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Review

Nokia 3.2 review: Android One phone with big display, battery

The Nokia 3.2 offers stock Android experience and a lot more for Rs 8,990. But is it good enough to survive the highly competitive segment? Find out in our review.

Nokia 3.2 (1)

Nokia 3.2 3.5 5
BGR Rating :
3.5/5

Highlights

  • The Nokia 3.2 features a 6.2-inch display.

  • The handset is backed by a 4,000mAh battery.

  • The Android One device offers stock Android experience.

While most Chinese companies are focused on offering phones with features packed to the brim, Nokia continues to launch smartphones with a focus on overall user experience. You get a device with rock-solid build quality, modern design, and the Android One badge that promises no-frills experience. Continuing with that strategy, HMD Global today launched the Nokia 3.2 smartphone in India.

The Nokia 3.2 was first unveiled at MWC 2019 alongside the recently launched Nokia 4.2. While the new smartphone is not as premium, it does offer a 6.2-inch display, and a big 4,000mAh battery. The Nokia 3.2 is priced at Rs 8,990 for the base model, and Rs 10,790 for the top model. Interestingly, the second variant is priced quite close to the Nokia 4.2 (Rs 10,990). Read on to find out if the Nokia 3.2 worth buying over the Nokia 4.2 or its rival smartphones.

Nokia 3.2: Design, display

The Nokia 3.2 follows the footsteps of its stablemates in the overall design segment with slight differences. The latest Nokia smartphone features a modern display design with a 19:9 aspect ratio, identical to the Nokia 4.2. Unlike the glass rear panels that we have seen on several Nokia phones, the Nokia 3.2 employs a plastic back. Nokia has given it a high gloss polish, which means it is a tad slippery. We would recommend being careful while using the phone, or use a case to keep the device safe.

Despite the budget price tag, you get solid build quality as is the case with all Nokia phones. Additionally, the rear camera is cleverly designed to look like it has a dual camera system, even though it doesn’t. The back camera setup on the Nokia 3.2 sits flush with the rear panel, which is good. But the fingerprint sensor seems to have placed slightly high.

Another standout feature on the Nokia 3.2 is the power button on the right edge, which also acts as a notification light. This is a unique feature, and impressive too for the price. You will not find this type of feature on other budget phones, but on the Nokia 4.2. Whenever you receive a new message, mail or missed a call, the LED glows and blinks, which is also the case while charging the phone. One can even disable the Notification light option from the phone’s setting menu if you didn’t find it friendly in nature. Additionally, there is also a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left side of the phone, which is again unique and you will find only on Nokia 4.2.

Sticking to the trend of big screens, the Nokia 3.2 features a 6.2-inch display, unlike the Nokia 4.2’s compact 5.71-inch screen. It offers a contemporary dot notch display design similar to other budget handsets. The big screen is also good for binge watching. The panel reproduces punchy colors, and the sunlight legibility is not that bad.

Nokia 3.2: Performance, software, battery

The Nokia 3.2 comes with a slightly dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 chipset under the hood, which is disappointing. Competing smartphones have long since moved on to the more powerful Snapdragon 600 series. The Nokia handset is good enough for basic level messaging, calling or browsing, but just ignore pushing it to its limits. The apps also take a few seconds to open, and don’t expect it to handle heavy titles with ease. Games like PUBG are playable, but you will not get a pleasant experience. The device comes with 2GB/3GB RAM and 32GB storage, which is enough for basic multitasking. Simply put, this device is not meant for proper gaming, but it at least gets the basic job done.

The Nokia 3.2 ships with Android 9 Pie. As mentioned above, it is an Android One smartphone and offers close to stock Android experience. This means you will get optimized and uncluttered Android experience with monthly security updates and 2 years of upgrades to the latest version of Android.

With Android 9 Pie, you will also get features like Digital Wellbeing, gesture navigation, Adaptive Brightness and more. Strangely, the device came with February 2019 Android security patch, but Nokia is expected to roll out the latest update soon. As for biometrics, there is a fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone as well as face unlock. The former sensor is slow to unlock the phone’s screen, but is much faster than face unlock.

While the Nokia 4.2 packs a small 3,000mAh battery, the slightly more affordable Nokia 3.2 is fueled by a larger 4,000mAh battery. With basic usage including texting, calling, a little bit of social networking and browsing, the latter will last for nearly two days. If you do end up playing games for a few hours, watch videos or movies or click photographs, you will usually end up needing to charge the device overnight.

Watch: Android Q First Look

Nokia 3.2: Camera performance

On the imaging front, the Nokia 3.2 comes with a single 13-megapixel camera at the back and a 5-megapixel sensor on the front for selfies. The images captured using the Nokia 3.2 are good enough for your Instagram or Facebook uploads, given that the lighting conditions are ideal. Considering that Nokia 3.2 is a budget phone, don’t expect it to deliver great shots. However, the images do offer minimal details, textures and sharpness.

Nokia 3.2

The HDR mode really helps deliver vibrant and punchy shots. With Nokia 3.2, you won’t be able to take photos with Bokeh effect. Furthermore, the camera causes slight shutter lag, and the performance is not that good in low-light conditions. Users are better recommended to not take indoor shots in bad lighting. The camera UI is really simple and easy to use. Apart from Time-lapse and Panorama, the camera app is also equipped with Google lens which can come in handy.

Should you buy the Nokia 3.2?

The Nokia 3.2 may not be the best device at its price, but you do get a pure and uncluttered software experience, modern design, solid build quality, tall display, and good battery. However, the device falls short in terms of performance, which is one of the core areas. In addition to this, offering an aged Snapdragon 429 chipset is truly disappointing not only in terms of performance but also when you consider the aggressive competition.

With prices starting from Rs 8,990, the Nokia 3.2 is competing against Realme 3, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S and Xiaomi Redmi Y3. These handsets offer a better all-rounder package and a much more powerful chipset in comparison with the Nokia 3.2. But, if you think that the above-mentioned points of Nokia 3.2 matches up to your needs and you really find it the best for the price, then you can buy it.

You Might be Interested

Nokia 4.2

10990

Android 9 Pie
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC
13MP + 2MP
Nokia 3.2

10790

Android 9 Pie
Snapdragon 429 SoC
13MP with LED flash
  • Published Date: May 21, 2019 3:45 PM IST