The software is pure Android, the fingerprint sensor is 99 per cent accurate and very responsive and the notch doesn't bother me yet, says Veer Arjun Singh.
I did a Houdini with my drinks at a party this New Year's eve.
The DJ was late so the upscale bar in Gurugram I was at decided to torture its guests with two hours of 'drinks buying music'.
I can't say it was worth the wait, but what a man this guy, DFAQ (don't try to pronounce it), turned out to be: a homegrown DeadMau5, both in looks and calibre.
However, before he finally showed up, while I was drinking away my boredom, the folks I was with had a lot of fun with my phone.
Maybe it was the lack of familiar music, but they were quite pleased to hear a Nokia phone ring in its signature tone.
I was trying out the new Nokia 8.1 and, up against the last generation of iPhones, it was chosen as the primary shooter of the night.
It's not just the Zeiss optics; the Nokia 8.1 also has improved AI processing for pictures.
The 12- and 13-megapixel primary camera set-up was not overwhelmed by the flashing lights and managed to click some well-detailed photos.
It didn't work so well at the New Year countdown when the lights were dimmed.
The 20-megapixel selfie camera, on the other hand, did better.
Flooded with requests to send original pictures over email, I am now at the receiving end of its popularity.
Apart from the nostalgic ringtone, the 8.1's looks also catch the attention of geeky eyes.
Make no mistake, it's the same, impractical front and back glass design that almost all brands now follow -- Google Pixel's matte finish is an exception -- but the Nokia 8.1's maroon tone goes really well with its metal-finish chassis.
The 8.1 is not a flagship, so it gets a 7 series Snapdragon processor instead of the top-of-the-line 8 series.
The Octa-core 710 might be a necessary compromise, but it does affect the phone's multitasking abilities, especially if you tend to have your notification bar full while you carelessly game for hours.
But unless you spend hours on PlayerUnknown's Battleground (read PUBG) and also browse through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and read though multiple news apps with the same gusto, the processor works just fine.
You might not be able to juggle all at once, but you can do a lot of things on this phone on a single charge.
Its 3500 mAh battery easily lasts 24 hours on heavy use, which is much better than the Samsung Note 9 or Google Pixel 3 and comparable to the OnePlus 6.
Its 6.18-inch bright screen is great for watching videos on the go, even in sunlight, but I feel iPhones are so much better to look at in the dark.
This phone, like most other Androids, causes eye fatigue even with the adaptive brightness and night mode.
Also, when you're watching stuff without earphones, try not blocking the dual speaker grille that is unfortunately placed at the bottom right.
Coming back to the good things, the software is pure Android, the fingerprint sensor is 99 per cent accurate and very responsive and the notch doesn't bother me yet.
In short, I like this phone.
A mid-range phone is not one below flagships.
If you're not a smartphone buff, a good mid-range phone may better suit your needs.
And at Rs 26,999, the Nokia 8.1 may just be it.