Nokia 7.1 Hands-on: A Mid-Range Beauty with Some Tricks

HMD Global, a little company you might know for the revival of Nokia phones, is once again breathing some new life into the mid-range market, this time with the Nokia 7.1. With Nokia’s signature build quality and good looks, the 7.1 offers features like HDR10 conversion for all videos, improved cameras, and the usual Nokia promise of “pure, secure, and up to date” with Android One software. We got to spend some time holding and ogling this impressive mid-ranger, so we figured we’d do our best to show you what it’s like.


The first thing that stands out with the Nokia 7.1 is its beautiful design and materials. Constructed from a single aluminum body extruded to flow seamlessly into the glass front and back, the 7.1 comes in two pleasing colors - Glossy Midnight Blue and Glossy Steel. The Glossy Midnight Blue mostly looks black, with silver chamfered edges and accents while the Glossy steel is silvery-beige color with anodized copper accents. Both have black facades, with mid-sized notches at the top and a bit of a chin at the bottom.


Speaking of the face, the Nokia 7.1 sports a 5.84-inch FHD+ (2280 x 1080 px) display which not only adapts its brightness, but also its color tones for different situations, in an effort to keep the screen easily visible.

Our favorite feature here, though, is full, native HDR10 support. This doesn’t just mean that the 7.1 is capable of playing HDR10 content, but it also converts standard-definition videos to HDR10 in any video-playing app, and the results are quite noticeable.


Dual-camera Zeiss optics in back consist of a 12 MP, f/1.8 sensor paired with a 5 MP sensor used for depth information in portrait modes. Portrait mode can also live-adjust Bokeh intensity – in back through the dual cameras, and up-front via AI algorithms. Speaking of selfies, Bothies, Nokia’s photo mode which stitches together pictures from the front and back cameras, has been adjusted to enable resizing the composition of such pics from a 50/50 split to about 70/30, and a few steps in between. Also new to this mode is the ability to snap the pictures at separate times.

Interface and Performance

Being and Android One device, you’ll find near-stock Android 8.1 on this Nokia, but thanks to timely updates, the company says the Nokia 7.1 will receive Android Pie by the end of November. As always, this near-stock, no-bloat Android interface runs smoothly, and the Snapdragon 636 paired with 4 GB RAM seems to work well with this from our initial impressions. Alas, this and the efficiency of which on the 3060 mAh battery will require some deeper testing, but we do like specs like the ability to charge to 50% in 30 minutes.

Pricing and Availability

U.S. versions will come only in 4/64 GB (expandable to 400GB via MicroSD) configuration, priced at $349, while globally the Nokia 7.1 will be offered in this same configuration for €349, and a 3/32 GB setup for €319. Pre-sale begins October 5th and will be available from Amazon, Best Buy, and BH Photo, with sales beginning November 4th.

Related phones

  • Display 5.8" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3060 mAh(19.5h talk time)



1. OneLove123

Posts: 1260; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Chinny, chin, chin!!

2. Venom

Posts: 3823; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

"U.S. versions will come only in 4/64 GB (expandable to 400GB via MicroSD) configuration, priced at $349" Yes! Finally, about f***ing time. This is filling a void left by Motorola and the Moto X, pure stock Android outside of Google and the Pixel phones. I have no problem with the US just getting the 4/64 GB combo.

3. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I wouldn't fret too much about the battery size. I have a Moto Z3 Play with nearly identical specs (6" HD display, SD636, 4GB RAM, 3000mAh battery) and it runs as smooth as my Galaxy S8+ with the SD835. Even without the included Moto Mod battery it lasts all day long with heavy use. I'm quite impressed with the 636 and its power management.

8. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Wow, guys are getting waaaaay too girly about the looks of a phone. The "chin" looks to be a quarter inch. That's nothing. I'd complain about the notch before the chin, but for all that's going right with this phone, it's hard to complain. Very solid device imo

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 22490; Member since: May 28, 2014

"Presale to begin October 5th". Awesome! I'll have my card ready on October 5th, first thing! This smartphone is one notched beauty. The designers of the Pixel 3XL should really take note here. HMD has really been doing the Nokia name proud. True Nokia fans should be proud.

11. Venom

Posts: 3823; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

This isn't about the Pixel phones at all. Why did you even bother to bring them up in the first place?

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22490; Member since: May 28, 2014

For the same reasons you bring up BlackBerry, Nokia and Huawei phones when the op isn’t about them.

5. kabel

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

That is pure ugliness ... I’ll stick to my Nokia 6.1 then ... maybe next year if the horns and chin are gone.

6. perry1234

Posts: 654; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Great phone considering its build , Nokia/HMD and the software support it will receive for a long time to come. HDR 10 + upscaling is unprecedented in this smartphone demographic. The chin is big though, somehow seems to spoil the otherwise great aesthetic of this phone. Was it needed ? I don’t know. I do hope there is stereo speaker setup, but even that is forgiveable since it has the 3.5mm jack which can easily compensate for stereo speakers 90% of the time and in a better way.

7. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I don't know. When the bezel-free rage took over it became hard enough for people with large hands like myself to grab a phone without initiating something onscreen. At least Sonys have a way to grab their phones in landscape mode and I always liked that about them. Take away the chin on this beauty and what do you have left to hang onto? I'll say this though, having a chin and "forehead" bare without front-facing stereo speakers is a waste of space.

10. perry1234

Posts: 654; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Yeah, it becomes tough to actually hold the phone. Even gaming is affected because you have no place to rest your thumb. I hence prefer the Nokia 7 Plus form factor..but yes, if you are going to put a chin, also put a damn good speaker in place.

9. power21

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 15, 2015

look ma another yellow car.

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