HMD Global has just announced the availability of their “value flagship” device the Nokia 8.1 in Kenya. Despite sharing a name with the true flagship from years back, Nokia 8, the 8.1 is not really the successor you think it is. The device is more of an upgrade over the Nokia 7 Plus than the Nokia 8.
However, this does not take away from the capabilities of the Nokia 8.1 as HMD has positioned the device as a value flagship rather than a mid-range device. The Nokia 8.1 comes at a time where smartphone pricing has created a big divide between budget offerings and the $1000 flagships, creating a new segment of “almost flagship phones” that don’t come with the crazy price.
The Nokia 8.1 is available in Kenya for a recommended price of Kes.45,000 as a Dual SIM device but those who want the Single SIM variant can purchase one from Safaricom Shop. So before you make the decision to get your hands on this device, here are the most important things you need to know about it:
Like most Nokia smartphones, the camera is in the centre of the stage. The Nokia 8.1 might not have the best camera in the world but it does have one of the best in its class. The main camera is a dual setup of 12MP and 13MP Zeiss lenses which work together to produce great portrait shots and low-light images – at least according to HMD.
On the front, there’s a 20MP lens that is also optimized for better low-light performance. The Nokia 8.1’s camera app benefits from deep software integration with Google’s services as the app features Google Lens and Motion Photos as well as AI enhancements to better the camera experience on the device.
As mentioned above, there’s deep software integration with Google’s services and this is thanks to Nokia 8.1 being part of the Android One program which essentially means that the device runs almost identical software with what you would find on a Pixel device.
Aside from the flashiness of unadulterated software experience, the Nokia 8.1 benefits from two major software updates and that means that users are guaranteed of updates from the current Android 9.0 Pie to the upcoming Android Q and Android R next year. HMD also promises three years of support of security updates.
To some people, this should have been at the top of the list but seeing that a number of devices in the market have similar specifications, we have to start with the unique elements. Anyway, the Nokia 8.1 comes with a 6.18-inch Full HD display with a notch, the body of the device is a metallic frame with a glass back and front giving the phone a premium feel.
Inside the device is a Snapdragon 710 processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage (which is expandable via MicroSD card), which should be sufficient for day-to-day usage. The battery is 3500mAh and HMD claims that the device can deliver 2-day battery life citing 5-hours of continuous usage and overnight standby, which would be possible thanks to software enhancements on Android Pie.
Price feels too high