Nokia 8.1 first impressions

To make big waves in the midrange segment, a smartphone needs to offer bordering premium features and specs coupled with a friendly price point. Enter the Nokia 8.1, the brand’s entry to the midrange field. This P19,990 phone brings to the table elegance, promising specs, and noteworthy features. But how will it fare against other smartphones in the category?

We got our hands on this device and here are our thoughts so far:Nokia 8.1

Our review unit comes with the Iron/Steel colorway, which is very eye-catching. It looks rugged and tough but still carries a touch of elegance, thanks to the metal accents around the cameras and the fingerprint sensor.

Nokia 8.1

In front is a 6.18-inch Full HD+ display with minimal bezels and a noticeable notch. The device’s PureDisplay technology enhances the viewing experience, giving the phone a vibrant and crisp screen.

The phone does not come with a protective case out of the box. However, the Nokia 8.1 feels solid enough to go without one. It can be a little slippery at first but its sizeable form factor helped make it easy to hold even with just one hand. Both the volume rocker and the power button are found on the right side of the device, while the left side houses the SIM/microSD card slot. A 3.5mm audio jack is found on top of the phone, while the USB-C port is placed at the bottom.

Nokia 8.1

In terms of performance, the Nokia 8.1 comes powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, which allows the phone to run graphics-heavy game titles. Its Android One OS is easy to navigate and friendly for first-time Android users. Powering up the phone, you will be pleasantly surprised to find only few pre-installed apps.

The Nokia 8.1 keeps its camera simple. It has a 12MP dual rear camera bumped up with ZEISS Optics. In front is a 20MP adaptive shooter. So far, both cameras have dazzled us with how clear the photos are even in low-light conditions.

Here are the complete specifications of the Nokia 8.1:

  • Android One (Android 9 Pie)
  • 6.18″ FHD+ IPS 1080 x 2280 18.7: 9 PureDisplay with NEG Dinorex glass protection
  • 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor
  • Adreno 616 GPU.
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage, microSD up to 400GB
  • 12MP F1.8 Dual Pixel PDAF OIS + 13 MP ZEISS dual rear cameras with Dual LED flash
  • 20MP F2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM (hybrid), 4G VoLTE,¬†Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP, LE, aptX HD,¬†GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C 2.0
  • Rear fignerprint scanner, face unlock
  • 3,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging
  • 154.8 x 75.76 x 7.97mm, 180g
Speed says

The Nokia 8.1 doesn’t just look ruggedly premium, its features and specs say the same on paper, too. But will it be able to stand out in the vast sea of midrange smartphones? Catch the full review on Speed Magazine November 2019 issue.

Words Ayie Licsi

Read more: Your Holiday Haul: Nokia 6.1 Plus and 5.1 Plus


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