HMD Global launched its latest mid-range smartphone Nokia 8.1 just last week. The company announced it during an exclusive event in Dubai. OPPO, on the other hand launched its first R-series smartphone in Pakistan dubbed as R17 Pro.

According to recent announcement, the OPPO R17 Pro costs PKR 109,999 in Pakistan, that is around ~$790. Whatever features this phone delivers, the price is way higher than other markets which is around ~$640. That means, even considering the Rupee value, this phone shouldn’t have cost above PKR 90,000 in Pakistan. So here you will pay an addition PKR 20,000 for this phone.

Nokia 8.1, on the other hand, launched globally with the price tag of ~$450 which makes it around PKR 62,500 – at the time of writing. The phone has not officially been announced Pakistan, however the company’s regional portal is already listing the Nokia 8.1 with the price tag of PKR 69,000. There as well the phone has some premium to pay in the country.

This features based comparison will inform you about all the titbits about the two phones, so you could make a decision to choose one over the other.

Nokia 8.1 Feature
Nokia 8.1 – official render showing display notch and dual-camera with Zeiss optics

Identical Class and Range

Starting with the main and basic thing in a smartphone, the chipset. Both the phones sport the same processor – it’s Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710. That’s something that will instantly label a smartphone to be considered as a mid-range. Nokia 8.1 has its price within limits though, but what does make the OPPO R17 Pro cost around PKR 40,000 more?

Both, Nokia 8.1 and OPPO R17 Pro have a classy glass build with a metal frame. Where Nokia 8.1 comes with its own design language with flat-everything, OPPO R17 Pro has a curvy design which is more common among mid-rangers from Huawei and Vivo.

Nokia 8.1 vs OPPO R17 Pro
Nokia 8.1 and OPPO R17 Pro Build and Design

The two phones feature similar components including same WiFi dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0 and all those navigation sensors – GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS and BDS. OPPO R17 Pro additionally supports European GALILEO navigation. That hardly makes a difference to end users, so I am not counting it as an edge for R17 Pro. Both the phones support USB Type-C but R17 Pro has an edge with the faster USB 3.1 compared to Nokia 8.1’s USB 2.0.

Memory and Battery

OPPO indeed has an edge with its R17 Pro offering 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Nokia 8.1 only offers half of the both – 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

OPPO R17 Pro has a little more battery capacity with 3700 mAh, whereas the Nokia 8.1 limits it at 3500 mAh.

OPPO R17 Pro Super VOOC Charging
OPPO R17 Pro – Super VOOC Charging

With the software side, Nokia 8.1 comes with the latest Android 9.0 Pie operating system, while the OPPO R17 Pro runs 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box.

The Cameras

While a camera with higher-megapixel count isn’t necessarily meant to be a better camera, you can’t tell that it’s not a better one. I mean, unless you try it yourself, you are bound to compare it with the numbers.

So I’ll consider the OPPO R17 Pro taking a lead here with a dual rear-cameras and an additional TOF 3D camera. The standard dual-cam includes , 12MP sensor with a dual aperture lens which is quite magnificent thing on papers, to help perform much better in low-light conditions using a larger f/1.5 aperture. The secondary 20MP camera comes with a f/2.6 aperture.

OPPO R17 Pro Dual Aperture Lens
OPPO R17 Pro – Dual-Aperture Lens

Nokia 8.1 also has almost similar 12MP main unit with probably similar sensor but only with a fixed f/1.8 aperture lens, which is also good for low-light. It also has optical image stabilization like R17 Pro, however the secondary camera is 13-megapixel. To impress us, the phone also has ZEISS optics.

The third 3D camera on the back, in OPPO R17 Pro, is not of any good use right now and may be used later via software updates. That’s not what I counted in, so just forget it for now.

If I consider OPPO R17 Pro to have a better camera, then it would only be due to having dual-aperture f/1.5-f/2.4. Otherwise, there isn’t any special thing to count as an edge. Okay, let’s count its 25MP front camera as well as an edge, as Nokia 8.1 has a 20MP front-facing camera.

Nokia 8.1 Zeiss Optics OIS
Nokia 8.1 – ZEISS Optics with Optical Image Stabilisation

Preference Based Features

Nokia 8.1 comes in a compact body with 6.18-inch display whereas the OPPO R17 Pro has a larger form factor with 6.4-inch display. The former has a wider notch above the display, while the latter features a water-drop cutout on top-mid of the display. Both have same full HD+ resolution, while the R17 Pro is taller with little more pixels on board. So it’s you to decide what your preference is.

Then OPPO R17 Pro features an under-display fingerprint sensor which sure is exciting thing when compared to Nokia 8.1’s standard rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Again, you are the one to decide if you want a fancier hidden fingerprint sensor for more money or you would want to stick with the one on the back.

OPPO R17 Pro Under-Display Fingerprint Scanning
OPPO R17 Pro – Under-display finerprint scanning

Conclusion

It’s not so difficult to choose among two devices when there is a big gap between their prices. Let me put it here again, Nokia 8.1 costs PKR 69,000 (~$490) and the OPPO R17 Pro is priced at PKR 109,999 (~$790).

There is a difference of PKR 40,000 (~$300) and you will get similar performance whatever device you choose. However, with the 40k premium you will get some fancier features with OPPO R17 Pro. Features which include a hidden fingerprint sensor, an unknown kind of 3D camera which is yet of no use, and boosted memory along with a doubled the storage.

Believe me if that premium was around 5k I’d choose the OPPO R17 Pro, only for one thing which is the storage. Sure 128GB storage would be an attractive deal for additional 5000 rupees. Let’s add 3 more thousands for the additional RAM – okay hold it, not 3, make it 5. Means, I am adding total of 10,000 premium to buy a phone which has 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a bit of additional battery capacity.

Nokia 8.1 vs OPPO R17 Pro

So I’d buy OPPO R17 Pro for PKR 80,000 (~$575) if I have the only other option to buy Nokia 8.1 for PKR 70,000 (~$495). Just forget the already added prices of both the phones which are not balanced with the global prices. I really hope it makes sense to pay additional 10,000 for two obvious things which are memory configuration and the battery.

Just look at the retail prices of the two phones in bold above, and decide yourself, which is the best buy for you. Do let us know about your preference in the comments below and do tell us if this article helped you make a difference between the two devices.

Just before you go, have a quick look through the specifications of the two phones sides by side.

Nokia 8.1 vs OPPO R17 Pro – Specifications Comparison

Major Features
NOKIA 8.1 OPPO R17 PRO
Chip/CPU/GPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 – Octa-cre
2x Kryo 360 Gold 2.2GHz + 6x Kryo 360 Silver 1.7GHz
Adreno 616
RAM 4GB 8GB
Storage 64GB 128GB
Battery 3500 mAh 3700 mAh
Software Android 9.0 Pie Android 8.1 Oreo
Price PKR 69,000 (~495) PKR 109,999 (~790)
Body Features
NOKIA 8.1 OPPO R17 PRO
Build Glass front/back
metal/aluminium frame
Glass front/back
metal/aluminium frame
Size 154.8×75.8×8 mm 157.6×74.6×7.9 mm
Weight 180 grams 183 grams
Screen / Display
NOKIA 8.1 OPPO R17 PRO
Size 6.18-inches 6.4-inches
Type IPS LCD display AMOLED display
Resolution 2280×1080 pixels 2340×1080 pixels
Pixel density ~408 ppi ~402 ppi
Screen ratio ~81% ~84%
Aspect ratio 19:9 19.5:9
Camera
NOKIA 8.1 OPPO R17 PRO
Rear Dual 12MP + 13MP
12MP: 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, f/1.8, OIS,
13MP: Fixed Focus
Dual 12MP + 20MP
12MP: 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, f/1.5-2.4, OIS,
20MP: Autofocus, f/2.6
TOF 3D camera
Front 20MP: 0.9µm, f/2.0 25MP: 0.9µm, f/2.0
Other Features
NOKIA 8.1 OPPO R17 PRO
Connectivity WiFi 2.4/5GHz dual-band
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BDS
NFC
USB Type-C 2.0
WiFi 2.4/5GHz dual-band
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BDS/GALILEO
NFC
USB Type-C 3.1
Fingerprint Sensor Rear-mounted under-display
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