A well-made phone that feels good in the hand and has a decent camera on board
At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HMD Global pretty much stole the thunder by announcing a total of five phones, including the Nokia 7 Plus. While the Nokia 8 Sirocco may be the company’s answer to the iPhone X and Galaxy S9, it is hard to ignore the Nokia 7 Plus. Billed as the “flagship for everyone”, the premium mid-end smartphone appears to be the company’s most interesting offering to date.
And that shows: The Nokia 7 Plus is certainly a reliable phone that focuses on practicality and functionality. Powered by Android 8.1 Oreo, Nokia 7 Plus is also the star campaigner of Google’s Android One platform. I have tested the Nokia 7 Plus for over a week, and here’s my detailed review.
HMD Global has made a lot of emphasis on the design aspect, and it shows. The handset is made out of a single block of aluminium and coated with a “ceramic feel” paint. There are no antenna lines visible on the phone, all thanks to the six-layer ceramic paint coating.
My review unit came in a black colour option, and the company went with the bronze, copper accents for the frame. That combination coupled with minimalistic styling works. It looks fantastic, it’s grippy and most importantly, the phone appears to be an expensive device. However, I do wish the company had made the Nokia 7 Plus water and dust resistant.
Interestingly, the Nokia 7 Plus’ design reminds me of the Google Pixel 2 XL, with rounded corners of the screen and slightly thick bezels on the top and bottom. The volume rocker and power button can be seen on the right side, while on the bottom is a USB Type-C charging port and a mono speaker. The headphone jack is on top of the phone, and on the left side is a hybrid dual-SIM tray. Flip the phone and you will find a typical Nokia phone.
You will notice a dual-camera system with Zeiss branding, a dual-tone LED Flash, fingerprint scanner and Nokia logo. Speaking of the fingerprint scanner, it’s fast, responsive and accurate—not once did it fail to unlock the device. It also offers a 6-inch with 2,160 x 1,080 pixel resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The display looks superb; the colours and viewing angles are also accurate. And because it comes with a 6-inch panel, it is tailor-made for watching movies and playing games on the go.
When it comes to performance, I was more than satisfied. For starters, Nokia 7 Plus is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor coupled with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage. While you cannot compare a Snapdragon 660 chipset to a Snapdragon 835, I still found the mobile processor snappy. During my testing of the device, I didn’t face any lag or random crashes. In fact, apps load quickly and the games work well on the Nokia 7 Plus. Using it as my primary device for a week, it got an average of one-and-half-day of battery life on a single charge.
Nokia 7 Plus will be sold as an Android One-branded smartphone. This means the handset will not come with bloatware—no third-party apps—pre-loaded on the device. All you will get is the smooth Android 8.1 Oreo, with fast boot-up time, regular software updates and a host of Oreo-only features.
The phone sports a 12 MP primary shooter with an f/1.8 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels, and a 13 MP secondary telephoto lens with a f/2.6 aperture, and 1-micron pixels. Nokia 8 had a inconsistent camera, and the Nokia 7 Plus is the complete opposite. The camera is fast and it copes well in various light settings, including low-light. Consistency is surely there, unlike the Nokia 8’s mediocre camera. In terms of image quality, pictures came out colourful and remarkably sharp. The telephoto is also capable of providing a lossless 2x optical zoom. I didn’t like the live bokeh mode, though. It only works when the light is sufficient and you have to maintain a certain distance from the subject.
In summary, Nokia 7 Plus is perhaps the best smartphone ever made by HMD Global. It’s very well made, feels good in the hand, performs well, and has a decent camera on board. If Google ever thought of making a mid-end Pixel smartphone, it would be like the Nokia 7 Plus. At Rs 25,999, Nokia 7 Plus is a dependable smartphone in my option. Ironically, the biggest competition for the Nokia 7 Plus is not from Xiaomi or Vivo, but from the Nokia 8 which currently sells for Rs 28,000 on
various e-commerce platforms.