Not that the Nokia 7.1 isn’t exciting – it looks premium and comes with a lot of the same specs as the Nokia 6.1 Plus. But since the Nokia 6.1 Plus is already in India and has been doing well,
I’m not sure whether we need another Nokia phone to fill this sub-Rs 20,000 slot right now. What the market definitely needs is a Nokia phone that fills the Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 segment in the country since the Nokia 7 Plus has been quietly discontinued. And Nokia 8.1 is the best candidate for this.
The Nokia 8.1 is widely expected to be the global variant of the China-only Nokia X7. There is the off chance that it may be called the Nokia 7.1 Plus, but for the rest of this article, we will be going with Nokia 8.1. The phone has been rumored to make its global debut for a few weeks now and last week Google added the
Nokia 8.1 in its list of ARCore supported the phone. Google promptly removed the phone from the list after multiple reports broke out, but it’s a pretty clear indication that the phone will be launched soon. Here’s why this is the perfect replacement for the Nokia 7 Plus and the best Nokia phone to take on the likes of the Poco F1 and OnePlus 6T.
Replacing one premium design with another
The Nokia 7 Plus was a standout Nokia phone from HMD for the better part of 2018. It brought an extremely attractive Series 6000 aluminum body with a six-layer ceramic coating on top that gave it a rich and smooth feel. In addition to this, the phone got a generous amount of copper accents all around as well as a tall 18:9 display. HMD has paid a lot of attention to design its Nokia phones and the company has made a shift to glass for most of its newer products such as the Nokia 5.1, Nokia 6.1, Nokia 7.1 and the Nokia X7 (Nokia 8.1).
The Nokia 8.1 also bring a premium design language that’s similar to the Nokia 6.1 Plus with an all-glass body and an edge-to-edge notched display. It is definitely a more “current” design as compared to the Nokia 7 Plus, but it also makes it more fragile and susceptible to damage. That being said, the frame of the Nokia 8.1 is the same Series 6000 aluminum with chamfered edges as the Nokia 7 Plus.
The design of the Nokia 8.1 gives it an edge over phones like the Poco F1 which isn’t as attractively designed. It also makes the Nokia 8.1 a more affordable premium option compared to the OnePlus 6T which costs well over Rs 30,000.
Thanks to the notch, the Nokia 8.1 also gets a bigger 6.18-inch FHD+ display compared to the Nokia 7 Plus that comes with a 6-inch screen. But what’s more notable is that the Nokia 8.1 also comes with a PureDisplay screen technology that was introduced with the Nokia 7.1. This is proprietary technology that HMD says offers higher contrast and deeper colors. It also supports HDR10 so streaming videos on platforms like YouTube and Netflix will offer a sharper viewing experience.
Nokia 8.1 could be the new mid-range beast
Perhaps the most exciting feature about the Nokia 8.1 is that it will come with a Snapdragon 710 octa-core chipset which is the newest mid-range powerhouse chipset from Qualcomm and part of the new 700-series line.
On paper, the chipset comes with a boost in performance and power efficiency compared to the Snapdragon 660 that powers the Nokia 7 Plus. The chipset is based on a 10nm process and aims to offer flagship-level performance for upper mid-range phones.
We are yet to test phone with a Snapdragon 710 chipset so it will be interesting to see how well it performs in real-world usage. This will also give the Nokia 8.1 an advantage over phones from Vivo and Oppo in this price segment that offers either an Helio P60 or a Snapdragon 600-series chipset. In fact,
the Nokia smartphone may also stand toe-to-toe with the likes of the Poco F1 and OnePlus 6T that run on a Snapdragon 845 chipset. The Poco F1 and OnePlus 6T may win in terms of raw performance, but the Nokia 8.1 may be smoother, in the long run, thanks to stock and optimized Android One operating system.
HMD will want to fill the sub-Rs 30,000 segments with a new Nokia phone and the Nokia 8.1 seems like the perfect candidate right now. The premium all-glass design and a Snapdragon 710 chipset will definitely give the device a unique position in this segment. If HMD continues the kind of competitive pricing that was given to the Nokia 6.1 and 5.1, we could be looking at a price of around Rs 25,000 for the Nokia 8.1 in India.