when the competition (Samsung, Apple, Sony, HTC, LG) offers IP67 or better.
Handling the Nokia 8 is both nostalgically classic and premium experience. Our matte version feels great in hand, its looks mean business right away, and the grip is as secure as possible.
The screen size may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's like the perfect compromise between a phablet and a pocket-friendly smartphone and we like it.
As we established, the Nokia 8 is a beautiful but far from bezel-less phone. The top bezel houses the 13MP selfie camera, which has a Zeiss lens and phase-detect autofocus. There's no dedicated flash on the front, but the screen could step in to provide some fill light (there is screen selfie flash).
The bottom bezel has the always-on fingerprint reader and backlit capacitive keys.
The hybrid SIM slot is on the left-hand side of the phone - it can either take two nano-SIM cards, or you can put one SIM and one microSD card. The volume rocker and the power key are on the right.
We are glad to see the 3.5mm headphone jack on top of the phone. The Nokia Active Wireless Headset was unveiled alongside the Nokia 8, but HMD is not forcing you to go wireless.
The bottom of the Nokia 8 has the USB Type-C port, the loudspeaker, and the mouthpiece.
Moving around the back, there's the dual camera and the Zeiss logo is hard to miss. There's also the tiniest of camera bumps at the back - it's just 0.4mm but it's there and it will make the phone wobble a bit on a flat surface.