Nokia 8.1 Review

Nokia 8.1 Review

As if HMD Global's number-and-decimal model hierarchy wasn't confusing enough, there has been a course correction with the Nokia 8.1. This phone is not in any way meant to be superior to last year's flagship Nokia 8 or the Nokia 8 Sirocco — from now on, flagship models will almost certainly make up a new 9-series tier.
Nokia 8.1 Review
Nokia 8.1 Review

Instead, the new Nokia 8.1 is a premium model for those who don't want to spend flagship-level money. Sure enough, there is a fairly wide gap in the market right now because thanks to relentless price wars, we now have a lot of sub-Rs. 20,000 phones with features that were considered impossible to find at that level just about a year ago.

  • The Nokia 8.1 has a 6.18-inch display with a notch, and a 3500mAh battery
  • This is an Android One phone that's already running Android 9.0 Pie
  • It uses the new octa-core Snapdragon 710 SoC and has 4GB of RAM

However, the prices of premium phones are also decreasing. We have a very strong Poko F1, 20,999 (review) and Asus Zenfone 5z (review), as well as Samsung's Triple-Camera Galaxy A7 (Review), which entices buyers in sub-money. 

30,000 bracket with flagship-grade features. Does HMD Global correctly evaluate the market, and can the new Nokia 8.1 deposit its foot here? We are going to find out.

Nokia 8.1 design

For the content and style of HMD Global, Nokia 8.1 looks bigger, chunky and heavy. Body is made of solid aluminum with front glass and rear glass. 

You have the option of two colors - blue / silver and iron / steel - both of these have the pronunciation of opposite metal. Our review unit is Iron Edition, which is very dark brown, and is quite unusual.

There is a thick, flat band of highly polished steel running around. Visually, the band emphasizes the 7.97 mm thickness of this phone by dividing the body and disrupting the smooth curve of the sides. The camera bumps and fingerprint sensors are equally bright accents around.

On the positive side, Nokia 8.1 has been built like a tank. Every part of it looks perfectly solid, just below the thick metal SIM tray and power and volume buttons. The body does not twist or flex slightly.

Glass corning on the front is an unspecified version of Gorilla Glass, and HMD Global has not confirmed whether the reinforced back is also. Resistance to water and dust would have been good, but there is no IPxx rating.

Display Notch is quite wide and offers earpieces, front camera, front flash and proximity sensors inside it. The chin is not very thick, but the look of a reflective Nokia logo goes there. On the back side, the camera module is much more than used to look at phones like OnePlus 6T.
Nokia 8.1 Review
Nokia 8.1 Review

When lying on its back, the Nokia 8.1 camera rests on the bump and the glass surface makes contact with anything which is barely below it, which actually helps prevent it from sliding around.

Despite its proportion, Nokia 8.1 is quite easy to catch up. We were able to use it with some hands in some situations, without worrying that it slipped and collapsed. Overall, while the quality of Nokia 8.1's content is well-fitted and finishing, it is not as smart or modern as some of its competitors.

Nokia 8.1 specifications and software

The most interesting thing about Nokia 8.1 is that it is not for the success of the Nokia 8.0 27,480 (review) or the Nokia 8 Sirocco the 36,999 (review), both were flagship flagship devices, which were once the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor Were using.

Instead, our first phone call to us is running the new Snapdragon 710, which is still to be premium, but not quite at the top. Qualcomm presented a new 7xx series to address the fact that Snapdragon 6xx SoCs are now common in sub-rs. Leaving 20,000 phones, a large difference between that level and the only Snapdragon 8xx model of each generation.

Snapdragon 710 supports high-end smartphone features with a dedicated AI subsystem, supports many high-resolution cameras, modern LTE modems and definitely beef CPU and GPU core.

There are eight custom cryo 360 CPU cores, but there is a twist that is unclear about the spec sheet - two of these creations are running up to 360 Gold Corps (ARM Cortex-A75) 2.2 GHz, and there are six Cryo 360 Silver ( ARM Cortex-A55) is running at 1.7GHz. The adreno 616 GPU has also been claimed to provide "console-like" gaming quality.

 Read More: Realme 3 Review

Another highlight of this phone is its HDR 10-capable screen. It measures 6.18 inches from corner to corner and has an abnormal 18.7: 9 aspect ratio, which creates resolution 1080x2246. 

There is a 3500mAh battery, and "18W Fast Charging" is supported and you get a big 18W charger in the box, although the HMD Global Qualcomm is not using the quick charging name.

There is only one configuration option for Nokia 8.1, which has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It looks a bit awkward, given that 128GB is not unusual at this price level. You can pop into the MicroSD card, but that means discard the second SIM for hybrid dual-sim design.

Talk about SIM, both have 4G and VoLTE support. You also get Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, NFC, FM radio and GPS. Below is a USB Type-C port and 3.5mm audio jack on top.

Our review unit was already running Android 9.0 pie when we first took it out of its seal box. This is an Android One phone, which means that you get a stock Android UI and you are guaranteed a major version update for at least two years, along with regular and quick security updates.

We noticed some minor UI customisations including the composition icon in the Home screen and app drawer - you can choose between several shapes, but you can not just keep icons. Our unit had new Android 9.0 gestures that were enabled by default rather than standard navigation buttons.

We think it's a bit disappointing to use, but unlike Google's Pixel 3 phone, it can be brought back at least. To do this, you have to find the gestures section in the Settings app and then. Swipe-up on the Home button has to be unchecked.

Thanks to the detailed footnotes, the only way to see the percentage of your battery level is small numbers within the battery icon, or to reduce the information. If you do squirts, numbers are only visible in the icon, which means that you lose this important information.

If you want to mask the knot with a black band, then you have to dig through the Hidden Developer panel in the Settings app and check 'Full Bezal'. 'This system-wide will apply, not per-app
Nokia 8.1 Review
Nokia 8.1 Review

There are some display presets, so you can select standard, vivid or muted colors. The default is dynamic, which changes the preset based on what you're doing. 

An ambient display feature shows time, date and notification icon in monochrome, and when you receive an incoming message, you can tap to take an action. Ambient display can be turned on while charging the phone, but it is not otherwise because it is not an AMOLED panel.

Preloaded software is limited to Google's own app, which includes Google Pay (formerly Google Tez) and a Nokia Care support app. Once you start using Google Assistant and start typing in your Google services, you'll see "at a glance" information on the home screen, including traffic alerts and upcoming calendar events.

A lot can be said for the flipping of the stock Android experience, but you do not get other useful features like the ability to run multiple instances of some apps or a safe area for hidden files and apps.

Nokia 8.1 performance, battery life, and cameras

We were eager to keep the brand new Snapdragon 710 SoC with its all-common benchmark through its paces. Starting with AnTuTu, we got a score of 1,71,343. 

The single-core and multi-core trials of Geekchain gave us 1,827 and 5867 points respectively, and Basmank Web 3.0 returned 222.09 points.

On the graphics front, we got 22fps in GFXBench's T-Rex Test, 57fps and Manhattan 3.1 Test. These scores show a fair collision in performance compared to Snapdragon 660 or MediaTek Helio P60, more than the quality of the graphics compared to CPU power. Although we are still not anywhere that Snapdragon 845 could pump out, though.
Nokia 8.1 Review
Nokia 8.1 Review

In the context of the use of the real world, experience was quite smooth during our review period. These days, phones with very little tier processors work uninterrupted, and therefore we are not disappointed. We were able to switch between apps without any tension and many Chrome browser tabs.

PUBG and Asphalt 9: The legends were perfectly smooth Asphalt 9 is the default for its medium quality preset, but we've done it fine after giving the bump, and PUBG went into its high-framerate and quality preset from the beginning.

Read More: Oppo K1 Review
When we tried some YouTube demo videos, the HDR screen jumped into life. Even if the resolution goes down to 480p or so, you can watch the video with HDR and there are no modes or settings to worry about. HDR videos look especially good because you usually catch a smartphone on your face, as long as you push the brightness up.

Of course, this will tense the battery, and we saw a decrease of 2 percent after watching the HDR video of five or six minutes on 1080p. 

If you want to turn it off, you can not override the HDR at the system-wide level. Sound is very loud and not very hard or tinea through a single mono speaker.

This brings us to battery life, which was not very exciting. After full day use of non-HDR video streaming and two rounds of PUBG, along with general messaging and web browsing, we found that at the time we went to bed, Nokia 8.1 at about 10 percent of the time was down. At night. Our HD Video Loop Test lasted just 9 hours, 21 minutes.

Nokia 8.1 has a 12-megapixel primary rear camera, with Zeiss-branded lens and optical image stabilization as well as secondary 13-megapixel fixed focus depth sensor. Nokia has not published aperture values, but touting the primary camera's "super-sensitive" 1 / 2.55-inch sensor with 1.4-micron pixels. 

There is a 20-megapixel front camera with an adaptive mode that connects four pixels to capture better detail in low light at the cost of the resolution.

The camera app is quite busy, with a line of eight icons at the top to make you quick access to many features and quick settings menu. A ribbon of mode runs downward, so you can select Square, Panorama, Live Bokeh, Pro, Auto Photo, Video, Slow Motion and Time Laps.

You can also trigger the pro mode by dragging the shutter release button upwards. If you have used the high-end Nokia phone in the past, you can identify the surrounding rings to change different settings. On a large phone, it may be difficult to frame all the settings while holding the camera to frame the shot.

Photo quality was good, but not particularly relevant. Many samples of our day had very good detail and vibrant colors. Nokia 8.1 was quick to lock Focus and was fun to use. 

Some shots had over-exposure, and the bright spots of the sky would be blown up easily. It took a while to focus on the right spot for the live Bokeh shots, but they looked fantastic.

However at night, quality took a nose. The shots were usually quite bright, but there was too much noise, and the details were grainy. 

The distant objects could not be carried out well, and when the shots were seen to be idle on the phone, we still saw that when we later reviewed our photos on the big screen, the focus would be completely Is wrong with

The videos taken in the day were crisp and sharp. Optical Image Stabilization Definitely made a difference in default 1920x1080 recording resolution. 

Even when we walked on an uneven pavement, the footage looked very smooth. At night, our sample video had a strange throbbing effect, and they were very intelligent and obscure.

The front camera was very good in most situations, including the dark. You can choose overlay shots made with front or rear cameras simultaneously, by both sides or by picture. Beautification is available and is off by default.


Nokia 8.1 is a confused name. We are not judging it by our predecessors, but it is difficult to say where this phone fits because it does not offer any major categories of features, but the price-conscious value does not fit even in the bracket.

If you are about Rs. 30,000, more powerful options such as Asus ZenFone 5Z and Poco F1 On the other hand, there are many models whose prices are good under rupees. Provide 20,000 and the same level of performance - including the new Nokia 7.1 (18,500 (review).

This phone can be seen as an improvement in its content and build quality, style, performance and general low cost options in terms of cameras - in the latter part of the day, at least Some users may be willing to pay a bit more for the Nokia name. 

A lot can be liked about the Nokia 8.1, but most of the things that give its appeal can be found in those phones whose prices are very low.

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