Nokia 3.4 is a budget-friendly sub-P8,000 smartphone. Unlike other smartphones within the price range, the device offers a punch-hole cutout which is rare in the price segment. In fact, the device is in between the entry-level to mid-range tier. Some are calling it a lower midrange. Apart from its cheap price Nokia 3.4 offers a 2-year of android upgrade and 3-years of monthly security patches as well.
Design and Build
The back is in a matte looking texture and built with plastic but weighs only 180 grams, it has a solid build and isn’t just a cheap-looking phone. Holding the phone, however, you will totally feel the plastic back.
It has a rounded camera module housing a triple camera and a flash, below is the fingerprint scanner and the Nokia branding. The camera module really shares identity with the Nokia 5.4 minus the 4th camera.
The body’s ratio of the Nokia 3.4 is at 19.5:9, which means that it will be wide. It has 161 x 76 x 8.7mm dimensions and for people who have small hands like me, the navigation buttons and the dedicated Google Assistant button are quite hard to reach. However, the sturdy build and the good grip as it has a rugged texture makes the phone comfortable to hold.
Around the frame, on its right, the power button and volume rocker share the same location. There’s a dedicated button for Google Assistant on the left along with the sim tray which consists of a dual nano sim slot and expandable storage slot that expands up to 512GB. The top part of the device has a secondary microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack. At the bottom is the main microphone, USB Type-C port, and a single down-firing speaker which fires an acceptable sound, it distorts in max volume but is enough to hear the blast inside a small room.
The front display, just like I mentioned earlier, has a punch-hole cutout which is an excellent design. I think this is the second entry-level smartphone that I reviewed to have this type of cutout, the first is the Redmi Note 9. The bezels of the Nokia 3.4 especially on its chin are quite big, but at least it has the Nokia logo which resembles the OG Nokia Phones.
Nokia 3.4 boasts a 6.39-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 720 x 1560 pixels. The brightness is good outdoors, the sharpness is quite enough, the contrast, however, is a little bit less but the colors are great it has true to life colors which is great for productivity.
The camera of the Nokia 3.4 consist of 3 lenses, a 13MP Main cam, a 5MP Ultrawide cam, and a 2MP Depth Sensor.
There’s nothing much about its camera features, it is a bit gimmicky but it is fun, the portrait mode has a different style of bokeh effects, it also has a night mode and a watermark which you can personalize to create professional-looking photos. It also has Google lens which is a 3rd party app but the ease of having it already in the stock camera app makes the camera versatile.
Photos captured from the Nokia 3.4
The sharpness is unbelievably good in the main camera of Nokia 3.4, you can’t deny that this phone is priced less than P8,000. Although there’s some limitation on the budget, It lacks dynamic range in normal mode, so you might want to capture in HDR mode more often but it adds a saturation while balancing the overall image. White balance on the main lens detects the right value to give true to life colors of the scene.
Nighttime shots introduces color leaks when using night mode but this happens only when capturing photos in a very low light environment. I’m pretty sure adding better lighting will output more acceptable images.
The Ultrawide lens outputs differ tones, it’s in the bluish-magenta tint or colder tone that’ll crash the natural colors. Ultrawide captures a decent sharpness but is not as good as the main cam. Also, the corners are a bit blurry and you also need to turn on HDR mode as well because it sometimes captures blown-out highlights.
Portrait mode is just good it blurs the background nicely but feels like there are quite a few drawbacks when you zoom in to the edges.
Switching to the 8MP selfie cam, outdoors it outputs a nice true to life color reproduction. Skin tone color is just right and natural. White balance is more accurate but it is not perfect, indoor colors sometimes crash when it detects a wrong color temperature. But Overall, if you have a nice light inside your house colors may be improved.
On video recording both front and rear only record 1080p clip. It doesn’t offer stabilization so the clips are shaky, and the dynamic range is just acceptable. We get blown up highlights while our subject is exposed making the photos less balance. The good thing though is the auto exposure is not aggressive, we get a stable exposure which is nice and it has good colors as well. If you want to see the quality please watch our video review here.
Now unto its performance, Nokia 3.4 is equipped with Snapdragon 460 chipset with 4GB of ram and 64GB internal storage. Nokia still offers a two-year Android upgrade support and is planning to roll out Android 11 soon on their phones. The two years of android support is a promising selling point of this device for just a cheap price it is valuable.
In terms of gaming and performance, the Nokia 3.4 offers more fps and stability compared to the Nokia 2.4–which was launched on the same date.
Nokia 3.4 is currently running on Android 10.0 with stock Android OS, what we like about the device is the easy navigation on its UI thanks to the stock OS features. But along with it navigating using the hard buttons are pretty reliable, swiping down using the fingerprint scanner is smooth, the fingerprint scanner is fast and reliable, Face Unlock still struggles in low light but when there is a decent light, it will not be a disappointment. The dedicated google assistant button works well, and just like other Nokia smartphones, you can operate the phone with easy gestures and voice commands.
Nokia 3.4 is backed by an acceptable capacity–a 4000mAh battery— but even though the number can’t compete with other smartphones on its price range it can still last up to two days. Even there’s a google assistant running in the background tasks, we still managed to end the day with 15% remaining on its juice after trying an endurance test.
The downside is the free charging brick as they still included a free 5W in the box instead of a 10W charging brick. We tested the charging time on a 5W stock charger and a 10W charger from other brands and the difference was quite huge. The 5W charger fully charged the Nokia 3.4 in 3 hours and 38 minutes which is a very long time. Charging it using the 10W charger the time reduce down to 2 hours and 37 minutes.
Nokia 3.4 offers long-term user support just like other Nokia smartphones, and as a consumer, this will be the main reason why I will buy the product. For P7,990 (4GB+64GB), it is a worthy device. As a daily driver it gave us an easy and convenient user experience because of its navigation features. It also has a pretty good build like the cutout, the Type-C charging port, and also the gyroscope which is perfect for VR and games. This is a budget-friendly smartphone that offers a future proof user experience with good and acceptable performance and better camera quality versus its price.
Nokia 3.4 specs, price, availability in the Philippines
- Display: 6.39″ IPS LCD, HD+(720p x 1560p), 400nits
- Design: 3D nano-textured back, all-polycarbonate
- Dimension and Weight: 161 x 76 x 8.7 mm, 180g
- Chipset: Snapdragon 460 (11 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: Adreno 610
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB eMMC 5.1 expandable up to 512GB
- Main Camera: 13 MP, (wide), PDAF, 5 MP, (ultrawide), 2 MP, (depth)
- Video: [email protected] Rear, [email protected] Front
- Selfie Camera: 8MP
- Connectivity & Ports: 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, USB-C, audio jack, NFC(region dependent)
- Security: face unlock, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
- Battery: 4000mAh(10W)
- Audio: Single Firing Loudspeaker
- OS: Android 10.0, Stock Android
- Colors: Fjord, Charcoal
- Price: Php7,990
- Release Date: December 2020 (Philippines)