Nokia 3 Review; Beautifully Designed Budget Smartphone

Nokia 3 Review

Nokia, a brand name that managed to sneak into the hearts of millions of people worldwide so many years ago created a resurgence in the smartphone industry this year when it announced that it’s making its way back to the handset industry.

Following the mega announcement, the company unveiled Noia 3, 5 and 6 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 alongside the revived Nokia 3310 sending the people and the internet in a frenzy.

Also ReadNokia 3, 5 and 6 to soon receive Android O update

With the highly anticipated re-introduction of the Nokia brand, HMD Global, the Chinese firm that holds an exclusive license for manufacturing Nokia phone, has launched Nokia 3, 5 and 3310 in the Pakistani market.

We have already discussed a huge deal about the revived classic feature phone, so let us just move on to our real agenda here, Nokia 3, the most affordable of the new smartphone range, priced at Rs. 16,900 in Pakistan.

Looking at the specs sheet, Nokia 3 feels like any other budget smartphone on the planet but is there something special about this phone or it is another run of the mill device, let’s find out.

Unboxing

Let’s see what Nokia has in store for us:

Design

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you’re looking for a budget smartphone you have to make a major compromise on the design. Many of us are stuck with the silly looking plastic body that makes us wanna hide the pesky little thing but thankfully, Nokia 3 is here to save the day.

Maintaining the tag of an affordable smartphone, Nokia 3 provides a premium feel with its polycarbonate back and metal edges. The smartphone looks amazing as compared to many of the competing devices.

Nokia 3 back
Backside of Nokia 3

The squared design of Nokia 3 is a dream come true for all the users who hate using two hands to operate their phones. The budget phone can fit perfectly into the user’s hand and due to its weight of 140g, it doesn’t tire out the hand at all.

Also Read: Nokia 5 Officially Launches in Pakistan for Rs 21,900

On the right side, we can find the usual power button and a volume rocker and the left side features a SIM tray and a slot for MicroSD card. One of the exciting things is that you can use dual SIMs and an expandable storage all at the same time, which to be honest many feature phones lack.

Nokia 3 Power and Volume Key
Power and Volume Key of Nokia 3
Nokia 3 Sim Tray
Sim Tray of Nokia 3

We have 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the smartphone while the bottom edge has two speakers and a micro USB port for charging and data transfer.

Nokia 3 Audio Jack
Headphone Jack of Nokia 3
Nokia 3 USB charging Port
Micro USB port of Nokia 3

Another interesting thing about Nokia 3 is that we don’t have to worry about fingerprint smudges at the back of your phone that for my lies way ahead on the “things that annoy me” scale.

Nokia 3 has 8MP front and back camera and HMD Global has done a great job in keeping it aligned with the rest of the body so there is no ugly looking bulge as the back and the smartphone can rest soundly on any surface without any gap.

Speed and Performance

Nokia 3 features 2GB of RAM and MediaTek 6737 processor which, to be honest, didn’t disappoint us. Yes, the smartphone had its shortcomings like many other budget devices but it is understandable given the affordable price tag of the device.

One of the highlights of Nokia 3 is that it features Stock Android, just like the one we were promised by Muhammad Kamran Khan, Country Head for HMD Pakistan & Afghanistan. It is clean and clutter free, where you can fill up the device with many other mobile apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Nokia 3 has a simple app drawer that can be launched by swiping the device in the upward direction, saving us the time of tapping on the screen.

Nokia 3 review app drawer
App Drawer of Nokia 3

Because there is no customized skin present on the smartphone, Nokia 3 doesn’t have any bloatware and duplicate apps that only take up precious space in many smartphones. It also has 16GB of internal memory that can be expanded to 256GB, meaning that you can fill up your device with all the apps that you desire.

Since the Lumia days, Nokia smartphones always had a smooth touch display and the same tradition has been maintained by the Nokia 3 where using the keyboard in the smartphone was actually a refreshing experience.

Also ReadNokia 8 Confirmed to Launch on 16th August

While running various benchmarking applications, we witnessed that the smartphone scored a not so impressive number which really lowered our expectations but by thoroughly testing the smartphone we realized that our worries were for nothing.

Nokia 3 review Geekbench
Geekbench 4 Scores

A budget smartphone is not supposed to be powerhouse rather its job is to get us through the day while performing many tasks like, keep us connected on the go with telecom services and digital world. Nokia 3 surely doesn’t disappoint us in this regard as I could update my Facebook status, Tweet about my frustrating day at work without a hitch.

Moreover, during the testing phase, I played some classic mobile games like Deer Hunter 2017, Real Racing 3, Zombie Highway 2 etc. and after an initial lag of 1-2 seconds, while opening the app, the games worked smoothly. The fine touch display further complimented the mobile gaming.

Battery Life

Looking at the specs sheet in the start, I was skeptic about the 2630mAh non-removable Li-ion battery as many budget smartphones offer a bigger battery than this one but all my fears were put to rest when I started using Nokia 3.

It takes around 3.5 hours to charge the completely drained battery to 100%. To test the battery life of the smartphone, we watched three movies with maximum brightness while downloading heavy videos, using Bluetooth and keeping some heavy battery draining apps in the background on a full charge and surprisingly, after all this the smartphone still had 51% of battery left.

The smartphone also has a Battery Saver feature which helps to extend the battery life further so your device can last the working hours easily.

Photos and Videos

As I have mentioned already, Nokia 3 feature 8MP front and back camera and looking at the budget category of the smartphone, the pictures turned out to be quite decent.

Also ReadNokia and ZEISS Reunite to Make Camera Phones Great Again

While using the camera, I had a bit difficult time to adjust the lighting and the pictures turned out to be little overexposed in the daylight but then again an affordable smartphone is never made for photography geniuses.

Tha layout of the camera app is quite simple given that the smartphone does not have any layover or skin. By tapping the three lines at the top left corner in the application, we can see various camera settings that can help us get the type of pictures that we desire.

The camera app has different modes of photography; manual, normal and auto scene detection. In the normal and auto scene detection, the camera adjusts the settings like brightness etc. itself while in manual mode the user can play with the exposure value (EV), ISO, brightness etc.

Nokia 3 also offers beauty mode that can help enhance the pictures by toning down the colors and light effect. It also has a Macro feature that can help the user in dealing with the close shots by focusing on the intended object and blurring out the background.

Despite being a budget smartphone, Nokia 3’s camera can perfectly capture every moment with Burst shots, that take 40 pictures in an instant, by freezing every thing in time and saving it in our phone’s gallery.

The smartphone also features an HDR mode that generates a better picture by combining the various colors in the scenery and making them pop.

One of the handy features in the camera app is the shortcuts tab that displays various options like HDR mode, timer etc. that can help refine the picture or tweak the settings to our liking.

Surprisingly all the pictures that we took with Nokia 3 were sharp and crisp. There was no sign of pixelation in the images which was quite impressive given the price of the device. If anyone wants additional camera features they can always choose various mobile apps from the Play Store.

Following are the various photos taken by Nokia 3, where you can witness its results with your own eyes.

Nokia 3 has 720×1280 pixels resolutions and is perfect for all those people who love to watch movies or videos on their mobile phone. I didn’t observe any patched pixels while viewing various videos and the colors didn’t blend into each other to present weird pictures.

Call Quality

No surprise here, Nokia 3 worked perfectly when it comes to using various telecom services like messaging and calling. The call quality was great as expected though the placement of receiver at the bottom sometimes got accidentally covered by my hand, thus blocking my voice.

Other Features

  • I was surprised to see NFC (Near Field Communication) in the Nokia 3 and it worked smoothly as I transferred various photos to and from the smartphone.
  • The navigation buttons sadly are not backlit but after asking the smartphone for a few days, I realized that I didn’t need it anymore as I grew accustomed to how the phone works.
  • With the inclusion of latest Android Nougat, we can utilize its various features like split-screen mode etc.

Our Verdict

I don’t feel disappointment after testing Nokia 3. Like many budget smartphones, there are some compromises that a user has to make, in this scenario, it’s a lags a bit in opening a few mobile apps, average speakers, and camera. But with all, these features, you can definitely count on Nokia 3 to create a lasting impact on the user.

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