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Hands-On With The Nokia 7.1 Smartphone

The Nokia 7.1 was released last night with ePHOTOzine's Stuart Fawcett going along to see the announcement and have a hand's on try of the actual phone.

|  Nokia 7.1 in Camera Phones
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1/100 sec | f/4.0 | 105.0 mm | ISO 250

The Nokia 7.1 was introduced by Nokia brand owner’s HMD and its very proud team of (from right to left) CEO Florian, Chief Product Officer Juho, UK & Eire General Manager Sara and Android & Play partnership director Richard from Google, more on the Android element later.

Nokia is on a product release roll and values the love of their fans who they like to engage with directly. This has paid off with the previously released Nokia 7 plus getting the EISA 'Best Consumer Smartphone Award (2018-2019)'.

This latest Nokia 7.1 smartphone builds on the popularity of previous models by being an ‘Android One’ approved & recommended smartphone that assures effective running of an unmodified Android operating system – this means improved security through frequent updates and Google Play Protect; HMD Nokia call this Pure Secure!

The Nokia 7.1 also brings Zeiss lens excellence to its phones with a lens construction made from 6 plastic elements with calibrated airgaps; Zeiss themselves were at the event showing off their lens experience and knowledge. The rear dual camera has a 12MP/5MP dual sensor capturing colour and B&W information and with depth sensing capability, its AI processing can give effective looking background blur. This live bokeh feature is easily accessible when taking photos, as is a square mode for Instagram ready images. There is also an easy to use Pro Mode that lets you take control of ISO, shutter speed etc and images look great on the full HD screen with its wide colour gamut display which is ambient light aware so the screen is visible in sunlight.


1/150 sec | f/1.7 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64


The front lens camera is an 8MP sensor that also performs very well, doing some side-by-side comparisons with my older Moto phone the new Nokia 7.1 delivered much brighter, clearer images with both its front and rear cameras. AF speed was excellent and screen images were smooth where subjects were moving in low light. Nokia is now certainly on my list of desired camera phones.

Nokia’s 'Bothie' feature allows you to shoot from front and rear cameras at the same time and combine the images into one image. You can now do this one shot at a time so you shoot yourself, and then the scene you are looking at to ensure you get the right angle for each half of the image.

Video HDR was one area that really impressed me, in real time it is taking the standard dynamic range video and creating rich colours with a lovely dynamic range that you’ll be proud to share; it's not over-cooked but instead brings bright colour-rich detail to the images you view. You can also live stream directly to Facebook and YouTube from the camera app. 

The feel of the Nokia 7.1 is very nice, it feels classy and would, I think, work well in a corporate as well as a consumer situation. The edges of the phone have a trim feature that resembles the edge of an expensive watch and it feels crisp in the hand without out being too big. Though, the back does attract fingerprints on the darker model (see below image). Build quality seems impressive from the product presentations and the smartphone feels solid in the hand; one Nokia HMD guy proudly told me how he has dropped his phone 3 times with no issue beyond a corner scratch.


1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

At the bottom of the Nokia 7.1 is the, now standard, fast charge USB-c connection with audio slots, the top has a headset jack. The right side has power and volume, and on the left you find the sim card and MicroSD cover.

The phone app performance seems very good on the Nokia 7.1 and the all-day battery sounds like a winner – though I’d like to use one for real for a few days as I reckon it would last me 2 days with normal usage. 

The Android One OS on the smartphone means Google look after it and you don’t need to wait for Nokia for your calls carrier to vouch for it before they can pass it on to you – so you get security updates and features quicker. It makes me wonder if this means that Android One will be as ubiquitous in the smartphone space as Windows is in the PC and laptop space?

The big surprise of the night, for me, was the price, it's apparently only going to be around £299 from Vodafone, EE, Carphone Warehouse etc. This, I think, makes it very affordable for a smartphone you might keep a few years, and the price is at the level where you could buy it separately from a data/calls contract. It's going to be available for order in the next few weeks and has two different wireless optional earphone accessories that also look cool (pre-ordering is meant to give you a significant discount on the earphones, though, I don’t, as of yet, know where to do this from). You'll also be able to pick up the Nokia 7.1 in 2 colours: Gloss Midnight Blue and Silver/Copper. 

My final thoughts... I really want a Nokia 7.1 for that camera low light performance and the nice feel of the smartphone - it's the best camera/video quality I’ve seen from a smartphone to date.

Word and pictures by Stuart Fawcett (JackallTog)

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JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2018 12:14PM
I now also know the preorder link -
And you can get it with free wireless headphones - Pre-order a Nokia 7.1 and get free Nokia True Wireless Earbuds*
5 Oct 2018 8:36PM
Interested but confused...Blush
If this is their “latest” model (7.1) then what is the Nokia 8 model..? already available and slightly cheaper...
JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2018 8:58PM
They seem to be releasing s lot of models. And yes they do overlap. There is an 8 and an 8 sirocco. There was a 7 and now a 7.1.
I think the number series are different ranges.
9 Oct 2018 8:27PM, say, BMW cars with “1series” “3 series” “5 series” etc. with updated models within the ranges....gottit...Smile

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