The Nokia 7 Plus made its debut in India last week, and the phone is set to go on sale in the UK early next month. There's considerable interest in the phone as it is the first bearing the Nokia name to feature an 18:9 display. It is powered by the Snapdragon 660 — which is just as fast as flagship chipsets from just a few years ago — and comes with Android One, meaning it will be one of the first devices to receive new platform and security updates.
Then there's the dual camera setup at the back, which sees a 12MP camera joined by a secondary 13MP telephoto lens. Like erstwhile Nokias, both cameras feature Carl Zeiss optics; and HMD has introduced a pro mode as well. I've been using the Nokia 7 Plus for just over five days now, and here's a quick preview of what you can expect from the cameras.
If you're interested, you can download the full-size photos from here.
The 12MP primary camera with the f/1.75 lens takes fantastic photos in daylight scenarios. The resulting images are full of detail, colors are accurate, and the dynamic range is wide enough that you can just rely on the auto mode.
The secondary telephoto lens does a decent job as well when it comes to preserving detail at 2x zoom. HDR auto works reliably well, and you don't see any lag when taking photos with HDR.
Like last year's Nokia 8, the Nokia 7 Plus has a Bothie mode that captures images from both the front and back cameras simultaneously — I didn't end up using the feature nearly as much, but it's there if you want it.
Low-light shots taken from the Nokia 7 Plus are decent for the most part, and the main issue with the phone seems to be reliably focusing on a subject in certain scenarios. The camera failed to accurately focus in on a particular subject at times, leading to photos with washed out details. Thankfully, this wasn't the case often, and in a majority of situations, you'll end up with a passable shot.
Like most phones with dual cameras, the Nokia 7 Plus has portrait mode that lets you blur out the background of an image, but the feature was finicky at best. I couldn't get it to reliably work in most shooting scenarios, and the resulting blur effect left a lot to be desired. More often than not, the primary camera by itself did a better job of creating a bokeh effect, as you can see from the first image in the gallery.
A lot of it has to do with edge detection — with the image processing algorithm smoothing out the edges far too much, leading to an uneven blur effect. HMD Global should hopefully be able to fix the issue in upcoming software builds.
More to come
Overall, the Nokia 7 Plus takes great photos for its price point, and it gives the likes of the Moto X4 a run for their money. I'm just getting started with the phone, and will go into much more detail in my review, so stay tuned.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.