Nokia 8.1 handset pumps up the midrange with Android 9 Pie

Do you want one of the nicer phones, but the constant removal of microSD slots and headphone jacks is keeping you down? Meet the Nokia 8.1, the brand's rather attractive new high-midrange handset.

The Nokia 8.1 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset coupled with 4 GB of RAM. At first sight, those specs look like a downgrade from the Snapdpragon 835-based Nokia 8 Scirocco, but that's not the whole story. The newcomer has a 6.18" screen with a resolution of 2280×1080 (according to GSMArena) which works out to 408 PPI. Nokia points out that the display supports HDR10 and says it covers 96% of an unspecified color gamut; we wager that figure refers to DCI-P3 coverage.

The camera bump at the back contains a now-common dual-snapper setup with a 12-MP wide camera along with a 13-MP telephoto shooter. Both cameras offer optical image stabilization and use Zeiss optics. Those with a penchant for self-portraits should make good use of the 20-MP selfie cam. Nokia says the cameras have Bokeh-simulation functionality, studio lighting simulation, and support for Google Lens.

If you look at the Nokia 8.1's sides, you'll notice that its metal frame has a two-tone design, a refreshing note in the recent symphony of samey-looking phones. The rather pudgy display notch is a little off-key, however. There's 64 GB of built-in eMMC storage, and a microSD slot is ready to take in cards up to 400 GB. The 3500-mAh battery supports 18-W fast charging, and the juice is delivered via a USB Type-C port at the bottom. There's no wireless charging support or water resistance, though.

Over in the software aisle, Android 9 Pie stands ready to serve. Nokia says the battery management kung-fu of the latest Android should let the phone last two days on a single battery charge. The Nokia 8.1 is also part of the Android One initiative, meaning there's little in the way of built-in software crud, and buyers are guaranteed two years of software upgrades. 

HMD says the Nokia 8.1 should be available widely in mid-December for around 399€, or around $375 without VAT. Buyers get the choice of dark blue, dark purple, and silver finishes.

Comments closed
    • willmore
    • 1 year ago

    Dual standby nano-SIM,FWIW.

      • Flying Fox
      • 1 year ago

      Only if you don’t use the micro-SD card.

        • willmore
        • 1 year ago

        Yep, and that makes it a no-go. Sorry, Nokia.

    • Blink
    • 1 year ago

    Normally, I’m a used phone guy, but I bought my wife a Nokia 6.1 (2018) 32 GB in June brand new off Amazon. Phone looked high end, slickest looking phone I’ve owned. Performed great when you weren’t using the camera or any app that had camera support (FB, FB messenger, text messaging apps, so many….). It froze constantly when using camera enabled apps, even after I removed their camera permissions, or taking pictures. Luckily, just before I bought her another phone (but after I replaced the bloated battery of her old S6) they updated the 6.1 to Android 9 which seems to have fixed the issue. I will say before and after, it takes mediocre pictures as a whole. All and all, I wish I had bought a different phone.

    • Captain Ned
    • 1 year ago

    As usual, I doubt it works on VZW.

      • Flying Fox
      • 1 year ago

      If this “global” unit is true to the specs below, then you get that all important B13 for VZW.

      [url<]http://phonedb.net/index.php?m=device&id=14497&c=nokia_8.1_global_dual_sim_td-lte_64gb__hmd_7.1_plus[/url<]

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        Unfortunately, despite what their coverage map says, their LTE coverage is not 1:1 identical with their CDMA network still, seven to eight years after it was first deployed.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    It seems to be infected with a Notch.

    Notches are already on the way out (see Samsung S10); thank god that stupid fad was short-lived.

    OH CRAP NOW THERE’S A HOLE IN THE SCREEN?!

      • chµck
      • 1 year ago

      i don’t see the harm. the OS is already designed for it, and can get easily disabled. they’re just giving the option.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 1 year ago

    I might choose that as my next company phone there. I’ll have to check in again after xmas.

      • LostCat
      • 1 year ago

      Can’t be worse than Motorola (good enough but eternally disappointing.)

        • Ryhadar
        • 1 year ago

        Lots of people seem to be real disappointed with moto due to their lack of updates, though I bought a moto g5 plus and have been happy with it. It’s got quirks and updates take quite awhile to roll out but they do get there. I’ll have to see how abandoned it gets after the 2 year mark, though.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 1 year ago

          I’m sitting on a Moto myself, must be about 3 years old now. It seems that Nokia is offering much of what got me to go Moto last time, but doing it better, probably a lot of Moto buyers are in that boat.

          My ideal phone is plastic, curved across the back, and possible to hold without accidentally activating the screen. So by those metrics Nokia is delivering something [i<]worse[/i<] than was on the market 2.5 or 5 years ago, but the overall deal is still less bad than most everything else currently available. I can't think of many other things the free market has f-ed up as badly as phones.

            • sweatshopking
            • 1 year ago

            [quote<] I can't think of many other things the free market has f-ed up as badly as phones [/quote<] really? I can think of tons

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 1 year ago

            Gimme your top three then. 😉 Cheer me up.

            Oh, and I should add, I don’t mean the environment.

          • Flying Fox
          • 1 year ago

          [quote<]disappointed with moto due to their lack of updates[/quote<] This is where the Android One nature of these Nokia's is supposed to help.

          • LostCat
          • 1 year ago

          I’m about to get 9.0 on my X4 so I can’t complain about that, but their SD card handling seems weak, and the connection with Android Auto barely works and only if I use one specific cord…yeesh.

    • chuckula
    • 1 year ago

    That pie better not be raspberry flavored!

      • Voldenuit
      • 1 year ago

      Considering Google’s recent data breaches, it might be Humble flavor.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This