Premium features at an affordable price sees Finnish firm offer a top-of-the-range mobile handset, writes Noel Campion
One of the latest offerings from Nokia is the Nokia 7.2, a mid-range smartphone that manages to punch way above its price range of €299.
I’ve been testing the 7.2 for the last few weeks and bearing in mind that this is a sub €300 handset, it offers a lot of premium features including dual camera lenses, along with a depth sensor and LED flash. The lenses use Zeiss optics and is the first Nokia smartphone to combine triple cameras and a Nokia PureDisplay screen.
The primary lens has a 48MP sensor that samples down to 12M with an f/1.79 aperture and a 1x field of view. The second lens is an ultra-wide-angle at 8MP with an aperture of f/2.2 and 0.6x. There’s a third lens with a 5MP depth sensor that is only used to assist the main lens with isolating a subject from the background by blurring it, also known as bokeh.
The cameras produce excellent results in good lighting and you also get a dedicated Night Mode for long exposure effects without the need for a tripod. The results from this Night mode are impressive, but not class-leading. Portrait mode does offer some interesting bokeh effects including a Zeiss Swirl, Zeiss Modern, Star and even Heart blur effects. There’s also a pro mode where you can take full manual control and video supports UHD 4K at 30fps while the front camera can shoot up to 1080p. Video quality is better than most in this price range and I think you’d have to pay a few hundred more on a better phone to see an improvement.
The three lenses and flash are housed in a circular camera bump located in the centre of the back near the top. Under the camera array is a fingerprint reader, but you also have face unlock for additional convenience.
The entire back is a gorgeous frosted glass finish that is as slippy as heck. I received the black version for this review and I love the way the entire phone is black including the frosted finish on the sides with only a thin circle of silver around the camera bump and the Nokia logos in silver on the back and front.
On the front, you’ll find the 20MP selfie camera, which is inset into the 6.3-inch FHD+ PureDisplay with a waterdrop design. The screen has a high brightness of 500nits and a contrast ratio of 1:4500 and a wide colour gamut. It also features local contrast enhancements that lift details in dark areas while preserving them in bright ones and the display supports HDR. I was able to watch HDR video in Prime Video, but it isn’t currently supported in Netflix, although videos do look excellent there too. I was really impressed with the detail and sharpness and overall contrast. Colours are a little oversaturated with PureDisplay setting turned on, but a lot of people love this especially for watching movies. Turning it off will render colours more natural, but less punchy.
The large 6.3-inch screen really makes this an excellent device for media consumption but the single firing mono speaker lets it down a little. The volume doesn’t get very loud and the quality isn’t great. That being said, you do get a 3.5mm headphone jack, something you don’t get on most flagships these days and it also supports Qualcomm’s aptX audio for better streaming over Bluetooth 5.0.
The power button on the right side has a glowing white light which is a nice touch and there’s a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left side. Also on the left is the dual SIM tray that even has a microSD card slot.
Initially, I wasn’t too impressed with the display because I thought the colours were really off and when scrolling through social feeds I could see a lot of colour ghosting in text. This turned out to be the night light which dims the screen and changes the colour temperature of the screen to an amber colour. Turning this off was made the viewing experience far less distracting; it’s just one of those things that when you see it, you can’t unsee it. Turn it on for nighttime reading as it is supposed to help you sleep better.
Overall, performance is fine and the Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU does manage to do a decent job of keeping things running smoothly. This is aided with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on the base model reviewed here. You also get a USB-C port for charging, but no wireless charging and a 3,500mAh battery, which is good enough to see you through a heavy day’s use or even two with moderate loads.
Finally, the Nokia 7.2 comes with Android 9 Pie and is Android 10 ready. It is one of the cleanest user experiences you’ll find on a non-Google phone today. It also supports Android One which promises two years of Android upgrades and three years of security updates.