HomeReviewsNokia 8.1 First Impressions: This Beauty comes with brains!

Nokia 8.1 First Impressions: This Beauty comes with brains!

The phone is powered with a quite of interesting specifications and the camera sure looks interesting. So, can it create a special place in the mid-range segment? Here are our first impressions.

HMD Global has today announced the launch of its latest mid-range smartphone, the Nokia 8.1, in India. The smartphone comes with a price tag of Rs 26,999 and it will be available on for purchase from 25th December.

HMD Global has added a premium glass design with a mix of aluminium finish around the edges. The phone is powered with a quite of interesting specifications and the camera sure looks interesting. So, can it create a special place in the mid-range segment? Here are our first impressions.

Design and Display

Nokia 8.1

HMD Global has identified itself of creating some beautifully-designed smartphones in the past and this one is no exception. The smartphone sports a glass back coupled with glittery effect beneath it, which adds some brownie points. The edges come with the aluminium body, which provides a sturdy feel to the device. We got the Cooper colour option and it sure looks premium. This is one of the devices that looks good when you place it on the table. However, we did feel that the phone is quite slippery in nature and even there is a slight slant, the phone will start slipping.

Quickly briefing about key positions, the front sports a large display with a large notch on the top that houses the front-facing camera and LED flash, while the at the base, there is Nokia branding. The right of the device bears volume controls and power on/off button, while the left is equipped with a hybrid dual-SIM slot. The top is loaded with a 3.5mm audio jack, while the base has USB Type-C port along with speaker grilles.

Nokia 8.1

At the back, you will notice a camera hump, which houses vertically-aligned dual-camera setup with Zeiss branding. Just beneath it is the fingerprint sensor and Nokia branding. That said, the Nokia 8.1 is surely one of the most premium looking smartphone at this price band.

Coming to the display, Nokia 8.1 features a 6.18-inch Full HD+ display with a screen resolution of 2244 x 1080 pixels along with 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The phone supports HDR 10 support, which simply means that you can easily stream high-quality content on this smartphone. Coming to the initial impression, the phone delivers some punchy colours and texts looks pretty sharp. Whether be it gaming or watching, you will enjoy watching it on this smartphone.

Hardware and Software

Nokia 8.1

On the hardware front, the Nokia 8.1 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor along with Adreno 616 GPU. the phone is backed by a 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 400GB via microSD card slot. That said, the initial performance seems to be pretty decent as tried some multi-tasking and the experience was smooth. With such kind of specs, it will face a stiff competition with the likes of Vivo V11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy A9 and more.

On the software front, Nokia has the biggest advantage of being an Android One partner. This is the first phone from the company that comes pre-loaded with Android 9.0 Pie. This simply means that you have the chance of using the new navigation controls coupled with adaptive display and battery. The user interface seems to be pretty smooth for starters and will be talking about it in-depth once we are through with the testing.


Nokia 8.1

Talking about its camera prowess, the Nokia 8.1 is equipped with a dual-camera setup, which comes with a combination of 12-megapixel primary lens with 1/2.55″ Sony IMX363 sensor, f/1.8 aperture, 1.4μm pixels, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and 13-megapixel secondary sensor with f/2.2 aperture, ZEISS optics. For the front, there is a 20-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture. The initial performance sure looks decent as the phone is able to click some well-detailed shots in broad daylight.

Battery and Connectivity

For the battery, the phone employs a 3500mAh juice and it is equipped with an 18W fast charging support. In our testing, we found that it takes one hour to charge up to 75 per cent. We will be testing it further to get an appropriate time of full charge. On the connectivity front, it is equipped with a 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS, USB Type-C and 3.5mm headphone jack.


To conclude, the Nokia 8.1 is a pretty interesting device to watch for. The phone features a premium design and display looks sharp. The hardware is up to the mark and the software gives pure stock Android experience. As for the competition is concerned, the phone will face a stiff competition from the likes of Vivo V11 Pro and more.

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