Nokia 7.2 Review: Can This Phone Compete With Xiaomi & Samsung?

The latest Nokia phone running on Android gets three rear cameras but can it rival the Redmi Note series in India?

Updated17 Oct 2019, 11:13 AM IST
Tech Reviews
5 min read

HMD Global is back in the market with the Nokia 7.2 mid-range smartphone, and this time, the brand is hoping to catch the eye of buyers, with more cameras in tow.

The Nokia 7.2, priced at Rs 18,599 for the base variant promises stock Android experience, but till now, we’ve had issues with performance on Nokia’s mid-range phones, and that’s exactly what we wanted to test out during our review.

So, does the Nokia 7.2 stand a chance against the Xiaomi Redmi Note series, Samsung M30 or even the Realme phones? We’ve got the answers.

Snapshot

Pros:

  • High-quality Full-HD display
  • Impressive design and build quality
  • Reliable rear cameras in daylight
  • Decent battery life
  • Stock Android interface

Cons:

  • Dated processor offers sluggish performance
  • Low light imaging needs improvement
  • Google Assistant button not customisable
  • Better options available in the market

What’s Good?

Nokia phones have traditionally offered decent display panels, and this phone is no exception in that regard. You get a 6.3-inch Full-HD display which is bright (indoors and outdoors) and sharp enough to let you read through content with ease.

We’d recommend setting the display to auto-brightness, especially if you’re headed out in daytime. The viewing angles on the panel are also quite good.

Nokia 7.2 sports a 6.3-inch Full-HD display.
Nokia 7.2 sports a 6.3-inch Full-HD display.
(Photo: The Quint)

But it’s not just the display, the Nokia 7.2 borrows the classic ‘Nokia’ design touch as well. It gets a matte finish unibody design, and the company has tried its best to trim the bezels, without removing it entirely for some reason.

There’s a water drop notch which houses the front camera. The phone is definitely rugged, and we’re pleased that it doesn’t carry flimsy elements in its finishing.

Matte textured finish with solid frame.
Matte textured finish with solid frame.
(Photo: The Quint)

The other good aspect about the Nokia phones made by HMD Global is the use of stock Android interface. This ensures you get latest Android updates in quick time, which, however, comes at a cost. The company has touted its focus on keeping the phone’s software secure, and to make that happen, HMD Global invests heavily on the software side.

Moving on to the rear cameras, Nokia 7.2 comes with a triple setup of 48-megapixel, 8-megapixel wide-angle and 5-megapixel for depth sensing.

Triple rear cameras from Zeiss Optics.
Triple rear cameras from Zeiss Optics.
(Photo: The Quint)

The results from the primary camera in day time were decent, with good amount of detail captured, and the colours looking natural.

  • 01/03
    Shot with medium light.(Photo: The Quint)
  • 02/03
    Shot in the evening(Photo: The Quint)
  • 03/03
    Shot in day time(Photo: The Quint)

The stock camera interface is easy to use, allowing basic users to find their way through settings on the app. The shutter speed is quick, and you manage to get some good images that can be shared on social media.

And finally, with the 3500mAh battery, the phone manages to last longer than we imagined. After using the phone for over a week, to make voice and video calls, watching some videos, using a lot of social media and clicking pictures, the Nokia 7.2 managed to last us for over 14 hours on an average, with screen-on time of over 6 hours.

Nokia 7.2 comes with a 3500mAh battery.
Nokia 7.2 comes with a 3500mAh battery.
(Photo: The Quint)

We would have liked a bigger battery unit on the phone, but for what it offers, regular users will be pleased.

What’s Bad?

Okay, now let’s talk about the things that makes the Nokia 7.2 look expensive for its price. The company has somehow gone with Snapdragon 660 processor on the phone, which was first seen in phones two years back. And even though they have added 4/6GB RAM options, it doesn’t make sense in 2019, especially with the competition you’ve got to fight.

Snapdragon 660 is a two year old processor.
Snapdragon 660 is a two year old processor.
(Photo: The Quint)

This was one of the reason why we couldn’t call the Nokia 7.2 a reliable performer. Even with stock Android, we noticed lags while browsing through the phone, and the software-based face recognition took a few seconds to unlock the device. If you’re thinking about buying a phone for gaming, this definitely isn’t worth it.

Also, in order to get faster performance from the phone, we’d suggest you switch off the animations from Settings menu of the device, as it does make a difference.

The phone comes with a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left, which cannot be customised to support other apps, but at least you can turn it off.

Do we really need the Google Assistant button?
Do we really need the Google Assistant button?
(Photo: The Quint)

We showed you the good parts about the phone’s camera, mostly in day light. But when it comes to low-light shooting, the Nokia 7.2 didn’t impress us much.

  • 01/03
    Shot under streetlight(Photo: The Quint)
  • 02/03
    Shot in night mode(Photo: The Quint)
  • 03/03
    Shot with wide angle lens(Photo: The Quint)

The phone takes sometime to process the images, and the resulting quality lacks detail and in some cases, the colours are off as well. Hopefully these can be fixed with software updates.

Should You Buy It?

The Nokia 7.2 is a competent device, with Zeiss Optics cameras, stock Android interface and a good looking design. It’s a Nokia phone running on Android and you’d say what could go wrong with that?

Turns out, using a dated processor could affect its performance big time, and that puts a big question mark on how it can compete with other devices in the sub 20K segment.

Is the Nokia brand name enough to attract buyers?
Is the Nokia brand name enough to attract buyers?
(Photo: The Quint)

It’s hard to see how Nokia matches up to the Xioami and RealMe in the market. Having said that, Nokia does deliver quick software updates, which comes at a cost, so mostly you’re paying for its quality and brand of course.

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Published: 17 Oct 2019, 11:10 AM IST
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