While it hasn’t been getting the publicity of the latest handsets from Apple or Samsung, Nokia has been quietly pumping out excellent smartphones for a couple of years now. We named the excellent Nokia 6.1 as our favorite budget smartphone, and we’ve been consistently impressed by the quality coming out of the Finnish company recently. Yesterday, December 5, saw the release of the Nokia 8.1, a new midrange device with plenty of power, Android 9.0 Pie, and a very reasonable price tag — but it unfortunately won’t be coming to U.S. shores. Here’s everything you need to know about the Nokia 8.1.
You’ll be able to pick up the Nokia 8.1 in a selection of attractive colors, including blue silver, iron steel, and steel copper. Nokia has built on its previous designs, using an extruded 6000-series aluminium frame with a dual anodizing process that emulates the much-loved look of the Nokia 7.1 Plus. The notched display is a 6.18-inch LCD running a Full HD+ resolution, and comes with PureDisplay HDR screen technology.
Break it open (on second thought, don’t do that), and you’ll find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 processor inside. This processor offers up to 20-percent higher performance than the previous Snapdragon 660, and promises a 35-percent improvement in graphic speeds. It comes with a multi-core A.I. Engine and A.I. optimization, and support for AR core applications and Bluetooth AptX for high quality wireless sound. Nokia even claims the processor’s efficiency means the Nokia 8.1 will sport a two-day battery life. We’ll be sure to put that to the test.
Like most of Nokia’s recent phones, you’ll find Android One on the Nokia 8.1 This means you’ll get an amazingly clean interface that’s pure Android at its best. That should mean super-smooth, fast performance, and fast updates. You’ll also find Android 9.0 Pie on here, making the Nokia 8.1 one of the few phones to have adopted Google’s latest OS already. As per Google’s assurance, you’ll get three years of monthly security patches and two major OS updates for the Nokia 8.1 — so you’ll get Android Q and Android R.
It’s blessed with a decent set of Zeiss-tuned shooters, too. There’s a primary 12-megapixel lens with an industry-leading 1/2.55-inch super sensitive sensor with large 1.4 micron pixels. What does that mean? It should mean some exceptionally detailed pictures. You’ll also find optical image stabilization (OIS) and a wide aperture here. The secondary lens is a 13-megapixel one that allows for portrait-mode shots, and also offers Nokia’s celebrated Bothie feature. There’s also a massive 20-megapixel selfie lens around the front, and Nokia has promised excellent low-light performance.
The bad news is that there’s no sign the Nokia 8.1 will be released in the U.S. However, European and British readers will be able to pick up the Nokia 8.1 from mid-December, with prices starting from 400 euros, or 380 British pounds.