HMD Global has been moving from strength to strength with the Nokia brand this year and India has been no exception to this and the new Nokia handsets have been getting a lot of traction here. The latest entry from the Nokia brand is the Nokia 7.1 which is a strong mid-ranger that packs a lot of punch. I spent considerable time with this device and here is my review of this strong performer
Let’s talk about the design of the device to begin with. The Nokia design language is now unmistakable and clearly identifiable. The Nokia 7.1 is continuing testament to the mix of clean nordic design and solid internals that Nokia has now come to stand for. The lines and colors are crisp and clean. The design looks premium and just holding the phone in hand feels very luxurious to hold. The glass finish is just right and is not slippery at all. The phone is not too heavy or too light and sticks well to the hand without any slipperiness and feels great. The rear is completely symmetrical. The Carl Zeiss lenses and the flash are in the camera assembly. That is followed right below with a fingerprint scanner. Right below that is the Nokia branding. Near the bottom all these vertical design elements is the vertical Android One branding. The whole thing is visually pleasing.
Thankfully, the top has the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the bottom has the USB Type-C socket that is used for charging the phone and data transfer. There are the customary cut-outs for the speaker and the other usual sensors. The two metallic lines on the sides that run across that entire device make a great distinguishing design trademark.
The Nokia 7.1 is where design meets engineering excellence, offering the overall product quality, premium materials and finish you expect from a Nokia smartphone. Applying design techniques found in jewellery and high-end timepieces, the Nokia 7.1 exhibits aesthetically pleasing contrasts between different metal finishes that come seamlessly together and capture small, controlled bright highlights. Possessing a unique interplay on colour by using glass’ unique properties of refraction, the Nokia 7.1 achieves deep, rich and neutral colours that capture both light and depth. The Nokia 7.1 exudes master craftsmanship with final touches like the dual-anodised aluminium diamond cut coloured edges.
The Nokia 7.1 is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 636 Mobile Platform, which supports a major leap in performance making it great for streaming HDR content with ease. This platform is optimised for content consumption with first-class graphics performance and battery efficiency enhancements, so you can enjoy your audio and video for even longer. The phone has 4GB RAM and comes with 64 GB storage. The USB type-C fast charging port delivers up to 50% of your battery back in 30 mins, to get you back up and running quickly and easily.
The Nokia 7.1 is the first smartphone to come with PureDisplay screen technology for stunning HDR10 cinematic quality entertainment. With YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime now supporting HDR content, take your viewing experience to another level with higher contrast (1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio) and great clarity, revealing the detail in both light and dark areas with stunning vibrant colours.
Whether outdoors in bright sunlight or in a dimly lit room, playing games or watching videos, the crisp, bright Full HD+ 5.84” and 19:9 screen ratio display will automatically adjust brightness and contrast to ambient lighting conditions – ensuring content is still visible and vibrant in bright sunshine. Live through this enhanced display experience across all your videos, including non-HDR content, which is up-scaled in real-time using a dedicated 16-bit engine, processing millions of pixels per second to provide the best possible display quality in all conditions.
The Nokia 7.1 joins the comprehensive line-up of Nokia smartphones in the Android One family, delivering a high-quality software experience endorsed by Google. Nokia smartphones with Android One offer great storage and battery life right out of the box and come pre-loaded with the very latest in AI-powered innovations developed by Google.
The Nokia 7.1 will receive three years of monthly security patches as guaranteed in the Android One programme. The smartphone has recently received the Android 9 Pie upgrade – giving Nokia 7.1 users in India access to the latest OS from Google via an over the air update. The Android 9 Pie update brings a new set of features, including App Actions – a brand-new feature to Android and exclusive to Android One devices and Google Pixel phones.
What does all this get you? The phone looks great and performs like a well-oiled race car. The phone handles multi-tasking and heavy tasks with ease without any sign of lag or stutter. Gaming is smooth on the phone and the device does not heat up when used for long intervals for gaming or video streaming. The display delivers great punchy colors and sunlight legibility. All this is backed by a great processor and solid stock android experience. Looks like a flower and performs like a tank this one.
Let us talk about the camera next.
The Nokia 7.1 highly sensitive ZEISS Optics 12MP/5MP dual cameras with 2PD enable fast, accurate autofocus giving great shots in both bright and low light conditions. Achieve the perfect picture with HDR photography, giving you crisper and sharper images – ideal for capturing and sharing your photos with friends or followers. Capture professional studio style shots with the rear depth camera supported ‘bokeh’ mode as well as effortless front portrait shots. You can also reduce the effects of unstable hands while filming with Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) technology and relive your memories as if you were still there with high fidelity 360° Nokia spatial audio.
The new camera UI gives you ultimate control of white balance, ISO, focus and shutter speed using the Pro Camera Mode. The Nokia 7.1 AI enhanced front facing camera introduces facial recognition to deploy animated 3D personas/masks and filters. One touch live stream your bothies with the use of fun filters in real time to Facebook and YouTube direct from your camera app. Google Lens and Motion Photos can also be accessed directly from the app quickly and easily.
When I put the camera through my review process, I was able to see the images being high quality. The camera delivers consistently. The colors are realistic, the cameras have excellent dynamic range. Here are a few sample pictures I clicked with the phone.
Coming to the battery, the phone comes with a 3060 mAH battery that sounds modest on paper, but the Android 9 optimizations and the software optimization makes it easily help you get through a day on a single charge without any issue. The phone supports all Indian 4G bands and LTE calls are smooth. There were absolutely no call drops or sound distortions. The phone supports JIO SIM without issues too.
At a price of Rs 19,999/- this phone is one that I would definitely recommend to you if you are in the market for a reliable, stable and great looking mid-range phone. It will be interesting to see how this device fares against the competition in India.