In a surprising twist of fate, in 2016, the Nokia brand has been resurrected by former Nokia employees. The startup, HMD Global, which is under FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, now owns the Nokia brand and they’re making decent Android Nokia smartphones in the past two years.
Last year, HMD launched the Nokia 7 Plus. One of the most, if not the most, beautiful mid range smartphones we have seen for years. We will not go into details, but since the release, the phone has been claiming critical reviews and even winning awards. It’s cheap but elegant, durable, and purer in the most sense. Making it all hard for its successor to impress.
Enter the Nokia X7. The Chinese sequel for the Nokia 7 Plus. Despite being on the midrange segment, HMD is able to pack the Nokia X7 with some features that are rarely seen for its price. And it does tick all the boxes as being a substantial upgrade for the users of its predecessor.
Here’s our list of reasons why you should start saving for it just in time for the coming holidays.
Nokia X7: A feature-packed midrange smartphone
1. Beautiful display
Just like the Nokia 7.1, HMD delivers a stunning display on the Nokia X7. It’s not that large, at 6.18-inch, and not that small. It also has a better PureDisplay technology than the Nokia 7.1. While LCD, the Nokia X7 display has better dynamic contrast ratio (1500:1) than any of its competitions. The colors will render out vibrant, and clear. Thanks to the real-time SDR to HDR video conversion, and its one of a kind 4th generation Iris processing chip from Pixelworks.
The 16-bit internal HDR processing pipeline makes sure HDR10 content is of the highest quality ever seen on a smartphone. It also has a 96% NTSC color gamut coverage, 500 nits of brightness, and supports DCI-P3.
DCI-P3 is an RGB color space capable of producing color gamuts wider than sRGB. This color space is widely used for digital movie projection in for Hollywood movies. Being a cinema-grade display means that if you like editing photos on your phone with such high color accuracy, the Nokia X7 will never disappoint. This feature is rarely seen on midrange devices.
The only letdown on the Nokia X7’s display department is the inclusion of the notch. As I said in my last article, I can forgive a notch as long as it does something beneficial for the experience. Sadly, on the Nokia X7, it is just sitting there taking all spaces, and it’s also wider than the one we see on the Nokia 6.1 Plus. We really hope it is kind of minimal to fit more notification icons.
2. Wired listening
It’s 2018, and the 3.5mm headphone jack is on its verge of extinction. The most common reason for this is the growing need for water and dust proof smartphone (which is, by the way, not entirely true).
The Nokia X7, to our surprise, still supports the 3.5mm headphone jack. And we really appreciate the move. Dongles are such an annoyance for those who listen to music and charge their phone at the same time. And it is also expensive when you lost it. With HMD retaining the well-loved jack, people who have good quality wired headphones lying around can still use it on the Nokia X7.
3. USB-C port and Quick Charge 4+
We hate MicroUSB. It’s slow, cumbersome, and it bends out of shape even with utmost care. It’s just terrible. Like one time, I’m on for a busy day so I charge my phone and crash out on a bed. When I woke up the next morning, excited and all ready for the big day, I was horrified to see my phone discharged even more. It’s appalling, and it completely destroyed my day. Who wants to go road trip and island hopping without a camera phone?
Whilst the Nokia X7 has lesser juice than the Nokia 7 Plus, it still does come with USB-C and the newer Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+. HMD claims that the new fast-charging tech on the Nokia X7 is capable of juicing up the device by 50 percent in just 15 minutes charge. Cool.
With that said, USB-C is far sturdier than the MicroUSB and can handle fast data and power transfer. It’s also reversible. That means it goes which way. So we finally don’t have to light a flashlight just to insert it on our phone in the dark. It’s cool to see midrange smartphones adapting to this.
4. A flagship Camera module with Zeiss-certified optics
Nokia X7, like the Nokia 7 Plus, has a flagship camera module. While the Nokia 7 Plus uses a Samsung ISOCELL S5K2L7, a module similarly specced as the IMX 362 on Google Pixel 2/XL, this time, HMD has gone all out. The Nokia X7 uses an IMX 363 camera module (f/1.8) which also powers the Google Pixel 3/XL. And with Zeiss-certified optics, the phone will surely deliver good camera outputs.
Aside from the EIS anti-shake technology, the Nokia X7 also features OIS to enable blur-free low light capture. The new Nokia Camera app also features an improved AI-assisted Live Bokeh and AI recognition for 18 scenes (including portrait, food, night scene etc.) under automatic settings. Since all the optics are Zeiss-certified, the handset will feature a “Pro Mode” which will enable more camera settings. Bothie (Dual-Sight), and OZO Audio is also present.
5. High-resolution selfie camera
If you’re into the selfie, like most of the millennials, then Nokia X7’s f/2.0 20MP front-facing camera will certainly suffice. Yes, it’s overkill, but it’s not there for a show. To compensate for its small 0.9µm pixels, the 20MP sensor can initiate pixel binning in the dark. In laymen, pixel binning refers to a clocking scheme used to combine information from 2 or more pixels to create on super-pixel. It will help the camera handle noise in low lighting conditions. It also has some AI features, like beauty mode, bokeh and live emojis to go with. And yes, it has a Zeiss-certified lens too.
6. Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 and Android One
Like all the Android Nokia smartphones, the Nokia X7 will surely launch with Android One logo globally. That means it will adhere to HMD’s motto, “pure, secure and up-to-date.” Users will get up to two years major software update (until Android R), and security updates. Now pair that with Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 and you get blazing fast performance.
The Snapdragon 710 is a lighter version of the flagship Snapdragon Series 800. In fact, it shares the same 10nm manufacturing process with the Snapdragon 845 and also retaining most of its features. The chip doesn’t feature a dedicated neural processing unit, but according to Qualcomm the Hexagon DSP, Adreno GPU, and Kryo CPU will work together to compensate for its absence.
It is designed for flagships that both excel in terms of performance and price. However, the main highlight of the Snapdragon 710 is its on-device multi-core AI Engine which offers up to 2x overall improvements from the previous generation. The SoC also promises 30% better battery efficiency, stronger signal coverage, improved Wi-Fi, and high-end camera features. The gaming performance will also be superb, thanks to the latest Adreno 616 GPU. There’s even a “Gaming Mode” on the X7 that will accelerate the performance for the best gaming experience.
The Nokia X7 price starts at ¥1699 (245USD, Rs. 18,000) for the 4GB+64GB configuration. The higher configuration, 6GB+128GB model, will be priced at ¥2499 (360 USD, Rs. 26,450). Expect Indian price to be a little higher due to customs duty, Central Government Taxes, State Government Taxes, and many other factors. Still, the Nokia X7 (7.1 Plus) offers more for its price. Plus you get the premium Nokia quality, that means it is a bit sturdier than any midrange smartphones in its competition.