Our Opinion

The Nokia 8.1 (4GB RAM, 64GB) is a slightly better phone than the Samsung Galaxy M30s (4GB RAM, 64GB), and is also slightly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Nokia 8.1 (4GB RAM, 64GB)!

Nokia 8.1 (4GB RAM, 64GB)  Samsung Galaxy M30s (4GB RAM, 64GB) 
Nokia 7.1 Plus Samsung Galaxy M30s
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
51.2
47.4
Value for Money Score
88.1
86.3
Price ₹ 14,229 onwards ₹ 13,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Dec, 2018 Sep, 2019
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 9.0 Pie, Upgradeable to Android 10Expected update to next Android versionAndroid One series Android 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.18 inches 6.4 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2244 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass Yes
Display Type IPS LCD AMOLED
Display Features FullView Display, IPS LCD Super AMOLED
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.2 GHz 2.3 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 710Ranked #30 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Samsung Exynos 9611Ranked #23 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 616 Mali-G72 MP3
RAM 4 GB 4 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 13MP + 12MP 48MP + 8MP + 5MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 12MP: F/1.8 Aperture; 1/2.55" Sensor Size; 1.4µm Pixel Size; Dual Pixel PDAF; OIS, Zeiss Optics, Panorama, HDR 48MP: F/2.0 Aperture; Samsung GW2 Sensor, 5MP: Depth Sensor; F/2.2 Aperture, 8MP: 123° Ultra-wide Angle Lens; F/2.2 Aperture
Secondary Camera 20MP 16MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture, 0.9µm Pixel Size F/2.0 Aperture, Samsung SK3P8SP Sensor
Internal Memory 64 GB 64 GB
Expandable Memory Slot up to 400 GB up to 512 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot) GSM+GSM
Thickness 7.9 mm 8.9 mm
Weight 180 gm 188 gm
Width 75.8 mm 75.1 mm
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 3500 mAh 6000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes Yes, 15W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes Yes, 15W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features NFC; Noise Filtration UFS 2.1 Storage; Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • In recent times, HMD has launched some exquisite smartphones this year that all exude style and class - the Nokia 8.1 is no different - it's an elegantly designed device that comes with a glass and metal design - the front and back of the Nokia 8.1 get 2.5D Gorilla Glass protection - and the glass subtly curves on the edges and seamlessly blends into the aluminium frame
  • The frame itself is a solid Series 6000 aluminium with diamond cut, chiseled edges
  • Overall, the Nokia 8.1 is built like a tank - and the material quality as well as the fit and finish are excellent - every part of it feels completely solid, right down to the thick metal SIM tray and the power and volume buttons - the body doesn't twist or flex even slightly
  • Excellent, vivid, sharp, tall display with HDR10-support - which means you can stream HDR content on supported platforms like Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube - and you will get some pretty amazing colour reproduction
  • Being an Android One device, you get simple, clean stock Android similar to Pixel devices, along with a promise for Android updates for at least 2 years - there is also basically zero bloatware
  • Slick, butter smooth performance with the new Snapdragon 710, that's just a notch below the Snapdragon 800 series flagships - in real-life use, you will only be able to notice any difference from flagships in the most high-end games
  • Very good dual camera setup on the rear - take some very good images, especially in daylight conditions - you will get very good detail and vibrant colours - the camera is also quick to lock focus and fun to use - live Bokeh shots too come out looking great
  • Videos are crisp and sharp too, again especially so in daylight - and optical image stabilisation definitely makes a difference
  • The front camera is pretty good too, in all sort of lighting conditions, and has a good portrait mode as well
  • Overall, the camera experience on the Nokia 8.1 is right up there with the very best in this price bracket
  • Good speaker - sound through the single mono speaker is very loud, and is not too harsh or tinny
  • Good battery life with a 3500mAh battery - you will comfortably get a day of use and more
  • Fast charging support
  • The Nokia 8.1 is undoubtedly a strong new choice in the mid-range - it does not rely on gimmicks or fads to try and woo you - at its core, this is a phone that focuses on the essentials and delivers a great camera, good performance, excellent battery life and an absolutely clean build of Android with a promise of long-term support - for people who are looking for an uncluttered software experience and fast updates, the Nokia 8.1 will be an excellent, reliable choice
  • Decent looks and build quality - with a a unibody polycarbonate design, and glossy finish on the back panel - quite similar to the M30 - the only major visual difference is that the triple camera setup gets a wider, rectangular module to house the LED flash and "48 megapixel" branding
  • The plastic body keeps the phone feeling relatively lightweight at 188 grams, which is mighty impressive for a phone packing a big 6000mAh battery
  • It also feels great to hold with a seamless curved panel that meets the display up front
  • Modern, Infinity-U front - bezels around the screen are slim, except for a slightly thick chin - you still get around 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which is great
  • Fingerprint sensor at the back is easy to reach
  • Gorgeous, 6.4-inch FHD+ (2340x1080) Super AMOLED Infinity-U display with excellent viewing angles, and brightness levels - easily one of the best displays in the price bracket
  • It also comes with "Widevine L1" certification, which helps stream content in crisp HD resolution
  • Blacks are deep on the AMOLED display, which looks good with Night mode enabled
  • Samsung's OneUI is today one of the more clean, refined Android UIs that's especially well optimized for large displays like this
  • One UI also brings in other useful stuff, like a System-wide Night mode (which turns the background completely black, and looks great on the M30s' AMOLED display), and Always On Display option
  • Good, strong performance with the Exynos 9611 at the core (similar to Snapdragon 665) - everyday performance to high-end gaming - everything is handled smoothly
  • Decent rear camera setup - 48MP main sensor + 8MP wide-angle lens + 5MP depth sensor
  • With the primary lens, you get bright and attractive photos in daylight conditions with vibrant colours and good contrast - dynamic range is also wide and noise is controlled
  • Switching to the wide-angle lens will offer a new perspective, letting you click a wider area at close range to the subject (it is best used in daylight, however, as wide-angle captures look grainy and noise indoors or in low light)
  • The dedicated Night mode can be used with the main camera - it comes in handy in low-light conditions, extending the shutter time to allow more light into the frame - making for some decent low-light photos
  • Live Focus does a decent job at separating the subject from the background, and giving good bokeh shots
  • The 16MP selfie camera too does a decent job when it comes to capturing selfies outdoors under bright light (though it starts to struggle indoors and in low light, offering softer selfies with a lot of grain)
  • Overall, the cameras on the M30s are decent for the price bracket, even though they are not the best (that title is shared by Xiaomi and Realme phones)
  • Monster 6000mAh battery delivers an incredible 2-3 days of usage easily, making for one of the largest battery life smartphones currently available
  • Supports 15W fast charging
  • With the M-series performing well for Samsung, M30s is well-set to add to that success, delivering a good all-round package with one key differentiator - an incredible battery life - if that is one of your primary concerns in a phone, then the M30s is a no-brainer (if on the other hand you want the best camera or best performance for your buck, you can look at Xiaomi or Realme phones in this price bracket)
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The display notch is quite wide
  • Low light performance from the rear cameras, for both stills and videos, is decent, but could have been a little bit better
  • The power button and volumes are quite flush with the frame which means they lack that tactile, clicky feel
  • Lacks the premium finish of some of its competitors
  • Focusing is slow at times
  • Overall low light camera performance still feels lacking
Expert Reviews
  1. Solid mid-range device
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. There is a lot to like about the Nokia 8.1, but most of the things that give it its appeal can also be found in phones that cost much less
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. This is a phone that focusses on the essentials...offers tremendous value-for-money
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Gets almost everything right...In case you prefer brand trust and software over the latest tech and powerful hardware, then the Nokia 8.1 is the kind of device you would like in your pocket
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. A true Android flagship killer... Nokia is ending the year on a bang
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. A marvellous mid-range smartphone
    expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  7. A great phone that nails the fundamentals
    androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. As close to a flagship phone as it gets...And to top it off, HMD has priced the Nokia 8.1 at an incredibly competitive price
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  9. trustedreviews.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  11. themobileindian.com hands-on Read Review »
  1. Redmi and Realme phones are still better all-rounders than the M30s, but if your use case calls for extreme battery backups, play a lot of games or are brand conscious, the M30s might be well-suited for you
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. If battery life ranks very high on your priority list, then you should consider the Galaxy M30s
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Overall, the Galaxy M30s is good choice at competitive price
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Decent package
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. Doesn’t do enough to be a stand-out recommendation
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. A flawless device, especially considering how affordable it is
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. Looks impressive...will act as a real threat to existing devices in the same price segment from the likes of Xiaomi and Realme
    economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. Specifically recommended for people who don't’ want to lug a power bank all the time....For them, the Galaxy M30s is definitely worth considering
    thequint.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. If you are looking for a smartphone that offers long battery life and good display, consider the M30s
    themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. The Galaxy M30s is okay
    timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. A good option to buy in the price range
    financialexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. If you are one of those who don't like to use a portable charger or frequently forget to charge your device, then this smartphone is no less than a gift
    zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. At this price point, the Galaxy M30s is a great choice for anyone looking for a smartphone with a long-lasting battery
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  14. The Galaxy M30s is an ideal phone if you want a device that can handle excruciating hours of streaming, gaming and camera use, apart from the usual social media use
    business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. Checks almost all checkboxes for the perfect mid-range device
    deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. techpp.com hands-on Read Review »
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
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