After weeks of leaked specs and images, HMD Global has finally made the Nokia 7.1 official. This Android One-powered affordable handset is making its way to the U.S. and Europe, but should you consider this over other affordable mid-range options?
Here’s what you need to know about the Nokia 7.1.
The (sort of) successor to the Nokia 7
HMD unveiled the original Nokia 7 in October 2017. It was a China-exclusive smartphone, and featured some modest mid-range specs for the time: a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 630 SoC, 4/6GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. It also didn’t run Google’s Android One software.
The Nokia 7.1 makes a few changes this time around. It comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 chipset, but also has a step down in storage and RAM. There are still two variants, but they’re relegated to 3GB of RAM/32GB of storage and 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The 3/32GB model is the only one coming to the United States.
It also gets a nice bump up on the display front. The 7.1 comes with a 5.84-inch LCD screen with a 19:9 aspect ratio and Full HD+ resolution. Nokia is calling this the Pure Display, as it supports HDR10 and as well as SDR to HDR upscaling.
As expected, the 7.1 also gets an upgrade in camera tech. It features a dual-camera setup on the back, with 12 and 5MP sensors with 1.28μm pixels and an f/1.8 aperture. It also has dual phase detection autofocus, a live bokeh mode, and a pro camera mode. The front camera comes in at 8MP, and of course, features Nokia’s not-at-all-silly “bothie” mode to take photos with the front and rear cameras at the same time.
It’s a pretty phone that looks like every other phone
Nokia phones usually look quite nice despite their budget price tags, and the 7.1 is no different. It sports an all-glass design with an aluminum frame. There is a notch at the top of its 5.84-inch display, though it’s not nearly the worst offender in this area. It also has a very Pixel 2 XL-like chin under the display, but unfortunately has no front-facing speakers.
Around back, you’ll find the vertically-positioned dual-camera setup, and below that sits the rear-facing fingerprint sensor. It also comes in two color options: gloss midnight blue and gloss steel.
I don’t think this an unattractive phone — it seems to strike a good balance between premium and budget. But if you’re in the market for a phone that looks original, you’re not going to find it with the Nokia 7.1.
Launched with Oreo, but updated to Pie
Nokia is definitely one of the manufacturers that take software updates seriously, so it’s no surprise to see that the Nokia 7.1 has already started updating the phone from Android 8.1 Oreo to the new Android 9 Pie. Depending on when you bought the phone and where, it may take a few weeks for that update to reach your phone.
The Nokia 7.1 is also an Android Enterprise Recommended phone, joining the four other Nokia devices already on that list.
It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg
The Nokia 7.1 is now available in the US for $350 unlocked via Amazon.
Is this the phone you’ve been waiting for, or are you passing this time around? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to check out our other Nokia 7.1 coverage below: