Nokia 7.2 review: Reliable mid-range Android One phone

A few weeks ago, HMD Global Oy launched a mid-range Android One phone Nokia 7.2 in India.

I used the new Nokia 7.2 for a few days and here's what I observed in the new Android One mobile.

Design, display and build quality:
Nokia 7.2 flaunts a dot-notch display design language. The front-camera takes very little space on the top and doesn't affect the uniformity of the screen. 

It has a big 6.3-inch full HD+ PureDisplay screen. It offers vivid RGB colours in videos and peak brightness of 500 nits. I had a good time watching the multi-media content, doing web browsing and did not find hard to read messages on the phone. 

The front panel has 2.5D Gorilla Glass around the edges and it blends seamlessly with the frame. I have to say, it adds value to the visual appeal.

On the left side, it houses a dedicated button to trigger Google Assistant, which comes handy to browse the internet and also uses Google Lens feature. If you take your eyes little upwards, you'll find the SIM slot. In addition to two SIMs, the tray can accommodate an extra microSD card. This is a welcome move, as the consumer need not to have to worry about choosing between a second SIM or extra storage.


Nokia 7.2 front panel (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)

On the right side, it features a power button and volume rockers placed one above the other. The interesting thing about the power button is that it is back-lit. Whenever you get a notification, it lights up. It's a good handy feature to know that there was a missed call or a message waiting to be read. 

At the base, the device features Type-C port in the middle, a single-grille speaker to the right and a mic to the left.

Up top, the phone has a mic and 3.5mm audio jack. And on the back, you'll find a circular triple-camera module with LED flash in the top-center. Just below, the company has incorporated a fingerprint sensor and there is the vertical Nokia brand engraving. 

The Charcoal black review unit looks gorgeous with the frosty matte finish. Though the shell is made of polycarbonate-based material, it offers a sturdy feel when held in the hand. 

The only qualm I have with the design is that the camera bump protrudes a tad too much and when the phone is kept on a flat table, it wobbles. It will get evened out when you put a shell cover on the device, but unfortunately, the company does not offer one in the retail box.

Performance:
Nokia houses a 14nm class Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor with Adreno 512 GPU, 4GB/6GB RAM and 64GB/128GB storage. 

The new phone worked without any fuss, be it loading apps, switching between multiple apps, operating camera, browsing the web, watching videos on YouTube, gaming and other day-to-day tasks.

I played a few games and the Nokia 7.1 fared well without any lags. Even after playing for 15-20 minutes on a stretch, the device's temperature did not go beyond my comfort level.

Nokia 7.2 is powered by pure Android 9.0 Pie. With no bloatware and complicated secondary interface, it was easy for me to get the hang of the phone's features in a quick time. 
The Nokia 7.2 is expected to get Google's latest Android 10 in the coming months. It is also eligible to get Android 11 in 2020 and receive regular security patches for at least three years.


Nokia 7.2 Android One interface (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)

As far as the security system is concerned, the face unlocks feature works fine in good light conditions, but it struggles in the dark, as it does not come with IR sensors as we see in top-end phones. 

Even the fingerprint sensor on the back is a bit slow to respond. But on the bright side, it is reliable and has low FRR (False Rejection Rate). 

Camera:


Nokia 7.2 camera sample (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)

The new Nokia 7.2 houses Zeiss triple-camera module on the back. It features, a  48MP (with 1/2-inch Quad-Pixel lens), 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens and 5MP depth sensor camera. 
It takes pretty good pictures in natural light conditions. The camera captures a lot of rich details of the subject with a natural colour and looks sharp.


Nokia 7.2 camera sample (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)

The night mode of the Nokia 7.2 may not be on par with the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone 11 series, but good compared to the peers in the sub-Rs 25,000 price segment.
I also liked the portrait mode pictures; the Zeiss optics do a good job in separating the foreground and the background while capturing the subject with sharp and crisp details.


Nokia 7.2 camera sample (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)

As far as the front camera is concerned, the 20MP sensor takes decent selfies. But, have to say, the phone struggles to get a good portrait picture if the subject wears eyeglasses. 

The device also comes equipped with a Beautify feature to adust the skin tone and remove acne scars to make the selfies look artificially photogenic. 


Nokia 7.2 camera sample (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)

I have no issues with it, as the resulting pictures do look pretty to share on social media platforms. HMD Global is just serving what most phone owners want and it excels to an extent.

Battery:
Nokia 7.2 comes with a non-removable 3,500mAh cell and supports 10W charging. 

During the testing period, it consistently offered a full day of battery life under mixed usage, which included internet browsing, few sessions of gaming, watching videos on YouTube and other day-to-day chores during active hours (6:00 am to 11:00 pm). It usually had a little over 20-percent of battery life left before I could retire to the bed.

Final thoughts:
One of the primary reasons why HMD Global hasn't been able to find traction in a price-conscious market like India was the device's pricing was tad high compared to rival brands with similar features. Considering the costs of the previous Nokia phones, I expected the new Nokia 7.2's price to be north of Rs 25,000. 

In a welcome move, the company has kept the Nokia 7.2's MRP under Rs 20,000. This might help the company attract consumers in the highly competitive Indian smartphone market. 

But, the use of the old Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor is kind of a downer given the fact that the rival brands like Redmi Note 7 Pro and others have newer chipsets. 

Having said that, Nokia 7.2 performs all chores without any lags. There are also more positive points in the device. It is one of the best-looking devices in the market, has good build quality, great Zeiss camera capabilities, full-day battery life, and the pure unadulterated Android phone experience makes Nokia 7.2 a compelling buy. 

Nokia 7.2 Android One is available in two configurations-- 4GB RAM + 64GB storage and 6GB RAM + 64GB storage--for Rs 18,599 and Rs 19,599, respectively.

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