• Monday, December 11, 2017
Nokia 3 review - The entry device for the many

Introduction


After we’ve tested the amazing Nokia 6, which is Nokia’s player in the middle class, we continue in the same rhythm but with a slightly smaller budget. Today we’re testing the penultimate model in the Nokia lineup, the Nokia 3. This device will be the first smartphone to many, and it will represent the transition from old (dumb) devices to the smartphones. Stepping into the oversaturated budget market, Nokia chose to go with an excellent build quality, affordable price and latest version of Android. As this is one of their entry devices, the specifications are in accordance to the price, so this device is powered by a quadcore MediaTek CPU. Next to the price, Nokia also places their bets on regular system updates which we definitely support, and this device comes with the Android Nougat out of the box. Only one memory configuration is available, and next to the Matte Black color option, also available are: Silver White, Tempered Blue and Copper White.



Inside the box, apart from the Nokia 3 itself, there is also a microUSB cable, a Nokia charging adapter, 3.5mm headphones, a SIM tray tool and user manuals.

What the Nokia 3 brings us, feel free to watch.
 

Video review


Unboxing


Display


As this is a budget device, specifications are also “budget”. Let’s start from the display, which is a 5” IPS LCD display. This setup is really standard for this class and price range. The display is spacious enough for everything you might use it for and we’d say that the 5” diagonal is still the golden middle regarding smartphones. All corners of the display are easily accessible with one hand, so one handed use is definitely made easy with the implementation of the 5” display. The screen to body ratio is 67.3%. The screen has the aspect ratio of 16:9 and it has HD resolution which is still very good, and combined with the diagonal it offers 294 pixels per inch. This alone makes images and HD videos very sharp.



Views on the display are of decent quality, and next to this we’d like to point out that the color reproduction is quite realistic, without too much saturation. Also colors remain pretty nice even when viewing angles are changed. The screen can show up to 16 million colors. As every other modern smartphone, the Nokia 3 has screen protection which is here implemented through Corning Gorilla Glass, but of unspecified generation. What we consider a downside is maximum brightness which is simply not enough, but using the ambience light sensor, good brightness levels can still be reached. The ambience light sensor is located just below the front facing camera sensor. Visibility on the sunlight is only average. Nokia 3 comes with 9 excellent wallpapers which serve to present this display in all its glory.

 

Hardware and OS

We’re already used to seeing MediaTek chipsets in budget devices. This device is no different, so we have the MT6737 chipset. This is a very well-known chipset which made its way in plenty budget smartphones of different manufacturers for several generations now. It is not a “beast”, but it will satisfy most users, especially if we take into account the almost stock Android that Nokia have chosen to preinstall onto all of their new devices. This is a quadcore CPU with Cortex-A53 cores, all of which are clocked at 1.4 GHz, which is more than just decent. Moreover, there is the GPU that goes alongside this CPU – the ARM Mali-T720 MP1, which seems to be an OK solution for the HD panel of the Nokia 3. Alongside the nice CPU and GPU, there are also two more very important things – the RAM and storage memories. Opposite to its older siblings, the Nokia 3 comes in only one memory configuration – 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. 2 GB of RAM is still pretty good for average multitasking, while 16 GB of storage, which is backed with a microSD card slot, should not represent a problem – there is plenty of storage memory.



The general impression of the Nokia 3 is very good, all screen transitions are very smooth, as is the navigation through the menu – it all works quite well with no stuttering or lag at all. Only some “heavy” and high demanding 3D games can lead to a drop in performances. In AnTuTu Benchmark app Nokia 3 scored 27 269 points.



If we’re speaking of where different components are located in the device itself, we have this: nanoSIM and microSD card slots are located on the left top side of the device, on the bottom left side of the device we can find a speaker, and next to it to the right there is a microUSB port. Volume rockers and the power/lock button are on the top right side of the device. On the top we can find the 3.5mm headphone port. Just below the screen we have three capacitive buttons: on the left there is the Back button, Home button is in the middle, and Recent Activity (Multitasking) – which switches through applications stored in the RAM memory - button is on the right side.



Speaking of the OS that is preinstalled on the Nokia 3, we have the Android Nougat 7.1.1 OS with almost stock Android experience with no bloatware, and Nokia have announce their Android devices will get the Oreo update by the end of the year. Security patches are dated for October 2017 at the moment.,



 

Camera

Nokia have always been known as a strong player in the camera game. We really hold strong and dear memories since the N series of smartphones, and even back then we had devices with the optical zoom (the N93). Nokia was also one of the first manufacturers that successfully implemented a 5MP camera (N95), and the PureView series with mad resolutions already placed Nokia firmly on the ground as one of the best brands in terms of the camera. They have, for many years, cooperated with Carl-Zeiss, which are one of the best optical instruments manufacturers, and this collaboration brought Nokia cameras on a whole new level, and even nowadays this partnership reaps fruits since the Nokia 8’s camera is singed by Carl-Zeiss. However, on the Nokia 3, we don’t have the best of the best. On the back we have an 8MP sensor with an auto-focus system, and with an aperture of f/2.0. Touch Focus and Geo-tagging are also available.

Speaking of the Nokia 3’s camera interface (landscape orientation) :

  • the top left corner is reserved for manual settings
  • from the middle of the top section to the right: camera orientation settings, timer, HDR switch and flash modes
  • bottom left corner is reserved for the video mode
  • the snap button is placed in the middle of the bottom section
  • bottom right corner contains a shortcut to the gallery
Next to the standard 8MP resolution, also available are:

  • 6MP (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • 5MP (4:3 aspect ratio)
  • 4MP (16:9 aspect ratio)
The quality of photos itself is as follows: details are very good in 8MP photos, color reproduction is good while noise levels are pretty high. With the addition of the HDR mode we can get very good contrast scenes, and these photos are very good. When it comes to low light shooting conditions, we have an LED flash just below the main camera. Videos are recorded in HD 720p resolution at 30fps, but the downside is that they are captured in .3gp format, which really has an impact on the quality of recordings – they are pretty bad. We consider FullHD resolution to be the bare minimum, the Nokia 3 is simply limited to HD resolution, which doesn’t mean that some of the future system upgrades won’t bring FullHD recording option. An advantage is definitely the recording of stereo sounds. Next to the HD quality, also available are:

  • VGA 640 x 480 pixels
  • HVGA 480 x 320 pixels
On the front side of the device we have the same thing, which is more than good for this class. Photos are taken in 8MP resolution, the aperture is f/2.0, and the auto-focus system is present as is 720p HD video recording at 30fps. This camera offers great materials which are great for social networks, and which are excellent for this class. A true selfie machine!

 

Connectivity


Nokia 3 comes in two different versions: SingleSIM (SS) and DualSIM (DS). The Nokia 3 is a 4G device. We have the TA-1020 version which has only one nanoSIM card slot, and just below it there is a slot for microSD card expansions. The 3.5mm headphone port is still an integral part for this class of devices. A microUSB port, which supports OTG (On-The-Go) is used for charging and data transfer, while wireless charging is unsupported.

Wireless connections that we have in the Nokia 3 are:
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • RDS FM Radio
  • A-GPS
Supported frequencies are:
  • 2G GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G UMTS: 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
  • 4G LTE: 700 / 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2300 / 2600 MHz
While using 3G connection, download speeds can reach up to 42.2 Mbps, while when using 4G LTE networks download speeds can go up to 150 Mbps.
 

Battery


The battery is non-removable, and this has been done in order to secure better build quality and make the device more robust. This way the Nokia 3 really gives an impression of a very sturdy and high quality device. The battery is Lithium-Ion with the capacity of 2630 mAh. It will offer around 2 days of intermediate use. As this device doesn’t support fast charging, it takes around 2 hours for a full charge.
 

Final words


Nokia succeeded in their intention to make a quality budget smartphone. Great build quality, regular system upgrades and low price point leave little room for a mistake. What could be better are the camera and the chipset, for example a 400 series Qualcomm CPU. But since this device doesn’t have advanced users on its sight, but it rather represents a perfect entry level device, we can’t take everything as a major flaw. This is why we consider the Nokia 3 to be a perfect choice for those who won’t use their smartphone primarily for recording substantial videos or play high demanding 3D games. This is a perfect device for those who will use a social application, or two, and surf the web occasionally.


Do you like the Nokia 3? We’d like to see your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any ideas or you would like to see a specific device being reviewed soon, feel free to let us know here or on our Facebook page. If you liked this review, subscribe to our Youtube channel, like us on Facebook, and sit back and relax while we make more of the same for you.

Nokia 3 Full Specifications

Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

great build quality
regular system upgrades and almost stock Android environment
the front facing camera
microSD card slot
MediaTek chipset
rear facing camera quality
videos in only 720p HD resolution in .3gp format
no fast charging