Our Opinion

The Nokia 8.1 (6GB RAM, 128GB) is a significantly better phone, but the Samsung Galaxy A50 (6GB RAM) is slightly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much you want to spend! But if budget is not a constraint, we recommend the Nokia 8.1 (6GB RAM, 128GB).

Nokia 8.1 (6GB RAM, 128GB)  Samsung Galaxy A50 (6GB RAM) 
Nokia 7.1 Plus Samsung Galaxy A50
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
43.7
31.4
Value for Money Score
57.4
58.4
Price ₹ 26,990 onwards ₹ 18,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Feb, 2019 Mar, 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 Pie, Upgradeable to Android 10Low likelihood of getting updated 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
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features FullView Display, IPS LCD Super AMOLED, Infinity-U Display
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.2 GHz 2.3 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 710Ranked #40 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Samsung Exynos 9610Ranked #34 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 616 Mali-G72 MP3
RAM 6 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 13MP + 12MP 25MP + 8MP + 5MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (Full HD)
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 25MP: F/1.7 Aperture; PDAF, 8MP: F/2.2 Aperture, 5MP: F/2.2 Aperture; Depth Sensor, Panorama, HDR
Secondary Camera 20MP 25MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture, 0.9µm Pixel Size F/2.0 Aperture, HDR
Internal Memory 128 GB 64 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 400 GB Yes, 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 mmMedium 7.7 mmMedium
Weight 180 gmMedium 166 gmMedium
Width 75.8 mmOk for one-handed use 74.7 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 3500 mAh 4000 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, 15.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features NFC; Noise Filtration In-display Fingerprint Sensor; 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
  • Looks absolutely slick with a modern, Infinity U-notch display, and a beautiful iridescent back panel, that reflects light in interesting ways
  • The rear panel curves slightly to meet the metal rim and there are no sharp edges anywhere - as far as comfort goes, the Galaxy A50 is quite easy to use and doesn't feel too heavy or thick - it fits nicely in one hand, and isn't slippery
  • Packs an in-display fingerprint sensor, that works reasonably fine (though it can often take about two seconds to unlock - and so is not quite as efficient as a standard fingerprint sensor)
  • There's also some very handy and quick face recognition - you can choose to activate the front camera as soon as you raise the phone - it's fluid and you don't have to wait for visual confirmation that it has worked
  • The main attraction of the Galaxy A50 is its gorgeous 6.4-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED screen, with the scoop-shaped Infinity-U notch - it is crisp, bright and vibrant - blacks are deep and colours really pop, but without being oversaturated - everything looks great, right from the UI to videos and games
  • The always-on display feature is nice to have too
  • Packs One UI, Samsung's modern flagship UI, with a number of design improvements over Samsung's old Experience UI (which is there on the Galaxy M-series siblings)
  • One UI reduces information density throughout, and is optimized for large displays
  • There are of course tons of customization options like text size, icon size, gesture shortcuts, gesture navigation, lock-screen widgets, message bubbles, etc
  • Google's Digital Wellbeing feature for Android 9 is also supported so you can see detailed app usage statistics, have the Galaxy A50 prompt you when it's time to wind down for the night, and impose time constraints on individual apps to help yourself focus
  • Overall, the One UI is definitely one of the better Android UIs around now, possibly behind only OnePlus's Oxygen OS
  • Solid mid-range performance with the powerful Samsung Exynos 9610 SoC (similar to Snapdragon 660) - the experience is pleasant and smooth throughout including with games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9
  • Good, three rear camera setup at the back - the primary camera has a 25-megapixel sensor and f/1.7 aperture
  • the secondary camera is for wide shots and has an 8-megapixel sensor with a 123-degree field of view and f/2.2 aperture
  • and the third one is a standard 5-megapixel depth sensor
  • There are also lots of add-ons like Live Focus mode for portraits, a 480fps 720p slow-motion video mode, Hyper-Lapse mode for timelapse videos, AR emojis, and intelligent scene optimisation
  • Overall image quality is good, especially in daylight - photos come out looking nice with quite a lot of detail
  • The wide-angle camera gives you a lot of flexibility and it's actually quite surprising how much more you can fit into a frame when standing in exactly the same spot (but quality is definitely lower and there's major distortion that isn't just limited to the edges of the frame)
  • You can change the type of background blur in portrait shots from the standard bokeh to assorted filter effects, and there's even a fake dolly-zoom effect that you can make GIFs out of - edge detection is quite good too
  • Video recording is very good too - with none of the focus hunting or wobbling that affects lower-end phone cameras - in the daytime, motion is crisp and details are good - the wide-angle camera gives everything a fish-eye effect and video is slightly darker but still smooth
  • Decent single front-facing camera too, with a 25-megpixel sensor and f/2.0 aperture - though edge detection of the Live Focus mode here isn't great
  • Very good battery life with a 4000mAh battery - you can easily stretch to a day and a half with normal use
  • Support for fast charging - the included charger charges from 0 to 30 percent in 30 minutes
  • With the re-imaged A-series, Samsung is really showing that it knows how to bring the fight back, and seen on it's own, the Galaxy A50 is a solid mid-range device
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 rear panel is quite glossy, and so it gets completely smudged pretty much the moment you touch it - it will also have a tendency to pick scratches - so using the bundled plastic case is pretty much essential
  • Bloatware, spammy notifications, and ads within some Samsung apps are still part of the package though - and you will have to disable some of these individually to have a cleaner experience with the phone
  • Low light performance of the rear and front cameras could have been better
  • While the phone's single speaker can get very loud, at higher volumes, clarity does suffer
  • The included earphones are not too great - you will probably want to use your own pair
  • Having said that, the competition is intense these days, and one the hardest ones to fight against will be Xiaomi's Poco F1 with its top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor - that's obviously the better choice of phone if you're a gamer or want the smoothest possible experience - though it doesn't have three rear cameras or a modern tiny-notch, all-screen design
  • Competition will also be hard from the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, 48-megapixel primary camera, Gorilla Glass 5, and other impressive specifications - presenting a much stronger value-for-your-buck package
  • Lastly, there will also be competition from the company's own Galaxy M30, which is a notch below in cameras and performance - but does pack an even larger battery, and is much cheaper
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. Samsung got a lot of things right in the Galaxy A50...we liked it for sure, and we'd recommend checking it out if it fits your budget bracket
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. One of the best budget phones
    cnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. A premium mid-ranger worth your money
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Samsung is really showing that it knows how to bring the fight back
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. An appreciable effort that needs some polishing
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. A well rounded mid-ranger you always wanted
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  7. Samsung’s best mid-ranger in years...the Samsung Galaxy A50 is all about a quality user experience
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. The budget Samsung phone of your dreams
    digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. A mid-range phone done right...a strong contender in this price range
    ibtimes.co.in in-depth Read Review »
  10. A brilliant mid-ranger at a great price
    expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  11. Buy it...it is excellent value with a class-leading display
    tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. Samsung has finally figured out how to make a great budget phone
    androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. If you are a Samsung loyalist then this phone might excite you, else consider alternatives
    themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  14. The new budget smartphone to beat
    gizmodo.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. Excellent midrange smartphone
    notebookcheck.net in-depth Read Review »
  16. Give you a lot of value at its price point...a delight to use
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  17. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  18. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  19. trustedreviews.com hands-on Read Review »
  20. techadvisor.co.uk 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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