Since Nokia has reappeared, the smartphone maker has flooded the market with new models that run on Android One. It becomes difficult to distinguish them from each other, including this Nokia 7.1, which has trouble standing out in the Nokia crowd.
Nokia 7.1Price €349,-
Colors Blue grey
OS Android 9.0 (Android One)
Screen 5.8 inch LCD (2280 x 1080)
Processor 1.8GHz octa-core (Snapdragon 636)
Storage 32GB (expandable with memory card)
Battery 3,060 mAh
Camera 12 and 5 megapixels (rear), 8 megapixels (front)
Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC
Format 15.8 x 7.7 x 0.8 cm
Weight 188 grams
Other usb-c, headphone port
Website www.nokia.com 6 Score 60
- Build quality
- Android One
- Generic design
Nokia released the Nokia 7 Plus in 2018, which not only received a good review from us, but was even named best product of the year by BestProduct. The smartphone has a distinctive appearance, a favorable price and Android One: an Android version that is kept up-to-date by Google itself, instead of the manufacturer. Less than six months later, the Nokia 7.1 appears. It cannot really be called a successor. The appearance with its notch is generic and the specifications are also unobtrusive. The device costs about 350 euros: a price range in which many excellent smartphones (including the Nokia 7 Plus) are available. How does the Nokia 7.1 stand out from the crowd?
I already briefly mentioned the appearance, which looks quite generic due to the screen notch on the front and the same design as all those other Nokiaas that are currently flooding the market. That does not alter the fact that the Nokia 7.1 feels very luxurious, the metal edge and glass back ensure that the smartphone is very solidly put together, despite the fact that it is not waterproof. The device is also remarkably modest in size, making it comfortable to hold and resistant to most pockets and handbags. You never have the feeling that you have a budget device in your hands, but the Nokia 7.1 is unobtrusive in its appearance. A strange combination, but it works.
Of course, the price is modest at 350 euros. But the specifications are also there: a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (of which you still have 20 net available) is not really left. In theory, it should be enough to run Android smoothly. Especially since the Nokia 7.1 runs on Android One, meaning you won't be bothered with an Android skin or pre-installed apps. However, everything does not run smoothly. Switching between apps, launching apps and loading screens... It just doesn't run as smoothly as it should. That is annoying, especially because you also want to use the necessary apps yourself and future Android updates will probably not make the smartphone much faster. Benchmarks underline mediocre speed results, even at this price point. I did not experience these problems with the Nokia 7 Plus or Moto G6 Plus: budget smartphones for which you pay less.
The same can be said about the battery life. This one is also fairly inconspicuous, you can keep it up for a day. But that of course depends on how intensively you use the Nokia 7.1.Android just doesn't run as smoothly as it should
At the front is an LCD screen panel of 5.8 inches (14.7 cm) in diameter and an aspect ratio of 19 by 9. There are thin screen edges and a notch, to make the device very handy. Unfortunately, there is no notification LED in the notch. Last year's Nokia 7 Plus had the problem that the maximum screen brightness was not very high. That is less of a problem with this Nokia 7.1, but the maximum brightness is still not very high. The full-HD screen has a nice color reproduction, only white areas are very gray.
There is a dual camera on the back. That has also become the standard for budget smartphones. However, a good single lens is better than two mediocre lenses. The Nokia 7.1 would have been better off with one good lens, because functionally it adds little. You can take pictures with depth of field effect, and that's about it. Many other smartphones place two lenses with different focal lengths, so that you can zoom in, as it were, without loss of quality. That is not the case with the Nokia 7.1, so you simply miss advanced options.
The cameras take nice pictures. But don't expect too much of course. In difficult lighting conditions, details are quickly lost and noise occurs. That is to be expected for a smartphone in this price range. In that respect, the camera performs as you would expect in the price range: excellent photos to share on social media and WhatsApp... But for your printed photo album it is better to bring a separate camera.
Conclusion: buy Nokia 7.1?
The Nokia 7.1 is a modest smartphone, in terms of price and appearance. It is very nice that the smartphone runs on Android One, which makes the device safer and you have more system capacity available for what you find important. That is necessary, because the performance is a bit disappointing. Furthermore, the Nokia 7.1 doesn't really excel at anything: the screen, the dualcam, the battery life... it can all be called inconspicuous. The problem with the Nokia 7.1 is that you can get better for less money, think of the Moto G6 Plus. The Nokia 7.1 is therefore really a smartphone that you choose if you are looking for a handy smartphone.