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Nokia 8.1 launches in Dubai, costs around $450

Nokia unveils the next version of its flagship phone for the "affordable premium" market.

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Nokia

After a few glitches -- including the preannouncement leak of a promotional video and a subsequent unexplained launch delay -- Nokia has unveiled its next phone for what it calls the "affordable premium" market. The Nokia 8.1, which features a wide notch on the front, costs 399 euros ($450, £355, AU$625 converted) -- marking a considerable price increase for its midrange handset.

The Nokia 8.1 is the followup to the Nokia 7.1 -- the company's previous midrange smartphone, which had a winning combination of specs and performance for $350. The new handset has a similar design but includes a handful of updated components, in addition to the higher price. 

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Nokia

Specs include:

  • 6.18-inch display 
  • Anodized metal frame
  • Snapdragon 710 processor
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB storage with support for microSD
  • PureDisplay with support for HDR10
  • Dual rear cameras (13 + 12 megapixel)
  • Google Lens support 
  • 20-megapixel front camera
  • Zeiss optics and optical image stabilization
  • Support for Android One
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 3,500-mAh battery
  • Available in three colors: Iron/Steel, Blue/Silver and Steel/Copper

A day before the announcement, a 30-second video spot that showed the phone and highlighted its photography capabilities was published to YouTube. The company showed the same video during its keynote presentation. 

Nokia is three years into its rebound as an Android player. Finnish company HMD Global licenses the name in an effort to capitalize on its past successes, with an evolving lineup of phones designed and priced primarily for users in Europe and the Middle East. 

The Nokia 8.1 costs will be available later this month in the Middle East. Preordering starts tomorrow.