The Nokia 8 Sirocco and Nokia 7 Plus are pretty unique propositions from Nokia. This is one of the first times I’ve seen a flagship device that isn’t immediately superior to its mid-range counterpart. Thus, the decision as to which device to go for is not simply a matter of budget in this case. Let’s break it down in this Nokia 7 Plus vs Nokia 8 Sirocco comparison and uncover the differences that really matter.
Take the design for instance. Don’t get me wrong, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is a flagship device in many regards – it’s just that a lot of its most compelling features come with caveats.
In my review of the Sirocco, I said that I loved the design. It feels weighty and has a really unique look to it that you really have to see in person. I personally really liked using this device.
The Sirocco's tapered edges are pretty sharp and some people find it uncomfortable to hold as a result.
So how does the considerably cheaper Nokia 7 Plus stack up in terms of design? Really well, actually. It’s crafted from a single block of 6,000 series aluminum and coated in multiple layers of ceramic paint. It likewise feels hefty and premium in the hand and has an attractive copper accent around the side. The screen isn’t as crisp at 1,080 x 2,160p and because it’s an LCD it isn’t as punchy either. But it’s a larger panel at 6 inches and comes with the more modern 18:9 aspect ratio. That extra real-estate is great for watching movies, reading web pages and more.
In terms of performance, you’re basically looking at a Snapdragon 835 with 6GB of RAM in the Sirocco, versus an SD660 and 4GB of RAM in the Nokia 7 Plus. That means that you should see significantly greater performance in gaming and multitasking on the Sirocco, and that’s exactly what I found in my own reviews. I even played some emulated GameCube games on the Sirocco!
If your reason for choosing the Sirocco over the 7 Plus was that you wanted the very best… well then it doesn’t quite add up.
But this discrepancy comes with disclaimers too. For one, the 660 is likely to be more than sufficient for pretty much all your gaming and productivity needs, even if it isn’t a flagship chipset. At the same time, the 835 is not a current gen flagship processor either as it has now been succeeded by the Snapdragon 845.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco has more internal storage at 128GB versus 64GB, but the 7 Plus has a bigger battery at 3,800mAh vs 3,260mAh. This is very noticeable on the Nokia 7 Plus, thanks in part to its lower resolution display. I know I’d rather have a bigger battery than more storage.
Finally, the camera set-ups are also interesting. Both devices have dual cameras with the exact same specs on the back but around the front, the Nokia 7 Plus actually has a significantly higher megapixel count! It’s only a 5MP shooter on the Nokia 8 Sirocco, versus a 16MP selfie camera on the Nokia 7 Plus!
So, while the Sirocco is ostensibly the flagship here, it has a smaller battery, no headphone jack, smaller screen, worse selfie camera, and divisive (though impressive) design. The 7 Plus may have the middle-of-the-road internals, lower-res LCD screen, and absent IP rating, but that’s really its only crime.
Nokia has created an incredibly compelling mid-range smartphone and a somewhat ho-hum premium alternative.