Nokia 3.2 review: Good battery life, but steeply priced

The device runs stock Android, and will be amongst the first devices to get recent updates.

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At 181 grams, the Nokia 3.2 is on the heavier side.
Nokia 3.2
Price: Rs 8,490 (2/16GB), 10,290 (3/32GB)
Rating: *** 1/2

Specifications: 6.26-inch IPS display, 1520 x 720 pixels, quad-core Snapdragon 429 processor, 2/3GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, dedicated microSD slot, dual SIM, 13MP f2.2 rear camera, 5MP f2.2 front camera, rear fingerprint scanner, 4G, VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, Radio, microUSB, 4,000mAh battery, Android 9.0, 181 grams


Pros: Large screen, large battery, dedicated Google Asst key, LED indicator embedded in the power button, dedicated microSD slot, fast fingerprint scanner, above average camera

Cons: Entry level processor proves to be a bottleneck, Lacks Widevine L1 (no HD streaming playback), no portrait mode in camera, shutter lag in the camera, glossy plastic back panel


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It has barely been a few weeks that Nokia launched its mid-range smartphones, Nokia 4.2. Now, the company has launched two more devices - Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 2.2, further strengthening its entry and mid-range portfolio. Out of the two, the Nokia 3.2 is aimed at users who want the stock Android experience on a big screen with a big battery.

The Nokia 3.2 is the company's first large screen device with the water drop style notch. You get a 6.26-inch IPS screen with great viewing angles and slim bezels. The brightness levels could have been better in our opinion as it's not always easy to view the screen under direct sunlight. Keep in mind that the screen has HD resolution (1520 x 720 pixels) and this is fine in the sub-Rs 10k price segment (2GB variant). However, the 3GB variant at Rs 10,290 feels expensive as you can get devices with full HD display in this price segment like the Redmi Note 7/7s.

At 181 grams, the Nokia 3.2 is on the heavier side. It would have been acceptable if the phone had a metal or glass back, but it's a plastic body. On top of that, the phone has a glossy finish on the rear which is a smudge magnet - within a week of usage, it picked up visible scratches. There are two things that we loved about its design - dedicated key for Google Assistant on the left and the notification LED integration in the power button.


Hardware is where you see the corners cut by Nokia. Offering an entry level Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 processor at this price is no less than a joke. There are devices available with Snapdragon 660 and Helio P70 in the same price segment - the Nokia 3.2 seems too steeply priced here. Surprisingly performance is butter smooth for basic usage. The phone had no issue switching between social media apps, YouTube and Gaana app while chat apps continue to receive messages in the background. The battery is where the phone delivers - the 4,000mAh battery regularly lasts a day and a half.
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You get a single lens 13MP camera with an f2.2 aperture on the rear which might seem out of place in the world where dual and triple cameras are easily available. However, the camera turned out to be a big surprise with its performance. Daylight photos came out crisp with good dynamic range. Even indoors, the photos captured enough details to view on screen as well as share on social media.


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Lowlight performance was as expected - high on noise and low on details. The front camera also performs similarly in daylight and lowlight. One thing we felt lacking was a portrait mode for rear or front camera - most phones offer a software-based portrait mode and Nokia should have also added the same. Also, there is a visible shutter lag in the camera which we hope Nokia fixes soon with a software update. Once again, if you compare the performance from other smartphones in this price bracket, you will see that there are phones offering much better cameras available.

Some of the other features we liked about the Nokia 3.2 include its fast fingerprint scanner, zippy face unlock, dedicated microSD slot for storage expansion, the inclusion of fast charger in the box and loud voice call speaker. The phone is a part of Android One program, so it runs stock Android and will be amongst the first devices to get Android updates. One of the big disappointments is the lack of Widevine L1 certification - this means you will not be able to stream HD content from various streaming services on your phone.

Just like the previous Nokia phones, the Nokia 3.2's steep price is what makes the phone fall flat in front of the competition. You should consider the Xiaomi Redmi 7 with a glass body, Snapdragon 632, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, dual rear camera, better 8MP front camera and same 6.26-inch HD display at RS 8,999.


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