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Hands-on review: The Nokia 7.1 smartphone

26 Nov 2018

The Nokia 7.1 is Nokia’s new mid-range smartphone offering, meant to offer amazing specs at an affordable price. Not everyone can afford to shell out big money for their phones. Companies like Nokia are trying to look out for the little guys with phones like the Nokia 7.1. But how good can a mid-range phone actually be, and can it help Nokia to be as powerful a smartphone manufacturer as it was in decades past? 

Design: 

At first glance, the phone looks elegant. It has a slim finish with a glass front and back frames by a 6000 series aluminium frame and diamond-cut coloured chamfers. 

The Nokia 7.1 has a full HD+ 5.84’’ PureDisplay screen with a 19:9 ratio. The screen extends from edge-to-edge, which gives a wider user experience without the bulky feel. It is protected with Gorilla glass 3 to prevent the screen from shattering. The phone weighs a conveniently light 150 grams. The HD screen allows the display to adjust to any lighting to give it a great viewing experience, regardless of the location. 

The fingerprint sensor is conveniently located on the back, which is where all sensors should belong.

Camera: 

One of Nokia’s pride points with this phone is that it provides a great camera despite its low price point. It has a dual rear camera of 12 MP, f/1.8, 1.28µm, and PDAF 5 MP, f/2.4, 1.12µm, depth sensor.  The dual rear cameras with ZEISS optics claim to deliver stunning shots, while the AI technology lets you add an artistic touch to every photo. 3D personas, masks and filters are all at your disposal.

The camera captures crisper and sharper images with increased luminosity, a wider range of colours and more detail in both bright and dark areas. It is definitely competing for the top spot in the mid-range phone camera bracket. 

The front camera is an 8Mp f/2.0, 24mm that will make sure all your selfies are on point and worthy of social media.

Battery: 

The phone has one of the best batteries for a phone at its price. The battery longevity is so good it allows you to watch, play, listen and make calls all day long without having to worry about your device dying. This is all thanks to the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 mobile platforms.

Software: 

The Nokia 7.1 runs on Android One and has a Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636 (14 nm) chipset and an Octa-core 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 CPU. 

Android One brings the Google experience to the Nokia smartphone which means an easy to use interface, endless photo storage with Google Photos, pre-installed apps and Google Assistant. 

The phone has internal storage space of 64GB and 4GB RAM or 32GB with 3GB RAM. The phone can also take an SD card up to 400GB. 

The verdict: 

If you are looking for a cheap and affordable mobile phone with a decent camera that does everything you need it to do, the Nokia 7.1 is one you should look at.  It has an elegant design, a reliable battery, a straightforward system and a dual camera that takes good shots. It is the premium mid-range package. 

The Nokia 7.1 is available now exclusively from Spark, thanks to its partnership with HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones.

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