For the majority of smartphone users in South Africa, the decision to purchase a certain smartphone depends on a variety of factors including its price, the feature-set it offers, and the brand (yes it still matters to more than just Apple users). At a recommended retail price of R5,999, Nokia’s 7 Plus smartphone hits the sweet spot for all those considerations, as it provides premium quality, and plenty of feature band for a great price, all from a company that still has some brand cachet with local buyers and lovers of nostalgia.
The phablet feels really good in hand and boasts a solid build quality thanks to its unique ceramic-feel coating achieved through a 6-layer paint system that ensures improved grip along with great call quality and cellular signal. It feels flagship premium despite being a midrange smartphone offering. The smartphone has been machined from a single block of 6000 series aluminium, and sports differentiating copper edges that contrasts with the body to add a European sedan influenced and stylish two-tone touch.
Its gently curved back and slim edges helps your eyes focus on the screen, which in this case is a vivid 6″ 18:9 aspect ratio Full HD+ (2160 x 1080) display that is great for web browsing, watching YouTube videos, or your Instagram feed. The smartphone offers the sound punch to match these good looking visuals, thanks to three microphones that capture immersive 360° Nokia spatial audio to match your 4K video, helping transport your audience to the centre of the action and creating content worthy of the big screen.This high-contrast polarized screen delivers an outstanding viewing experience even in the brightest of conditions, so you can enjoy your favourite content wherever you are, which also makes for a nice throwback to those Symbian- and Windows Phone powered Nokia devices of old and their Puremotion screens.
Better shots with ZEIS
Equally as evocative in terms of dollips of nostalgia are the rear facing cameras, which feature – you guessed it – ZEISS optics – and combine an ultra-sensitive 12MP wide-angle primary camera for impressive performance in both low-light and extra bright conditions, with a secondary 13MP sensor that delivers 2x optical zoom, for the moments when you wish you were closer. Cameraphone lovers will appreciate the Nokia 7 Plus’ Pro Camera mode, which lets you take pictures like a pro by giving you quick and easy manual control over advanced camera settings like white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed and exposure. You can see the impact of your adjustments in real time before you snap to achieve your perfect photo with just one take and no need for filters.
Selfie lovers and addicts will appreciate the Nokia 7 Plus’ 16 MP front-facing camera which also packs in ZEISS optics, enabling the Nokia 7 Plus to adapt to low light conditions, by increasing light sensitivity to guarantee picture-perfect selfies. Moreover, enhanced Dual-Sight harnesses the front and back cameras simultaneously to capture the ultimate #Bothie and keep it safe with unlimited photo and video uploads to Google Photos.
Navigating the 7 Plus and its Google Android 8 OS (the smartphone has subsequently been updated to Android 9 Pie but after our review unit had been collected) is pretty snappy. This is thanks to the abscence of bloat ware, 4 GB of RAM, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 CPU being used to power the device. You get 64 GB of internal storage but can expand this via microSD card slot by up to up an additional 256 GB.
In terms of battery life, Nokia Optimised the device to extract every bit of juice from the already noticeable 3800 mAh battery. This is good enough for a day and a half for a power user like me, but for regular users who are really light on their device usage, they will get closer to the claimed 2-day battery life.
Ultimately, HMD Global (holding company that owns Nokia) have done an amazing job with the Nokia 7 Plus, which provides the perfect blend of good looks, great specs and features, as well as a recognisable brand, all at a fantastic price. This makes the device an offer most smartphone users will find hard to refuse (unless of course they are brand snobs that go after the popular crowd pleasing choices from Apple and Samsung).