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.
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.