Nokia 8.1 goes on sale in India today: Should you buy it?

Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 (Review) is now available for purchase in India on Amazon India and Nokia’s online store. The phone was announced earlier this month as the successor to the Nokia 7 Plus. This means this is HMD’s newest premium affordable smartphone that offers an elegant glass and metal design along with a powerful Snapdragon 710 chipset and Android 9 Pie out of the box.

The Nokia 8.1 is priced at Rs 26,999, which is close to what the Nokia 7 Plus was priced at when it launched earlier this year. This price is for the base model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. During the launch event, HMD said that there will be a 6GB + 128GB variant of the Nokia 8.1 that will launch in January. We do not know the price of this variant yet, but we assume it will be closer to Rs 30,000.

Nokia 8.1 specifications

The Nokia 8.1 sports a 6.18-inch FHD+ (2246×1080) PureDisplay with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. PureDisplay is a screen technology that offers a higher contrast and sharper display along with HDR10 support. The phone is also capable of upscaling SDR content to HDR as well.

The Nokia 8.1 is powered by a 2.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 710 chipset coupled with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. The phone offers storage expandability up to 400GB via microSD card. It houses a 3,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging support. This is an Android One phone and the first Nokia phone to ship with Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box.

The phone offers Zeiss-powered dual cameras on the back. This sees a 12MP primary sensor with 1.4 micron pixel, OIS, EIS and 2PD support, and a 13MP secondary sensor for depth sensing. The device also comes with a 20MP front-facing camera. Connectivity options on board include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, among other things. The handset measures 154.8×75.76×7.97mm and weighs 180 grams.

Should you buy the Nokia 8.1

HMD has launched a lot of Nokia phones this year, and the Nokia 8.1 ranks right up there with the best of them. There is a lot to love about this new phone right from it’s design to its performance. This is a good-looking phone that offers a level of class while keeping it firmly up-to-date with the current trend. The Iron/ Steel option offers a unique wine-like colour that looks great in daylight and the chamfered frame with steel accents gives it a very Nokia feel to it.

The Snapdragon 710 chipset powering the device delivers a solid performance in both day-to-day usage and while playing graphic intensive games. This is a smooth phone that promises to stay that way even after a few months thanks to a stock, lightweight Android 9 Pie user interface and some nice system optimisation. The only time the Nokia 8.1 may feel underwhelming is when you’re taking photos in low-light. While it may not offer the kind of raw performance as the Poco F1, the Nokia 8.1 is definitely a more complete smartphone that is worth considering if you’re in the market for a premium affordable device.