Nokia 7.1 Quick Review

Nokia’s newest mid Range smartphone brings stock Android out of the box and HDR capable screen and a slightly confusing naming scheme and this is a Nokia 7.1 review.

Nokia 7.1
Don’t confuse the Nokia 7.1 for the Nokia 7 plus, which came out a few months ago. This is a slightly newer model. One of the first things you notice this is just like it’s predecessors; it goes for a straight edge look instead of a curvy one. The edges of the 6000 series aluminum frame are bevelled rather than sharp, though they look pretty snazzy with their chrome highlights which also accent the power and volume keys as well as the rear cameras.

Nokia 7.1 Back Side View

The back of the phone is a flat glass panel, unlike the metal build, we’ve seen on some recent Nokia’s, it will wobble when sitting on the table because of the camera bump. The phone feels pretty slim in the hand. It’s not uncomfortable, but definitely a bit slippery. So be careful around the pool. This phone doesn’t and have water resistance.

On the front it is a 5.84-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of     1080×2280 px and this screen is one of the more interesting things about the Nokia 7.1.
The new features that the 1080 px display is HDR 10 compliance. Is one of the cheaper options available, if you’re looking to watch HDR content on your phone. They were able to achieve HDR compliance on an LCD by using dynamic contrast. You have the option to enhance your SDR content to get HDR light quality. And there is a noticeable difference in the highlights and shadows. It’s small, but it’s there.

Unlike the Nokia 7 plus, this phone has a notch cut out similar to the Nokia 6.1. The result is a slimming of that top bezel and a more edge to edge experience. But when watching content or playing a game, that whole part of the screen will be left black.

We measured up to 600 minutes max brightness and auto mode in bright conditions. But it did only average in our sunlight legibility test. It’s kind of usable in the sun, but it’s not really a comfortable experience.
There is a feature called ambient display sort of like an always on display, but it only wakes up when you lift the phone or a new notification comes in. There is no notification LED though

The face unlock system of Nokia 7.1 seems to work pretty well but it does require a swipe motion after it recognizes you. It’s also not as secure as a rear mounted fingerprint scanner. The scanner is quick, accurate and always ready to wake up the phone.

For audio there’s a single bottom firing speaker side to the USB C port. It’s no stereo setup, but it gets quite loud and sounds decent. Plugging in headphones is simple thanks to the 3.5 millimeter jack up at the top sound is OK, but loudness is below average.

Nokia 7.1 offers 32 GB internal storage and it is expandable via the hybrid slot up to 500 GB, you can afford to keep a decent Media Library directly on the device.

Inside the Nokia 7.1 there is a Qualcomm’s mid range Snapdragon 636 chipset powered by 1.8GHz octacore processor and this smartphone is available either 3 or 4 GB of RAM. It doesn’t talk the benchmark charts but it has pretty good performance for its class. That said don’t expect anything blazing fast here.

The battery life of the 7.1 is decent and it is powered by a 3060 mAh battery and in our proprietary tests it’s got an endurance rating of 80 hours. Kind of an average score, but far from disappointing. The 7.1 also supports 18 watt fast charging. There’s no wireless charging.

One of the best features about Nokia phones these days is that they’re all a part of Android one. Nokia 7.1 runs on Android Oreo 8.1 and will receive on time updates for the next couple of years.

As for multimedia, it’s all in the hands of Google’s apps, photos is in charge of your gallery and video playback. And Google Play Music is the audio player.
The Nokia 7.1 dual camera setup has a 12 megapixel primary camera with an F 1.8 size branded lens and dual pixel autofocus. The secondary camera with 5 megapixel snapper is just for depth sensing.

The portrait mode on the other hand is pretty impressive, especially for a mid range device. The processing algorithms were made in collaboration with Zeiss. And subject separation is great even with the messy hair the death mapping as well done to with gradual blurring of different objects based on distance.

The selfie camera is 8 megapixels with an F 2.8 lens. There’s no autofocus, but the focus plan is a reasonable distance away from the phone. Selfies come out with life like skin tones and an overall pleasing color rendition to the level of resolve detail isn’t impressive.

There’s a 4k video recording available on the Nokia 7.1 at 30 FPS. It’s mostly sharp except for areas which contain a lot of fine detail. Colors are true to life. Contrast is excellent and there isn’t a lot of noise. The dynamic range is above average. The 1080p clips are similar in quality that they hold up a bit better against the competition.

So that’s the Nokia 7.1, overall is one of the better Android one smartphones out there. It’s got a great HDR display, decent performance and nice branded camera is especially if you like portrait mode.

But although the price isn’t too bad at around 350 euros, it’s not the best bang for your buck. You can find their phones in this price range, like the Pocophone F1, that are bringing much more powerful chipsets and the Snapdragon 630.
If blazing fast performance isn’t your priority than the Nokia 7.1 is worth looking into.
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