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Nokia 7 Plus Review

Nokia is slowly gaining ground again in the smartphone market with frequent releases of new devices. The once proud leader of the mobile scene has since proven that it still have what it takes. One of its recent devices is a premium mid-range with a flashy design and 18:9 display — the Nokia 7 Plus. Is the device a true premium? Let’s find out in our full review!

Design and Construction

When it comes to design, the Nokia 7 Plus does not disappoint. It’s slim, stunning, and well-crafted with its pure black color and gold chrome accents. It’s definitely a looker and it feels like you’re holding something really expensive. In the hands, it feels solid and premium. Thanks to its matte back, it’s quite resistant to smudges and fingerprints.

We have the standard button placement with the volume rockers and power button on the right and the hybrid dual sim slot on the left. The buttons are tactile and have good feedback.

We also have a USB Type-C connectivity and a 3.5mm audio port. There’s a sort of dual loudspeaker though it’s just essentially a single strip split into two and not apart unlike normal dual speaker setups.

Despite the 6-inch display, the frame of the Nokia 7 Plus is actually manageable. It’s a little wider than we’d like, so one-hand operations can be quite a challenge. It’s still easily pocketable and light enough to lug around. The device also feels sturdy and solidly built. We have Gorilla Glass 3 on the front for added protection, as well as a free jelly case.

Display and Multimedia

The Nokia 7 Plus is equipped with a Full HD 18:9 IPS display. The colors are vibrant, viewing angles are good, and quality is just about right. Brightness is also high enough that we didn’t struggle during outdoor operations and it is low enough for night time reading. The display will suffice for day to day operations like playing games, and watching movies.

As for audio quality, the speakers can get pretty loud without much loss in clarity. Mids and highs are good but though lows, while present, are weak. It’s enough to fill a small room with music but for a more immersive experience, it’s better to have audio gears plugged-in.

Camera

The device sports a dual 12MP rear Zeiss Optics cameras and a single 16MP Zeiss Optics front. The rear duo has Panorama, Pro, Live Bokeh, Beauty, HDR, P-I-P, and Bothie. For the front, we have Pro, Bokeh, Beauty, P-I-P, HDR, and Bothie.

The rear duo shoots impressive images with amazing clarity, abundant details, maintained exposure, and good color reproduction and accuracy. Even low-light shots are usable with minimal grain, preserved details, and enough brightness– that is if you have any kind of light source. During pitch-black shooting or almost no lighting, the cameras struggled in taking a usable image. Still, the rear pair certainly lives up to their Carl Zeiss branding.

The front camera is equally remarkable, providing clean and clear selfies with good details, exposure, and color reproduction and accuracy. Low-light shots are a bit mushy, but still usable for quick social media uploads. We have no dedicated LED flash for the front, although the screen flash is still sufficient in certain situations. Beautification is also well controlled and even at max levels, facial details are still present. However, you will notice the intense blush and blemish removal. Either way, the front 16MP shooter can certainly provide instagrammable and creative selfies.

The Nokia 7 Plus is capable of shooting 4K UHD videos at 30 fps in MP4 format. Quality is superb, autofocus is stable, colors are vibrant and punchy, and we have EIS (electronic image stabilization). This is quite possibly the most notable 4K shooting experience we’ve ever experienced in a mid-range device so far.

OS, UI, Apps, and Storage

The Nokia 7 Plus is an Android One device, as such it runs on stock Android 8.0 Oreo, meaning we have zero bloatware and only Google’s apps are included out-of-the-box. As expected, the UI is clean, simple, and easy to navigate.

Apps are easily accessed by swiping up, notifications and shortcuts by swiping down, and Google search by swiping left. One small thing we noticed, though, is that apps can easily flood the app drawer and there is no way to group or sort them. So, we resorted to just creating folders on the home screens for a more organized feel and look.

Split-screen is accessed by holding the recent apps button and Google Assistant can be toggled by holding the home button. Shortcuts on the notification bar can be customized by pressing the edit button beside the gear icon. Basically, a vanilla Android experience and operation.

After system apps and the pre-installed Google Apps, around 48GB were left from the initial 64GB internal storage which is more than enough, although that is a sizeable reduction.

Performance and Benchmarks

Under the hood of the Nokia 7 Plus is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor, Adreno 512 GPU, and 4GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 660 chipset may be a year old but it still packs quite a punch and is still a respectable mid-range chip. As such, we experienced minimal lag during mundane operations like browsing, media consumption, and homescreen navigation. Multitasking was a breeze thanks to the plentiful 4GB RAM. Check out our synthetic benchmark results below.

Benchmark ToolScore
AnTuTu v7138,016
3D Mark- 1,315 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1)
- 1,038 (SSE – Vulkan)
Geekbench 4.2- 1,639 (Single-Core)
- 5,792 (Multi-Core)
PC Mark- 6073 (Work 2.0)
AndroBench- 292.9 MB/s (Sequential Read)
- 211.24 MB/s (Sequential Write)

Gaming is also not an issue as light to moderate titles run smoothly without stutters or lag. Heavier and more demanding games suffer from minimal frame drops in heavy scenes but not enough to reduce overall gaming experience.

We noticed a bit of heating on the back near the cameras during prolonged gaming sessions and camera operations. It’s nothing to worry about though, as the heat wasn’t even strong enough to make our palms sweat.

Call Quality, Connectivity, and Battery Life

The Nokia 7 Plus comes with a good set of connectivity features, namely, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, OTG, 4G LTE, and GPS. Call quality and signal reception are seamless in serviceable areas. GPS is accurate and fast as we had no problems with apps like Waze or Grab.

Handling the juice is a 3,800mAh battery with fast charging. True enough the device does charge fast and only takes about an hour and 44 minutes to go from 20%-80%, which is amazing considering the capacity.

Battery life is equally impressive, the device lasted as a day to a day and a half on light to moderate usage. Heavier usage on WiFi, including some gaming, will reduce that time to about half a day to a day. In our standard video loop test (Playing a 1080p mp4 video on loop in airplane mode with 50% brightness and 50% volume with earphones plugged-in), the phone lasted a good 17 Hours and 13 Minutes.

Note: PC Mark Battery test crashes upon completion.

Conclusion

So is the Nokia 7 Plus every bit of a premium mid-range as promised? That’s a definite yes. From its stunning and premium design down to its respectable performance, the phone delivers. Couple that with an amazing set of cameras, for both photo and video, and stellar battery life and you have a complete mid-range package. You’ll definitely feel that every centavo of your Php 21,990 is very well spent.

Nokia 7 Plus specifications

  • 6-inch IPS LCD Full HD+ display @ 2160 x 1080px, 403ppi
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 2.2GHz octa-core CPU
  • Adreno 512 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Dual-SIM card slot (nano, hybrid)
  • expandable up to 256GB via microSD (uses SIM 2)
  • 12 MP (f/1.75, 1.4 µm) + 12 MP (f/2.6, 1.0 µm), gyro EIS, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, Carl Zeiss optics, dual-
  • LED dual-tone flash
  • 16 MP (f/2.0, 1.0 µm), Carl Zeiss optics, 1080p [email protected] video recording
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, A-GPS,
  • GLONASS, BDS
  • NFC
  • FM Radio
  • Nokia OZO audio (w/ 3 mics)
  • USB Type-C Fingerprint Scanner
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (Android One)
  • 3,800mAh battery with fast charging
  • 158.4mm x 75.6mm x 8mm

What we liked:

  • Premium build
  • Stunning Design
  • Impressive set of cameras
  • Stellar battery life
  • Clean and simple UI
  • Stock Android experience
  • Respectable performance

What we didn’t like:

  • A bit wider than most phones
  • No option for organizing apps


Zen Estacio is a Multimedia Producer for YugaTech. He is the team's laptop guru and one of their resident gamers. He has a monthly column compiling the latest and greatest the Nintendo Switch has to offer. Aside from that, he regularly writes gaming news, reviews, and impressions. You can hit him up at @papanZEN

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