Can take on the phenoms of the budget segment? We spent some time with the device and this is what we think of it.
HMD Global has today introduced the launch of its latest budget-centric smartphone, the Nokia 3.2, in India. The smartphone comes with a price tag of Rs 10,790 for 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage option, while the 2GB RAM with 16GB storage variant is priced at Rs 8,990. The phone will be available for purchase starting from May 23.
With this, HMD Global is banking on the large-screen display to be the driving force for this smartphone. The phone is loaded with some interesting design elements and it is backed by a fairly good battery. But, can take on the phenoms of the budget segment? We spent some time with the device and this is what we think of it.
Design and Display
HMD Global has established itself strongly when it comes to designing the Nokia smartphones. The phones look a bit different from the rest of the competition, gives the fresh breath of design in this oddly similar-looking smartphone era. With the Nokia 3.2, the company has opted for a similar phenomenon, though this one is not that distinct-looking to be very honest. The phone comes with a tall design language and the back panel features a glossy finish, which attracts quite a few smudges and dust particles. You can check the pictures of the Nokia 3.2 here.
There is a single camera setup sitting at the top-centre position of the rear panel and just beneath it is a fingerprint sensor, which is right under your index finger’s reach. The right side of the device features volume controls and power on/off button. The latter button has a white line so that one can distinguish between both the buttons.
The left-hand side features a SIM slot that comes loaded with a dedicated microSD card and two SIM slots along with a Google Assistant key. The top of the device features a headphone jack, while the base features a micro USB port along with speaker grilles. The front of the device features a waterdrop notch at the top and bezels are quite thick at the base and top. That said, the phone is quite slippery in nature and the sad thing here is that the company is not bundling any protective case, you have to buy it when opting for this device.
Coming to the display, the smartphone is equipped with a 6.26-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution 1520 x 720 pixels along with 269 ppi pixel density. The screen is quite big and it is difficult to reach the corner of the screen. However, the display looks good and the viewing angles are decent enough.
We felt that the screen lacked some punch and the texts were as crisp as we have seen in other smartphones in this price. Another odd thing we noticed here was that the adaptive brightness was not adjusting the brightness of the display automatically and even if you turned it off and try it manually, nothing happens. This is quite bizarre and hopefully, a future update might fix it.
Hardware and Software
The Nokia 3.2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 processor along with Adreno 504 GPU. The phone is available in different memory configurations and you get 2GB RAM + 16GB storage and 3GB RAM + 32GB storage option to choose from. This is quite sad that in this segment, which highly competitive in nature, HMD Global is using a year-old Snapdragon 429 processor. We have brands like Xiaomi that are giving you Snapdragon 600 series chipset, while certain Realme smartphones are loaded with better specs than this one.
Software is one department that is the strong point of this smartphone. The Nokia 3.2 runs on Android 9.0 Pie, which offers pure Android experience. This is primarily because the phone is launched under the Android One programme. This means that you should be getting regular updates on a timely basis on this device as compared to its competition. However, we did notice that the phone ships with a February security patch, which surely raises some eyebrows.
On the camera front, the Nokia 3.2 features a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, while for the front, there is a 5-megapixel shooter for selfies and video calling. The camera comes with a quite simple interface: you get only Auto and Video option at your disposal. There are some modes as well including Square, Time-lapse, Google Lens and Panorama.
Coming to the performance, the first thing we noticed was that the phone took some time to process the clicked photos. We faced a similar problem with Nokia 4.2 as well. Furthermore, the phone was a bit slow on focusing on the subject. Coming to the quality, it is quite average in our opinion and the selfie performance is not that great as well. We will discuss more this in our upcoming review. You can check the camera samples of the Nokia 3.2 here.
Battery and Connectivity
On the battery front, the Nokia 3.2 features a 4000mAh battery and it does not support any fast charging solution. The battery should ideally last a day and more with the help of the power-efficient processor and low-res display. On the connectivity front, it is equipped with 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, GLONASS and micro USB port.
The Nokia 3.2 looks are quite decent in nature and the display is large, which some might find useful. The hardware seems to be an underdog when compared to the rest of the competition in this price range. The cameras are not that interesting, to be honest. The only takeaway here is the Android One branding and large 4,000mAh battery.