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Nokia 8.1 Camera review & comparison vs Nokia 7 Plus


Nokia 8.1 is the latest Nokia Android smartphone and perhaps with the best camera yet. The phone has just been launched in India and we had posted our initial impressions of Nokia 8.1 camera. Now time for our detailed Nokia 8.1 camera review. In this article, we will review Nokia 8.1 camera and will also compare the rear camera against the Nokia 7 Plus camera to assess how it fares in terms of imaging and video recording quality.

For your information here are the Nokia 8.1 rear camera details,

  • Rear 12 million + 13 million dual main lens, using the flagship IMX363 sensor, equipped with f / 1.8 large aperture and 1.4μm large pixels, the amount of light can be increased by 96% * , the resolution is more powerful under dark light, less noise in high light Keep the picture pure. With the dual high color rendering index flash, the shooting performance in the dark environment is better.
  • With dual-core focusing technology, with the incredible focus speed, retain the classic moment, with optical anti-shake and EIS anti-shake technology, take a shot, the film rate is greatly improved.
  • Support AI scene recognition, can automatically identify 18 different scenes such as portrait, food, night scene, blue sky, etc., and call out the corresponding camera adaptation parameters, how to shoot at a professional level

AI scene detection demo:

We demoed the AI scene detection features of Nokia 8.1 in a hands-on video and this has become our favorite. Not only it works fine out of the box but it also has huge potential of further improvements.

Nokia 8.1 vs Nokia 7 Plus Daylight Imaging comparison:

In crop comparison set below, Nokia 8.1 50% image crop is on the top followed by Nokia 7 Plus 50% image crop. Click here for the full-size images if you want to compare yourself. Here the auto scene detection capability of Nokia 8.1 shows promise. Check the noise level in Nokia 7 Plus and compare it to Nokia 8.1 crop.

In crop comparison set below Nokia 8.1 100% crop is on the top followed by Nokia 7 Plus crop. Click here for the full-size images if you want to compare yourself. Here both cameras look very similar in terms of color, details and even exposure.

Nokia 8.1 vs Nokia 7 Plus extreme low-light without Flash:

In comparison sets below Nokia 8.1 image is on the right. Click here for the full-size images if you want to compare yourself. These images were captured in almost dark and very low-light conditions. Here also Nokia 8.1 camera identifies it as the night scene and captures more light than Nokia 7 Plus camera.

Nokia 8.1 vs Nokia 7 Plus video recording & stabilization test:

For both daylight and low-light comparisons 4K video samples from Nokia 8.1 and Nokia 7 Plus cameras have been used.

If you check the daylight video comparison, Nokia 8.1 camera performs better in terms of detail capture, contrast and exposure. OIS makes a difference here because while capturing 4K video EIS becomes inefficient, though we expected OIS to work even better on Nokia 8.1.

In terms of low-light video comparison, the OIS and new sensor on Nokia 8.1 ushers in significant difference in terms of exposure, details, stability and the video appears much less noisy. Even the focus locking is faster on Nokia 8.1.

Nokia 8.1 camera sample (Color):

Nokia 8.1 Bokeh/Macro sample:


Click here for the full-size images if you want to check yourself.

Comparison Conclusion & Final camera review:

With the AI powered scene detection feature Nokia 8.1 camera performs very well in all lighting conditions. The improvement over Nokia 7 Plus camera is significant in low-lighting conditions while capturing both images as well videos.

The OIS and new Sony sensor combination is really capable. Video capture is improved in even daylight conditions while daylight imaging can vary from improved as we saw in case of 50% crop set to almost similar as in case of 100% crop set. This may be because the post-processing algorithms may still be same on both Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8.1 cameras in some cases.

In fact HMD didn’t roll-out the improvements in algorithms seen on Nokia 6.1 Plus camera app to other smartphones, and that is a pity. So, while Nokia 8.1 camera shows promise and scene detection feature shines, perhaps the roll-out of new processing algorithms may result in even better images in daylight or even in other lighting conditions.

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