Nokia announced a refresh to its Nokia 7 (you might not really know about it, as it was exclusive to Chinese market) that has been launched as the Nokia 7 Plus. The Nokia 7 Plus comes with a completely refreshed design and bumped up specifications. The design of the Nokia 7 Plus is perhaps one of the best in the price segment and the phone feels extremely good in the hand. However, the phone is trying to compete in a segment that already has severe competition from companies such as Samsung, Oppo, Vivo and for that matter, even the Nokia 8 stands as a stiff competition to the Nokia 7 Plus.
We use the device extensively to find out what is there to like and to dislike about the device.
In the recent past, most major manufacturers have started giving prime importance to the design aspect of their smartphones, the Nokia 7 Plus is no exception. The Nokia 7 Plus is perhaps one of the best-designed smartphones in the price segment. The unit we got to test was the Black/Copper variant and it is very elegant, to say the least, the black design is very stealth but the subtle copper accents pop out at the right places making it a piece of art. There is also a White variant with copper accents if you like it to your preference.
Nokia has kept it very simple with the device and the black panel, the sides have the copper accents all over with small antenna bands that are very strategically placed on the top, bottom and the sides of the smartphone. The company isn’t shying away from the bezels and has moderate bezels even on the sides, the bottom chin and the top bezels aren’t that bad though. The best part of the design is the usage of 6000 series aluminum on the sides while switching to a ceramic coating on the back. While the back isn’t a fingerprint magnet of any sort, it does keep the oil stains very well. Within our limited usage, we could see stains appear in a whisker, but they disappear in a single wipe nonetheless.
The branding on the smartphone is very subtle, with copper-colored Nokia branding in the center and the Android One branding on the bottom rear of the device. The fingerprint sensor on the device is right below the dual rear camera that is powered by Zeiss. The power buttons and the volume buttons are to the right side of the smartphone while the left side only houses the SIM card tray.
The bottom of the Nokia 7 Plus has a USB Type-C charging port adjacent to the speaker and the device supports 18W fast charging. The device also has a 3.5mm headphone jack to the top of the smartphone. The device is pretty big overall and is slightly slippery which adds to its chances of slipping out of hand.
The Nokia 7 Plus has an 18:9 aspect ratio display that measures 6-inches diagonally. Although this is becoming more of a standard, the display does feel big given the fact that the bezels are on the chunkier side. The IPS LCD on the smartphone is actually pretty good and we were very much impressed by it. The brightness levels are pretty good, and the display is easily viewable when the brightness is maxed out.
The beautiful display on the front has rounded edges which is subject to like or dislike based on the personal preferences, the IPS LCD panel is protected from damage by the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which is pretty dated, to be honest, but still gets the work done. The colors on the device look pretty good, the saturation is just about right, and the images are reproduced very realistically.
The Nokia 7 Plus also comes with smart modes for adaptive brightness, Ambient Display, and even Night Light which adds a blue light filter to reduce the strain on your eyes before you go to your bed. The Ambient Display feature comes in handy to display the notifications and you can also set when the notification needs to be displayed, the Double Tap to Wake feature works flawlessly with this feature to increase the convenience of the users.
The Nokia 7 Plus is a very good performer and comes with some really good specifications. The Device also comes under the Android One program which gives it the latest software updates and a buttery smooth Android Experience the way it is meant to be experienced. The smartphone comes with the stock Android without any software modifications which does mean that you miss out on a few customization options that are otherwise available on devices from Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi to mention a few. The Nokia 7 Plus is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Processor making it one of the few devices to showcase it, the RAM on the device is a 4GB LPDDR4 module that is more than enough to power and runs the lightweight optimized operating system.
The hardware on the device has been chosen meticulously to give the best possible performance within the price range, also adding in favor, the stock Android UI makes the experience better. We ran the Antutu and Geekbench benchmarks on the device to get an overview on the performance and the Nokia 7 Plus returned an Antutu score of 140182 and the Geekbench returned single score value of 1623 and Multi Score value of 5843
The daily usage apps ran very well on the device without any hiccups, at no point during our usage did we have any issues with the device stuttering in terms of the performance. Even heavy apps and Games were able to run on the device without any issues of lag or force stops. Even heavy games such as the Modern Combat 5 and Need for Speed: No Limits had no issues running on the smartphone and the display furthermore improved the experience.
The Camera on the Nokia 7 Plus is probably one of the best aspects of the smartphone alongside the Design itself. The smartphone takes one of the best shots across most lighting conditions and performs exceptionally well in the well-lit conditions. The shot a few pics using the Nokia 7 Plus across various lighting and scene conditions both Indoor and outdoor, the performance was surprisingly consistent, and we found it difficult to complain about any aspect of the camera. Although very few images that we took looked over-exposed to my eye, some would just call it “brightly captured”.
The Nokia 7 Plus comes with ZEISS optics and the rear camera is a combination of a 12MP and a 13MP sensor, the aperture on the 12MP sensor is of the f/1.7 aperture while the 13MP sensor is of f/2.6 aperture. The autofocus is very quick and the camera app is very swift too. Low light performance of the device is also pretty good on the device and the pixel size is pretty big at 1.4um. In most situations, the front camera on the Nokia 7 Plus is a 16MP sensor and enhances the images to get the perfect Instagram worth image.
The camera app itself is very well made and has the Photo, Panorama, Pro and Live Bokeh options. You get a deeper look into the options by selecting the Settings option here. In the settings, you can control the trivial aspects of the camera apps such as the Shutter Sound, Grid, and even the Watermark feature. Diving back to the app itself, you can select the beautification feature to be on or off. There is also an option to capture in the Picture-in-picture mode that captures an image from both the front as well as the rear camera and overlays one over the other, you can also split the screen into half and capture images from the front and the rear camera at the same time.
[Full set of camera samples to be shared here soon]
There is also a timer option alongside the HDR which can be toggled between On, Off or Auto. The only issue we had with the camera app was with the watermark feature, for some reason the watermark feature doesn’t stick to its position and when you change the orientation from landscape to portrait and back, the position of the watermark is lost and it is sometimes disturbingly int he middle of the picture. This issue will soon likely be addressed by the company via a software update.
Checking out the Video mode, the device supports recording in up to 4K resolution, there is also a Live cast feature that lets you stream live to your Facebook or YouTube accounts straight from the Camera app. The picture-in-picture mode, as well as the Dual mode, also work while capturing a video and you can experience the same goodness here. Another really nice feature is the ability to set the Audio Recording, the device lets you choose between Front, Rear and the Surround recording option. The camera also supports recording in slow motion and time-lapse and are accessible by swiping right from the left corner.
The Pro mode in the Nokia 7 Plus comes with options to set the White Balance, ISO, Exposure Compensation, Shutter Speed and the focus mode. Going to the Bokeh mode or the Live Focus mode, the only options you can toggle are the beauty mode and the Front/Rear toggle. The Nokia 7 Plus also supports Bokeh mode in the front camera and you can select the depth effect in the image.
The Battery on the Nokia 7 Plus is so good that it can as well be one of the selling points of the smartphone, the Nokia 7 Plus probably has one of the highest battery capacities in the segment that the device competes in. the Nokia 7 Plus comes with a 3800mAh battery that is much over the segment average. We got over a day’s worth of average usage on the smartphone while using it as a primary device. The screen on time was around 6 to 6-and a half hour which is more than one would ask for. The fast charging support on the smartphone is like the icing on the cake, the device charges very quick and supports multi-level fast charging.
The Nokia 7 Plus is one of the complete smartphones in the price segment, the device comes with perhaps the best design in its segment. The camera on the Nokia 7 Plus is again a great deal and offers excellent images, the battery on the smartphone will last you over a day of regular usage.
The only downside on the smartphone is probably the camera bump that a few people dislike. The competition, however, is stiff in this segment, the competition from manufacturers like OPPO, Xiaomi, and Vivo, offering similar devices at a cheaper price point, the Nokia 7 Plus will also find it difficult to match up with its own offering the previous generation Nokia 8 which comes for about the same price. Still, the design speaks for itself and Nokia has so far done it so well by keeping the new lot under the Android One program to keep them updated and the best at works.