Nokia 7.1 vs. Moto G7: Which should you buy?

Moto G7 Plus
Moto G7 Plus (Image credit: Android Central)

Nokia 7.1

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The Nokia 7.1 remains one of our top recommendations for a mid-range Android phone. It nails all of the basics, thanks to a beautiful display, powerful processor, and a great battery. We also love the inclusion of things like an NFC chip and the newer Bluetooth 5.0.

Nokia 7.1

One of the best

Display supports HDR
Faster processor
Guaranteed software updates
NFC for Google Pay
Slightly more expensive
Larger notch

Moto G7

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Motorola's Moto G7 delivers a lot of phone for not a lot of cash. Its display is impressive, there are two rear cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and staples like expandable storage and a headphone jack. Compared to the Nokia 7.1, it's just slightly less impressive.

Moto G7

Moto's latest

Larger display, smaller notch
Great glass + metal design
Expandable storage
Water-repellent nano-coating
No Google Pay
Motorola's not great with software updates

Both of these phones are two of the best mid-range options in the U.S. right now. But when pitted side-by-side next to each other, we have to give the win to the Nokia 7.1. It has a better display, NFC for contactless Google Pay payments, and is guaranteed to receive software updates down the road. The Moto G7 offers a lot for its low price, with the most significant downside being Motorola's poor track record for software support.

The Nokia 7.1 is the phone to get

Just $50 (normally) separates the Moto G7 and Nokia 7.1. We don't recommend taking that at face value, as there are often discounts and other specials that make the prices even more competitive. With their price points hovering around the same affordable space, you'd expect both phones to have a lot in common. And for the most part, you'd be right. However, there are a few areas where the Nokia phone makes a good argument as to why you should spend a few extra dollars and get it over what Motorola's offering.

One of the biggest advantages that the Nokia 7.1 has over the Moto G7 is its software. While both phones are running a near-stock build of Android 9 Pie, software updates will be a lot more reliable with Nokia's phone. Since the 7.1 is part of the Android One program, it's guaranteed to receive software updates and security patches for the next couple years. Along with that, Nokia's proven to have one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry when it comes to pushing updates out to users.

The Nokia 7.1 sets the standard for mid-range Android phones.

On the other hand, Motorola's track record for software updates has been — less than ideal. The G7 will probably get updated to Android Q at some point, but don't expect any other significant updates beyond that. Similarly, the speed at which you'll get updates on the G7 will be a lot slower compared to the Nokia 7.1.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Nokia 7.1Moto G7
Operating SystemAndroid 9 Pie
Android One
Android 9 Pie
Display5.84-inch LCD
2280 x 1080
19:9
HDR10
6.2-inch LCD
2270 x 1080
19:9
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 632
Rear Camera 112MP main camera
f/1.8
12MP main camera
f/1.8
Rear Camera 25MP depth sensor
f/2.4
5MP depth sensor
f/2.2
Front Camera8MP
8MP
Storage64GB
Expandable up to 400GB
64GB
Expandable up to 512GB
RAM4GB4GB
Battery3,060 mAh3,000 mAh
NFC✔️
Audio3.5mm headphone jack
Bluetooth 5.0
3.5mm headphone jack
Bluetooth 4.2

Looking at other advantages of the Nokia 7.1, it has an NFC chip built-in, meaning that you can use it for paying at stores that accept Google Pay. The display not only supports HDR10 content, but it can also convert SDR videos into HDR ones so that they're brighter with more powerful colors. If you're a frequent user of wireless headphones and other accessories, the Nokia 7.1's Bluetooth 5.0 will be more reliable than Bluetooth 4.2 on the Moto G7.

These are all reasonably small things on their own, but when you add them up together, they start to make a pretty big difference.

Everything else is mostly the same

Elsewhere, the Nokia 7.1 and Moto G7 are really comparable. Both have big, crispy LCD displays, capable Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, a healthy amount of RAM for multitasking, and 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded using a microSD card. Also included with both are dual rear cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and everyone's favorite — a 3.5mm headphone jack.

In other words, if you need to spend as little as possible, don't feel like you're settling for the Moto G7. It offers an impressive list of features and specs for such a low price and is a phone we recommend checking out. If you can spend a few more dollars, however, the Nokia 7.1 delivers some extra premium features and will age better over time.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.