You'd be forgiven for being a little confused about the barrage of handsets coming from HMD Global under the Nokia brand.
In the past year since the reintroduction of Nokia on Android - ditching Windows Phone - and we've seen a wide array of devices surface.
The original Nokia 7 launched in China in late-2017 and is now joined by the Nokia 7 Plus. There's been no word on whether we're getting the Nokia 7, but this feature-packed mid-ranger is a lot more interesting.
Nokia 7 Plus gets premium design
- 158.38 x 75.64 x 7.99mm
- Aluminium unibody design with exposed highlights
- 18:9 aspect display
The Nokia story has so far centred around design; starting life as a 6000 series block of aluminium, the Nokia 7 Plus is carved out of it so you get a solid handset. We've been impressed with Nokia's devices so far for this and the 7 Plus continues this trend.
This is a large phone, packing in a 6-inch display, but moving to an 18:9 aspect is very much the trend: this is Nokia's first 18:9 phone, so it doesn't bear much resemblance to the Nokia 7 that originally launched in China.
Despite that big display, the frame is only 75mm wide - and incredibly slim at 7.99mm - so it doesn't feel like a big phone. Such is the 18:9 advantage and the reason this new format is becoming popular.
Nokia hasn't quite hit the screen-to-body ratio of some of the best examples of this new format, like the LG V30, and there's still a decent bit of bezel above and below the display, if not so much to the sides.
Not only is this a solid phone thanks to that metal bodywork, but HMD Global has poured attention into the painting that it gets too. The aim is to create a ceramic feel to this phone, so it gets six layers of paint and the result is highly accomplished.
Highlights remain exposed, so you'll get a nice contrast between the main body colour and the details. This is the sort of attention that HTC once used to pour into its phones and it's nice to see the level of detail here.
Nokia 7 Plus display
- 18:9 aspect 6-inch 2160 x 1080 pixels, 403ppi
- Corning Gorilla Glass finishing
- LCD panel
The display will likely be the thing that gets the most attention in this phone because of the fancy new aspect ratio.
It's a Full HD phone - so in this instance its 2160 x 1080 pixels, resulting in 403ppi. That doesn't quite match the detail of some of the flagship phones out there which are pushing Quad HD resolutions, but as companies like Huawei and Honor have demonstrated, it's not always about packing in those pixels.
It's an LCD panel and first impressions are pretty good. It's nice and vibrant, but it's difficult to gauge whether it will suffer in bright conditions and so on, but what you are getting is plenty of space to play.
Mid-range hardware specs meet a big battery
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, 4GB RAM
- 64GB storage + microSD
- 3800mAh battery, fast charging
- Fingerprint scanner
Sitting at the heart of the Nokia 7 Plus is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 platform with 4GB RAM. That outlines the 7 Plus as a mid-range handset, but using impressive hardware. It's a small step-up from the new Nokia 6 that's also being launched alongside this device.
There's a generous 64GB of storage supported by microSD meaning easy expansion.
We can't judge how well the 7 Plus handles as we were looking at pre-production hardware with pre-release software, but we have high hopes for this device.
We're also encouraged by the 3800mAh battery. This is a big battery for this size of device and Nokia are saying that you'll get 2 days of use. We suspect that's going to hold true which should see the Nokia 7 Plus winning some fans - battery life is still the bane of modern smartphones.
The big battery is supported by quick charging through the USB Type-C port on the bottom of the phone. There's also a rear fingerprint scanner on this phone, conveniently placed.
Serious Zeiss camera skills
- 12-megapixel 1.4µm f/1.7 main Zeiss camera
- 13-megapixel 1.0µm f/2.6 2x zoom Zeiss secondary camera
- 16-megapixel 1.0µm f/2.0 front camera with pixel combining
There's a new dual camera system packed into the Nokia 7 Plus - the same camera array that's being fitted to the new high-end Nokia 8 Sirocco.
This gives you a pair of Zeiss cameras, with the second camera designed to give you 2x optical zoom. It's a slightly lower spec camera, however, so we suspect the zoom lens might not be as good in low light as the main camera.
The main camera, however, has a nice wide aperture at f/1.7 and pretty big 1.4µm pixels, so it should be pretty good in low light. Some of that, naturally, will come down to post-processing, but Nokia is really talking up this camera.
Naturally it supports Nokia signature bothies, but the app is packed full of functionality, including full pro features for those who want a little more control. The front camera specs don't look hugely competitive, but HMD Global explained to us that it includes a pixel combining feature for low light shooting, which could result in some good quality selfies.
With cameras being top of the agenda for smartphone manufacturers, this is a hugely competitive area. The 2x zoom is a benefit - especially in a mid-range device - although naturally we haven't been able to test the quality of this camera yet.
Pure Android One software
- Android One
- Pure and secure Android Oreo
Nokia recently announced that it was signing up to the Android One programme, so this handset carries that branding on the rear.
What this indicates is that it runs a pure version of Android Oreo - there are no added apps, no additional services and no other bloat, it's just Android and Google services.
Android One also gives you 2 years of updates of that core OS - so that's stepping through P and Q, while also guaranteeing 3 years of security updates. Nokia so far has a great track record with pushing these updates through, so if you like pure Android, the Nokia 7 Plus might be of interest.
The Nokia 7 Plus not only pushes the mid-range specs and build quality, but it also pushes Nokia's prices up a little higher too. Sitting at €399, it's not flagship expensive - but there is a lot of competition in this mid-range from companies like Honor and Moto, both offering compelling devices in this segment.
But this is a phone with a great solid build, large display and a huge battery. That, combined with a camera that could have a lot of potential and a pure and bloat-free version of Android, could make the Nokia 7 Plus a popular choice.
The Nokia 7 Plus will be available from April.