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.
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
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.,
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
- 6MP (16:9 aspect ratio)
- 5MP (4:3 aspect ratio)
- 4MP (16:9 aspect ratio)
- VGA 640 x 480 pixels
- HVGA 480 x 320 pixels
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
- Bluetooth 4.0
- RDS FM Radio
- 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
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.
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.
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