Skip to main content
Loading...

Nokia 7.1 Review

With Android One, great build quality and a sensible price the Nokia 7.1 is a winner in a crowded market. Here's our full review

Should I buy the Nokia 7.1?
The Nokia 7.1 is a familiar mid-range phone for the end of 2018: a notch, big bottom chin and dual cameras. But these cameras are pretty good, and the display is lovely.
Its build quality is above average though, and with Android One on board and decent performance it’s an excellent mid-range phone with the advantage of three years of guaranteed security updates.


Price when reviewed
  • $349
HMD Global launched the Nokia 7.1 at a flashy event in London. It seems even mid-range devices get the swanky announcements these days, but it’s turns out this phone is worth the effort.

It adds to Nokia’s growing range of smartphones with choice at every budget. The Nokia 7.1 (though HMD say “Nokia 7” and not the “.1”, don’t get us started) is a sweet spot of price, specs and design.

Though it apes the notched design and aesthetic of phones three times its price, it’s by no means three times worse. It’s a great mid-range phone with a few compromises to reach the price point. 

Price and where to buy the Nokia 7.1 
The Nokia 7.1 costs £299 in the UK for the 3GB RAM 32GB storage model. HMD says in Europe this version will cost €319 with a 4GB/64GB model available for €349. 


Design 
The Nokia 7.1 is a phone with impressive build quality. A glass sandwich with a 6000 series aluminium rim, it’s a study phone with a decent weight to it. 

The notch design is still not to everyone’s taste, and it still looks odd with that and then a fat chin at the bottom emblazoned with the Nokia name. Only Apple has worked out how to get rid of the bottom bezel while using a notch. 

This aside, the glass is a nice hue on the Gloss Midnight Blue model of our review unit. There’s also a white version called Gloss Steel with copper detailing. Debatably Nokia could have not made the phone quite so glossy if it hadn’t opted for glass, but it does make the phone feel more premium than it actually is.

It charges via the USB-C port on the bottom and has a headphone jack on the top edge. The slim design houses a 5.84in screen in 19:9 format, so this is a one-handed phone for most people. It looks and feels quite like the high-end LG G7 ThinQ  in size and weight – no bad thing.

What on the inside? 
Despite its mid-range specs, the Nokia 7.1 is quite fully featured.

The phone has a 5.84in 19:9 notched IPS LCD display with good viewing angles and colour reproduction. The 2280x1080 resolution is pretty great for a phone in this sub £300 price range. It uses Gorilla Glass 3 to keep scratches at bay. 

It’s got decent touch response and supports HDR10, meaning high quality playback of compatible streaming content. But we found we preferred video with the optional toggle switched off, as with it on it often over darkened the contrast.

Like the high-end Sony Xperia XZ3 the Nokia 7.1 can also actively upscale SD video into HD directly on the phone – a cool feature that works without you realising and should improve your day to day use.

With a Snapdragon 636 energy-efficient chip inside, the Nokia 7.1 has decent performance though it is noticeably slightly slower than high end phones, as you’d expect. Some menus lag for a split second and high-level apps like graphically intense games can stutter occasionally but still load. 

The UK set up of 3GB RAM and 32GB storage is the minimum you’d want in a smartphone today, but the deal is sweetened by the free unlimited Google Photo cloud storage you get with the phone. 

In the below chart we compared the Nokia 7.1’s performance using Geekbench 4 (CPU) and GFXBench (GPU) apps against phones of similar price and spec. In fact, the Moto Z3 Play costs a lot more but you can see the Nokia is close in performance to it. 

The Honor Play is in there to show how superior its gaming capabilities are should you be considering a mid-range phone for this purpose.

Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX here will provide excellent wireless audio connectivity, and isn’t something found on every phone of this price. A single downfacing speaker is what you get for external audio for hands free calling, which is adequate, but you won’t want to play party tunes off it for long. 

Cameras 
The dual camera set up is now standard fare for most phones at every price and the Nokia 7.1 joins the club. A 12Mp and 5Mp sensor mean you can take bokeh effect portrait shots of people and there’s a quite in-depth Pro mode built into the camera app. The images are pretty impressive considering the phone’s price. 

By flicking the shutter button up, you can quickly access the Pro mode sliders. It’s an intuitive camera app, and one that puts some others to shame in its ease of use and many features. 

You can also live stream video directly from the camera app to other platforms if that’s your thing. It might not be, but it’s cool to see so many integrated options. 

An 8Mp front facing camera hides in the notch for selfie duties, plus the bothie that Nokia continues to push, which is still weird (a split image of a selfie and a person in front of you). There’s also fun face filters and an optional beauty mode.

You may need to click to view the below gallery: 





Battery life 
With a 3060mAh battery the Nokia 7.1 should can see you comfortably through a day of use as its paired with such an efficient processor in the Snapdragon 636. We consistently saw the phone ending the day with at least 30% charge every day we used it. 

USB-C fast charging promises 50% battery top up in half an hour and made good in our tests, hitting 56% in that time – another great feature from premium phones that has successfully tickled down to the mid-range.

You don’t get wireless charging, but there’s a fast charger in the box.

Getting on with Android One
The killer feature for the Nokia 7.1 and a reason to consider it over other mid-range phones is the fact it runs Android One. In this instance it’s based on Android 8.1 Oreo but will get an update to Android 9 Pie soon after launch.

Android One is a clean, close to stock version of Android with excellent update perks – security patches every month guaranteed for three years and two years of Android OS updates. 

Phones like the Honor 8X promise the OS updates too, but don’t have the advantage of Android One’s regular security updates and ultimately will not deliver like the Nokia 7.1 will.

It’s a great thing when you can buy a cheaper mid-range device in 2018 and know that it will be fully secure until 2021. This is particularly pertinent at this price when sometimes phones get no updates at all. 

Verdict 
Despite the crowded mid-range the Nokia 7.1 is one of the better choices for a smartphone in the price range in what is a very crowded market.

Its generic but solid design is improved with an above average display and the ongoing attractiveness of opting for Android One means it’s preferable if security and clean Android is what you want.

SPECS
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Android One)
  • 5.84in 19:9 notched IPS LCD display (432ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
  • Adreno 509 GPU
  • 3GB/4GB RAM
  • 32GB/64GB storage (expandable to 400GB)
  • 12Mp f/1.8 + 5Mp f/2.4 dual cameras
  • 8Mp f/2.0 front camera
  • 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX
  • 4G LTE
  • Nano-SIM (dual SIM optional)
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 3060mAh non-removable battery
  • 149.7 x 71.2 x 8 mm
  • 160g



Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

2019 BMW i8 Review

The 2019 BMW i8 is a head-turner for its looks, which hides its plug-in powertrain. That’s good or bad, depending on your priorities.Even among six-figure cars with two doors, the 2019 BMW i8 steals stares. That could be because of the dramatic wing doors and futuristic shape, its laser headlights at night, or the 2019 i8’s silent propulsion for up to 18 miles.
Or it may steal attention because, even after more than four years on sale, it’s a very rare sight.

LG G5 Review In-Depth

Can LG take on the Galaxy S7 with a metal design, dual-cameras and an accessory slot? Here's our first LG G5 review, focusing on LG G5 design and build, LG G5 specs, LG G5 cameras and LG G5 software and apps.
Alongside the Galaxy S7, the LG G5 is one of the biggest phones (not literally) to launch in 2016 – and we're not just talking in the Android world. It's one of the heavyweights and LG will be looking to set the market alight with the G5's alternative and innovative modular design.

BlackBerry KEYone Review

BlackBerry soliders on with a curious Android device that gets nearly everything right. It’s not for everyone though, in fact, it’s not really for anyone. But if you want a physical keyboard you will absolutely love it.
Should I Buy The BlackBerry KEYone?
But then, the KEYone is the best BlackBerry phone for years. It has (finally) successfully melded classic BlackBerry design with the necessary mix of Android and nostalgia. Importantly, the latter is only faint this time – this is a device for 2017, not 2007.If you love your iPhone or Samsung, you’ll hate the KEYone and won’t even consider buying it. But if you’ve made it to the end of this review, chances are you’re weighing up a buy. If you think you’ll love the BlackBerry KEYone, then I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. You’re part of a minority, but finally BlackBerry has a phone for you that doesn’t force you to compromise.

Google Pixel Review

Not everyone wants a phone with a big screen, but most small-screen phones compromise on performance and cameras. Not so with Google’s latest flagship Android phone: Here’s our Google Pixel review.
Joining the ranks of the Pixel C and Chromebook Pixel are Google’s new Pixel phones. We’re reviewing the smaller 5in Pixel here, but you can read our separate Pixel XL review if you’re after a bigger phone.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Xiaomi Meets Android One

Users outside China and India aren't especially familiar with MIUI, but when you combine Xiaomi hardware with Android One the results are quite something. Check out our Mi A2 review for full details on this impressive budget smartphone.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?
The inclusion of Android One makes Xiaomi phones so much more easily accessible to UK- and US users - and that's a very good thing, finally allowing those outside its main market territories a taste of what else is out there. The Mi A2 merely whets our appetite for what's coming our way when Xiaomi officially launches in the UK on 8 November.A fantastic budget phone, the Mi A2 is just £199 and easily obtainable from Amazon. It combines decent build quality with a nice display, good all-round performance and a well-specced trio of cameras. It out-specs and out-performs every other phone in our budget smartphone chart.

Like Fan Page