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Review 4 min read 1 Comment

Nokia 7.1 hands-on: jumping into the mid-range shark tank

The real flagship hasn’t launched yet, but Nokia has brought us an exciting mid-range device. HMD Global has introduced the Nokia 7.1, and even though it’s no luxury smartphone, there are plenty of exciting features that are worth a closer look.

The mid-range class is highly competitive

HMD Global offers the Nokia 7.1 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space. Initially, Nokia only named a price for the smaller version, which amounted to 339 euros (around 390 dollars). This means that the Nokia 7.1 is part of the most contested price range in the smartphone market. The device comes in black and dark blue. Advance sales will begin on October 5, 2018, and shipments will be sent on October 18.

Classy and stylish

Nokia has always been able to build smartphones , and nothing has changed since HMD Global made its comeback. When you hold the Nokia 7.1 in your hand, you’ll immediately notice how stylish it is. The rounded glass in the front and back is held together by a matte aluminum frame with an eye-catching trim. With a thickness of almost 8 millimeters and a weight of 160 grams, the Nokia 7.1 is very comfortable to hold. The device is available in dark blue and black, and the blue version looks especially classy. The fingerprint reader is located on the back.

But there is one thing missing from the device: water protection. Unlike many current smartphones, the Nokia 7.1 isn’t certified with IP protection. So you’ll have to take care of the device, but that’s what you should do in general.

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Glass on the front and back, metal all around - that looks good. / © AndroidPIT

HDR display

Despite its 5.84-inch display, the Nokia 7.1 looks pretty compact compared to many other new smartphones . Of course, this is largely due to the slim frame around the display. The display has Full-HD+ resolution and supports HDR10, which HMD calls its “PureDisplay”. The display is sharp and has nice colors, but doesn’t quite come close to expensive OLED displays in terms of contrast.

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The notch is quite narrow on the Nokia 7.1. / © AndroidPIT

A steady supply of updates and no bloatware

HMD Global trusts Google and Nokia 7.1 operates on Android One , the pure version of Android without manufacturer add-ons that comes with a proper supply of updates. That’s great, and even more manufacturers should do that! HMD Global guarantees Android updates for two years and security patches for three years. There are no pre-installed bloatware apps, and Nokia goes without its own solutions for apps, since Google has already provided them.

Fast enough for most users

With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 and 3GB of memory, the Nokia 7.1 is fast enough , even if high-end phones are a bit faster. There’s 32GB of internal memory, but it can be expanded with a memory card. Alternatively, a second SIM can also be fit into the smartphone. The Nokia 7.1’s performance will easily suffice for most users. If you have higher demands, especially in terms of gaming and high-resolution 4K videos, you might want to look for another device.

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The Nokia 7.1 is speedy fast. / © AndroidPIT

Camera with a reputation

The Nokia 7.1 has a dual camera and the Zeiss logo , which brings back memories of earlier Nokia smartphone camera legends like the Lumia 1020. We’ll have to see in our comprehensive test whether the Nokia 7.1 can live up to its reputation. The two camera sensors have 12 and 2 megapixels. Nokia uses the second camera to reduce image noise and create an artificial bokeh effect. There’s also an 8-megapixel camera for selfies.

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A camera from Zeiss looks good on any smartphone. / © AndroidPIT

Enough stamina

The Nokia 7.1 has a battery with 3,060 mAh. This isn’t an outstanding figure, but it should be enough autonomy to make it through the day without any problems . You can charge via USB-C. As is the case with most devices in this price range, there’s no wireless charging.

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The USB port of the Nokia 7.1. / © AndroidPIT

Nokia 7.1 technical specifications

Dimensions: 149.7 x 71.18 x 7.99 mm
Weight: 160 g
Battery size: 3060 mAh
Screen size: 5.8 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 2280 x 1080 pixels (435 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 8.0 - Oreo
User interface: Stock Android
4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 1.8 GHz
Connectivity: -
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0

Enough for this price-range?

The Nokia 7.1 costs around 400 dollars. With its stylish design, the Zeiss camera and Android One, that’s a reasonable price, but it’s in a competitive price range. It will be exciting to see whether the Nokia 7.1 can hold its own. Check back in for our full review!

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  • Was watching the launch yesterday afternoon. Looks like a good device. The snapdragon 636 is just a bit disappointing in my opinion, 3gig ram for the 32gig model. Would have thought they would have at least stayed with the 7 plus' 660 processor or better. And it seems nokia is struggling to get pie to everyone on time when I read their community forum. And I assume it might be the same for someone purchasing the 7.1 now and wait for pie too like the 7 plus users currently. They seem to go the same path as samsung too many models, too many different specs. In the future the One program will not be able to cope with nokia releasing so many models with different specs in less than a year.

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