Motorola One Vision vs. Nokia 7.1: Which is the best budget phone for you?

Nokia 7.1 Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Motorola One Vision looks like a serious bargain. It boasts a large display, a dual-lens 48-megapixel and 5-megapixel camera, and plenty of stamina. With Android One, it’s also certain to be updated in a timely fashion. But is it the best Android phone in this price range? We are big fans of the Nokia 7.1, so we decided to pit the two against one another in a series of categories to find an overall winner.

Specs

Motorola One Vision Nokia 7.1
Size 160.1 × 71.2 × 8.7 mm (6.3 × 2.8 × 0.34 inches) 149.7 × 71.1 × 8mm (5.89 × 2.79 × 0.31 inches)
Weight 180 grams (6.35 ounces) 160 grams (5.64 ounces)
Screen Size 6.3-inch IPS LCD 5.8-inch PureDisplay IPS LCD
Screen resolution 2,520 × 1,080 pixels (432 pixels per inch) 2,280 × 1,080 pixels (435 pixels-per-inch)
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie
Storage space 128GB 64GB
MicroSD card slot Yes Yes
Tap-to-pay services (NFC) Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Samsung Exynos 9610 Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
RAM 4GB 4GB
Camera Dual lens 48-megapixel and 5MP rear, 25MP front Dual 12-megapixel and 5MP rear, 8MP front
Video 2,160p at 30 fps, 1,080p at 60 fps 2,160p at 30 fps, 1,080p at 30 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C,  3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Fingerprint sensor Yes (back) Yes (back)
Water resistance IP52 No
Battery 3,500mAh

Fast charging 15W

3,060mAh

Fast charging 18W

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support TBA T-Mobile, AT&T
Colors Bronze, Sapphire Midnight Blue, Gloss Steel
Price 299 euros (around $335) $350
Buy from Motorola Amazon
Review score News 4 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Nokia 7.1 Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

While Motorola has packed a Samsung Exynos 9610 processor into the One Vision, Nokia has gone with a Snapdragon 636 in the 7.1. Both are midrange chips that offer similar performance levels, but the Samsung processor may have a slight edge in terms of graphics and image processing. Both devices have 4GB of RAM. The One Vision also offers 128GB of storage, while the Nokia 7.1 makes do with 64GB, but both have MicroSD card slots for expansion.

The Motorola One Vision dominates in the battery department, too, with an extra 440mAh of capacity over the 3,060mAh battery in the Nokia 7.1. However, the Nokia has a very slight advantage in charging speed, offering fast charging at up to 18W, compared to 15W for the Motorola One Vision.

Winner: Motorola One Vision

Design and durability

The Motorola One Vision is a much bigger and heavier phone than the Nokia 7.1. The 6.3-inch display has a hole-punch front-facing camera at the top left and there’s a bezel at the bottom of the screen. The back is curved glass with a gradient finish. There’s a dual-lens camera module at the top left and a fingerprint sensor in the middle with the classic M logo. The Nokia 7.1 is more conventional and feels a little dated by comparison, with a 5.8-inch display that sports a notch and a thick bezel at the bottom. There’s a centrally placed, vertically stacked camera module on the back with a recessed fingerprint sensor below.

The Motorola One Vision scores an IP52 rating, but the Nokia 7.1 has no water resistance stated. They’re both glass front and back, so cases are a good idea. With the more modern design and better water resistance, the Motorola One Vision takes this round.

Winner: Motorola One Vision

Display

Motorola One Vision

Both these phones have LCD screens. The 6.3-inch display in the Motorola One Vision boasts a 2,520 x 1,080-pixel resolution that works out to 432 pixels per inch (ppi), while the Nokia 7.1 has a 5.8-inch screen with a 2,280 x 1,080-pixel resolution, which translates to 435 ppi. The One Vision screen is bigger, but also has a 21:9 aspect ratio, instead of 19:9. As we found with Sony’s Xperia 10, the One Vision’s aspect ratio is ideal for watching movies. However, the Nokia 7.1 boasts HDR10 certification, which makes a real difference to the contrast with the right content.

Winner: Tie

Camera

Nokia 7.1 Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Motorola One Vision boasts an impressive dual-lens main camera that pairs a 48-megapixel lens with a 5-megapixel lens. It turns out 12-megapixel photos, but a technique called pixel binning boosts the quality. The Nokia 7.1. pairs 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel lenses and it’s a pretty capable camera as long as there’s enough light. You’ll also find A.I. image recognition, a night vision mode, portrait lighting, and more in the One Vision, while the Nokia 7.1 has a good portrait mode, a bothie mode, and a Pro mode that lets you make adjustments.

On the selfie front, the One Vision boasts a 25-megapixel camera while the Nokia 7.1 makes do with an 8-megapixel shooter. Both phones can capture 4K video.

Winner: Motorola One Vision

Software and updates

Nokia 7.1 Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We’re pleased to report that both these phones are Android One devices. It offers the best experience for budget phones and we’ve preferred Nokia devices to Motorola ones in the past for this reason. The Android One program means no bloatware, just pure Android, and it guarantees at least two years of Android version updates and three years of security patches. Updates are far too rare in budget phones, so this is a big deal. The Motorola One Vision also has Moto Actions like chop twice for flashlight and twist to launch the camera.

Since both phones currently run Android 9.0 Pie, there’s nothing to separate them here, though it may be worth mentioning that the Nokia 7.1 is coming up on its first birthday and so it won’t continue to be updated for as long as the One Vision.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Motorola One Vision

We’ve talked about the various A.I. and image processing smarts in the One Vision camera, the Moto gestures, and Android One. There isn’t much else to speak of in terms of special features. It’s a similar story with the Nokia 7.1, which also boasts Android One and has that HDR10 certified screen. We think Motorola’s phone offers a little more, but there isn’t much in it.

Winner: Motorola One Vision

Price and availability

We don’t yet know whether the Motorola One Vision will be released in the U.S., but it is available in Europe for 299 euros (around $335). You can also buy it in the U.K. from the end of May for 269 British pounds.

The Nokia 7.1 will cost you $350 and you can buy it from AmazonBest Buy, and B&H in the U.S. It will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile, though, there’s no Verizon or Sprint support.

Overall winner: Motorola One Vision

As the newer phone, it’s not surprising that the Motorola One Vision carries the day. It’s a little faster, has a bit more stamina, a slightly better design, and offers a bit more in the camera department. At the same price, or even slightly less, than the Nokia 7.1, we think the Motorola One Vision is the best pick.

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