After receiving the rights to license Nokia’s brand name last year, Finland-based HMD Global launched a total of five Nokia phones at Mobile World Congress 2018, including the Nokia 8110 4G feature phone.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco may be the most luxurious of the bunch, but our eyes and hands immediately gravitated to the Nokia 7 Plus. It’s a mid-range phone that HMD Global is billing as the “flagship for everyone,” and based on our brief hands-on time with the phone, there’s a strong chance it’s right.
It’s the coating on the back of the Nokia 7 Plus that drew us in the most. There are no antenna lines to be seen on the phone, and that’s largely thanks to the six-layer ceramic paint coating that helps boost the connectivity. We can’t comment on how good the phone’s signal is, but the coating makes the back of the phone matte, and absolutely wonderful to touch.
The overall design reminds us a lot of the Google Pixel 2 XL, with rounded corners on the screen, and minimized bezels on the top and bottom. Flip the 7 Plus around, though, and it looks more like a traditional HMD-made Nokia phone. The dual-camera system, fingerprint sensor, and Nokia logo are all accented with a nice copper tone.
The volume rocker and power button on the right side are easy to find and press, and on the bottom is a USB Type-C charging port. Unlike the Sirocco, you also get a headphone jack at the top of the device.
The Nokia 7 Plus is a beautiful phone, and a joy to touch. A 6-inch screen makes it feel big, but the grippy ceramic coating prevents it from feeling like it will slip out of our hands. With 2,160 x 1,080-pixel resolution and an 18:9 aspect ratio, the IPS display looks colorful, relatively bright, and sharp. We’ll have to do a little more testing to make sure, but we were satisfied in the brief time we used the phone.
Android One, smooth performance
Most of HMD’s new Nokia phones run Android One now. It means the phone will have no bloatware — just Google apps — the software experience will be stock Android 8.0 Oreo, and you will get access to fast version and security updates. The phone flew through the menus, and apps opened quickly. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and 4GB of RAM should offer sufficient power for ordinary users.
The Nokia 7 Plus is a beautiful phone, and a joy to touch.
There’s 64GB of internal storage available, as well as a MicroSD card slot in case you need more. But the biggest promise HMD is making with the Nokia 7 Plus is two-day battery life. The company was confident in its estimates, and while we can’t confirm it, it’s not an unreasonable claim. With a 3,800mAh battery, the Nokia 7 Plus’ other mid-range specs shouldn’t demand too much power.
The camera has Zeiss optics, and it performs well. We didn’t see much shutter lag when tapping the shutter icon, and the results looked good. The rear dual-camera system has a 12-megapixel and a 13-megapixel lens, and they both allow for 2x optical zoom, as well as “bothies,” which is when you take a photo or video with the front and rear camera at the same time.
With 16 megapixels, the front camera actually has more resolution than either of the rear cams, and HMD said it’s great for taking selfies in low-light situations. We didn’t get a chance to take a look, but we will in our full review.
Price and availability
The Nokia 7 Plus will set you back 400 euros ($492), and it will be available May 2 in the U.K., and you can nab a free Google Home Mini with your purchase from select retailers. It’s unclear if it will come to the U.S., but regardless, it’s great value. The OnePlus 5T, our current budget smartphone pick, costs 560 euros.
Update: We’ve added more recent availability information.