Google’s Pixel smartphones are popular among serious Android fans, but unfortunately they are not officially available in South Africa.
Google does not roll out its Pixel smartphones worldwide, and while you can import the devices, it is usually easier – and safer – to consider local alternatives.
One of the biggest advantages of the Pixel lineup is that it is always first with Android updates and runs a clean operating system free of the Android skins major manufacturers put in their phones.
The specifications of the devices – notably the Pixel 2 – also make them attractive to heavy smartphone users.
South Africans looking for a Pixel-like experience do have other options, however, thanks to Nokia’s latest flagship device.
Standing above all the devices in the Nokia lineup is the Nokia 8 Sirocco, which boasts high-end specifications paired with a sleek flagship design.
It also runs a clean version of Android, making it perfect for those looking for a stock Android experience.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco is close in price to the Google Pixel 2, but boasts slightly better specifications across a number of areas – along with dual cameras.
It also sports a better screen-to-body ratio – 81.1% versus the 67.9% of the Google smartphone.
The specifications of the Nokia 8 Sirocco and the Google Pixel 2 are below.
|Specifications||Nokia 8 Sirocco||Google Pixel 2|
|Dimensions||140.9 x 72.9 x 7.5 mm||145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm|
|OS||Android 8.1||Android 8.1|
|Display||5.5-inch 1,440 x 2,560 POLED||5.0-inch 1,080 x 1,920 AMOLED|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Rear camera||12MP Wide + 13MP Telephoto||12.2MP|
|Cellular||LTE Cat. 12||LTE Cat. 15|
|SIM||Nano (Single)||Nano (Single)|
|Biometrics||Fingerprint, Face Unlock||Fingerprint, Face Unlock|
Software and availability
Nokia is part of Google’s Android One programme, which means its new smartphones will receive OS updates extremely quickly compared to other manufacturers using Android.
Android One devices also include features shared by the Google Pixel 2, such as automatic background battery optimisation and built-in Google Play Protect.
Thanks to the programme, the Nokia 8 Sirocco runs stock Android with no third-party bloatware loaded on its system.
Users who find the clean interface offered by the Google Pixel 2 attractive could therefore easily migrate to Android One devices like the Nokia 8 Sirocco.
More importantly, unlike the Pixel 2, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is available in South Africa for a recommended retail price of R12,999.
The device is also available on contract from R499 per month on Vodacom, Cell C, or MTN.
This means local support, repairs, and replacements – which is an important consideration when buying a piece of tech.
HMD Global, the company behind Nokia’s new smartphones, told MyBroadband the Nokia 8 Sirocco holds up to stiff competition, especially with the innovation that comes equipped in the device.
“The Nokia 8 is designed for the fast mover, the innovator who is looking to do more with their device,” said the company.
If you are looking for a Pixel 2 alternative that is supported locally, you will be hard-pressed to find a more suitable smartphone than the Nokia 8 Sirocco.