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Nokia 7.2 Review: Potent Mid-Ranger With Few Compromises
Nokia's portfolio of smartphones is big enough to make it hard for customers to get their heads around the names of the phones. We'll try to make it simpler for you. The Nokia 7 series is a mid-range lineup comprising of the Nokia 7 and the Nokia 7.1. The latest smartphone to embrace the series is the Nokia 7.2. It offers 4GB/6GB RAM + 64GB ROM. The base model starts at Rs 18,599 while the 6GB model will be available for Rs 19,599.
- Attractive Looks
- Stock Android
- Good Battery Backup
- Low Brightness Display
- Weak Ultra-Wide Camera
The previous iteration impressed us a lot with its design and performance. And, the company is expected to do the same with its latest offering as well. However, things have changed a lot ever since. Many big players such as Samsung and Google have shifted focus on the affordable segment. In fact, Google disrupted the mid-range segment with the Pixel 3a, which hit market shelves in May this year. Having said that, it won't be a cakewalk for the Nokia 7.2 as it was for its precursor. But, is the Nokia 7.2 good enough to take on other mid-range smartphones? Let's find out.
- 6.3-inches IPS LCD display
- Gorilla Glass 3
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
- Android 9 Pie
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB storage (512GB expandable)
- 48MP + 8MP + 5MP rear camera
- 20MP front camera
- 3,500 mAh battery
Design: A Good Looking Smartphone
Nokia has been consistent with the aesthetics of its mid-range phones. There's barely any difference between the previously launched 7.1 and the new offering. However, the Nokia 7.2 gets a new camera setup, which I personally wouldn't call a design upgrade, as I would've preferred a vertically aligned setup.
The right side holds the power key which also doubles as a notification LED alongside the volume rockers, while there's a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left, which I hardly used during my time with the device. Also, the button sometimes gets triggered if you place the phone horizontally to watch a video. At the bottom, there's a Type-C port and speakers, while a 3.5mm audio jack is placed on the top, in case you still use wired headphones.
Upfront, the device has a 6.3-inch display, surrounded by not-so-narrow bezels and a fairly sized notch. The chin, however, is smaller compared to the Nokia 7.1, but the company still manages to throw in its branding.
The rear panel is what sets the smartphone apart from its predecessors. HMD Global has used a polycarbonate plastic casing instead of the glass sandwich approach. The matte finish looks attractive, but the circular camera setup, not so much. The camera bump also protrudes a lot which messes up with the overall symmetry of the phone.
Display: Not The Best Trait
The Nokia 7.2 boasts a 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a 2280 x 1080 pixel resolution. It leverages HMD Global's PureDisplay tech that claims to amplify the quality by offering 96% color gamut. The display does support HDR content, and also natively converts SDR videos into HDR ones. You can disable this feature, but honestly, it's a good feature to have.
The colors look vivid and the reproduction is also good. The additional pop makes the content look crisper and makes the binge even more enjoyable. However, the brightness of the display could have been higher. The peak brightness of the phones is 500 nits which makes it really difficult to use under direct sunlight.
Overall, the display on the Nokia 7.2 qualifies as a decent display but isn't the best out there. You can use the "Dynamic Mode" to automatically adjust the screen's color, contrast, brightness, and white balance, but it does lack in some areas.
Software: Stock Android Runs Smoothly
The Nokia 7.2 runs the stock version of Android 9 Pie with minimal bloatware. It offers a user-friendly user interface and is apt for people like me who don't prefer built-in apps and like to customize their device. Besides, you get two years of monthly security patches and major OS updates which means the device will see support through 2021.
The interface includes a launcher similar to what you find on Pixel phones with a few customizations such as the PureDIsplay settings. The overall experience is smooth and all the gestures came in handy. The software has always been a strong area for the company and the Nokia 7.2 is no exception.
Camera: Powerful Main Camera, Underwhelming Ultra-Wide Sensor
The Nokia 7.2's camera is capable of taking decent photos. The company has used a triple camera setup on the rear comprising a 48MP primary, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 5MP depth sensor for creating a bokeh effect.
Speaking of the picture quality, the 48MP lens captures vibrant details and the colors are well produced. However, we did notice a cool tint in some images. Some of the photos come out over sharpened and the low-light images are disappointing. In favorable lighting conditions, the camera churns out good results, but it wouldn't be so handy n challenging conditions.
As for the 118-degree ultra-wide camera, the additional functionality sure opens new possibilities for mobile photography, but similar to other devices, you can notice a difference in the image quality. The difference in the temperature is pretty evident, which is something I personally don't appreciate.
Upfront, you get a 20MP sensor, which is pretty good and takes detailed selfies. You can also take portrait shots with the selfie camera making for a good display picture for your social media handles. It's also good for video calls and vlogging.
Performance: Mostly Smooth With Timely Hiccups
The Nokia 7.2 has a mid-range Snapdragon 660 processor at its heart backed by 4GB of RAM. The combination is good and works well most of the time. It can handle the day-to-day tasks pretty well and I didn't notice any lags while scrolling through the social media apps, streaming multimedia content, and playing mild games.
Having said that, I still felt the device is a bit sluggish than one would expect from a stock Android phone. I noticed choppy transitions while navigating through the interface and while pulling down the notification bar. Also, the shutter takes some time to register the tap.
But, we wouldn't recommend this phone for high-end gaming, as it makes the device a bit toasty, which we also noticed while reviewing the Nokia 7.1. But, we expected the company to offer a better gaming experience this time around. However, if HMD Global rolls out some performance-enhancing updates, we might be able to play a game or two of PUBG without roasting our palms.
Other than that, we hardly noticed any issues. We also ran some benchmarks and results were decent if not great. The device scored 139551 points on the AnTuTu benchmarks, while it logged and an overall score of 1342 in the 3D Mark tests. In the PCMark tests, the device managed to score 5927 points. Speaking of Geekbench, the Nokia 7.2 scored 315 points in the single-core and 1464 points in the multi-core tests, which is pretty low.
Coming to the battery, the 3,500 mAh reservoir is definitely one of the plus points of the Nokia 7.2. I used the phone to play videos, constant WhatsApp chatting, mild gaming, and browsing through social media apps frequently. The device can easily last a day even if you are a hardcore user. The battery life on this phone is something to be appreciated.
Verdict: A Phone That Wouldn’t Disappoint
We have thoroughly tested the Nokia 7.2 and it's safe to say that it is by no means a bad smartphone. It has a good design, a decent display that is good enough for your binge-watch, a camera that does a good job for its price, and a great battery life. To complement all this, you get the stock Android experience. It sure has its flaws but that's forgivable considering the cost. We would've appreciated better performance on the device.
However, we have a lot of options in the market at this price point and the competition makes it tough for the Nokia 7.2 to be a stand out product. If you are someone who isn't on a strict budget, then I would recommend you to go for the Google Pixel 3a. However, if your only constraint is money, then you can opt for the Nokia 7.2, you won't be disappointed.