Nokia 8 tips, tricks and best hidden features

This Nokia 8 guide offers a closer look at some nifty tricks and cool features, for new owners to try out for themselves.

The Nokia 8 flagship phone packs a vanilla, unadulterated version of Google’s Android OS, which does of course mean no bonus modes or extra Nokia features to speak of. All the same, this handset has plenty of cool functionality hidden just beneath the surface, which anyone new to Android smartphones might not know about.

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Our tips guide will dive deep into the Nokia 8’s UI, revealing the hidden features and useful tricks for getting the most from your new handset. For everything else you need to know about this flagship device, head to our Nokia 8 hub.

How to customise the notifications bar

One of the most useful bits of Android is the notifications bar. You can drag this down from the top of the screen at any time, to check for any waiting messages and other apps that are demanding your attention.

Drag down partially and you’ll reveal the actual notifications, as well as a single row of shortcuts that are very handy indeed. These can be used to toggle your WiFi on or off, activate the Do Not Disturb mode (handy for meetings and a bit of uninterrupted rest), change the screen orientation and so on.

Pull down fully and you’ll reveal even more shortcuts to useful features and tools. This panel can be completely customised, by tapping the pencil icon at the top of the screen when the shortcuts are fully revealed. All you need to do is hold your finger on one of the icons and then drag it into the position you prefer. Any shortcuts you don’t need can be dragged to the bottom of the screen, to get rid of them.

Note that the first six icons will be the shortcuts displayed when the notifications bar is partially revealed.

Get to grips with the Google Assistant

If you press and hold your finger on the Nokia 8’s home button, you’ll call up the Google Assistant. This is Android’s built-in AI, which can help you by providing info or completing simple tasks when needed. It’s pretty much fully voice activated, which is handy when you’re on the move and can’t spend ages typing commands – although there is a keyboard option if you’re in a really noisy environment (or feel a little conspicuous talking to your smartphone).

When you’re first getting to grips with your Nokia phone, you should notice an option to ‘Use your voice’ appear at the top of the settings menu. Tap this and you can set up the Assistant so it pops into life whenever you say ‘OK Google’. You just need to repeat the phrase three times and you’re good to go. The Nokia 8 will then listen at all times for the command, which is handy if you’re for instance cooking and can’t touch the device with your messy mitts.

With the Google Assistant you can ask for any kind of info from the web (e.g. how old is Theresa May), start navigating to your next destination, set an alarm or reminder, find a good bar or restaurant in your area, check out the latest headlines, open apps and even play games. Just ask ‘what can you do’ for a full list of examples.

Read next: The best new features of Google Assistant

Use Smart Lock to bypass the fingerprint sensor

Although the Nokia 8 sports a fast and responsive fingerprint scanner to quickly and securely unlock your handset, Android offers a number of alternative means of unlocking your phone.

Head into the settings menu and scroll down to the security option, and in here you’ll find the Smart Lock feature. From here you can set up your Nokia phone to be unlocked automatically when you’re in a Trusted Place, such as your home. You can also bypass security measures when the mobile is connected to a Bluetooth device such as your favourite headphones, or even use the front-facing camera to scan your facial features.

You can also use the Trusted Voices feature to unlock the phone by saying ‘OK Google’, if you like. This is particularly useful if your hands are covered by gloves or simply messy at the time.

Stay up to date with Glance

When your phone is hibernating, you’ll notice that some information will pop up on-screen as soon as you pick up the phone. This is the Glance feature and it’s a handy way to keep track of time, monitor your battery levels or keep tabs on any fresh notifications that are waiting for attention. As you don’t actually turn the phone on, you can get all this info without draining the handset’s power.

You can actually customise exactly what’s shown on the screen by heading to the Nokia 8’s settings menu and tapping ‘Display’ followed by ‘Glance’. From here, simply choose what you want to pop up, and how quickly the glance screen should disappear again. You can even deactivate the feature entirely if you don’t want it.

How to get more storage space on the Nokia 8

Thankfully the Nokia 8 serves up 64GB of storage space for your apps, media and other bits, of which roughly 50GB is available to use (the rest is taken up by Android and the pre-installed apps).

Of course, if you shoot a lot of 4K resolution video or carry around loads of movies, that space will soon fill up regardless. If that happens, simply buy yourself a microSD memory card and slip it into the available space in the SIM card tray. You can expand up to 256GB, giving you a huge amount of room for more media, video, photos and the rest.

If you simply want to free up a bit of space on the Nokia 8 itself, head to the settings menu and then poke ‘Storage’. In here, you’ll see exactly what’s taking up all of that room. One quick win involves tapping the ‘Cached Data’ tab to clear out all of the crap left on your phone by websites and the rest.

Read next: How to free up storage space on your Android phone

How to quick load the Nokia 8’s camera

Want to take a spontaneous shot of something with the Nokia 8, and don’t have time to fumble around loading up the camera app? No worries. Even when the phone is hibernating, you can call up the camera with a quick double-push of the power button. That’ll launch you straight into the app, ready to capture a photo or some video.

Check out our Nokia 8 camera preview for more info on the best features.

Reject a call with a quick flip

Picture the scene. You’re hard at work and your Nokia phone is sat on the desk beside you. Suddenly it starts to buzz and ring, distracting you from whatever you’re doing. You glance over and see that some random number is calling, no doubt an annoying PPI bozo trying to get through. Don’t get angry and hurl the handset across the room. All you need to do is reach over and flip the phone over so the screen is facing down, and the call will be rejected to leave you in peace. Bliss.

To actually use this feature on the Nokia 8, however, you’ll have to activate it first.

Head to the Motion section inside of the Nokia’s settings menu and you’ll notice the ‘turn over to reject call’ option. Give this a tap and the tickbox will be filled. You can now flip the Nokia 8 onto its screen to hang up on any nuisance callers.