The Nokia 7, if you look at it closely, fills a missing gap in HMD's 2017 Nokia lineup. HMD has so far launched four Android-based phones. While three of them - the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 - cost under Rs 15,000 the fourth of the lot, the Nokia 8, is HMD's high-end flagship phone that costs a hefty Rs 37,000. The Nokia 7, HMD's fifth Android phone of the year, has been priced at around $400 in China which roughly translates to Rs 25,000 in INR. The Nokia 7, if you look at it closely, also aspires to offer the best of the Nokia 8 in a relatively more mainstream package. It's like folks back at HMD took the Nokia 8, and toned it down a notch, for those looking for something more affordable. Not that the Nokia 8's expensive - in fact, the phone offers quite the bang for the buck putting even the OnePlus 5 to shame - but it's still going to be far from the reach of the masses.
Unlike the Nokia 3, the Nokia 5, the Nokia 6 and the Nokia 8, the Nokia 7 is an all-glass - Corning Gorilla Glass 3 - phone with its outer frame being carved out of 7-series aluminum alloy. It doesn't look radically different from the incumbent batch of Android-based Nokia phones, but, the use of glass and metal does make it stand out somewhat amongst each other as well as competition.
Just like the Nokia 8, the Nokia 7 also comes with subtle curves that seamlessly wrap around the front. The similarities end there though. The Nokia 7, to begin with, is the first Nokia phone of 2017 to come with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner that sits below the camera module. Also, it comes with on-screen navigation keys.
In the case of the Nokia 7, however, Dual-Sight and Ozo can be distinguishing features
The power button and the volume rocker lie on the right, while a dual-SIM hybrid card slot rests on the left. It comes with USB Type C port for charging and data syncing. The Nokia 7, in addition, comes with IP54 certification which makes it splash-proof (but not water-proof).
Dual-Sight equals Bothie
Even though HMD would go to great lengths to say how the Nokia 8 makes a lot of sense for content creators and millennials who live and breathe Instagram, fact is, Dual-Sight -- the Nokia 8's USP feature -- isn't really new or ground-breaking. Samsung and LG have done it in the past, and failed. That's besides the fact that you can make your front and back cameras do the talking at the same time through apps downloaded from the Play Store as well. Of course then you'll have to go through all the trouble of downloading an extra app, while the Nokia 8 gives you a dedicated toggle to activate the feature from the camera app itself. It's so much more convenient. Also, with the Nokia 8 you can simultaneously record in Dual-Sight and broadcast your masterpiece on Facebook and YouTube, both at the same time. You can do it in 4K with Nokia's in-house Ozo audio tech ensuring what you see is what you get. This means if someone is viewing your content and listening to it via headphones, he/she can take advantage of 3D spatial sound.
Problem is, while edge-to-edge screens, Military-grade protection, Moto Mods, and QWERTY keyboards (even Edge Sense has its moments: especially if you're a millennial who likes to take under water pictures) that rivals are offering are hard to miss, a feature like Dual-Sight can easily be over-looked and over-looked it will be, once all the hype settles down. And out of sight goes out of mind sooner rather than later especially among millennials. That's not a pretty sight, now, is it?
In the case of the Nokia 7, however, Dual-Sight and Ozo can be distinguishing features. They'll still be largely gimmicks, but, come to think of it: at Rs 25,000 you're more likely to be awed by a harmless gimmick that lets you capture "both sides of the story" than at Rs 36,000 wherein it seems more like forced and unnecessary.
The Nokia 7, like all Nokia phones in 2017 and going forward, runs a vanilla version of Android Nougat and will always be "pure, secure, and up to date," according to HMD. The company has already announced that the Nokia 7 is in line to receive an upgrade to Android Oreo in the days to come. In fact, HMD Global is banking heavily on this aspect to sell its new Nokia-branded phones, including the Nokia 7.
For someone who's into the simplicity and ease of use that stock Android brings to the table, the Nokia 7 is just ideal. There are no unnecessary tricks here, no crazy over-the-top gimmicks. It is pure, unadulterated Android, more or less the same deal that you'll find in a phone from Google, like the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. The Nokia 7 comes with a stock build of Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. Nokia has skinned a few aspects of the software like the design of the icons but overall, the software is as close as it gets, even more so than a Motorola phone.
A competitive, if not downright flagship-killing, package
The Nokia 7 comes with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen and is powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 630 processor - which is successor to the tried and tested Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor - clubbed with Adreno 508 GPU and up to 6 gigs of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which is also expandable. The dual-SIM phone supports 4G LTE and NFC. It comes with a Carl Zeiss assisted 16-megapixel camera on the rear with f/1.8 aperture and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. The phone is further backed by a 3,000mAh battery.
Although competition in the under Rs 30,000 price bracket is intense, the Noia 7's closest rival would be the Moto X4 which is launching in India on November 13. The Moto X4, at least in India, will have the first-mover advantage since HMD has no plans of launching the Nokia 7 here anytime soon. Even more so because the Moto X4 offers more or less the same hardware specs - including dual rear cameras - and near stock Android.