HMD Global ended the year 2018 on a high with the Nokia 8.1. The phone was built with a lot of flagship grade features and was well received by tech reviewers and buyers alike. The phone has already been reviewed by every other tech portal. So instead of another review, I thought it will be better to use it for a while and see what are the features that make the Nokia 8.1 a great smartphone.
HMD Global has been consistently making phones that are meeting the needs of users and giving them great daily value. The combination of clean and unique nordic design with solid internals and a successful line of Android One devices has them going from strength to strength in the last year. The Nokia 8.1 no exception to this norm. Let us now get to the three features that stood out for me in the month that I have been using the phone.
Design that is made to the highest standards
Heralding a new era of precision craftsmanship and obsession with detail, the Nokia 8.1 has been designed with less than a hair’s width between materials, achieving the build quality and structural integrity expected from a Nokia smartphone, as well as making a true statement of clean, elegant European design.
At its core is the strength of an extruded 6000-series aluminium frame with a diecast centre for efficient use of materials. Exploiting the elegant contrast between the curved glass, polished metal and the sand-blasted finish, the Nokia 8.1’s unique two-tone design is augmented with a dual anodising process, building on the finish that fans loved on the Nokia 7 plus. Diamond cut edges deliver a bold statement with the durability to withstand the knocks of everyday life.
The Nokia 8.1’s stunning 6.18” Full HD+ edge-to-edge display is housed within a beautifully refined and neat footprint, so you can enjoy your favourite movies and apps on a big screen comfortably on the go, giving you even more screen than the award-winning Nokia 7 plus which as a 6” display.
Accelerated performance and PureDisplay
With smartphones rapidly becoming the default device for watching videos, you need a display tailored to the content you’re enjoying in the environment you’re in. The Nokia 8.1 is the second Nokia smartphone to come with PureDisplay screen technology for an enhanced viewing experience. Visuals are taken to another level with HDR 10 delivering higher contrast, great clarity, and over a billion individual colours to ensure images remain accurate whether you’re in a dark room or bright sunlight. Playing games or watching videos, your display will deliver the best possible experience.
To watch all that vivid content on the go, you need exceptional battery life. The Nokia 8.1 lets you effortlessly enjoy up to two days with one charge. Long-lasting power combined with the Snapdragon 710 Mobile Platform means the Nokia 8.1 can get through any task without breaking a sweat, with 35% faster graphics and 20% higher performance than the previous generation, the Snapdragon 660. It also has twice the AI power, thanks to a multi-core AI Engine which combines a brand-new architecture for efficient performance. Qualcomm® aptX™ audio support also means music lovers can enjoy high quality sound wirelessly over Bluetooth.
Take the smartphone to a whole new dimension by combining the physical world and digital content with AR core support. Through apps like Human Anatomy, Magic Plan, and Jenga AR, you can visualise and learn about the nervous system in 3D, create a floor plan for your next remodel just by walking around the house, and stack blocks on your dining room table with no need to tidy up after your tower collapses.
Imaging excellence with flagship calibre imaging technology
The Nokia 8.1’s great low light imaging performance comes from a perfect blend of software and hardware. Its 12MP main camera with ZEISS Optics has an industry-leading 1/2.55” super sensitive sensor with large 1.4 micron pixels for precise light capture, delivering exceptionally detailed images. With its combination of Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) technology and superfast autofocus, the Nokia 8.1 doesn’t let shaky hands stop you from capturing crisp images and videos. A wide aperture ensures you can capture sharp pictures even in low light conditions, allowing longer exposure times that can be manually controlled with the Pro Camera mode.
The 20MP adaptive front camera lets you capture the ultimate night-time selfie, as it enhances how much light it is able to capture by combining four pixels into one super pixel. You can also shoot movies like a pro with 4K video and relive your memories as if you were still there with high fidelity Nokia spatial audio stereo surround sound recording.
Create studio-style portrait shots with the popular “bokeh” effect, enhanced with the Nokia 8.1’s native shallow depth of field, coupled with its secondary 13MP depth sensor. Unleash your creativity with the Pro Camera UI for the ultimate control over your photos, or take your #Bothie game to the next level with AI-powered 3D personas, masks and fun filters in your photos and videos, all of which you can livestream directly without leaving your camera app.
Here are some pictures that I took with the phone.
Having listed the above three as the the key factors that stood out with the Nokia 8.1 for me, there is one other factor that deserves a special mention here and that is the software aspect.
Pure, secure and up-to-date Android 9 Pie, reinforced with Android One™
The Nokia 8.1 is the first Nokia smartphone to launch with Android 9 Pie out of the box. It joins the comprehensive line-up of Nokia smartphones in the Android One family, which means it delivers the best version of Android innovations and software experiences. Nokia smartphones with Android One offer great storage and battery life right out of the box and come with three years of monthly security patches and two major OS updates.
So, all in all, these are things that have impressed me with Nokia 8.1 and I would even go ahead and say that this is the best Nokia phone that I have seen till date. So if you are in the market for a flagship grade smartphone, the Nokia 8.1 is an unmissable and good option.