Updated: May 8, 2018 5:52:26 pm
It’s unusual how a lot of smartphone brands compete brutally in a particular price bracket, while a huge void in a different price bracket goes unnoticed. There is a massive crowding around the Rs 15,000 price point and then again at Rs 35,000. But for a long time there was nothing worthwhile around the Rs 25,000 mark. Either you had some overpriced handset with not so great specifications in that budget or some weary old last generation devices looking to clear their remaining stocks. The arrival of Nokia 7 Plus might change that for the better. So let’s look at what Nokia did right to raise the bar in that segment.
Upper mid-range revival
The quintessential upper mid-range category of smartphones had become an afterthought post the formation of the ‘affordable flagship’ segment, despite the latter being priced almost 40 to 50% higher. So consumers would either stretch their budget or settle for something lesser. Now with the Nokia 7 Plus, there is actually a well-rounded upper midrange device worth its asking price.
Unlike a lot of brands that stuff their newer phones with a generation old or lower grade chipsets, Nokia 7 Plus comes with a recent upper mid-range SoC, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660. It doesn’t skimp out on RAM either, nor does it go overboard just to make the specifications sheet look more impressive. 4GB is a good number along with 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded further using a microSD card.
Add to that a sharp 18:9 full HD+ narrow-bezel display, a highly capable set of cameras (more on that later), latest version of Android and we have a smartphone that checks all the right boxes for it’s asking price of Rs 25,999. This should set the bar high enough in this segment and make the upper mid-range segment relevant again. The competition cannot ignore it for too long. So expect the Rs 25,000 bracket to heat up soon courtesy of the Nokia 7 Plus.
Nokia has been guilty in the past of charging an excessive premium only for its brand name and not offering any significant extras to justify the price tag. Thankfully with the Nokia 7 Plus, the company has got the price spot on. Well, almost. We would have preferred Rs 24,999 to stay under the psychological 25K mark but that’s just nitpicking. Don’t think many would have a problem shelling out an extra thousand that it demands for what it offers.
Near flagship Camera quality
Another surprising aspect of the Nokia 7 Plus is that it uses more or less the same camera hardware found in their current flagship, Nokia 8 Sirocco. The numbers aren’t pathbreaking but the 12MP+13MP dual cameras with Carl Zeiss do an admirable job in almost all conditions. Not all people need a Snapdragon 835/845 and 6GB or more RAM, but a lot of people aspire for an excellent camera in their phones; the primary reason for opting for flagship devices. Now with that kind of camera quality available in this budget, the consumers can save a lot of money. And again, it sets the bar high for the competition in this segment, which is great news for consumers.
Not sacrificing Battery Capacity for slimness
More often than not, aesthetics overpower functionality. In the quest to make devices slimmer, companies have been sacrificing battery capacity; something I am not a great fan of. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. Despite the Nokia 7 Plus being sleek and attractive, the battery stands at a respectable 3800mAh. In this age of smartphones, one cannot stress the importance of battery life enough. The goodness doesn’t stop there as the company bundles a fast charger in the package that charges the battery fully in about 90 minutes.
Nokia has been flirting with stock Android in their last generation phones anyway. So it made every sense to jump on to Android One bandwagon. This move not just lets Nokia retain the stock UI but also guarantees their customers security and OS updates for two more years at least. What more, it also makes a lot of people view the Nokia 7 Plus as an affordable version of Pixel. Its uncanny resemblance to the Pixel 2 XL from the front might be a little more than coincidence, no?
All said and done, HMD Global has done a commendable job with the Nokia 7 Plus, and we have no reservations in recommending it to anyone looking for an excellent all-round device around the Rs 25,000 budget.
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