The new avatar Nokia 3310 was first introduced in the Indian market. It got mixed reactions. The remaining two Android smartphones Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 have not been made available in the market yet. To be honest, the Nokia brand had made the most of the headlines at the Mobile World Congress 2017. But there is a big difference between headlines and sales. The sales of these handsets will be high only when the customer feels that they are strong phones.
HMD Global is marketing the Nokia 3 as a handset that is well designed and gives customers a pure Android experience with regular updates on a budget. The price of Nokia 3 has been kept such that it is directly competing with many popular handsets. However, the road to it is not easy. To make a special place in the Indian market through the phone, HMD Global will have to beat handsets like Xiaomi Redmi 4, Moto G5 and Yu Yureka Black. It is also being said about Nokia 3 that this Android phone has all the necessary Android features. Is this enough? Let’s try to find out.
Nokia 3 Design
The Nokia 3 is presented in a white colored retail box. It will remind you of the days of Nokia. Looking at the phone, you will also remember the Lumia range of handsets running on the Windows Mobile platform. But the similarity is limited to the design, as the Nokia 3 runs on Android. If you look at the smartphones under Rs 10,000 in the market, then you will find that all these phones are metal unibody and their designs are also similar. Be it Yu Yureka Black or Xiaomi Redmi 4. In our view, the Nokia 3 gives a new feel to the budget segment. The Nokia 3 is not a full-metal body phone. In this, polycarbonate has been used on the back and due to the metal frame, the design stands out. Nothing unique, but it doesn’t feel cheap.
The feel of this phone in the hands is the best ever in this segment. During the review, we used this phone with one hand without any fuss. The square design makes it easy to grip the phone from all sides. We got a matte black unit of the Nokia 3 for review. It is also available in Silver White colour. The power and volume buttons are on the right. But their color has also been kept black to match the body of the phone.
On the left side, you will find separate slots for both the SIM card and the microSD card. This is a good thing as companies have shown more confidence in hybrid slots in recent times. At the bottom, you will find the charging port along with the speaker grille. At the same time, 3.5mm audio jack has got place at the top. If you look closely, you will also be able to see the antenna band on the top and bottom. The Nokia logo is on the front and rear, just like the old Nokia handsets.
Typing on the phone was easy. This phone with 8.48 mm thickness is thinner than Redmi 4. But the Xiaomi phone has a bigger battery. During the review, we found that the power and volume buttons have got a lot of space above the convenience. When using with one hand, we found that it was not easy to reach these buttons. We also missed the fingerprint sensor, which is common in handsets at this price point today. The capacitive buttons on this handset are not backlit. This means that you will have trouble finding them in the dark.
In the retail box of the Nokia 3, you will find an instruction manual, a charger, a USB cable and a SIM ejector tool.
Nokia 3 Specifications and Software
Nokia 3 flaunts a 5-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels. It has 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass protection on it. It is powered by 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 chipset with 2GB RAM. The inbuilt storage is 16 GB and it will be possible to use a microSD card up to 128 GB if needed. There are 8-megapixel sensors on its front and back panels. The rear camera comes with f/2.0 aperture, autofocus and LED flash. On the other hand, the front camera also has autofocus and comes with 84 degree field of view. The phone has a 2630 mAh battery. Support for 4G and Voice over LTE is available. Connectivity features include USB-OTG, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Nokia 3 is one of the few smartphones in the budget segment that comes with Android Nougat. You will get the stock Android experience. You will get all the notifications in one app. It will be possible to reply to any message only from the notification pop-up. Through notification management, users will be able to disable or mute notifications of a particular app. It will be possible to switch between apps by double tapping on the overview button. Apart from this, the Settings app will also come in a new avatar. Split screen multitasking will also be possible. Nokia 3 out of box supports Android Assistant. This feature is not yet available in many phones in this price segment.
In addition to monthly security updates, HMD Global has also promised to update the Nokia 3 with Android O when it becomes available.
Nokia 3 Performance and Camera
Nokia 3 plays its role well in daily use. The phone does not get very hot even after GPS navigation and playing games for a long time. Possibly because of the polycarbonate back.
However, we did find that the phone did slow down a bit while multitasking. There was a slight lag in switching from one app to another. Let us know that 12 apps were already open in the background. The phone handled common games with ease. But it did slow down with more powerful graphics games like Need for Speed. The phone played a wide variety of video and audio files with ease.
A loudspeaker is suitable for small rooms. The voice comes out clear. The same can be said about the earphones provided in the retail box. Interestingly, the Nokia 3 is one of the few handsets that comes with bundled earphones.
The color reproduction and brightness of the Nokia 3’s 5-inch display is excellent. We enjoyed watching videos on the screen of the Nokia 3. We found it to be one of the best screens in the budget segment, especially in terms of sunlight and viewing angles. But it is also worth noting that you get full-HD screen in Yu Yureka Black cheaper than Nokia 3.
The Nokia 3 didn’t impress us much with the benchmark results. Xiaomi Redmi 4 (Review) and Yu Eureka Black (review) gave much better results in these tests.
The 8-megapixel rear camera works well in good light. Autofocus also works fast. Sample shots taken in good light also had detail and some noise at the edges. However, we also found that the blurred part of the sample lacked detail. And there was a complaint of high exposure in large areas. Sometimes the white balance in the pictures was also messed up. The Nokia 3 also has HDR mode but it sometimes doesn’t switch in when needed. We think this feature can prove to be useful at times. Sadly, the pictures didn’t turn out very well in low light. Autofocus locks slowly. And the sample shots we took were lacking in detail. There was too much noise.
In Nokia 3, you will get the facility to record 1080 pixels video. And the quality is also fine. The front camera of the phone also disappointed. Despite the autofocus feature, the pictures came out blurry at times. If you want, you can use the Nokia 3 for video calls or selfies, but don’t expect too much in quality.
However, we liked the camera app. Its user interface is very easy to understand. Multiple functions can be activated in a single tap. In Beautify mode, the phone tries to enhance the photo by applying some filters, but it is not always effective.
Nokia 3 Battery Life
The battery of Nokia 3 lasted for 16-18 hours when used heavily. There is nothing surprising in this, especially considering the capacity of 2630 mAh. We used the phone for about a week and we can say that the phone gave better battery life only after not using it a lot. The battery lasted for 10 hours and 25 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is fine for a phone of this size. You will not get fast charging support. It took about 2 hours to charge the phone’s battery from zero to 100 percent.
Nokia 3 sells for Rs 9,499 in India. It is a good looking handset and you will get VoLTE support with 4G. Another good thing is that the company has promised Android updates in the future. Its performance and camera do not go in its favor in every department. We also missed the fingerprint sensor, which should now be a common feature.
In our opinion, the Nokia 3 is made for the first time smartphone user, if you manage to buy it from a nearby shop. At this price, you also have the option of Xiaomi Redmi 4 and Yu Yureka Black. Both handsets are better in terms of performance. Asus ZenFone Live also presents a strong challenge in this price range.