Nokia 7.2 Review

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Introduction

Back in September, HMD Global unveiled a host of new smartphones at the IFA 2019 event. Among those, Nokia 7.2 was the one that witnessed a massive overhaul both in terms of design and hardware. It is the first smartphone from the brand to come with a triple camera module, which now sits in the circular position. There are plenty of other minor improvements in the overall build and hardware.

 

With the budget segment getting competitive, Nokia is getting hard time to keep up with the Chinese smartphone makers. Although the smartphone maker delivers impressive software support and premium build, a lack of powerful chipset and capable cameras makes things hard for the brand.

 

Well, it would be interesting to see whether the smartphone is capable of competing with the likes of Xiaomi and Realme or not. To find the answers, we decide to use the Nokia 7.2 extensively for about a week. Let’s deep dive into the comprehensive review.

Price in India, Variants, Availability

Nokia 7.2 comes in two different storage variants – 4GB+64GB and 6GB+64GB options. Coming to the color options, you can buy the phone in two options, namely Charcoal and Cyan Green. The base variant of the device is priced at INR 18,599, while the top model can set you back by INR 19,599. You can buy the smartphone exclusively via Flipkart and offline retailers.

 

At the time of writing this review, there are plenty of offers that you can avail of. Interested buyers can use the No Cost EMI option, 5% unlimited cash back on Flipkart Axis credit card, and 10% off with Axis Bank Buzz card.

Box Contents

Nokia 7.2 comes packed in a slim flat box, which consists of the device’s infographics on the front. You can see the key specifications on the back of the device. Opening the lid, you find the smartphone itself on the right side with a protective layer covered across it. The protective film consists of the Google Assistant logo while pointing towards the Assistant key.

 

Right underneath the device, there is a tray that consists of a SIM ejector tool along with a few manuals and documentation. Inside the box, you get a 10W wall charger and a USB Type-C cable. Well, Nokia was kind enough to include a pair of earphones with the device. Sadly, there is no protective back case, which has now become a trend across the budget segment market.

 

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box.

 

  • Nokia 7.2
  • 10W wall charger
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Pair of earphones
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Manuals and documentation

Specs at a glance

Before we jump right into the comprehensive review, let’s first check out the key specifications of the device.

 

  • Display: 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel, 1080×2280 pixels, 400ppi
  • Processor: Snapdragon 660, 14nm
  • GPU: Adreno 512
  • RAM & ROM: up to 6GB, 64GB
  • Software: Android Pie, Android One
  • Rear cameras: 48MP+8MP+5MP
  • Selfie camera: 20MP, f/2.0
  • Battery: 3,500mAh capacity, 10w regular charging
  • Weight: 180g
  • Dimensions: 159.9×75.2×8.3mm

 

With key specs cleared out of the way, let’s talk about the very first aspect of the device.

Build and Design

As mentioned earlier, Nokia has gone with different design philosophies with this smartphone. The moment you hold the device in your palm, you can feel the premium-ness exploding from the device. Unlike its predecessor, Nokia 7.2 offers a much more premium experience thanks to new molded plastic. The brand has used traditional plastic and molded it with a new polymer composite. The new material is said to be twice as strong as polycarbonate and twice as light as aluminum.

 

We got our hands on the Charcoal variant of the device, and oh my! It is one of the best looking phones Nokia ever made. The smartphone does not follow the current gradient hue trend and instead features minimal and straightforward, clean black color. The back panel is slightly reflective if tilt at various angles. For a more comfortable grip, the edges are curved just like other Nokia devices. At the back, there is a triple camera module situated in a circular protrusion along with an LED flash. Right below the setup, there is a fingerprint sensor along with the company branding.

 

Furthermore, the back has a protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Moving on to the buttons and ports, you find the power key and volume rocker on the right side. Just like the Nokia 3.2, the power button doubles up as a notification indicator thanks to the embedded LED. We found this quite a nifty addition and would like to see it in more devices. On the left side, there is a dedicated Google Assistant key which can be used to fire it up. You also find the SIM card tray, which supports dual Nano-SIM and a microSD.

 

At the bottom, there is a USB Type-C port for charging along with speaker grille. The audio jack, on the other hand, is located at the top. Overall, Nokia 7.2 is one of the best-looking smartphones the company has ever made. You find both the color variants equally attractive. Nokia smartphones are known for lightweight and sturdy in-hand feel, and this device is no exception. If you’re into the one-hand usage, then you might find it challenging to handle since a massive 6.3-inch display dominates the front.

Display

Nokia 7.2 features a 6.3-inch IPS LCD with waterdrop notch housing the selfie camera. The display uses the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Thanks to thin bezels and chin, the device can hit the 82.3 percent screen-to-body-ratio. With a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels and 400ppi pixel density, the display offers sharp, vivid, and excellent color reproduction. The viewing angles are also very impressive. In short, this is one of the best IPS displays, which you can see at this price point.

 

The blacks are more in-depth but not comparable to the AMOLED panel, and that is the case with every IPS LCD panel. The brightness levels are also up to the mark, and users don’t face any issue consuming content in direct sunlight. The device comes with a peak brightness of 500 nits, which is quite impressive. Nokia claims that the device can upscale SDR content to HDR in real-time. Speaking of HDR, Nokia 7.2 comes with HDR10 certification, meaning you can enjoy HDR content on the smartphone to the fullest. You also get an Always-on display feature with the device, which is something I tend to appreciate a lot.

 

Unlike various other devices at this price tag, the smartphone comes with Widevine L1 certification meaning you can stream content in HD from media streaming services. In conclusion, the device does not disappoint in terms of display. The users who love consuming media on the phone won’t face any issue whatsoever.

Performance

Like every other Nokia smartphone, this one too lags behind the competition in terms of raw performance. Under the hood, the device gets its power from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset paired with up to 6GB RAM and 64GB onboard memory. For graphics, the device makes use of Adreno 512 GPU. The SD660 is a chipset that is manufactured using a 14nm fabrication process. It consists of eight cores, namely 4x Kryo 260 cores clocked at 2.2GHz and 4x Kro 260 cores clocked at 1.8GHz.

 

When it comes to daily tasks, the processor is quite capable and handles regular tasks with ease. For instance, switching between apps is a smooth experience, and we rarely faced any stutter or lag during daily tasks. When it comes to heavy multitasking, the device tends to struggle a bit, resulting in a few lags or stutter. Switching to the gaming, the device lags behind the competitors. We tried playing Pubg Mobile and Fornite on the device, which, by the way, runs at medium graphics settings. We did notice numerous occasional frame drops during our intensive gameplay.

 

With up to 6GB of RAM at the disposal and 64GB internal storage, the smartphone rarely lags if you’re limited to the regular and somewhat heavy tasks. With massive RAM packed inside, the apps stay in memory for a more extended amount of time. The 4GB RAM variant is bound to hit a sweet spot with the users. If the internal memory is not enough, you can always expand it using the dedicated microSD slot.

Software

One thing which Nokia has always maintained its position in is the software department. Nokia 7.2 runs on the stock Android 9.0 Pie operating system. The device lies under the Android One program, meaning you get the latest updates in a timely and early fashion. Since we’re looking at the stock Android experience here, there is no bloatware whatsoever except a few essential utilities and Google apps. The entire software experience is up to the mark and feels very optimized.

 

You also get all the Android Pie related features such as Digital Wellbeing, Adaptive Brightness, and Adaptive Battery. At this price tag, I don’t see any other smartphone maker hitting the software segment with perfection. Above all, you don’t get those spammy notifications and annoying ads inside the user interface. Since it is a complete stock Android experience, you don’t get customizations features like the one found on OxygenOS and OneUI.

 

Nokia is known for updating its software in a timely fashion. When it comes to the budget segment, it is the only brand that updates its device way too fast. If you’re someone who prefers a priority software support, then the Nokia 7.2 doesn’t disappoint you in any way.

Cameras

Nokia 7.2 comes equipped with a triple camera module on the back consisting of a 48MP primary sensor (f/1.8), an 8MP ultrawide angle lens (f/2.2), and a 5MP depth sensor. For selfies, there is a 20MP front snapper housed inside the waterdrop notch with an aperture of f/2.0. The camera module features the renowned Zeiss optics lenses. The camera app is pretty self-explanatory, so no problems getting used to it.

 

The primary 48MP sensor clicks photographs with a right level of detail, sharpness, and an excellent dynamic range. The colors were slightly saturated, meaning the loss of natural colors for the users. As expected, the sensor originally clicks shots ar 12MP thanks to the pixel binning technique. You can switch to the 48MP resolution in the camera app settings. The 48MP mode in the phone also clicks pictures with an increased level of details but with less brightness and less contrast. In portrait mode, the results were excellent, as well. The background blur was perfect, and the edge detection was up to the mark.

 

In low-light scenarios, the device performs underwhelming. The clicked pictures turns out to be full of noise and lack of useful detail. There is a dedicated Night Mode, which also does not work that impressively. It only brightness the image, but the level of detail remains low.

 

For selfies, there is a 20MP front snapper that takes sharp photos with the right level of detail, natural colors, and proper exposure. The overall shots come out to be perfect, and we did not face that typical over smoothing, which we see in Chinese devices. The portrait mode, on the other hand, is not that impressed with the okayish level of edge detection.

 

The device can shoot videos to up to 4K resolution at 30fps. For some reason, the resolution of full HD video is capped at 30fps. The video quality is pretty decent with over-saturation. There is no kind of stability, meaning the videos turn out to be shaky. You might want to use a selfie stick if your hands are not that steady.

Battery

Nokia 7.2 comes packed with a decent 3,500mAh battery, which supports 10W charging. Even though the performance is not that impressive, battery life follows the opposite route. We’re looking at the battery backup of more than a day on a single charge. Our daily usage looks something like that – WiFi and Bluetooth always-on, constant text messaging, fast music playback, media streaming, and few hours of gaming sessions.

 

There is a 10W bundled charger that can be used to juice up the device. It takes around one and a half hours to charge the device from zero to 100 percent completely. It’s a shame that the device does not support faster charging, because Redmi Note 8 comes with 18W fast charging support.

Audio, Biometrics, Connectivity

For audio, there is a single stereo speaker located at the bottom, which produces a decent output with loud and clear audio. Even at the max volume, we didn’t notice any distortion. There is a 3.5-mm headphone jack, which also delivers an excellent output with great details and clear audio. In terms of cellular connectivity, we did not face any issues whatsoever. Furthermore, the earpiece and microphone work pretty well.

 

For biometrics, there is a physical fingerprint sensor located at the back right below the camera module. The fingerprint sensor is quite quick, with higher accuracy and reliability. There is a Face Unlock built into the software which is not that reliable but can do the job. It’s fast, just like the fingerprint sensor.

 

Nokia 7.2 features all the necessary connectivity hardware such as dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, FM Radio, and USB Type-C port for charging. Sadly, there is no support for NFC in the Indian model.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

 

  • Premium build
  • Long-lasting battery
  • USB Type-C port
  • Stock Android Experience
  • Priority software support

Cons:

 

  • Underwhelming performance
  • Average low-light cameras

 

Verdict

Well, it's time for the final thoughts on the smartphone. We loved using the smartphone because of two significant reasons - premium build and an excellent display. I like the new design language, especially in the Charcoal variant. Furthermore, the overall media consumption is pretty decent on this device. If you're an average user and a casual gamer, then the SD660 chipset can do a decent job for you. For those who want to do some serious gaming or heavy multitasking, then you should look somewhere else. The software is the most substantial part of this device and is simply the best at this price range. You might miss a few customization options, but the software support on the device is appreciable. The battery life is also on point with the device lasting for more than a day on a single charge. I do miss the faster charging option. Finally, if you're okay with the chipset performance and lack of fast charging, then Nokia 7.2 would be a worthy choice at this budget. The software alone lifts the entire user experience of the device.