It’s been a long time since I’ve used a Nokia. Thankfully the thing I’ve always liked about Nokias, their functional design, hasn’t changed.
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The Nokia 7 Plus is a nice-looking phone with square edges, a metal exterior and a pretty black and bright orange colourway. The big 6” screen is not as vivid as some of the more expensive handsets on the market, but it’s nice enough with a high resolution. Annoyingly, the back is rounded, meaning the phone rocks when it’s on a flat surface, a mild inconvenience when tapping the screen.
What’s inside the phone is the interesting part though.
The Nokia 7 Plus (and other phones in the new Nokia range) runs the Android One operating system (OS). One is a build of Android created by Google that simplifies the operating system down to its core. So no add-ons from Nokia or any other third party. Mail is handled by Gmail, the only maps are Google Maps, and so on. You can download whatever other apps you want, but the base OS is all Google.
The downside was integrating my work accounts, but keeping them separate from my personal accounts. I needed to get an extra mail app to make sure my Gmail account didn’t get mixed up with my Consumer one.
At first, I was sceptical about how useful this system would be, but after a week I was quietly impressed. It’s simple and very easy to use. “Clean” is how I’d describe it, with no other apps cluttering things up.
The simplicity of Android One made me feel like this was a phone you could give to anyone and they’d quickly figure out how to use it.
That’s not to say it’s a “basic” phone.
I tend to thrash phones; I run multiple apps and if they don’t work instantly (or close to it) I get annoyed. However, the Nokia handled all of my unrealistic demands.
The camera got a good workout and I was impressed with the pictures. It’s got the dual camera set-up that many new phones have, with one lens being telephoto, allowing for depth-of-field effects.
At $700, the 7 Plus isn’t cheap and it’s not going to compete against the $1000+ phones, but it holds its own as a solid mid-range device. Android One isn’t exactly the Playskool of operating systems, but it would appeal to those who want a phone that’s simple to use.
Screen: 1080x2160, 6” LCD screen
Rear camera: 12MP f1.75 / 13MP f2.6
Front camera: 16MP / f2
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Storage: 64 GB (256 GB expandable via micro SD card)
Processor: Qualcomm SDM660 Octa-core 2.2GHz; 4GB RAM
First Looks are trials of new and interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons. This phone was loaned to the writer by Spark.
By Hadyn Green
Cars, phones, infomercial products and anything else that takes our fancy — First Looks are trials of new or interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Check out our latest.