Our Opinion

The Nokia 8.1 (6GB RAM, 128GB) is a significantly better phone, but the Samsung Galaxy M40 is significantly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much you want to spend! But if budget is not a constraint then we recommend the Nokia 8.1 (6GB RAM, 128GB)

Nokia 8.1 (6GB RAM, 128GB)  Samsung Galaxy M40 
Nokia 7.1 Plus Samsung Galaxy M40
Buy Now  not available currently Buy
Excellence Score
52.6
39.5
Value for Money Score
58.3
70.6
Price ₹ 29,999 onwards ₹ 16,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Feb, 2019 Jun, 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 10Expected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.18 inches 6.3 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2244 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 409 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass
Display Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Display Features FullView Display, IPS LCD Punch hole Camera
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.2 GHz 2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 710Ranked #32 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 675Ranked #20 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 616 Adreno 612
RAM 6 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 13MP + 12MP 32MP + 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 32MP: F/1.7 Aperture; 0.8um; PDAF, 8MP: F/2.2 Aperture; 12mm Focal Length (ultrawide); 1.12um Pixel Size; PDAF, 5MP: F/2.2 Aperture; Depth Sensor, Panorama, HDR, Video: 2160p@30fps; 1080p@30fps
Secondary Camera 20MP 16MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture, 0.9µm Pixel Size F/2.0 Aperture, HDR
Internal Memory 128 GB 128 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 (Hybrid SIM slot)
Thickness 7.9 mmMedium 7.9 mmMedium
Weight 180 gmMedium 168 gmMedium
Width 75.8 mmOk for one-handed use 73.9 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack USB-C
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 3500 mAh 3500 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
Included Fast Charger Yes Yes, 15W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features NFC; Noise Filtration Noise Filtration; Dolby Atmos
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
  • The M40 is the first mid-range phone from Samsung with an Infinity O display (till now it was only available with the Galaxy S10 series) - the front camera is under the display in the hole punch on the top left of the screen which helps achieve a near bezel-less display - the phone is definitely a head-turner
  • The body is polycarbonate (though it feels glass-like) has a very premium look and a slight gradient effect
  • Polycarbonate body also means that the phone is pretty light-weight
  • The middle camera sensor at the back has a silver ring around it, which stands out very subtly
  • Large, bright display - you get good viewing angles and sharpness
  • Samsung's new One UI is one of the most clean, and refined implementations of Android at present, and is quite smooth in day-to-day use - so on the software front, Samsung scores a big point
  • Solid performance with the powerful Snapdragon 675 processor (same as Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro) - everything from day-to-day performance, to games, is smooth
  • Decent set of triple rear cameras (standard + ultra-wide + depth)
  • Image quality is reasonably good in well-lit environments
  • Portrait shots came out really well with the subject well defined and the background blurred
  • The 16MP front camera also does a decent job of taking pictures in daylight - the photos look sharp with enough details and colours are close to natural
  • Overall, the camera performance isn’t the strongest in its price range, but fairly good overall
  • A stand out feature is the On Screen sound technology where the display doubles up as a speaker (it works well)
  • Good battery life with a 3500mAh battery - you can expect it to comfortably last the day - though of course it's not quite as brilliant as the 5000mAH batteries on the Galaxy M30 and M20
  • Samsung continues it's smart comeback into the mid-range with another good addition to the M-series - the M40 is a good alternative to consider in this price bracket, for people who want to prioritise a stylish cutting-edge design, and a 'notch-less' screen
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
  • Both fingerprint unlock (the fingerprint sensor is on the back), and the face unlock, while decent, aren't the fastest
  • It's not AMOLED though, so purely quality wise, the display is not quite as vibrant and punchy as the Galaxy M30
  • Tends to warm up a little bit, during heavy gaming
  • Low light performance from both the rear and front cameras is pretty average though
  • There is no 3.5-mm headset jack, which could be an issue for some users (USB-C headphones are bundled though)
  • There is some pretty good competition though, make no mistake - there is Samsung's own Galaxy M30 (cheaper, better display, better battery, headphone jack, although it has a slightly inferior processor, and not the cutting edge 'punch-hole' design), the Poco F1 (flagship Snapdragon 845, headphone jack, though it doesn't have a very modern design), and the Redmi Note 7 Pro (cheaper, better battery, headphone jack, though MIUI is not as simple/refined as the One UI) - all of which are excellent value themselves, so what you chose will depend on what you value
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. We find it hard to recommend the Galaxy A60/M40 in the presence of phones such as the Realme X, and the Redmi K20 in the same price range
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. A well balanced phone...but it's own sibling M30 undercuts the M40 to offer a better overall value
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Solid overall performer, and the most polished M-series offering by Samsung till date...but falls a bit short of being the undisputed leader that it could have been
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. One of the finest smartphone in its price range
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. Gets a lot of things right..If you are looking to buy a mid-range smartphone that offers a large display for watching videos, has a respectable camera and looks stylish, I think you should probably consider the Galaxy M40
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. Power-packed device with a fresh look and good performance...set to further challenge rivals like Xiaomi
    economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. Ticks all the boxes for a premium mid-range phone
    hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. A great phone for its price
    livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. Brings in a higher brand value than most of the other Chinese competition...If that prestige matters more than the marginally better user experience found on the others, then the Samsung M40 is your best option
    in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. While the Galaxy M40 offers some neat features, it is ultimately undone by Samsung's own Galaxy A50, and M30, in the value-for-money stakes
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  11. Overall, we did like the Samsung Galaxy M40
    timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. androidauthority.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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