Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
A phone is essentially a means of communication and anything more than that is just added advantage. Apple and Samsung have grown increasingly popular in either iOS and Android markets with every release of their latest flagship model. Nokia may have gone off the grid before but it sure comes back with a vengeance as it hits the midrange division for smartphones. Get quality on a budget as Best Buy slashes $150 off the Nokia 7.1‘s $350 price tag.
For a budget phone, you’ll be glad that the Nokia 7.1 does not look the part with a glass front and back encased in an aluminum chassis. It may not make for an unbreakable design but a case should protect your $200 investment. The 5.8-inch PureDisplay screen has a notch similar to the iPhone XS and flaunts a Full HD+ resolution of 2,280 x 1,080. With HDR10 support, colors appear to be vibrantly punchy and sharp while the phone’s brightness seems to adjust well in any light making it ideal for streaming multimedia content. Its bottom-firing speakers may not compare to stereo sound but it does deliver with a full-bodied sound that is surprisingly loud, plus a headphone jack is delightfully kept in place for when you want an immersive experience.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor powers the Nokia 7.1 which trumps the current midrange champ, the Moto G7’s 632 chip. Nokia’s 7.1 packs 4GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage expandable to 400GB with a microSD card. Performance is more than acceptable, though it may encounter some hiccups when there are more than a few apps active in the background but most games that aren’t heavy on graphics run quite well. Running on Android One, a version of Android straight from Google is a perk you’ll greatly appreciate as the interface is intuitive as well as uncluttered, and comes with the promise of two years worth of updates.
The Nokia 7.1 may struggle in low-light conditions as much as any phone but it’s a solid camera nonetheless. You’ll find two rear cameras with Zeiss optics to increase precision, the primary 12-megapixel lens has an f/1.8 aperture paired with a 5-megapixel lens for depth sensing. A variety of modes can be applied to enhance and play with your shots. HMD’s “Bothie” mode, for example, would let you snap a photo from the back and the front 8-megapixel camera simultaneously.
It’s no powerhouse with only a 3,060mAh battery but you’ll likely be able to go through a full day depending on use. Thankfully, it supports fast charging through its USB-C port. For a phone at this price, the Nokia 7.1 is a worthy midrange contender with a 4-star rating in our review. Snag this flagship-like smartphone for only $200 on Best Buy.
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