News: Meet the Nokia 7 Plus — Budget Phones Just Got a Whole Lot Better

Meet the Nokia 7 Plus — Budget Phones Just Got a Whole Lot Better

With Nokia's relaunch, the iconic company attempted to reimagine the budget phone market. The series of phones they introduced last year challenged the idea that good phones can't be cheap. This year, Nokia introduced the Nokia 7 Plus, a phone which offers perhaps the best balance of specs, software, and price.

HMD (the company behind Nokia) was active during Mobile World Congress 2018, introducing five new phones. Three of these devices are aimed at budget-conscious individuals, and the Nokia 7 Plus looks to be the best of the bunch. While the days of the OnePlus One offering no-compromise flagship specs at a budget prices are long gone, what Nokia is offering is a midrange chipset with top-notch specs, leading to a smooth overall experience.

Specs

  • OS Version: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
  • GPU: Adreno 512
  • RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4
  • Battery: 3,800 mAh with Fast Charging
  • Storage: 64 GB with microSD support (up to 256 GB)
  • Display Type: IPS LCD, Gorilla Glass 3
  • Screen Size: 6.0 inches
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1080 (403 PPI)
  • Dimensions: 6.24" x 2.98" x 0.31"
  • Rear Camera: 12 MP wide-angle ZEISS camera + 13 MP telephoto ZEISS camera
  • Rear Camera Aperture: f/1.75 + f/2.6
  • Rear Camera Pixel Size: 1.4µm + 1.0µm
  • Optical Image Stabilization: No
  • Optical Zoom: 2x
  • Front Camera: 16 MP with ZEISS optics
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Yes (rear)
  • Water Resistance: IP54
  • Connections: USB-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack
The headphone jack is still present. Image by GSMArena Official/YouTube

6.0" 2160 x 1080 18:9 IPS LCD Display

One of the most noticeable upgrades from the Nokia 7 is the display. Unlike their 2017 lineup, Nokia is following the new trend of small bezels starting with a 18:9 display. Nokia 7 Plus is no exception, upgrading the 5.5" 16:9 1080p display to a 6" 18:9 2160 x 1080p display. The 7 Plus still uses an IPS LCD display, which provides great colors, wide viewing angles, and lower overall price.

Image by Android Central/YouTube

Android One

With the exception of the Nokia 1 and the "Matrix Phone", all the phones announced at Mobile World Congress 2018 by HMD will be part of the Android One program. This program introduces several benefits for the Nokia 7 Plus.

First, the Nokia 7 Plus will run an unmodified version of Android. Android One requires stock Android for all their devices and even limits what apps can be pre-loaded (so no bloatware either).

Image by GSMArena Official/YouTube

Second, Android One software updates and security patches are handled by Google. Thanks to this, Nokia 7 Plus owners never have to worry about networks or OEMs delaying updates — although, to be fair, Nokia does a great job of getting updates and security patches out on their own. Essentially, when Google releases a security patch or update, the Nokia 7 Plus will receive the update within a few days (if not simultaneously) of the Pixel devices. Check out our guide below for more information about Android One.

Dual ZEISS Cameras

By far the biggest upgrade from its predecessor is the camera. Not only did the hardware improve, but HMD added to the software experience that (at least on paper) will translate to one of the best cameras on a budget phone.

Image by Android Central/YouTube

Ever since HMD announced a partnership with ZEISS to bring the iconic optics back to Nokia phones, many Nokia fans have been waiting for the first set of phones that emulate the iconic phones of the past.

The Nokia 7 included ZEISS optics on a single 16 MP camera, but the 7 Plus has dual cameras, and both use ZEISS optics. One is a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and the other is a 13 MP telephoto lens. The telephoto lens is capable of 2x optical zoom.

Image by GSMArena Official/YouTube

The front-facing camera received an upgrade as well, increasing the megapixels from 5 to 16. However, unlike the Nokia 7, the selfie cam on the 7 Plus will also use ZEISS optics. With this partnership, expect exceptional photos no matter what camera you use.

The front-facing camera can also be used to unlock the device, however, security is questionable since these methods can typically be fooled by a picture of you. Nokia even included augmented reality features such as Animoji-like tools.

HMD also announced that all smartphones with the ZEISS optics will include the Pro Camera mode, an interface from its Lumina days (RIP Windows Phone) which provides full manual control in an easy to use interface.

Image via Nokia

HMD also brought back the "Bothie", a new term for photos taken with their Dual-Sight feature. With Dual-Sight, both the front and back cameras can be used simultaneously to take photos.

OZO Audio

OZO Audio is Nokia technology that brings spatial 360-degree audio to video capture. Using the three microphones and Nokia's algorithms, audio can be captured in a way that will surround listeners even if their devices don't support OZO Audio. Check out the video below for a demonstration.

Amazing Battery Life

One of the more amazing aspects of this phone is the focus on all-day battery life. Not only does this device have a 3,800 mAh battery, but it is paired with the efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. Combined with a 1080p display, Android 8.1 Oreo, and only 4 GB of RAM, screen-on-time should be well into 6 hours which should translate into minimum a day and a half before needing to charge (with moderate usage).

Pricing & Availability

According to NokiaPowerUser 's sources, the Nokia 7 Plus will make its way to the US market around the summer of 2018. While sources were more precise with other phones in the lineup, with the Nokia 7 Plus, they were only able to say it was coming and that it would arrive shortly after the other devices which are slated for May–June releases. All devices will be unlocked when sold and therefore only work with T-Mobile and AT&T networks. There will be two colors at launch, white with copper trim and black with copper trim.

Image via GSMArena Official

Pricing is unconfirmed, although conversion of European pricing would translate to about $480. Because European phone prices include taxes, expect a price lower than this when it finally arrives on US shores.

The Nokia 7 Plus pushes the boundaries of what to expect with budget smartphones. Unlike phones of the past, Nokia 7 Plus shows that a great display, amazing battery life, and great cameras need not be sacrificed to keep the overall price low. What do you think of the new Nokia 7 Plus? Will this be your next device? Let us know in the comments below.

Cover image via GSMArena/YouTube, screenshots by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

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