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Nokia 3.2 review: A budget phone for Android purists

Nokia 3.2 takes on Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S Nokia 3.2 takes on Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S
Nokia 3.2 takes on Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S (HMD Global)

Nokia 3.2 comes with a 6.26-inch HD+ display, 3GB of RAM, and Snapdragon 429 processor. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest HMD Global phone.

Brand: HMD Global
Product:
Nokia 3.2
Key specifications:
Android 9 Pie, 6.26-inch HD+ display, up to 32GB storage, Snapdragon 429 processor, up to 3GB of RAM, microSD supports up to 400GB storage, 4,000mAh battery, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera
Price:
8,990 (2GB RAM, 16GB storage)
Rating:
3/5

Stock Android experience is a rarity in the sub 15,000 segment. From Xiaomi to Realme, most of the top players offer a custom user interface. HMD Global, however, has remained an exception which has extensively focused on bringing pure Android experience along with security and updates assurance from Google. Its latest Nokia 3.2 is one of the cheapest phones in India to offer vanilla Android experience under 15,000.

Running on Android Pie out-of-the-box, Nokia 3.2 offers some of the best Google features such as Digital Wellbeing and Google Assistant (via a physical button as well as an on-screen shortcut). This Android One-based phone is most likely to be one of the first phones to receive Android Q update whenever it's rolled out. On Nokia 3.2, Android is quite smooth and as expected clutter free - something which Android purists will definitely love.

Apart from stock Android, there's more to Nokia 3.2.

Nokia 3.2 is one of the good looking phones in the segment. It doesn't offer peppy colours like Honor and Realme phones but it looks good enough for a 10,000 phone. On the back, it has a glass-like finish with a smaller-than-usual camera module along with circular fingerprint sensor followed by Nokia branding. It's a bit slippery but that's the case with most of the phones with such design.

ALSO READ: Best phones in India under 15,000

Featuring a 6.26-inch HD+ display, it's a big-screen phone. The display quality is pretty much on par with what the competition has to offer if not better. The adaptive display is pretty effective indoors and outdoors. Another good thing Nokia 3.2 has to offer is the battery life. The 4,000mAh battery delivers almost day-long backup on medium to heavy usage. On lighter usage, you can squeeze more juice out of the phone. Again, Android Pie's adaptive battery brings software-level optimisation for the performance.

ALSO READ: Nokia 4.2 REVIEW

Nokia 3.2, however, lags behind in terms of overall performance. Not that the phone is slow but the Snapdragon 429 processor has its own limitations. In this segment, you will get phones with much superior Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 710 processors. This means you will be unable to have the best experience when it comes to running power-intensive apps.

Nokia 3.2 also misses out on the popular dual-cameras trend. Instead, it has a single 13-megapixel sensor on the back. The camera is good enough for a budget phone but doesn't have much to offer other than Google Lens integration. While daylight phones retain details, it struggles in low light. In an era of 48-megapixel camera phones, HMD Global needs to step up its camera game.

Verdict

Nokia 3.2's strength is the pure Android experience and Google's Android One backing. It's pretty much on par with the competition in terms of battery life and design. At 10,790 (the 3GB model), you have much better options though. For instance, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7s is a better-packaged phone in terms of specifications and features. Realme 3 Pro and Samsung Galaxy M30 are also some better alternatives.

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