Nokia 8.1 was unveiled by HMD Global at launch event in Dubai on Wednesday. The smartphone, as expected, is indeed the global variant of the Nokia X7 that was launched in China in October, and the spiritual successor to the Nokia 7 Plus. The Nokia 8.1 bears identical specifications to the Nokia X7, but is part of the Android One programme like other HMD Global Nokia smartphones in the recent past. The highlight of the Nokia 8.1 is its 6.18-inch PureDisplay with HDR10 support, its dual rear camera setup with Zeiss optics, the Snapdragon 710 SoC, the fact that it runs on Android 9 Pie, and its 3,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging capabilities.
The Nokia 8.1 price has been set at EUR 399 (roughly Rs. 31,900), and it will go on sale in European and Middle East markets from "mid-December". It will be available in Blue/ Silver, Steel/ Copper, and Iron/ Steel dual-tone colour variants. Notably, HMD Global has scheduled a launch event in India on December 10, and it is expected to launch the Nokia 8.1 here on that date. We can thus expect the smartphone to make its way to India this month as well.
The dual-SIM (Nano) Nokia 8.1 runs stock Android 9 Pie, and as we mentioned, it is part of the Android One programme that is guaranteed to deliver timely updates. It sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ (1080x2244 pixels) display with a 18.7:9 aspect ratio, 81.5 percent screen-to-body ratio, HDR10 support, 500 nits peak brightness, and is capable of a 96 percent colour gamut. The Nokia 8.1 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC clocked up to 2.2GHz, coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM.
The Nokia 8.1 bears a dual rear camera setup with Zeiss optics, with the primary 12-megapixel camera featuring a 1/2.55-inch sensor, 1.4-micron pixels, OIS, EIS, 2PD (dual photodiode) tech, and a dual-LED flash. The secondary 13-megapixel fixed-focus lens is meant for depth sensing. At the front, the Nokia 8.1 bears a 20-megapixel fixed focus lens with 0.9-micron pixels, and 4-in-1 pixel tech for better low-light photography. The company is touting its Bothie feature, which allows both the front and rear camera to used simultaneously, as well as its Pro Camera UI, with several manual camera options. The dual rear camera setup will help create portrait shots featuring a bokeh effect, the company said.
There is 64GB of inbuilt storage on the Nokia 8.1, expandable via microSD card (up to 400GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, VoWiFi, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, FM radio, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and USB Type-C port. The Nokia 8.1 bears an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. It features a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel. It features a two-tone design, and is built out of 6000-Series aluminium that has diamond cut edges and has been through two anodising processes, the company claims.
The Nokia 8.1 runs on a 3,500mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 22 hours of talk time, 24 days of standby time, and up to 11 hours of video playback. The company is also touting the presence of 18W fast charging. It measures 154.8x75.76x7.97mm, and weighs in at 178 grams. It features a single speaker design, and also comes with a smart amp, 2 mics, and Nokia Ozo surround capture. HMD Global also points out that the Nokia 8.1 has Google ARCore support.
Commenting on the launch, Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global, said, "We've seen great success in the value flagship category with each of our smartphones in this class consistently introducing new premium experiences to our fans. With the Nokia 8.1, we are further pushing the boundaries in this segment. We offer accelerated performance with a first-class processor architecture, dual cameras with an industry-leading sensor, OIS and Zeiss Optics for great low light imaging, and our new PureDisplay HDR screen technology."