The Nokia 7 Plus is the best $400 phone you can buy right now, but unfortunately it isn't officially up for sale in the U.S. HMD Global is currently focusing on Asian markets, and while the Nokia 6.1 is available direct from Amazon for $269, that's the only Nokia-branded phone sold officially in the U.S.
However, the global variant of the Nokia 7 Plus is now being listed on Amazon for $359, with the particular model offering compatible bands for AT&T and T-Mobile.
It works on AT&T and T-Mobile
The Nokia 7 Plus variant on sale (TA-1062) features a host of LTE bands, specifically 1/3/4/5/7/8/20/28/34/38/39/40/41. Band 4 compatibility is key here as that makes the phone eligible to work on AT&T and T-Mobile. It doesn't have all the requisite bands for either carrier as it's missing band 12, so coverage will be limited. That said, bands 4 and 5 provide LTE connectivity across wide swathes of the country, so you shouldn't face a lot of issues in this regard.
Should you face issues with LTE connectivity on either AT&T and T-Mobile in your locale, you can at least turn in the device as it's backed by Amazon's 30-day guarantee. Furthermore, you won't be able to use the Nokia 7 Plus on Verizon or Sprint as this is a GSM model.
The build quality is fantastic
The Nokia 7 Plus has an aluminum unibody with a six-layer ceramic finish at the back, giving the phone a matte finish. The matte texture makes it easier to hold, and the aluminum chassis makes it one of the most durable phones in this segment.
Nokia devices in the past have long been associated with durability, and HMD is imbibing the same qualities to its portfolio of Android devices. I've been using my Nokia 7 Plus for well over two months now, and after numerous knocks and tumbles, the phone is still going strong.
Snapdragon 660 is a performance beast
The Nokia 7 Plus has the distinction of being the first HMD device to feature an 18:9 panel. It also features a Snapdragon 660 chipset, Qualcomm's mid-range powerhouse. The Snapdragon 660 made its debut last year, and continues to be one of the best chipsets in the sub-$500 segment.
You also get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard, microSD card slot, dual 12MP + 13MP cameras, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and a 3800mAh battery that delivers over a day's worth of use with ease.
You get the promise of quick updates
HMD has committed to the Android One platform for all of its Android phones, and that translates to two platform updates and three years of security updates for all phones in its portfolio. HMD managed to do a stellar job rolling out updates, with the Nokia 7 Plus running Android 8.1 Oreo and the phone is in the first wave of devices to pick up the Android p update once it's released.
It costs just $90 more than the Nokia 6.1
The main issue with importing a Nokia 7 Plus is the customs duties and shipping costs associated with the purchase, but with the phone available from Amazon and backed by a 30-day guarantee, this is the best time to get your hands on the device.
Right now, the phone costs just $90 more than the Nokia 6.1, and for that amount you're getting an 18:9 panel, beefier hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 660, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, and much better cameras. Sure, you'll lose out on warranty as the model on sale is a global variant that doesn't offer U.S. warranty, but you'll be able to return your unit within 30 days to Amazon should you face any issues.
As outlined above, the Nokia 7 Plus has outstanding build quality, and is one of the sturdiest phones in this segment today. For $359, there really is no reason not to try out the Nokia 7 Plus and see what's on offer.
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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.