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HMD’s budget Nokia 8.1 comes with Android Pie and an HDR-equipped display

HMD’s budget Nokia 8.1 comes with Android Pie and an HDR-equipped display


Europe’s first Nokia phone of 2019 has been announced

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Image: Nokia

HMD Global just announced the Nokia 8.1, a successor to the midrange Nokia 7 Plus that was released earlier this year. The new handset, which is set to launch in the UK and Europe next year on January 14th for £379.99 (€399), swaps out the 7 Plus’ Snapdragon 660 for a Snapdragon 710, and it includes a notch and HDR10 support for its 2160 x 1440 resolution display.

Otherwise, the specs are more or less in line with what you’d expect from this price point, with 4GB of RAM flanked by 64GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 400GB via microSD). Its 3,500mAh battery can be fast charged at 18W, and yes, it has a headphone jack if you don’t want to make the jump to wireless. (But if you do, then you’ll get Bluetooth AptX support for good measure.) The phone will run Android Pie out of the box, and it’s set to be a refreshingly stock experience, thanks to Android One.

Dual cameras and optical image stabilization

In terms of cameras, the Nokia 8.1 has a dual-lens design on the rear with its main 12MP f/1.8 camera joined by a second 13MP sensor for portrait shots. On the front, there’s a 20MP camera, and once again, Nokia’s going to let you take a photo from both cameras simultaneously, thanks to its “Bothie” feature. If you’re filming video, then 4K capture is supported, and there’s also built-in optical image stabilization to keep your shots looking nice and smooth.

Trying to work out exactly where the Nokia 8.1 fits into HMD’s smartphone lineup is a challenge, given the back-and-forth naming conventions and the fact that many of its phones don’t end up making their way to the West. The 8.1 is being labeled as the successor to the 7 Plus, which is more powerful than the Nokia 7.1, which was released in the UK and US just over a month ago. However, the 8.1 isn’t quite as powerful as last year’s Nokia 8, which was equipped with the faster Snapdragon 835.

In addition to its European launch next year, HMD has also said that the Nokia 8.1 will be receiving a release later this month across Asia and the Middle East. Unfortunately, the company has ruled out a US release for its latest handset.