Since Nokia’s reboot after the corporate licensed its cellular branding out to HMD International, we’ve seen various nice smartphones hit the market. From the likes of the flagship Nokia eight Sirocco, to a fairly distinctive re-creativeness of the Nokia 3310, the corporate is slowly turning into a family identify once more. HMD International has been onerous at work capturing the eye of all types of shoppers, lovers, and “regular” customers alike. The Nokia 7.1 is part of the Android One program and sits proper in the midst of the pack.
What can’t go unnoticed is the HMD International’s dedication to the Android One program, because the Nokia 7.1 is way from being their first entry. Actually, nearly all of the corporate’s smartphones are part of it. Being a part of the Android One program not solely signifies that you’ll have an in depth-to-inventory Android expertise, however you need to (in principle, anyway) have quicker updates. To HMD International’s benefit, they’ve achieved this with a powerful quantity of their units already receiving the Android Pie replace and extra to return as nicely.
Having stated that, the Nokia 7.1 runs Android Oreo out of the field, although an replace to Android Pie is promised to be launched quickly. As such, our assessment unit is definitely operating Android Oreo. I discovered a variety of delicate software program-associated efficiency points (or what I consider to be, anyway) that will not be current as soon as the Android Pie replace drops. The Nokia 7.1 is a singular telephone in that the units it compares to will not be available within the US. Inside Europe and Asia, the Nokia 7.1 is definitely outclassed by choices from the likes of Xiaomi, however within the US it’s a unique story totally.
Disclaimer: Nokia despatched XDA this gadget for evaluation functions. The opinions on this article are our personal.
- 1 Nokia 7.1 Specs
- 2 Presentation of the Nokia 7.1
- 3 Nokia 7.1 Design & Hardware
- 4 Nokia 7.1 Show
- 5 Android One on the Nokia 7.1
- 6 Efficiency of the Nokia 7.1
- 7 Nokia 7.1 Battery Life
- 8 Nokia 7.1 Digital camera & Video
- 9 Miscellaneous
- 10 The Nokia 7.1 – Value your cash?
Nokia 7.1 Specs
- 12 MP 2PD/AF/f1.eight/1.28um
- 5 MP, BW/FF/f2.four/1.12um
- Twin-part autofocus
Presentation of the Nokia 7.1
Whereas an typically-missed a part of the method of choosing up a smartphone, the presentation is essential for the primary impression of a tool. The Nokia 7.1 is available in a surprisingly small, flat field with little or no to point out aside from the telephone. You get a (fairly giant) charging brick, a USB-C cable, a SIM eject device, and a set of Nokia-branded earphones. It’s easy and it’s elegant, with the field following a design language just like the Nokia of previous. This isn’t simply one other Android smartphone, this can be a Nokia smartphone.
Nokia 7.1 Design & Hardware
The Nokia 7.1 includes a design harking back to nearly all of 2018 flagships launched right now. A notch and a flat glass again full with a metallic trim on the sides making an attempt to persuade you that this isn’t simply any mid-vary system. Whereas many dread the notch, it has shortly grow to be an indication of somebody having a brand new telephone. If you see a notch on somebody’s smartphone, you recognize that they purchased it inside the final yr. It’s, in a way, an indication of luxurious. Adore it or hate it, for the foreseeable future the notch seems to be right here to remain.
As for the glass again, that once more is usually some extent of rivalry. Whereas it permits for wi-fi charging, many argue that there isn’t a level of its existence in the event you don’t even have wi-fi charging. A plastic or aluminum again can’t smash whenever you drop it, however glass definitely can. The Nokia 7.1 doesn’t help wi-fi charging, and the glass again is just for seems. Glass can be extra slippery than different supplies, once more including to its fragility.
Nevertheless, I personally discover the Nokia 7.1’s design stylish, if a bit simplistic. There’s nothing particular about it, nevertheless it’s a strong design that’s (principally, extra on that later) good to look at. Coming in at 5.84-inches, it’s a quite small system given its display-to-physique ratio. With the 19:9 facet ratio it’s a tall gadget, and the notch is fairly extensive. Even nonetheless, I’ve completely no issues utilizing this system with one hand. Individuals on the lookout for a smartphone to function one-handed might properly discover that this specific handset matches the invoice properly.
The chamfered edges with the metallic trim and flat glass again are, for my part, interesting to look at. I don’t share the detest for glass backs that others do – I discover that they provide a premium really feel to any smartphone, particularly when executed appropriately. The glass again options the Nokia emblem, the Android One emblem, and a few regulatory info in small print at the underside.
There are some things that I don’t like, nevertheless, and the chin is a type of issues. The existence of the notch is in order that producers can present the most important display-to-physique ratio potential – so why is the chin so massive? It homes the Nokia emblem which can also be current on the again, making its inclusion fairly redundant. I don’t thoughts units having a standard prime and backside bezel, however it feels just like the Nokia 7.1 tried to each have a bezel and never have one, mismatching the highest and backside and failing at primary symmetry.
After which there are the aspect buttons, which have already begun to harass me. It feels actually awkward to take a screenshot as the quantity rocker is instantly above the facility button. It takes some getting used to, although it’s nowhere close to the top of the world.
Lastly, the headphone jack has a bizarre placement at the highest of the telephone on the correct. It feels unnatural to make use of, although that might be as a result of each telephone I’ve had in the previous few years has had it on the underside. It’s taking a little bit of getting used to, and I dislike having my cable droop down over my display.
The fingerprint sensor is in a wonderfully pure place on the again, sitting precisely the place my index finger naturally gravitates in the direction of. The vibration motor can also be respectable as properly, with no complaints from me. You possibly can hear it, sure, however you’ll be able to really feel it as properly, which is an important factor about it. Haptic suggestions is superb. Construct high quality is one thing that the Nokia 7.1 clearly has over rivals on this worth vary, and it’ll be onerous to discover a system that beats it. There isn’t a IP score right here, however that’s onerous to return by on mid-vary smartphones anyway.
Nokia 7.1 Show
The show of the Nokia 7.1 is one which significantly impressed me. The Nokia 7.1 sports activities a 5.84-inch 2246×1080 IPS LCD show with a 19:9 facet ratio and HDR10 help. Not solely does that make this show a minimize above many on this worth vary, however HDR10 help is exceptional even in flagships launched solely final yr. Content material that isn’t natively HDR10 could be upscaled as properly, and with the likes of Netflix releasing extra HDR10 supported content material you’ll get to utilize that show very quickly. It’s value mentioning that HDR10 upscaling isn’t enabled by default, however you’ll be able to allow it underneath the Show settings in your gadget.
Color copy on the Nokia 7.1 is excellent, and colours are saturated. I don’t know what shade area it operates in, however I doubt its full accuracy. Even nonetheless, I’m not one to truly care concerning the accuracy of my show. I want my content material to look nicer slightly than correct, which is why I personally haven’t any difficulty with a saturated show. The show itself is sharp and will get vibrant sufficient for outside utilization, in order that’s definitely not a problem both. I can’t measure the nits output, however it does the job for positive.
Viewing angles are positive, with somewhat little bit of a brightness drop off when tilted away from the consumer. That’s to be anticipated with most LCD shows and isn’t actually trigger for alarm. The colours do shift barely as properly whereas tilting it away, however once more that’s actually not a problem both.
Android One on the Nokia 7.1
Once I came upon I used to be going to be reviewing the Nokia 7.1, I used to be most enthusiastic about giving Android One a go. It’s near inventory Android and embodies (kind of) Google’s imaginative and prescient of what Android must be. To me, the software program of an Android One telephone is strictly what I might picture a mid-vary or finances Google Pixel smartphone to run. I used to be impressed by Android One, and I used to be much more impressed by the little options that Nokia throws in as nicely. It’s principally AOSP, which in a way is what makes the Nokia 7.1 so distinctive. In a world the place each gadget producer must make their mark within the software program division, it’s a breath of recent air to have an unbloated software program expertise. There are not any preloaded purposes except for Google’s personal. Such simplistic software program additionally permits for fast software program updates, and within the strategy of writing this text, I’ve already acquired the November 2018 safety patch – merely two days after Google launched their safety bulletin.
I very a lot think about myself an Android purist, so shut-to-AOSP skins like OxygenOS are undoubtedly my favourite approach to make use of my telephone. Android One is that in a nutshell, and it’s fantastic to make use of. There’s no bloat, no myriad of settings to trawl via, and every little thing simply works. Having stated that, I had a dive by means of the settings and located quite a lot of cool options. My favourite is one which I initially found on the Honor 9 Lite, and I used to be very disillusioned to study that not each system with a again-dealing with fingerprint sensor has it. On the Nokia 7.1, you possibly can pull down the notification shade just by swiping your finger down the fingerprint sensor. Swiping again up closes it once more. It’s not only a helpful function, however it’s a cool little factor to play with idly as nicely.
There’s a lack of usability options although, primarily I discovered that there isn’t any option to clear all the notifications from the standing bar. It’s not a big drawback, however it’s one thing worthy of observe. The “Enhanced HDR 10” can be enabled beneath the Show settings, although I don’t know why it’s switched off by default provided that it is among the promoting factors of this specific handset. The software program additionally handles the notch nicely, with movies not being minimize off or something of that kind.
One other advantage of being part of the Android One program is that provided that the software program is light-weight, it ought to, in concept, have much less of an influence on efficiency. Sadly, I’ve discovered that for some cause it feels just like the Nokia 7.1 truly performs worse than different Snapdragon 636 units such because the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus. I’m unsure how a lot of this I can chalk as much as being the included RAM – my unit has 3GB – provided that the Xiaomi system I’ve used had 4GB. Even nonetheless, I figured that MIUI would require extra RAM than the likes of the Android One software program.
However there’s one main caveat to this specific system’s software program, and that’s HMD International’s aversion to bootloader unlocking. After full group outcry, the Nokia eight lastly acquired an official bootloader unlock a couple of months again. That was the one system the corporate truly unlocked, and there are not any indicators of any extra getting unlocked any time quickly. If inventory Android isn’t your factor otherwise you need to modify your telephone in any method requiring root, you merely can’t.
Efficiency of the Nokia 7.1
I touched on this within the final part, however the specs of the Nokia 7.1 leaves the efficiency I’ve been confronted with to seem a tad worrisome. It’s not dangerous, nevertheless it’s nowhere close to nearly as good as different units I’ve used with the identical Qualcomm chipset. Sadly, I not have entry to a Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus for direct comparisons, however in my day-to-day utilization, I discovered that the Xiaomi ran rather a lot higher for the likes of Snapchat and Fb Messenger. I’ve discovered that the efficiency of Snapchat, particularly, is extraordinarily poor, with the app taking a very long time to course of any enter by any means. I can’t inform how a lot of that’s on the aspect of Snapchat and the way a lot of it’s on HMD International, nevertheless. It might nicely be right down to the poor quantity of RAM fielded by the Nokia.
The digital camera software’s efficiency on the Nokia 7.1 is about common. There’s somewhat little bit of shutter-lag more often than not, and launching the app can take a second or two. It’s definitely not a nasty expertise although, and the pictures it produces are relatively spectacular. I’m prepared to place up with its efficiency because of the superb photograph high quality, which we’ll get to later.
There are system-vast lag spikes, however nothing main at all. I had the LinkedIn software crash once I switched to Google Chrome and again, however that (once more) could also be right down to the quantity of reminiscence in my unit. As a result of it’s the 3GB of RAM variant, I can’t inform you how issues shall be in case you decide up the 4GB of RAM variant for barely extra. 3GB of RAM is the naked minimal nowadays, with even the Pixel three having solely 4GB of RAM. Clearly, the Nokia 7.1 isn’t fairly a flagship like a Pixel, however it nonetheless might undoubtedly profit from extra reminiscence.
The Nokia 7.1 runs fairly warmly more often than not as properly. With my standard mixture of shopping Reddit, messaging by way of Fb Messenger and switching over to Google Chrome my telephone was simply hitting 45 levels Celsius (113 Fahrenheit). It runs extraordinarily scorching (for a telephone) more often than not.
Nokia 7.1 Velocity Check
Our app opening check confirms the large quantity of warmth generated by the Nokia 7.1. With solely 30 iterations of opening the Play Retailer, YouTube, and Gmail, we discovered that the telephone went from 35 levels to 40. The glass again of the telephone doesn’t do a lot for warmth dissipation both.
Having stated that, apps do launch quite shortly and there isn’t an enormous quantity of thermal throttling. I discovered that even when the telephone is scorching, utilization stays just about unchanged. The one drawback I’ve discovered is that it might turn out to be fairly uncomfortable within the hand when it’s heat, however that’s to be anticipated. It makes an amazing hand hotter through the winter, although.
Scrolling efficiency can also be a lot consistent with what we’re seeing right here, in that it’s principally common. There are not any loopy outcomes right here, and it’s about in-line with any mid-vary gadget that you simply’d anticipate to see – which is an effective factor. Earlier than wanting at the graph under, we do have to know learn how to interpret the info. We took these graphs through the use of the GPU profiling knowledge dumped to adb, which we then graphed. You possibly can perceive methods to view these graphs by the next picture. The inexperienced line within the graphs under represents 60 FPS.
This telephone just isn’t a flagship but performs simply nice for principally any primary use case. You’re not going to be flying in between totally different purposes, multi-tasking to your coronary heart’s content material or something, nevertheless it’s not a nasty telephone both. It might play video games, you possibly can eat social media, and you can also make calls or texts. It’s a reasonably good mid-vary telephone in that it could do every part you’d anticipate it to, and it has a variety of extras on prime that make it higher than different telephones in the identical bracket.
Gaming and GPU efficiency
I selected PUBG to show the Nokia 7.1’s recreation efficiency as I felt that it’s in all probability probably the most intensive video games on Android at present out there. Not solely did the Nokia 7.1 deal with it completely, nevertheless it didn’t even warmth up that a lot! It hit 45 levels Celsius after 15 minutes of enjoying, which is completely affordable, particularly when, given the character of the testing, the gadget was plugged in and charging at the time. Holding an FPS of 26 persistently signifies that gaming is a breeze on this specific handset, as there’s not an entire lot extra you possibly can ask from a recreation that’s locked to 30 FPS. Admittedly, the sport did scale back itself to the bottom graphics settings obtainable, however that’s due to the Adreno 509. It’s undoubtedly no world beater, that’s for positive, however it’s a reasonably good efficiency for a mid-vary handset.
We want to give particular because of the group at GameBench for the help they offered us. Their software makes it potential for any individual, whether or not it’s a daily consumer, journalist, or engineer, to check a cellular recreation’s efficiency on an Android gadget. They’ve an Android app you possibly can set up to start out benchmarking your video games as properly.
As for different video games, you’ll haven’t any points operating in style favorites comparable to Want for Velocity, Minecraft, or Pokemon Go. All of them work high-quality, and the one factor you actually have to fret about on the subject of the Nokia 7.1 is its battery life. The battery life is remarkably poor when gaming, however we’ll contact on its general battery efficiency afterward.
Whereas a benchmark isn’t the best indicator of a tool’s general efficiency, it’s a quantifiable determine that we will use to match it to different smartphones. As such, I examined the Nokia 7.1’s storage velocity together with giving it a computational benchmark in Geekbench four Professional and, lastly, an Antutu benchmark as properly. The outcomes are spectacular (if slightly deceptive), and you may examine them out under.
The best outcomes right here come from the storage velocity exams, which exhibits that HMD International has not cheapened out on-gadget storage – even whether it is eMMC. eMMC storage suffers when doing, nicely, principally something usually. For instance, downloading music or putting in purposes from the Google Play Retailer will sluggish your gadget to a crawl. It’s not as if this is a matter distinctive to the Nokia 7.1 or something, nevertheless it’s value noting. Most units on this worth vary (together with the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus that we talked about earlier) may have eMMC storage, so it’s not as if that is one thing that HMD International is doing worse than different producers. Additionally one thing extremely irritating – due to the eMMC storage, making an attempt to take a screenshot of one thing signifies that you’ll have to attend a couple of seconds for it to save lots of.
The benchmark outcomes are good although when pitted towards different units. My OnePlus three truly scores slightly bit over 100,000 within the Antutu benchmark and solely the only core efficiency of the OnePlus three beats out the Nokia 7.1 on Geekbench. That places a mid-vary gadget launched this yr comfortably over a flagship from almost three years in the past, however there’s a caveat. Storage velocity is nearly as essential as uncooked computational energy, and in case your storage is sluggish, then the entire gadget will endure. The Nokia 7.1 is able to extra issues computationally than the OnePlus three however is hampered by its low quantity of RAM that causes the system to should repeatedly request assets from the sluggish onboard storage.
That’s how benchmark outcomes may be deceptive, as they don’t take note of different options of a smartphone. The benchmark outcomes do match up with what I’ve seen although, in that when issues are operating, they’re usually operating properly. We noticed this within the recreation benchmarks above. The Nokia 7.1 is, general, a pleasing expertise with regards to efficiency. In case you are in Europe, there are a selection of smartphones which might be inside an reasonably priced vary that may supply a lot, a lot better efficiency than the Nokia 7.1. In case you are within the US, the place this telephone can be bought in shops off-contract, then there are only a few, simply reasonably priced units that may even come shut in efficiency.
Nokia 7.1 Battery Life
The battery life is the place the Nokia 7.1 actually falls down, and that’s because of its somewhat small three,zero60 mAh battery. It struggles to get me via the day, hitting from anyplace from 2 to three hours of display-on-time. That’s with my day by day utilization of Fb Messenger, Snapchat, and net searching. In distinction, my OnePlus 6 will get between four and 5 hours of display-on-time. Its fast charging normal means that you would be able to prime it off if that you must with relative ease all through the day, however it’s not fairly a touch cost contender. I discovered that I can get it to round 50% inside half an hour, with it taking nearer to an hour and a half to refill solely. It’s definitely higher than common charging, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly not the quickest round both.
A typical day of utilization with the Nokia 7.1
I perceive that display-on-time isn’t the top all be all of battery utilization, which is why I’ve additionally included my prolonged battery statistics like software utilization. It ought to hopefully paint an image of the sort of consumer that I’m. If you end up utilizing the identical apps as me, you then’re doubtless going to have an analogous expertise. I might deem myself an influence consumer, which means I do put my telephone via quite a bit. It is perhaps that the battery life on this specific system is ok for you, through which case there’s nothing mistaken with it. You gained’t be gaming on it although, that’s for positive.
As for standby time, it’s simply high quality. It’s not good, nevertheless it’s not dangerous both. That additionally describes my entire expertise with battery life on this system. There’s nothing particular at all about it, however at the identical time, it’s not detrimental to the telephone both. If you end up able the place attending to a charger throughout your day is troublesome and you employ your telephone fairly regularly, then this telephone isn’t for you. In school, I’ve no hassle charging my gadget in lecture halls, so it wasn’t as huge of a problem to me. I even have a 20,000 mAh powerbank which I throw into my bag, so if I’m in determined want of a prime-up then I can use that as properly.
The Nokia 7.1 is simply common in relation to battery life, nothing extra and nothing much less.
Nokia 7.1 Digital camera & Video
The Nokia 7.1’s digital camera is what stunned me about this system probably the most. Regardless of that includes cheaper units, Android One smartphones have considerably of a historical past relating to surprisingly good digital camera high quality. The Nokia 7.1 is not any totally different, and the 12MP f/1.eight aperture shooter powered by ZEISS wowed me to no finish. The gadget itself is quite common with a few excessive factors, and nearly all of these excessive factors lie in its digital camera. HMD International clearly put numerous work into the gadget right here, and I’m very impressed. From the gorgeous pictures its able to taking to the nicely-crafted digital camera software, this system is yet one more digital camera winner within the Android One class. Have a look at a number of the pictures I’ve taken within the gallery under.
The Nokia 7.1, as you’ll be able to see, has wonderful photograph high quality in daylight. The colours are properly-outlined with pictures having an applicable degree of sharpness. The sunshine elements of the photograph are a bit bit overblown, and one might argue that the pictures are slightly bit too saturated. Even nonetheless, that is nowhere close to a flagship degree telephone and as such it behaves greater than appropriately. The digital camera high quality is moderately wonderful. Issues start to fall off when it will get to low mild, nevertheless, which you’ll be able to take a look at within the gallery under.
As you possibly can see, low mild completely tells a special story. The photographs aren’t dangerous, however they’re of noticeably worse high quality than their brighter counterparts. That’s okay, nevertheless, as clearly, a $349 smartphone is just not going to carry out in low mild situations on the identical degree as, say, the Huawei P20 Professional. Even nonetheless, it’s simply value noting that whereas this system has an ideal digital camera, you’re going to have difficulties in some situations taking nice pictures.
As I’ve talked about, the digital camera software itself is stellar with an enormous quantity of options to supply. You get the Nokia Professional mode which was ceaselessly in style on the Nokia Lumia collection, together with a couple of different cool options as properly. Reside Bokeh mode, for instance, allows you to tune the blur impact to your liking earlier than taking the photograph. There’s additionally a sq. photograph choice for Instagram photographs, and eventually, there’s additionally Google Lens help in an effort to leverage Google’s machine studying to determine objects round you. It’s all very cool. You’ll be able to have a look at a couple of screenshots of the bundled digital camera software under.
Video 1 – Fast OIS check
I included the above video as I felt that the Nokia 7.1’s EIS was particularly obvious on the horizontal axis, because the system stabilizes the video comparatively nicely because of its gyro-based mostly EIS algorithm. The audio high quality is fairly good too, undoubtedly serviceable for the job.
Video 2 – Outside
The microphone handles wind nicely, and you may hear the announcement remodeled the audio system on this practice station.
The video high quality is apt for each indoor and outside utilization, and the audio high quality from the microphone is completely acceptable.
That is the half the place I all the time fear a few smartphone, as I really feel that connectivity isn’t paid consideration to in most evaluations. Am I going to have a constant connection on my commute every single day? Will I’ve Wi-Fi entry all through my entire home? These are the issues I fear about in relation to my smartphone’s connectivity, and fortunately the Nokia 7.1 handed this check with no hitch. I used to be capable of get a knowledge connection immediately after inserting my SIM card, being met with three bars of 4G LTE in my residence in rural Eire. Undoubtedly not dangerous by any means, and a connection of types remained constant on my journey to and from college. It wasn’t all the time LTE (and even HSDPA+) nevertheless it was there, which is greater than I can say for some units.
Wi-Fi protection by way of my house can also be nice, and there are not any points with me dropping sign at the other finish of my home (I reside in a bungalow). I by no means felt that the telephone lied about its sign standing both, which can also be a serious plus. General, this system is a winner on the subject of sign power. No points from me by any means. I even gave Google Pay a go, and it labored effective and didn’t require me to faucet once more or something. I’ve had that occur even on the flagship OnePlus 6, so I used to be considerably nervous that it might carry out poorly.
In a world the place the headphone jack is dying out, I’m shortly studying to be pleased about the mere existence of the headphone jack right here fairly than the great high quality it supplies. The Nokia 7.1’s headphone jack works, and it really works wonderful. There are not any bizarre crackling points if you flip your headphone cable, it will get lots loud and general, it’s only a fairly good expertise. The only backside-firing speaker is fairly poor, however there’s not a lot else you’ll be able to actually anticipate from a $349 smartphone. It does the job, and that’s about as a lot as you’ll be able to ask from it. It performs sound and does it reasonably loud, however don’t anticipate a large amount of readability from it.
The Nokia 7.1 – Value your cash?
To preface this part, I want to say that almost all of the constructive suggestions I’m about to offer applies primarily to US readers. The Nokia 7.1’s price ticket is lots more durable to justify outdoors of the US, given the abundance of choices from the likes of Xiaomi and even Honor. The Nokia 7.1 prices €299 beginning in Europe, and a Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus with the identical chipset, extra RAM, and a much bigger display prices round €100 much less. It’s simply not a contest.
Nevertheless, within the US, issues are a bit totally different. Xiaomi units aren’t as straightforward to import, and their band help within the US is relatively poor as properly. You’ll be able to decide up a OnePlus 6T for reasonable from T-Cellular with their commerce-in deal, or perhaps a flagship of final yr for across the similar worth second-hand, however that’s about it. If you’d like a model new smartphone with an honest digital camera, good chipset, and an enduring construct high quality for a comparatively low worth within the area, then look no additional than the Nokia 7.1. It has all of it, from software program help to energy, there are loads of causes to love the Nokia 7.1. It’s overpriced in plenty of methods, there’s completely no denying that, however in a market recognized for its contracts and its excessive off-contract costs, the Nokia 7.1 isn’t a nasty selection in any respect.
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