Nokia 3.2 Review: Battery Damdar, Performance weak

HMD Global had launched its latest budget-centric smartphone, the Nokia 3.2, in India in two variants – 3GB RAM with 32GB internal storage priced at Rs 10,790 and the 2GB RAM with 16GB storage variant priced at Rs 8,990. After a recent price cut, the prices have been slashed to Rs 8,150 and Rs 9,410, respectively.

The Nokia 3.2 is a sub-Rs 10,000 smartphone and it offers some attractive features like a waterdrop display, long-lasting battery dedicated Google Assistant button and three years of monthly security patches among others. But is it a capable device that’s worth your money? We used the smartphone for some time and here’s our review of it.

Design and Display

Nokia 3.2 has a plastic unibody and it comes in Black and Steel colours. We received the Black colour variant for review. The back gives an attractive look with a glossy finish, which attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges. Nokia does not ship a protective case in the retail package, so you’ll have to buy one separately. Other than that, you have the Nokia and Android One branding as usual.

At the back, the phone features a single camera setup and LED flash at the top-centre position. Just beneath the camera, there a fingerprint sensor, which is easily accessible with your finger. Do keep in mind that the 2GB RAM variant of the Nokia 3.2 lacks a fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint scanner on the 3GB variant which we received is pretty fast and accurate. However, the same can not be said for the face unlock. It takes a while to unlock the phone when you use the face unlock feature. We advise you to go with the fingerprint scanner as it was a lot quicker than the face unlock.

The right side of the device features volume controls and power on/off button. The power button has an LED notification light which glows while charging as well. The left side of the phone features a SIM slot that comes loaded with a triple card slot that can house two Nano SIM cards and a microSD card. There is also a Google Assistant button on the left that will let you quickly access it with a simple tap. The button is convenient and is pretty quick at launching Assistant. The top of the device features a headphone jack and on the bottom, there is a micro USB port which is next to a single speaker grille.

The Nokia 3.2 flaunts a display with a waterdrop notch. The bezels on both the right and left sides are comparatively thin, but there is thick chin bezels at the bottom. It has a 6.26-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution 1520 x 720 pixels along with a 19:9 aspect ratio and 269 ppi pixel density. The screen is quite big and it is difficult to reach the corner of the screen with a single hand. The display looks good and the viewing angles are decent enough.

The Nokia 3.2 display offers good colour reproduction and viewing angles. We found the brightness levels quite good in indoor conditions, but we found it quite difficult to read the display in sunlight. There is also Night Light mode which can be enabled for a comfortable screen viewing experience at night. It does not come with the Widevine L1 certification, which means despite being an HD+ screen, the display will not be able to stream content on Netflix and Amazon in HD.

Hardware and Software

Nokia 3.2 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 429 chipset coupled with Adreno 504 GPU. This device is certainly not a powerful one with this processor and you shouldn’t expect it to perform well.

We were able to play casual games like Subway Surfers and Candy Crush on our device but the phone really struggles with high-end games like Asphalt 9 or PUBG Mobile.

On the software front, the Nokia 3.2 runs stock Android 9.0 Pie which means no unnecessary bloatware and pre-loaded apps. T

The phone has various gestures such as a swipe fingerprint for notifications, turn over the phone to reject a call and a camera shortcut on the screen.

Nokia 3.2 does not feature any dual camera setup which has become a standard norm even in the budget segment these days. Rather it just features a single 13-megapixel rear sensor with f/2.2 aperture and 1.12 micron pixels and on the front, it has a 5-megapixel sensor f/2.2 front-facing camera and 77-degree field of view for selfies and video calling. The phone uses the front camera for the face unlock feature too. The camera UI offers just three basic modes – photo, video, and square. The phone lacks modes like bokeh, AR stickers, portrait light effects and more which other phones offer at this price point.

Overall in the camera department, we can say that Nokia 3.2 has a decent pair of cameras but it can not be certainly called the USP of the phone.

Battery and Connectivity

One of the key highlights of the Nokia 3.2 is its big 4000mAh battery which easily lasts a day and a half with medium-to-heavy usage on a single charge. Our usage included checking e-mails, checking social media, some calls, music streaming, and casual gaming.


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