What was once dominated by Motorola, the budget phone landscape is now gradually being taken over by Nokia. Offering a formidable range of low- to mid-tier phones, the company has come up with easily the best phone out there for under $400 — the Nokia 7.1.
Normally priced at $350, you can get an unlocked version of the Nokia 7.1 for $100 off on Amazon. Take home this premium-looking budget phone for $250. What’s more, if you apply and are approved for an Amazon Rewards Visa card, you can get an additional $50 off, bringing the price down to $200.
Reborn as an Android phone after HMD Global took over the company, the Nokia 7.1 looks stunning for its price. Its design is strikingly high-end, with a glass front and back that is encased in an aluminum chassis. Though made of glass, it feels solid and light, but we suggest buying a phone case for extra protection. Its chamfered edges have a beautiful metallic sheen that nicely complements the matte sides. Unfortunately, this phone imitates the iPhone X and has a notched display as well, so it’s going to obscure videos slightly. At least it still has a headphone jack, unlike the iPhone X. Be careful, too, as this device hasn’t been rated for water resistance.
The Nokia 7.1’s 5.8-inch LCD display is a thing of beauty, one of the best we’ve seen on a midrange phone. It’s colorful and sharp, although blacks aren’t as rich as we’ve hoped for. There wouldn’t be an issue with this screen’s brightness even when hit directly by sunlight, and most surprising of all, it supports HDR10 content. This means you can enjoy a wider color gamut and richer contrasts when watching HDR-format videos on Netflix and YouTube. Its bottom-firing speaker is also equally delightful, as it can get impressively loud and retains a full-bodied sound even at low volume.
Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, this phone can easily zip through apps, browsers, and games. More graphics-heavy games such as Alto’s Odyssey and Tekken performed a little sluggish though, but not enough to turn you off. The Android One operating system came straight from Google and thankfully doesn’t come with a lot of bloatware.
The phone’s cameras are also good but try to avoid shooting in low-light conditions. The two rear cameras, one with 12-megapixels lens and one with a 5-megapixel lens for depth sensing, capture images with accurate colors and a surprising amount of details.
A serious drawback of the Nokia 7.1 is its battery life. When used normally, with gaming, video streaming, and plenty of messaging, the phone almost died at the end of the workday. You would need to plug it up if you still want to use it for the rest of the evening.
But for just $250 ($200 through Amazon Rewards Visa card), this is an unbelievably good phone that people might suspect to cost more than it actually does. It looks and feels like a flagship phone, with a fantastic display, solid performance, and a capable camera.
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