“The OPPO R15 Pro or Nokia 8.1? Here’s how these two devices compare on paper”

If the OnePlus 6T (review) seems out of your budget, then there are still plenty of great mid-range smartphones to choose from in the Indian market. These include the newly-launched OPPO R15 Pro and the Nokia 8.1 (review). Both of them are priced similarly, and offer some interesting features. Their notched displays, dual rear cameras and powerful internals make them capable options for those who are looking to buy phones with a budget of around Rs 25,000. If you’re one of them, let us give you a thorough comparison between the R15 Pro and Nokia 8.1, to help you choose the better smartphone.

Design and display

OPPO R15 Pro price in India

Both these phones take a similar design approach, which involves a notch-induced bezel-less display on the front, an aluminium frame on the sides and a glass panel on the back. Their fingerprint scanners are placed on the back, and sit right above their dual cameras. They both weigh in at 180 grams, and are pretty comfortable to hold. NFC is another feature common between the two. 3.5mm headphone sockets are also available on both these phones, but while the OPPO R15 Pro is water resistant, the Nokia 8.1 does not offer that capability. And the former continues with a micro-USB port, while the latter sports a USB Type-C port. 

The SUPER AMOLED display on the front of the OPPO R15 Pro measures 6.28-inch diagonally and bears a resolution of 1,080 x 2,280 pixels. This is a definite advantage, since the screen of the Nokia 8.1 is an IPS LCD. It’s still a pretty impressive 6.18-inch panel with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,280 pixels. One advantage that the 8.1’s display has is its support for the HDR 10 standard.

Hardware and software

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The R15 Pro has been equipped with the Snapdragon 660 chipset from Qualcomm. This setup includes a 2.2GHz octa-core processor and an Adreno 512 GPU. That said, the chipset at the heart of the Nokia 8.1 is the much improved Snapdragon 710 model, which also offers a 2.2GHz octa-core CPU, but an Adreno 616 GPU. The OPPO handset is being sold in the form of a 128GB storage model with 6GB of RAM. As for the Nokia 8.1, it’s available as a 64GB storage model with 4GB of RAM right now, but a 128GB variant with 6GB of RAM is expected to launch soon.

In terms of the software, the choice between these two handsets is a toss-up between whether you like customs ROMs or not. That’s because the R15 Pro runs the Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.0, while the Nokia device comes pre-installed with Android 9.0 Pie in its near-stock Android One form. ColorOS 5.0 is wrought with additional traits like power management settings, a RAM cleaner, multi-tasking features and much more. On the other hand, the software on the Nokia 8.1 just comes with vanilla iteration along with the new additions that Pie brings with it — Digital Wellbeing, Adaptive Battery, easier text selection, gesture navigation and more. Only the Camera app is Nokia-made, and that has also been equipped with several AI-based features, just like ColorOS 5.0.

Camera and battery

OPPO R15 Pro specifications
The rear camera setup of the OPPO R15 Pro includes the combination of a 16MP main sensor and a 20MP secondary one. Both of them are accompanied by f/1.7 lenses, which is great for low-light photography. The Nokia 8.1 ships with a 12MP f/1.8 main camera and a 13MP secondary shooter. Both the phones sport 20MP f/2.0 front cameras. And features like scene detection, a beauty mode and more are common for these phones as well.

As far as their batteries go, the OPPO handset has adopted a 3,430mAh power pack that’s complemented by the company’s VOOC Flash Charge technology. The Nokia 8.1 on the other hand, is fuelled by a similarly-sized 3,500mAh battery, which too supports fast charging.

Closing thoughts 

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The scale is evenly balanced when it comes to the competition between these two phones. Priced at Rs 25,990, the OPPO R15 Pro offers a large OLED display, and advanced dual rear cameras. In contrast, the Nokia 8.1 ships with a more powerful processor and Android One, making it more future-proof. It’s however, priced slightly higher at Rs 26,999. So the choice between the two isn’t easy to make, but there’s a little doubt that both devices make the mid-tier interesting, once again.