While the name is quite confusing, make no mistake; Nokia 8.1 is not here to replace its premium siblings – Nokia 8 or Nokia 8 Sirocco, it’s basically a mid-range smartphone that replaces a rather modest predecessor – the Nokia 7 Plus, a lineup the company officially calls “affordable premium”. To an average consumer, everything resembles the 7 Plus to a significant degree, they’ll need to put this device under a microscope to understand the distinction; however, the new naming structure will actually leave things uncomplicated for the company considering the current flagship’s iteration – the Nokia 9. At the launch event, Nokia 7 Plus covered most of the mid-range base but could not keep up with newer devices that embraced modern technologies underneath, hence the need for a new improved Nokia 8.1.
The iteration used on this devise is rather odd, but we understand the intent from HMD Global for this device not to be construed as the best device they’ve ever released. We could easily assume that the device sitting at the company’s bottom row is the Nokia 1 (running Android Go), and the presumptively named Nokia 9 (expected to be unveiled in a few days at MWC 2019 with a penta-lens rear camera) is the flagship model, then this leaves us guessing whether Nokia 8.1 is the new Nokia 8 or Nokia 7 Plus.
Nokia 8.1 spots a beautiful design
My intention does not involve boring you with unnecessary stuff, but my conscience would not be at peace as well if I didn’t mention this handset spots a 6000-series aluminum frame that holds its glass body firmly in place. Whether the 6000 series makes any sense to you, be the judge but most of the appearance has been heavily borrowed from the outgoing Nokia 7 Plus. We wouldn’t want to compare Nokia devices with the days of yore when they literally rocked the world, but these handsets have since attracted a decent following here in Kenya coming from slumber land. From the outer casing, you won’t need much convincing to tell it’s a Nokia device; HMD’s offering features a large screen and a notch – something we’ve grown accustomed to expect from Nokia’s devices but not as small as the one on Huawei Y7 prime 2019. While display panels overlapping beyond the 6inch mark in my opinion are just an overkill, you’ll be impressed with Nokia 8.1’s 6.18inch panel. The resolution is impressive at 1080×2280 pixels; text and images appear sharp and vivid you’d want to look at it all the time.
We’ve always had a good experience with Nokia cameras and this one doesn’t disappoint either, within its rear enclosure is a dual Zeiss lens setup paired with a dual color temperature double LED flash that will do justice to those important memories you treasure to keep forever. The software optimizations are more advanced than before, and while I see artificial intelligence to be more of a gimmick than something we really need in real life, its more refined. The general feel is more vivid colors and less noise from both 12MP dual rear cameras and a single 13MP front camera.
Internal Storage and Processor
We’ve got two options to choose from; one with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage as well as a 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage variant. Nokia 8.1 is built around SnapDragon 710 chip and generally feels snappy and easy on games that you won’t notice a lag.
Price and Availability in Kenya
Nokia 8.1 is already available in certain market for around Ksh.45000, we are still waiting when it’ll be officially available here in Kenya.