Nokia 7.1 is the latest mid-ranger from HMD Global. The phone is priced slightly above Nokia 6.1 Plus at Rs 19,999 and there is only one 4GB RAM+64GB storage variant. The design, though has a striking similarity to Nokia 6.1 Plus. The idea with Nokia 7.1 is to offer a more immersive video experience with HDR10 compliant display. The Android One phone has already received Android Pie update, which is another positive.
The biggest competitor is Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, which also has the same Snapdragon 636 processor. So, how does Nokia 7.1 perform in real life? We spent some days with the phone and here is our full review:
Nokia 7.1 specifications: 5.84-inches full HD+ HDR10 display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor | 4GB RAM+64GB storage (expandable to 400GB) | 12MP+ 5MP with Zeiss Optics | 3,060 mAh battery | Android 8.1 Oreo upgraded to 9.0 Pie
Nokia 7.1 price in India: Rs 19,999
Nokia 7.1 review: Design and display
The design is the highlight here as Nokia 7.1 easily qualifies as one of the most stylish phones in this price segment. It continues with an all-glass design that we saw on Nokia 6.1 Plus, which looks way more premium for the price. There are aluminium metal frames on the sides in the silver colour variant, which I think looks stunning. The build in solid and the phone feels like a slick, single slab of glass when you hold it, which is great.
Nokia 7.1 has rounded corners, which makes it compact and easy to hold. However, the phone is extremely slippery and the glass back cover is prone to fingerprint smudges. I would recommend you do not take out the phone from the box unless you have bought a cover for it. Even the sides are very slippery.
The 5.84-inch full HD+ display, which also offers HDR10 quality experience, is crisp and sharp with excellent viewing angles. However, over long gaming sessions during my review period, the icons sometimes appeared too sharp and hard on eyes. The adaptive brightness adjusts to settings of your preference over time so it is important to tune it manually when required. Nokia 7.1 sports a small notch on top. While the bezels on the sides are thin, it gets a prominent chin where Nokia branding is placed.
Nokia 7.1 review: Camera
The dual rear cameras on Nokia 7.1 are decent and produce good results where there is ample light. The colour reproduction is a mixed bag. In bright outdoors, the dual rear cameras produce detailed shots with good colour reproduction. In indoor lighting, the colour looked a bit washed out.
In addition, the camera offers several tweaks such as Pro mode, live bokeh, slow-motion, time-lapse and more. The live bokeh feature should keep most users happy. The low-light photography is also decent with good enough details for the price.
The front camera is satisfactory as it can retain details and produce photos with nearly accurate colour reproduction. I was impressed with the bokeh mode. Pictures taken using front camera in low-light appear less detailed and a little grainy.
Nokia 7.1 review: Performance and Battery
The performance of the phone is decent when it comes to daily tasks such as making calls, listening to music, watching videos. But I experienced lag after long gaming sessions after half an hour of Candy Crush Saga for instance. It should not disappoint when it comes to daily usage but Nokia 7.1 did stutter when pushed a little extra.
The battery easily lasts for a day with moderate usage that includes binge-watching sessions on Netflix, messaging, browsing social media platforms, and playing games occasionally. It takes close to an hour and a half to get fully charged, which is decent.
The fingerprint sensor was, on most occasions, fast and accurate to unlock the phone. It supports face unlock as well, which works well in outdoor light, but misses where the lighting is poor.
Nokia 7.1 review: Software
Nokia 7.1 was launched with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, but it has already received Android 9.0 Pie, bringing in features like Digital Wellbeing, Adaptive battery, which is great. The phone is Android One-branded and offers stock Android experience and is free of bloatware. It comes with up to two years of software updates as well as three years of security updates promised.
Nokia 7.1 review: Verdict
Nokia 7.1 is one of the most good-looking phones in this price segment in my opinion and the display stands out as well. Plus, you get Android Pie experience on this budget device. But its biggest competitor I feel is Nokia’s own 6.1 Plus which has a similar design and same processor at a lower price. Another option is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, which is made of aluminium 600 series, has a splash-resistant coating, and Snapdragon 636 as well.