HMD Global quietly announced a brand new Nokia phone in India last week. This is the Nokia 7.1 that was first launched in London back in October. The Nokia 7.1 comes ahead of the Nokia 8.1 that is expected to launch in India on December 10. The Nokia 7.1 is technically an update over last year’s Nokia 7, but the phone’s design and hardware draws on the popular Nokia 6.1 Plus (Review).
The Nokia 7.1 has been launched in India at a “recommended best buy price” of Rs 19,999. This places the phone a few notches higher than the Nokia 6.1 Plus which is priced at Rs 15,999. But what consumers will be wondering is what makes the Nokia 7.1 so different from the Nokia 6.1 Plus as they both share a similar design philosophy and a lot of the same internals. While there are similarities, some features like PureDisplay screen and Zeiss-branded cameras makes the Nokia 7.1 a little more premium. Here’s a closer look at what the two phones offer under Rs 20,000.
Nokia 7.1 vs Nokia 6.1 Plus: Design and display
The second half of 2018 has seen a number of similar-looking Nokia phones as HMD seems to have found a winning formula. Both the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 7.1 offer a premium design that includes glass on the front and back, and full-screen display with a notch and a chin. The Nokia 7.1, however, offers thicker chin compared to the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
The Nokia 7.1 also gets a more polished design as it gets a 6000 series aluminium frame with diamond cut chamfered edges. The silver accents are also more pronounced on the Nokia 7.1, which makes it look a little more premium. The Nokia 7.1 is a little more boxy in design as compared to the rounded edges of the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
Another reason the Nokia 7.1 slots above the Nokia 6.1 Plus is because it employs what HMD calls a PureDisplay screen technology. This is HMD’s proprietary technology that enhances contrast and offers a sharper picture quality along with HDR10 support. The Nokia 7.1 also gets the ability to upscale SDR content into HDR content.
Both the phones come with 5.84-inch FHD+ displays with a 19:9 aspect ratio, but the Nokia 6.1 Plus does not get a PureDisplay screen. It remains to be seen how much of an improvement the PureDisplay technology offers in comparison to the typical panel that HMD has been using for phones like the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
Nokia 7.1 vs Nokia 6.1 Plus: Hardware
At the heart of both the Nokia 7.1 and Nokia 6.1 Plus is a Snapdragon 636 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and stock Android 9 Pie (upgradeable). This means from a performance and software perspective, both the phones are likely to offer a similar experience. Consumers may feel the Nokia 7.1 to be a pricier deal considering it offers the same chipset that powers the Nokia 6.1 Plus. Notably, both the phones also offer the same 3,060mAh battery capacity.
But the Nokia 7.1 gets a few more unique features that makes it stand above the Nokia 6.1 Plus, at least on paper. Apart from a sharper and more vivid PureDisplay screen, the Nokia 7.1 also offers Zeiss optics, which the Nokia 6.1 Plus does not. This means you can expect better picture quality with Zeiss on board. That being said, the Nokia 6.1 Plus offers better sensors on paper.
The Nokia 7.1 comes with a 12MP + 5MP configuration and two phase detection support for faster autofocus and f/1.8 aperture for the primary sensor. On the front, it gets an 8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture. In comparison, the Nokia 6.1 Plus offers a 16MP + 5MP system on the back with f/2.0 aperture for the primary lens. Up front, the phone offers a 16MP selfie shooter with f/2.0 aperture.
Nokia 7.1 vs Nokia 6.1 Plus: Which one should you buy
As mentioned earlier, both the Nokia phones offer a similar design and share a lot of the same hardware. The differences that the Nokia 7.1 can really brag about is a sharper PureDisplay screen and Zeiss-branded cameras. For these features alone, the Nokia 7.1 costs Rs 19,999.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus has been a popular choice for consumers in this segment as it offers a premium design and Android One experience at a competitive price of Rs 15,999. The phone has also been updated to Android 9 Pie which takes away another difference between the two phones. The Nokia 6.1 Plus will continue to be a popular choice among consumers going forward given the pricing, but the Nokia 7.1 should equally impress as it does not stray far from HMD’s winning formula.