Nokia 7.1 – Android 9.0 Pie Complete Review 2019

On paper, the Nokia 7.1 looks like one of the best phones at the price, but it’s let down by poor battery life and general performance. Nokia 7.1 is the first notched phone from Nokia to come to the UK. And unlike some alternatives, it isn’t particularly expensive.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB (expandable)
Rear Camera: 12MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture + 5MP secondary depth sensor
Front Camera: 8MP f/2.0
Display Resolution: 1080×2240
Display Size: 5.84-inches
HDR10 Support: Yes
Battery: 3060mAh with Fast Charge support

Design

Nokia 7.1 has two interesting characteristics. It’s among the first wave of affordable phones with a notch and runs Android One.

This is a stock version of Android that guarantees a standard Android look and three years of security updates but doesn’t rule out the odd enhancement or two.

With a machined Series 6000 aluminum frame and a die-cast metal center, the Nokia 7.1 feels extremely solid and substantial in the hand. It also looks gorgeous and is undoubtedly one of the more attractive phones in this price range. The glass back looks sleek, and the diamond-cut chamfers and accents around the rear camera module and power/ volume buttons add a touch of class. However, the glossy finish does attract a lot of fingerprints and makes the phone quite slippery.

Screen

The screen is 5.85 inches across, but this number is pumped up by the notch. It’s narrower than the 5.2-inch Nokia 5, making it very easy to handle and use.

The panel is the Nokia 7.1’s most important selling point over its rival, the Motorola Moto One. It’s a Full HD “plus” screen, proving to be much sharper than the Moto’s 720p-grade display.

Software

The Nokia 7.1 runs Android 8.1.0 and Android One. This is a Google program that gets you close to the experience of pure Android, with almost no preinstalled apps, and very few alterations to the software.

Performance

The Nokia 7.1 has a Snapdragon 636 processor. This offers eight Kryo 260 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, and is technically more powerful than the Snapdragon 625 used in the Moto One.

Sure enough, in Geekbench 4 the Nokia 7.1 scores 4551 points, to the Moto’s roughly 4300 points. There isn’t much in it, but the Nokia has a newer, marginally faster CPU.

Camera

The Nokia 7.1 has two cameras on its rear. One is a 12-megapixel sensor, the other a 5-megapixel one. This second camera is only used as a “depth” sensor, for adding background blur to images. Unlike the great Nokia 7 Plus, there’s no zoom.

Battery life

The Nokia 7.1 has a 3060mAh battery, which is just a shade larger than the cell in the Moto One. However, just as the phone performs worse day-to-day, battery life is shorter too.

The Nokia 7.1 sounds like the best phone in its class. It’s more powerful and higher-res than the Moto One, and its camera hardware sounds more consistent than that of the Honor 8X.

BOTTOM LINE

The Nokia 7.1 is a gorgeous looking phone that could easily pass off as a premium smartphone. The classy looks thanks to the glass sandwich design does come at the cost of fragility though and Nokia does not bundle a TPU case in the box unlike practically every other manufacturer. The display, however, is unmatched by anyone else in this price segment not only in terms of its quality, but also with respect to the HDR10 certification. This is a big deal given the popularity of HDR content. The performance of the phone could have been better when it comes to gaming, but does a decent job for simple day-today tasks. The camera is impressive though but lacks RAW capture which is not a very big deal. All things considered, for the price, this phone makes a great value proposition. Its not an all-rounder by any means, but does offer a great display and a great camera for those who want those features in this budget.

Nokia 7.1
Nokia 7.1 – Android 9.0 Pie Complete Review 2019
Conclusion
The crisp and vivid HDR display is the main selling point of the Nokia 7.1, and is arguably one of the best in this price range. The display alone is worth the price jump from the likes of the Motorola One Power. The well-optimised software package, promise of timely updates, striking looks, great build quality, and solid cameras only add to this phone's appeal. With the Nokia 7.1, HMD Global has taken big strides in terms of low-light camera performance as well, which has always been the Achilles' heel of the Finnish company's offerings.
Design85
Display94
Software97
Performance89
Battery Life94
Camera90
Value for Money91
Good
Great display
Sleek and compact
Android One and no software bloat
Quick and accurate fingerprint sensor
Bad
Face recognition is iffy
Competition offers better specifications
91
Final Score

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