The phone's sturdy yet chic build promises to be durable and looks stylish at the same time.

Nokia 8.1 review: Does the device stand out in the Android crowd?

The phone's sturdy yet chic build promises to be durable and looks stylish at the same time.
Published January 31, 2019

Nokia was late to the Android market but it looks like they aren't holding back. With the 8.1, Nokia aims to introduce phones with great build quality and great features.

Boasting a top notch processor and an up-to-date Android Pie, how does the phone hold up?

Key specs

  • 6.18" Pure Display

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon - 710

  • 3500 mAh battery (2 day battery life)

  • 20MP front camera

  • 12MP/13MP dual rear camera with ZEISS Optics and OIS


Unboxing the Nokia 8.1, the design immediately wins a few points. The dual-toned anodised metal frame results in a top tier design while the phone has some weight to it which adds to the overall luxurious feel.

The phone's sturdy yet chic build promises to be durable, as one would expect from a Nokia phone, and looks stylish while getting the job done.

The smooth metal frame around the edge of the phone not only provides a new look but houses all you basic ports and keys.

The 8.1 has a 3.0 charging port at the bottom adjacent to a 3.5mm audio jack. At the back rests the fingerprint scanner along with the camera while a pretty wide notch sits atop the front. This would have been a drawback if it weren't for the decent wide display of the phone.


The 8.1's 6.18" screen boasts a Pure Display, which means the phone carries several features to adapt to your surroundings and make content visible and true to colour.

This proved true in the sunlight where the contents were visible without any hassle. However, the adaptive brightness feature means it continuously readjusts the brightness which does feel like a nuisance at times as it would change even when I'm at a singular location.

My eyes would have to readjust to the vibrancy as well and that doesn't feel okay when I'm just sitting on one place.


The Nokia 8.1 is not a camera focused phone so I didn't expect it to knock it out of the park. However, the camera is decent enough to capture the image, albeit lacking the crisp detailing of a high end or camera focused phone.

The camera is nothing to write home about, except that it gets the job done. Even dim lit pictures or night photography is possible minus the vivid definition.

That being said, I admire all the extra features like the slow capture and time lapse.

The 20MP front camera is fairly decent as well. While the phone may not prioritise its camera, it is definitely enough to fulfill your social media needs.

Processor and battery

The Snapdragon 710 is a premium processor and is able to handle many high-end smartphone features. I put the phone to the test, burdening it with editing, watching heavy HD videos and switching between apps and it handled it all.

Where I did notice a flaw was when I installed a few heavy games in the device. One of the games defaulted to medium settings to work better and the other kept having glitches regarding the response of the touchscreen. An odd lag really.

Nokia 8.1 promises to have a 2 day battery and I believe that for the average user it would survive, considering it managed a day with my heavy usage.

However, the phone's default setting doesn't let you know when the phone's at low battery and it would suddenly shut down without fair warning. I know we can be careful about our phone's battery time but it's still an odd feature to leave out.


Priced at Rs69,900, the Nokia 8.1 looks great and the offerings that it brings to the table are pretty decent. For the average user, this is a durable phone that will meet all your needs, especially since it comes prepacked with the Android Pie.