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Nokia 7.1 vs the competition | by JohnEllrod
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Nokia 7.1 vs the competition

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HMD Global’s Nokia 7.1 has just arrived to tempt us with another compelling affordable smartphone option. It’s been a pretty great year for more affordable markets, so the Nokia 7.1 has some real competition. Does it stand out?

 

Performance and camera optics are the name of the game here, so let’s stack this new phone up against some of this year’s finest affordable smartphones — the Pocophone F1, Honor Play, Moto Z3 Play, and the Asus Zenfone 5Z.

 

Kings of performance

 

Historically, performance has required compromise for lower-cost handsets, but 2018 is proving this needn’t be the case any longer. The Pocophone F1 is the most affordable smartphone ever to pack in a flagship-tier Snapdragon 845 processor, which powers the $1000 big players. The Honor Play also boasts the flagship-tier Kirin 970 from Huawei’s premium smartphone range, which offers very similar performance.

 

Top to bottom, left to right: Nokia 7.1 – Pocophone F1 – Moto Z3 Play – Honor Play – Asus Zenfone 5Z

 

The Nokia 7.1’s Snapdragon 636 doesn’t reach quite that level, but it’s not far behind with a big.LITTLE CPU cluster with powerful Cortex-A73 cores to handle more demanding workloads. The older small octa-core CPU inside the Zenfone 5Z is definitely the slowest of the bunch.

   

Nokia 7.1

 

Pocophone F1

 

Honor Play

 

Moto Z3 Play

 

Asus Zenfone 5Z

 

Display

 

5.84-inch

2280 x 1080 resolution (FHD+)

19:9 aspect ratio

 

6.18-inch IPS LCD

1080 x 2246 resolution (Full HD+)

18:9 aspect ratio

 

6.3-inch IPS LCD

2340 x 1080 resolution (FHD+)

19.5:9 aspect ratio

 

6-inch AMOLED

2,160 x 1,080 resolution (FHD+)

18:9 screen ratio

 

6.2-inch IPS LCD

2,246 x 1080 resolution (FHD+)

19:9 aspect ratio

 

CPU

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 636

(4x 1.8GHz A73 + 4x 1.6GHz A53)

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

(4x 2.8GHz A75 + 4x 1.7GHz A55)

 

HiSilicon Kirin 970

(4 x 2.4GHz A73 + 4 x 1.8GHz A53)

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 636

(4x 1.8GHz A73 + 4x 1.6GHz A53)

 

Qualcommm Snapdragon 630

(4x 2.2GHz A53 + 4x 1.8GHz A53)

 

GPU

 

Adreno 509

 

Adreno 630

 

Mali-G72 MP12

 

Adreno 509

 

Adreno 508

 

RAM

 

3GB or 4GB LPPDDR4x

 

6GB or 8GB LPDDR4X

 

4GB/6GB LPDDR4X

 

4GB or 6GB

 

6GB or 8GB

 

Memory

 

32GB or 64GB

 

64GB/128GB/256GB

 

64GB

 

64GB or 128GB

 

64GB/128GB/256GB

 

MicroSD

 

Yes, up to 400GB

 

Yes

 

Yes, up to 256GB

 

Yes, up to 2TB

 

Yes, up to 2TB

 

Size

 

149.7 x 71.18 x 7.99mm

160g

 

155.5 x 75.3 x 8.8mm

180g

 

157.91 × 74.27 × 7.84mm

176g

 

156.5 x 70.5 x 6.75mm

156g

 

153 x 75.7 x 7.9mm

155g

 

There’s a more noticeable performance difference in gaming applications. The flagship-class Adreno 630 and Mali-G72 Mp12 in the Pocophone F1 and Honor Play are notably faster than the Adreno 509 inside the Nokia 7.1. That said, you’ll still be able to enjoy the latest games, just with lower graphics settings and a clunkier frame rate.

 

The Nokia 7.1 is also slightly behind some of its more powerful competitors

 

The Nokia 7.1 is also slightly behind some of its more powerful competitors in the RAM department. Three or 4GB certainly won’t slow you down when flicking through apps, but hiccups may arise when swapping in and out of more demanding scenarios like games. The 6 and 8GB configurations offered by the Zenfone 5Z and Pocophone F1 are more typically what we’d associate with cutting-edge smartphones. Ideally, a 4GB minimum would see the Nokia 7.1 sit more comfortably against its competitors.

 

Nokia is similarly behind in storage capacity. A 32GB offering is small these days, and most consumers will probably want the 64GB option. Nokia’s maximum capacity is the minimum configuration offered by these rivals, while the Pocophone F1 and Zenfone 5Z supply up to 256GB should you need it. All these models include a microSD card allowing for further expansion.

 

Overall, the Nokia 7.1 offers comparable performance to other phones around this price point, but it’s clearly cut a few corners in the memory department. Hopefully, the cameras and added extras make up the difference.

 

Cameras and extras

 

Nokia has deepened its partnership with Zeiss for this phone, yet the camera specifications appear very similar to other mid-tier smartphones. A reasonable resolution primary camera, paired up with a low-resolution depth sensor is par for the course these days.

 

Nokia isn’t just using the secondary camera for depth sensing and software bokeh, though that’s an option. The secondary camera is a monochrome sensor, used to improve light sensitivity and detail, like in Huawei’s cameras. Powerful software combined with Zeiss lenses could make this a winning combination, but we’ll wait for some hands-on pictures.

 

The only other really interesting shooting option at this price point is the Asus Zenfone 5Z. The rear camera configuration offers a wide angle secondary sensor with a 120-degree field of view.

   

Nokia 7.1

 

Pocophone F1

 

Honor Play

 

Moto Z3 Play

 

Asus Zenfone 5Z

 

Camera

 

Rear:

12MP 2PD/AF/F1.8/1.28um

Secondary: 5MP BW/FF/F2.4/1.12um

 

Front:

8MP FF/F2.0/FOV 84°

ZEISS Optics

 

Rear:

Main: 12MP f/1.9, 1.4um pixels

Secondary: 5MP

 

Front:

20MP f/2.0, 1.8 micron

 

Rear:

Primary: 16MP with LED flash, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF

Secondary: 2MP secondary camera with f/2.4 aperture

and EIS

 

Front:

16MP, f/2.0 aperture

 

Rear:

Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, f/1.7 aperture

Secondary: 5MP

 

Front:

8MP sensor with 1.12-micron pixels, f/2.0 aperture

 

Rear:

12MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture

 

Secondary: 120° wide-angle camera with 6p lens

 

Front:

8 MP AF sensor, f/2.0 aperture with 84° field of view

 

IP Rating

 

No

 

No

 

No

 

No

 

No

 

Audio

 

3.5mm headphone jack

 

3.5mm headphone jack

 

3.5mm headphone jack

 

USB Type-C

 

3.5mm headphone jack

 

Connectivity

 

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 5.0

NFC

 

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 5.0

FM Radio

 

WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n

Bluetooth 4.2

 

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 5.0

NFC

FM Radio

 

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 5.0

NFC

FM Radio

 

Charging

 

18W Fast Charge

USB Type-C

 

Quick Charge 3.0

USB Type-C

 

SuperCharge

USB Type-C

 

15W Fast Charge

USB Type-C

 

18W Fast Charge

USB Type-C

 

Battery

 

3,060mAh

 

4,000mAh

 

3,750mAh

 

3,000mAh

 

3,300mAh

 

Software

 

Android 8.1 Oreo

 

Android 8.1

MIUI 9.6

 

Android 8.1 Oreo

EMUI 8.2

 

Android 8.1 Oreo

 

Android 8.1 Oreo

ZenUI 5.0

 

Mid-range smartphones have, for the most part, kept the 3.5mm headphone jack for music lovers. The notable exception in today’s comparison is the Moto Z3 Play. A single bottom firing speaker is also a common setup here, as is the inclusion of an FM Radio, in all but the Nokia 7.1 and Honor Play.

 

There’s no IP rating for water and dust resistance on any of these models. On the plus side, the Nokia 7.1, Moto Z3 Play, and Asus Zenfone 5Z all feature NFC for mobile payments.

 

Nokia has deepened its partnership with Zeiss for this phone, yet the camera specifications appear very similar to other mid-tier smartphones.

 

Fast charging speeds are also in place across all of these models. Although, I can’t imagine anyone will run the large batteries in the Pocophone F1 and Honor Play down in a single day. The Nokia 7.1 and Moto Z3 Play batteries are on the smaller side, though 3,000mAh should be enough for a single day of heavy use, given the power-efficient nature of their processors.

 

Does the Nokia 7.1 do enough?

 

Stock Android fans now have another choice on the market in the Nokia 7.1. Its hardware doesn’t appear exceptional, but that’s partly because this year has already seen so many affordable high-performance smartphones hit the market. The Nokia 7.1 looks like a solid performer, it’s just not topping the table. Of course, that’s only a small part of the smartphone experience.

 

Stock Android fans now have another choice on the market in the Nokia 7.1.

 

The Nokia 7.1’s appeal hinges on its design and camera experience. It could well excel in those areas, but these elements are a little harder to contextualize without a full review, so stay tuned.

 

Do you think the Nokia 7.1 will do enough to stand out in the $350 price bracket?

 

More Nokia 7.1 coverage

 

Nokia 7.1 is here with Android One, a Snapdragon 636, and a $350 price tag

 

Nokia 7.1 hands-on: Join David as he takes a closer look at the Nokia 7.1

 

Nokia 7.1 specs: Another great mid-range Android One smartphone

 

Nokia 7.1: Where to buy, when, and for how much

 

Nokia 7.1 vs the competition syndicated from barbarawalston.wordpress.com/

 

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Uploaded on October 4, 2018