HMD Global today hosted its global event in Dubai, and, as expected, it served to announce the Nokia 8.1. While the phone shares its name with the company’s flagship from last year, HMD says it’s seeing this phone as a successor to the Nokia 7 Plus which was launched earlier this year. This is because it’s trying to simplify the naming scheme, which is indeed somewhat confusing.
That name adjustment may also help justify the non-flagship specs that were confirmed today, including the Snapdragon 710 chipset from Qualcomm and 4GB of RAM. The company justified its choice of processor by touting its AI capabilities, specifically in regards to the camera features on the Nokia 8.1.
Speaking of which, the phone has a dual-camera setup on the rear, with the main sensor being a 12MP shooter with two-phase detection autofocus (2PDAF), which is aided by a 13MP depth sensor for “professional-style” portrait shots. HMD promises great low-light photos from the camera. There’s also AI-powered scene detection which has become something of a trend in smartphones. The selfie camera comes in at 20MP and it also supports portrait shots.
As for video, the phone can record 4K at 30 frames per second, and while that’s not too impressive in 2018, it does also have optical image stabilization (OIS) and electronic image stabilization (EIS), which should make for fairly stable video.
The display is a 6.18-inch Full HD+ LCD panel with brightness up to 500 nits and a 1:1500 contrast ratio. It does have a notch and a chin, unfortunately, but it carries over the PureDisplay technology introduced with the Nokia 7.1, so it should be a pretty solid experience.
There’s also a 3500 mAh battery inside the unit, which HMD says should offer two days of battery life. This is thanks to the more power-efficient Snapdragon 710 (as compared to Qualcomm’s 8-series chipsets) and the Adaptive Battery feature in Android 9 Pie, which the phone ships with out of the box. There’s also support for 18W fast charging.
The Nokia 8.1 is a glass and metal sandwich, though there’s no support for wireless charging, and it’ll come in three color options: Blue Silver, Steel Copper, and Iron Steel. The phone is already shipping and it’s expected to be available in Europe and the Middle East in mid-December. Unlike the Nokia 7.1, there’s no word on availability in the United States. The most attractive part of this phone might be the price, which is just €399. You can’t pre-order it just yet, but you can sign up here to be notified when it’s available.