Nokia 8.1 Review: A Power Packed Android Smartphone for 2019 The Nokia 8.1 seems to be a device that will last you for a very long time


HMD Global recently launched the Nokia 7.1 in India and it hasn’t even been a full week and the company has introduced the Nokia 8.1, also an Android One smartphone.

The Nokia 8.1 is also a value flagship device from Nokia. We have been using the device for a while now and here’s what we think about it.


Like many Nokia devices in 2018, the Nokia 8.1 also sports a glass back finish and a large near bezel-less display.

There is also a two-tone design on the device with a two anodising process and diamond cut edges to give this device a premium feel.

It weighs 180 grams and grips well however, due to the glass back finish, it is a fingerprint magnet and a bit slippery.

We would suggest that if you intend to buy this device then do get a protective cover for it.

The back fingerprint sensor placement is on the centre of the device and you also get a vertically aligned dual-camera setup that’s also centrally placed at the back.


The Nokia 8.1 sports a 6.18-inch display which offers 500 nits of brightness along with 19:7:9 aspect ratio. This is a display that’s on the brighter side and offers great viewing angles as well as sunlight legibility.

The display is also capable of HDR 10 video playback capability which makes this device an amazing smartphone to stream HDR 10 capable videos on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The touch response on the display is also seamless and intuitive.


In terms of performance, the new Nokia 8.1 is one of those few devices that offer Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 mobile platform.

This is an 8-core platform with Qualcomm Kryo 360 CPU that offers a maximum clock speed of up to 2.2 GHz.

There are two RAM option on the Nokia 8.1, the one that we used for this review was a 4GB RAM / 64 GB storage variant. There is also a 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage version.

In terms of the operating system, since the Nokia 8.1 is an Android One device, out-of-the-box you get Android 9 (Pie) operating system with Google’s latest security patch updates.

The operating system and the mobile platform by Qualcomm is what makes the new Nokia 8.1 a showstopper.

In terms of multitasking and gaming, the device left us impressed with its ability to perform functions without any lags or crashes.

Moreover, the video watching experience on Netflix and Amazon Prime is also one of the best on this device for this price range.

Another impressive feature on the Nokia 8.1 is the fact that it can run heavy graphic intensive games like PUBG with ease and without heating up.

These are a few plus points that makes this device worthy of a value flagship tag. Also, the minimal bloatware and stock Android Pie makes it as seamless as a Google Pixel 3 which is twice its price.

Now many might say that the POCO phone from Xiaomi comes with a Qualcomm 845 mobile platform but it comes with the MIUI operating system that offers immense bloatware as well as ads right on your mobile screen.

So, for people who need a seamless android experience, the Nokia 8.1 makes a lot of sense.

The Nokia 8.1 also comes with a fingerprint sensor and face unlock mechanism for device security. The face unlocks works good, but the fingerprint sensor left us a little disappointed.

It tends to misfire and refuse to read your fingerprint at times. This is also a dual-SIM device with 4G VoLTE connectivity, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi the works.

There is also an in-built FM Radio app along with a 3.5 mm audio connector that might make many go for this device.


Camera has not been a strong forte of Nokia devices since their comeback. The primary reason for this has been the over saturated images that they click. However, with Nokia 8.1, the company addresses this problem.

The images captured are quite sharp and true to their original colour. Even the quick focus and camera response time is improved on the Nokia 8.1.

The reason for that is that the Nokia 8.1 comes with a super sensitive ZEISS optics and a 12MP main camera that offer large pixels for precise light capture.

This helps in getting a detailed image every time. The camera on the Nokia 8.1 is one of the best one’s that Nokia has offered in a 2018 device.

The primary camera is made up of dual-lenses. There is a 12 MP main camera and a 13MP depth sensing camera on the Nokia 8.1. This helps it also to capture well detailed and sharp bokeh effect images and portraits.

The front camera of the Nokia 8.1 sports a 20 MP sensor, that offers brilliant selfies and also bokeh selfies. In terms of imaging, the camera is comparable to the camera of the OnePlus 6T.

We were quite pleased with the camera performance of the Nokia 8.1.


The Nokia 8.1 comes with a 3500 mAh battery and offers a quick charge support. However, this was a downer for us, as the device could only last us a day.

Nokia did claim a two-day battery back-up on the device but it struggles to go beyond a day and a half even if moderately used. However, this is not a big deal breaker since most of us are used to charging our devices overnight.


Available for ₹26,999, Nokia 8.1 offers everything that a smartphone user would want to have on a device.

Despite an ever churning smartphone buying trend, the Nokia 8.1 seems to be a device that will last you for a very long time.

The pro’s of this phone is its build quality, performance, camera’s, stock android experience and pricing.

Minus the average battery life and a moody fingerprint sensor, the Nokia 8.1 is a device that we would highly recommend over the Xiaomi POCO phone any day.




Original features, micro docus and explainers


Get stories that count, stories that matter everyday in your mailbox