Nokia 7.1: A budget smartphone that feels premium
November 20, 2018

Looking for a decent midrange smartphone? The Nokia 7.1 may be for you.

The smartphone market is already saturated by brands that offer a product on nearly every price range but only a few stand out since most of them offer subpar performance. But in the case of the Nokia 7.1, it perfectly combines a great design, performance, and price all in one package.

The moment you take it out of the box, the Nokia 7.1’s lightweight yet sturdy build would make you think this device costs a thousand dirhams. An aluminum frame surrounds the sides, with glass covering the front and back of the smartphone. It’s a fingerprint magnet, so I’d suggest getting a case if you don’t want to keep cleaning it every time you use it.

The Nokia 7.1 features a 5.84-inch display with a resolution of 2220-by-1080 pixels. It supports HDR, so watching supported videos will yield better contrast and colors. It also has a notch, which is slowly becoming a standard on most smartphones nowadays despite annoyance from some users.

Now let’s look at the hardware: the Nokia 7.1 is powered by a Snapdragon 636 CPU paired with either a 3 GB RAM/32 GB option or a 4 GB/64 GB variant. It also supports dual SIM along with the option to expand the memory using micro SD.

At the back, you will find the fingerprint reader nested right below the dual camera setup. Here you will find a 12-megapixel f/1.8 sensor combined with a 5-megapixel f/2.4 sensor that takes decent images. It’s not the best, but it’s already great considering the smartphone’s specifications and price. Right below the device is where you will find the speaker grill and the USB-C port that’s used for charging and data transfers.

The Nokia 7.1 is part of the Android One program, meaning that it runs on a stock version of the Android UI. It also means that it will be getting regular security patches and updates just like the Pixel smartphones from Google. Nokia promises two years of software updates on the Nokia 7.1, so expect it to support Android Pie and Android Q next year.

That being said, it could have been better if the Nokia 7.1 had shipped with Android Pie on board. It runs Android Oreo out of the box, and the lack of bloatware does put a smile on my face. Nokia promises that Android Pie will come before the year ends, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

I used the Nokia 7.1 every day for the past week as my daily driver, and I honestly didn’t feel any slowdowns or lag when writing messages or browsing social media. Bearing in mind its limitations, you’d hardly tell the difference between using the Nokia 7.1 or a more expensive flagship. Its decent performance is what really impressed me the most. I even managed to enjoy the Nokia 7.1 without having to charge it for almost a day.

The Nokia 7.1’s price starts at only 949 AED, easily making this one of the best mid-range Android devices available. Highly recommended.

We Love:

+ Excellent HDR display

+ Great build quality and design

+ Decent battery life

+ Android One means no bloatware

We Hate:

– Still runs on Android Oreo (but Android Pie is coming soon)

Final Rating: 4.5/5

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Passionate for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of Blu-ray discs and occasionally plays on his Xbox.
Read More