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Nokia 3.2 review: Average performer with big display, good on-battery time

Shubham Nagpal/New Delhi 10 Jun 19 | 01:08 PM

The Nokia 3.2, a budget smartphone from the stable of Finnish smartphone manufacturer HMD, is the second of the series — first to be launched in the series was the Nokia 4.2. Priced at Rs 10,790, this smartphone, like its predecessor, was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2019. On paper, the phone seems to be value for money in the budget segment. But is it really? Let’s find out:

Design and display

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Most Nokia-branded smartphones have a sturdy build and the Nokia 3.2, despite its budget moniker, carries the legacy forward. It has a polycarbonate unibody that covers the entire back and chassis, giving the phone a flat look. On the front, it has a big 6.26-inch HD+ screen covered under glass with a waterdrop-shaped notch on top to accommodate the front camera.

The display is stretched in a tall 19:9 aspect ratio, which is good for content rendering and accommodates more information on-screen. The display has relatively thin bezels on three sides, but a thick one at the bottom with the Nokia logo embossed on it. The display has good viewing angles and the colour reproduction is also decent. Unfortunately, the phone does not support Widevine L1 certifications, making it less suitable for multimedia consumption.

The phone’s glass on the front and polycarbonate body have a glossy profile, which looks good but attracts fingerprints too. One of the upgrades to the second-generation Nokia smartphones was the availability of a dedicated Google Assistant key; this is present on the left side of the Nokia 3.2 smartphone. Interestingly, the phone’s power button on the right side of the chassis is backlit and doubles up as a notification light, which looks good and is quite unique.

Camera

The Nokia 3.2 has a solo 13.2-megapixel sensor on the back and a 5MP camera on the front. The camera is mediocre and takes satisfactory shots only in good light conditions. In low light, it struggles to lock focus, captures noise and fails to get frame details which results in a distorted, grainy and dull-looking images.

The front camera, on the other hand, is a decent one. It takes decent photos in good light conditions but struggles in low light. Unfortunately, it does not have the portrait mode, but has a square mode for Instagram users.

Nokia 3.2

Performance and battery

Its performance is a bit of an issue for the Nokia 3.2. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 system-on-chip (SoC), mated with up to 3GB of RAM. The smartphone just about manages day-to-day activities. When pushed to the limits, it often disappoints. Scrolling through apps like WhatsApp and Instagram is usually a smooth experience with minor stutters here and there. The phone, however, sometimes hangs while opening the apps and goes back to the home screen.

The Nokia 3.2 manages to run light games like Subway Surfers smoothly, but graphic-intensive games are a no-go for the phone. The silver lining here, however, is the stock Android experience you get on the Nokia 3.2. The phone boots the Android Pie operating system, and is promised to receive upgrades for up to two years.

Powered by a 4,000mAh battery, the Nokia 3.2 lasts for around two days on moderate usage.

Verdict

Priced at Rs 10,790 (3GB/32GB), the Nokia 3.2 might not be the best phone in terms of performance and camera. Consider this phone for its pure and optimised stock Android experience, solid build and a decent battery with good on-battery time.

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