HMD Global debuts the confusingly named Nokia 8.1

Nokia 8.1

It might be the end of the year, but HMD Global’s showing no signs of slowing down. The company on Wednesday announced a new “value flagship” Nokia for Europe: the 8.1.

But no, it doesn’t replace the Nokia 8, or 8 Sirocco, both actual range-topping flagships.

Now, the phone might look familiar to eagle-eyed enthusiasts. The phone itself is a rebranded Nokia X7, which debuted in China earlier this year. It’s also referred to as the Nokia Phoenix in press material, but it’s effectively a successor to the Nokia 7 Plus, which debuted earlier this year.

Naming confusion over, the phone does boast a few marked differences over its older brother.

We’re now looking at a notched screen measuring 6.18 inches from corner to corner and sporting 2280×1080 pixels. This gives its a 19:9 aspect ratio.

The screen’s IPS LCD, but HMD Global notes that it will support HDR10 concent (much like the Nokia 7.1).

Internally, the Snapdragon 660 is replaced with the Snapdragon 710. 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage remain, and Nokia’s retained the microSD card slot.

Battery capacity remains at 3500mAh too, but the 710 brings niceties like Bluetooth 5.0 LE, WiFi 802.11 ac support, NFC, and a fast charging system.

As for optics, the Nokia 8.1 features a dual camera setup at the rear, with a 12MP f/1.8 unit and 13MP unit. OIS and phase detection autofocus come standard.

Up front, there’s a 20MP selfie camera too.

And yes, as it’s a modern Nokia device, it debuts with Android 9.0 Pie and belongs to the swift-update Android One programme.

The 8.1 is set to retail in Europe for €399. It’s not clear when the phone will debut in South Africa, but those up north can snag one as early as 14 January.

Feature image: HMD Global

Andy Walker, former editor


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