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The new Nokia 7.1 is the best iPhone X clone you’re going to get for $349

Nokia 7.1 details

The new Nokia 7.1 from HMD is a $349 mid-range smartphone that tries as hard as it can to impress, with near-flagship design and assorted other touches that range from an HDR display to a Zeiss Optics-powered camera.

Among the features, the 12 MP/5MP dual cameras promise fast and accurate autofocus and HDR photography even in low light, as well as studio-style “bokeh” shots, picture-in-picture capabilities and a mode that lets you use the front and back cameras simultaneously. In addition to “jewelry-like design” and a premium build quality, you also get PureDisplay HDR screen technology that includes high contrast, greater clarity and enhanced colors across all content, the company says.

“Almost two thirds of videos around the world are viewed on mobile, which is why we’ve introduced our PureDisplay screen technology, to give everyone a premium viewing experience on a smartphone,” HMD Global chief producer officer Juho Sarvikas said about the new handset. “The Nokia 7.1 even offers real-time SDR to HDR conversion, meaning you can experience HDR quality entertainment, even when your content is not.”

The Full HD+ 5.84” and 19:9 screen ratio display will automatically adjust brightness and contrast to ambient lighting conditions. To Juho’s point, non-HDR content viewed on the phone will be up-scaled in real-time using a dedicated 16bit engine that processes millions of pixels per second.

The phone itself is powered by the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform and includes a USB type-C fast charging port that promises to provide up to 50 percent of your battery power in 30 mins. The handset maker goes on to tout the build quality by playing up its use of “design techniques found in jewelry and high-end timepieces” via such touches as the phone’s dual-anodized aluminum diamond cut colored edges.

There’s also a Pro Camera Mode that gives you deeper control over the camera’s white balance, ISO, focus and shutter speed, and there are AI enhancements accompanying the front-facing camera that allow for 3D personas, masks and filters.

Three years of monthly security patches and two years of OS updates are promised for the device, which also has an adaptive battery feature that limits battery usage from apps you don’t use often. The phone comes in a Gloss Midnight Blue finish as well as Gloss Steel and will be available for pre-sale online at Amazon, Best Buy and B&H starting tomorrow, October 5.

The phone will start shipping on October 28, and in-store purchasing and demonstration displays will also be available in select Best Buy stores starting November 4.

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Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.