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Nokia 7.1 review (53 Days): A premium smartphone for those with elevated taste


Nokia 7.1 is one of mid-rangers in the Nokia smartphone portfolio and considering that Nokia 8.1 is considered the value flagship, Nokia 7.1 can be said to be the 2018 mid-range flagship. Nokia 7.1 brought lots of attention to the Nokia smartphone portfolio by ushering in a few firsts.

It is the first Nokia smartphone to pack a PureDisplay branded display that boasts of HDR10 support. It is also the first Nokia smartphone that comes with a glass body and metallic frame. Read all about Nokia 7.1 at our dedicated page.

We have used Nokia 7.1 4GB Indian variant as our daily driver for over 53 days and this is our detailed review of the smartphone. It may help you in deciding whether you should really go for Nokia 7.1 as your next if you really wanted to own one and are still undecided.

Nokia 7.1 design:

Nokia 7.1 is a beautiful smartphone and sports a Glass unibody with Aluminium frame to support and impart required strength and feel. It looks like every bit a premium flagship smartphone design wise and was the first Nokia smartphone to come with Glass unibody and metal frame.

The aluminium frame not only gives it strength but also adds to its premium look and feel. It feels robust in your hand even with a Glass unibody and sports a notch. What also strikes one while holding Nokia 7.1 in one’s hand is its compact size with a big 5.84-inch display.

If compared to Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 5.1 Plus design wise, Nokia 7.1 simply in a class of its own with its premium feel. While Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 5.1 Plus have got lots of appreciation for their beautiful design, Nokia 7.1 is the one that really impressed us a lot with its design, build quality and premium feel. Here is the unboxing of the Nokia 7.1 midnight Blue color Indian model.

Nokia 7.1 Display & audio output Quality review:

  • Nokia 7.1 is the first Nokia smartphone to sport PureDisplay branding and HDR10 support. HDR support provides increased contrast for more true-to-life colors and vivid details.
  • The display is bright and ideal brightness level is around 40-45% in most of the cases. Adaptive brightness learns your choices quickly
  • Outdoor readability is excellent on Nokia 7.1
  • Nokia 7.1 display offers really great image and video watching experience taking advantage of HDR10 support.
  • Viewing angles are excellent. The best that you will see on any of the displays out there
  • Fingerprint resistance is a very nice feature of Nokia 871 display and you don’t need to wipe it time and again

We have done hands-on comparison between Nokia 7.1 and Nokia 6.1 Plus to evaluate the display and audio quality of Nokia 7.1. As you will notice in the video below, Nokia 7.1 display offers better contrast and colors while consuming media. Both image and video watching experience is better on Nokia 7.1 and takes advantage of the HDR10 support.

  • Audio output wise also Nokia 7.1 is louder and richer than Nokia 6.1 Plus, though audio output from both doesn’t get distorted even at maximum output.

Nokia 7.1 detailed camera review:

For your information here are the Nokia 7.1 camera details,

  • Primary camera Dual Main: 12 MP 2PD/AF/f1.8/1.28um, Dual second: 5 MP, BW/FF/f2.4/1.12um
  • Front-facing camera 8 MP FF/f2.0

  • Flash Dual flash

  • OZO Audio Capture

You can check our detailed Nokia 7.1 camera review and comparison to and Nokia 6.1 Plus camera by clicking here. With the new imaging algorithms, Nokia 7.1 camera performs very well in all lighting conditions. The improvement over Nokia 6.1 Plus is significant in low-lighting conditions while capturing both images as well videos.

Selfie camera wise too Nokia 7.1 appears to be the winner here with capturing much more amount of details than Nokia 6.1 Plus selfie camera.

Nokia 7.1 Software, PureDisplay, Notch hiding & Gestures:

Nokia 7.1 being an Android One smartphone comes with pure unadulterated Android Pie out of the box. Android Pie is stable, smooth and addictive on Nokia 7.1 with its new gesture navigation.

Coming to special features, PureDisplay branding brings HDR10 support and related options to Nokia 7.1. You can check how to use PureDisplay dynamic display adjustment in the screenshots below. You can also hide notch directly by going to display settings on Nokia 7.1.

Ambient display on Nokia 7.1 also supports always on during charging option now. There are many gestures available that can be used for various purposes like swiping fingerprint sensor for notifications, lift to check phone and more.

Nokia 7.1 Performance review :

Nokia 7.1 comes running Android Pie out of the box and is powered by Snapdragon 636 processor. The processor-RAM-Pure Android combo makes it fly and it is a very capable performer.

Nokia 7.1 Plus feels snappy and dependable. It handles both daily and advanced tasks without breaking sweat. Gaming is enjoyable on Nokia 7.1 and multitasking is very efficient.

With super-heavy games (PUBG, GTA SA, Clash of the Clans, Injustice: Gods among us and Mortal Kombat X)  many browser tabs, Camera, and many other apps open in the background it hardly shows any signs of stress. Apps and games resume well from the background.

Nokia 7.1 Battery Life, Fast Charging & Call quality:

Nokia 7.1 has an excellent battery life and in real-life conditions, I have been getting around 34-36 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device. This involves lots of browsing, apps testing, attending calls and daily chores.

It may be around 36-40 hrs for a moderately heavy usage scenario and that is really very impressive. Screen-on time typically varies between 7-8 hrs for heavy usage scenario. Nokia 7.1 supports charging via USB-C port and the fast charging really feels like a must-have feature nowadays.

Nokia 7.1 comes with a Glass unibody design and offers stellar call quality because of its innovative Antenna design. Call reception is usually very good. I didn’t face any issue like call drops etc and it holds well even during long conversations.

Nokia 7.1 Positives & Negatives:


  • While the Glass body + Metal frame design feels robust in hand, but certainly needs a cover to protect the Glass body from falls, scratches etc.
  • Even a slightly better processor could have added to its desirability


  • Very Premium looking glass unibody design with metal frame
  • HDR10 PureDisplay with best-in-class color interpretation, contrast, high brightness, and outdoor readability.
  • Performance wise capable with Snapdragon 636 processor
  • Both Cameras show their potential in our tests. Much improved Camera software

Nokia 7.1 Conclusion:

We subjected Nokia 7.1 to a rigorous and detailed evaluation and after using it as our daily driver for over 50 days, we think that it is an ideal smartphone for those with elevated taste and who want more from their smartphone on a mid-range budget.

Nokia 7.1 comes with high-end premium design, HDR10 PureDisplay, capable camera and good performance. Being an Android One smartphone, Nokia 7.1 has guaranteed two years of Android OS update and 3 years of monthly security updates. Keeping HMD’s track record in mind one can expect Nokia 7.1 to be in the league of very first Android smartphones to receive OS updates.

Nokia 7.1 is priced at Rs 19,999 in India though available at around Rs 1500 discount on other retailers. It is priced at EUR 339 in Germany, EUR 329 in Spain and EUR 329 in Germany and £279.99 in the UK. You can read all our Nokia 7.1 coverage here.

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