Reviewed: Nokia 7 Plus

Nokia has raised the bar in terms of handset quality ever since I can remember. Reliability and durability are characteristics people associate with phones of this brand and it’s not hard to see why. HMD Global is banking on this reputation as Nokia makes a comeback to the smartphone race. With their local flagship offering, Nokia 7 Plus, things are looking up for the brand.

Design: 4.5/5

From the time I’ve been carrying the Nokia 7 Plus with me, it would draw curious looks from people to even as far as me being asked what unit I have in my hand. They would follow it up with compliments on how good looking the phone is, and I’d have quick proud moments for having such a distinctive phone, at least for the time being.

Among the midrange smartphones we’ve seen so far, it is probably one of the most, if not the best, gorgeous handsets in this category. It’s precision-machined from a single block of aluminium and has anodised edges, making it slim yet solid in the hand. The 7 Plus is good-looking from a lot of its elements, but what takes the cake is the copper accents on its sides. This lining also bears the essential ports, buttons, and antenna lines.

It has a plastic back with a ceramic-like finish that’s really smooth yet is quite a magnet to smudge, but this matter could be easily settled with a quick wipe of a cloth.

Hardware: 4/5

I’m not one to give away high marks often, but the Nokia 7 Plus has made it easy to do so. Looking at the phone’s specs sheet, it’s clear that no corners have been cut on this one.

Running operations is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset along with 4 GB RAM. This combination may be common in midrange phones, but Nokia scales up performance with an Android One-based OS. To put it simply, the Nokia 7 Plus will get the latest updates on software and security as they come, making for a future proof handset worth the investment.

On the visual side of things, the 7 Plus is fashioned with a 6-inch IPS full HD+ screen with an 18:9 display ratio. Its bezels could have been smaller to give way for more screen-real estate, but this is just me nitpicking. Colors on the screen are vivid and pops with fitting content, meanwhile blacks are deep rendering fine-detailed graphics. Binge-watching on the 7 Plus, as well as playing games, was a pleasant affair.
What really convinced me that the 7 Plus is a tough midrange contender are its cameras. Nokia teamed up with ZEISS once again to boost its camera technology. The rear cameras are a combination of a 12 MP snapper with a wide aperture and large pixel size, and a 13 MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. The cameras render images with superb colors in conditions with ample lighting and saying that I was floored by its quality is an understatement. Images are sharp and well structured, coming with just the right contrast and saturation to match the actual subject. Macro images are superb and focusing is really speedy. I got to experience this while shooting budgies from Balesin’s aviary. The bird’s combination of yellow and orange were captured so well that I felt like I was shooting with an actual dedicated camera. Details are however a bit soft when there’s a lack of proper light or when images are zoomed, but these do not make it less capable.

User Experience: 4.5/5

The phone runs stock Android out of the box. There are no bloatware and complicated UIs you have to figure out. If you’ve handled Android phones previously, setting up the 7 Plus should be just a walk in the park.

As a writer who’s always on the watch for emails, I was slightly disappointed that the phone doesn’t have a notification LED light built in. But it does have a glance screen feature, where putting the display against your face will flash the date, time, and notifications even when it’s on sleep. There’s also a double tap feature which pretty much does the same as glance screen.

Nokia aims to make its Bothie a thing, and I’ve figured it’s quite useful once you actually begin using it. It’s a camera feature where both the front and back cameras are utilized. On screen, there are two frames: one for subjects of the main cameras and the other for the ones facing front. I can see it being used by vloggers or people often to go Facebook Live. Paired with Nokia’s OZO audio, it’s a combination that when fully-realized can give competition a run for their money.

Value: 4.5/5

The Nokia retails for PHP 21,995. It’s quite on the upper side of the spectrum, price-wise, but its quality and high-end features justify the tag. With its ZEISS boosted cameras, Android One platform, and Nokia dependability, the 7 Plus is a smartphone you can’t just look away from.

Bottomline: 

The Nokia 7 Plus is now high up my to-buy list.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE June 2018 Issue.

Reviewed by Mia Carisse Barrientos

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