HMD Global’s latest smartphone is the Nokia 7.1. Launched sat an event in London, this is a premium mid-end segment phone which the company claims is a fast growing section in Europe.
Nokia 7.1 looks and feel a lot like the Nokia 6.1 Plus, a phone that is intended for markets like India. It has a super bright 5.84-inch HDR10-compliant display with a notch, a glass and metal design, Zeiss-branded dual cameras, and runs on Android One, a clean and bloat-free version of Android that is first in line when it comes to the latest software updates.
All of that sounds interesting when a phone is priced at €319 (or approx Rs 27,008). You can certainly get equal or better specifications for the price, but HMD Global says the focus is on delivering the best possible smartphone experience. I have had a chance to try out the new Nokia 7.1 ahead of the launch, and here’s what I think about the smartphone.
Nokia 7.1 first impressions: Design, display
The first thing you’ll notice is how compact the Nokia 7.1 feels. The minimised edges around the screen really do make the 5.84-inch form factor compact. The device is sandwiched between two slabs of glass, with an aluminum frame in between. There’s a USB-Type C charging port on the bottom, while the headphone jack can be seen placed on the top of the handset. On the backside, you will find the fingerprint sensor just below the dual-camera setup.
The smartphone does look and feel a tad more premium, which should be seen as its USP. Overall, I love the look of the phone. It feels compact and comfortable to grip in the hand.
The 5.84-inch Full HD Plus (2280 x 1080) HDR10-capable display looks bright, colorful, and incredibly sharp — perfect for viewing movies and videos.
Nokia 7.1 first impressions: Performance, battery
In terms of actual performance, though, you won’t see a problem with the Snapdragon 636 processor. Apps opened quickly, and performance feels snappy during my limited time spent with the device. There’s a 3GB RAM along with 32GB ROM on board for the base model, which may be disappointing for some, but again, remember that 3GB RAM is enough for the average person.
Still, it’s a little odd to see an inclusion of an old-generation processor inside the Nokia 7.1. A 3060mAh battery should allow the phone to last a day on a single charge. A microSD card slot is also available (up to 400GB) to expand the internal memory.
Best of all, the Nokia 7.1 runs Android One. That means you not only get stock Android experience with no third-party apps — you also get access to fast security and fast Android updates. Unfortunately, Nokia 7.1 still runs on Android Oreo 8.1 and not the latest Android 9.0 Pie. HMD Global, however, says the phone will get Android 9.0 Pie as soon as this month.
Nokia 7.1 first impressions: Camera
Nokia 7.1 features Zeiss-branded dual-camera setup on the back. There’s a 12MP primary camera accompanying a 5MP shooter, as well as a bokeh portrait mode. During my testing, the camera system was surprisingly fast. On the front, Nokia 7.1 has an 8MP front-facing snapper.
The “bothie” feature that has become a trademark of Nokia-branded smartphones will be included in the Nokia 7.1 as well. First debuted on Nokia 8, it essentially lets you take photos or videos using the front and back cameras at the same time. The feature allows users to the live-stream video directly to YouTube Live and Facebook Live right from the camera app.
Nokia 7.1 first impressions: Early Verdict
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the Nokia 7.1 is more or less similar to the Nokia 6.1 Plus, barring a few changes here and there. But that doesn’t mean that the improvements are meaningful. Nokia 7.1 Plus will cost at a starting at €319 and will be available from this month. There’s no word of its release in India. But keep your eyes open, as the company could launch a supercharged version of Nokia 7.1 in India on October 11.