Nokia is back from dead! Be ready for Nostalgia overload! Nokia is back with a bang! Nokia’s perfect comeback! We’ve been witnessing all these, since the launch of Android-powered Nokia smartphones at the Mobile World Congress 2017, Barcelona, Spain.
For the uninitiated, the once-iconic brand made its comeback after former staffs decided to revive the company from the hands of Microsoft and inked a deal with Finnish-based smartphone maker Foxconn.
Having said that, Nokia 3 is the youngest of the pack and it is offline exclusive, available through 400 exclusive distributors with 80,000+ retail reach at a price of Rs. 9,499. For support, Nokia Mobile Care will be in 300 cities with Pick up Drop in 100 cities. We’ve been using the Nokia 3 for quite sometime and come up with a review of this device.
Display, Design, and Hardware
The Nokia 3 sports a 5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD 2.5D sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass display with 450 nits brightness. The display is decent and vivid even though it’s not amazing. The color reproduction and viewing angles are also good. Considering the price, Nokia did a decent job. However, on the down side, the display is too glossy and reflective under direct sunlight or at bright outdoor areas. Having said that, it misses few features that we can get it in other smartphones at this price point including blue filter, double tap to wake up, etc.
On to the design, the Nokia 3 has a flavor of Lumia series in the first look. In this area, HMD and Nokia have managed to pull off a premium yet nostalgic design. Without any doubt, the Nokia 3 looks so good, and ergonomically fits well in hands. It is sleek, weightless and offers good grip to hold as well. The Nokia 3 comes with a polycarbonate body with a matte finish on the back that doesn’t attract fingerprints. Additionally, metal rim runs on the side that blends into the polycarbonate seamlessly. This device comes in various options — silver white, matte black, tempered blue and copper white. Despite being aimed at the budget segment, HMD and Nokia have managed to pull off a premium looking device.
Moving on to the placement, you get a 8MP autofocus front-facing camera, earpiece and a traditional Nokia logo on the front top. And, just below the display, we have three capacitive buttons without backlit option.
Talking about the right side, we have volume rocker and power button made out of metal. The feedback of these buttons are indeed good. On top, we have a 3.5mm audio jack, secondary noise cancellation microphone and two antenna bands on both the corners.
On the left side, we have dedicated Dual SIM (Nano+Nano) and MicroSD card slot. The microSD card slot supports up to 128GB of memory expansion. Coming to the bottom, it is so busy with speaker grille, Micro USB port, primary microphone sitting comfortably right next to each other.
Turning back, we have a 8MP autofocus rear camera and an LED Flash just below it. And at the middle, we have the ‘Nokia’ branding etched on the polycarbonate body.
Talking about the performance, the Nokia 3 is powered by a Quad-core MediaTek MT6737 64-bit Processor clocked at 1.3GHz with Mali T720 MP1 taking care of graphics department. This smartphone has earned mixed reviews when it comes to this factor. First of all, this smartphone is not meant for heavy gaming or ordinary gaming for that matter. Secondly, it lag when it comes to multi-tasking between heavy apps (Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Wynk). At times the touch latency issues can be annoying. Having said that, it proves to be good for light and casual usage. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
The Nokia 3 comes equipped with 8MP autofocus rear camera with LED Flash, and f/2.0 aperture. It also has a same 8MP autofocus front-facing camera as well with f/2.0 aperture too. Moving on, the camera UI is pretty simple with toggles for image, video, shutter button and gallery at the bottom. At the top we have HDR, timer, toggle for changing camera and settings. Under the settings you can access, compass, height, shutter sound, video quality, geographical location tag and more.
Coming to the image quality, Nokia 3’s camera is good for its price range, giving us an above average result at well-lit daylight conditions. When it comes to Macro, it struggles to focus, but eventually achieves it bit later when compared to other phones at this range. On the other hand, the low light shots are below average with noise. Images with flash were decent. Even though it has single LED flash, it some times it overpowers the subject for closeup shots. The front-facing camera is decent for selfies and video chats. Check out some camera samples (Click the image to view full resolution samples).
Software, UI and apps
The Nokia 3 is shipped with Android 7.0 (Nougat) out of the box. It looks more of an Stock UI without any bloatware or unnecessary flavors on top. It is optimized for basic use without any problems. From the lock screen you can access emergency dialer and camera app.
You can also swipe down to access notification panel and swipe up to access all the installed app. Coming to the storage, out of 16GB, user will get around 9.27GB of free space and out of 2GB RAM, user gets around 562MB of free RAM on boot.
Calling, Messaging and Connectivity
The Nokia 3 comes with stock dialer UI and Google keyboard. During calls, the earpiece volume is good and there is no call drop as well. Additionally, you also get an option to select SIMs when calling or sending a text message.It supports connectivity options including 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.
The Nokia 3 is juiced with 2650mAh battery under the hood without any fast charging technology. It lasts for a day easily with casual usage including 4G calls, the Internet browsing, video/songs playback. Just like other smartphones, it also has a battery saver option that helps the users in saving last few juices, if in case need at crucial moments. You can choose to turn on the battery saver, when your mobile hits 15% or 5%. On the downside, it takes around 3 hours to charge fully from 0 to 100%.
It achieved a One Charge Rating of 10 hours and 43 minutes, which is decent for a phone with a 2650mAh battery, but it could have been better.
Check out the complete set of battery life test results here.
On the whole, Nokia 3 seems to be a decent start for the company’s Android smartphone journey. This budget Nokia phone from HMD ticks most of the factors in good terms, except for a few shortcomings. Having said that, at this price point, you can get other smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets. If you spend more and wait for some time, you can get the Nokia 6 that will be available soon from Amazon India with much better specifications.
- Top notch Build Quality
- Good display at this price point
- Dedicated SIM and MicroSD card slots
- Clean UI and assurance of frequent Android updates
- No fingerprint scanner
- Minor performance hiccups