Home Tech Reviews Nokia 7.2 Review – Still Worth Getting in 2020?

Nokia 7.2 Review – Still Worth Getting in 2020?

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It’s only been four months since Nokia 7.2 was launched. But since then, other brands playing the mid-range market has released feature-packed phones. Are there any reasons to get Nokia’s mid-range phone over the likes of Realme XT and Redmi Note 8 Pro?

Design

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Seeing the Nokia 7.2 in the flesh left us in awe. The green variant that we received is unlike any smartphone in its category. Yes, it does resemble the OPPO Reno series, but there’s something special about the polymer composite backing that delivers a frosted finish. Compared to the Reno 2, it’s not as slippery as I’ve expected. On top of that, I love the fact that it doesn’t attract fingerprint smudges that much. For what I think is a regularly-sized hand, I often find myself reaching for the camera module instead of the fingerprint scanner. Aside from that, the camera hump is so thick that I thought I have a coin in my pocket. However, this doesn’t change the way I feel about the device. For a glass and aluminum build, it’s not a heavy phone and the premium feel it provides can be hardly sought from its price range.

The volume rocker is located on the right side, together with the power button with an embedded LED notification strip. If you love taking screenshots, you just need to hold the power button until the option pops up. On the left side is the dedicated Google Assistant button. You can enable/disable the feature but not customize it to a specific action. It’s a handy feature to have if you like to activate voice commands. Up top is the headphone jack and down at the bottom is a USB-C port and a speaker grille.

If I would buy a phone solely for the design, I have to say that Nokia 7.2 is worth the consideration. HMD Global arguably leads the pack when it comes to smartphone design for the mid-range market.

READ: Best Mid-Range Phones in 2019

Display

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At 6.3″, the screen still requires just a bit of finger gymnastics. Although I could comfortably navigate around the UI when my pinky is resting at the bottom, I wouldn’t risk it for security. Yes, there’s a notch and the bezels are thick for today’s standards, but they didn’t bother me at all. Perhaps, that’s because of the FHD+ display that craved all my attention. It’s of IPS LCD, however, colors are naturally vibrant and you can even boost the contrast further by enabling “PureDisplay”. Under the said mode are two ways to improve viewing quality: One is Dynamic Mode that adjusts the colors, contrast, and brightness according to usage. The second is “SDR to HDR”. This feature works on photos, videos, texts, and even games. If you’re fond of oversharpening and contrast boosting, you might find the feature working for you. For me, however, I prefer the natural tone of the images.

For a mid-range phone, Nokia 7.2 is only one of the two phones (Redmi Note 8 Pro) in its price range with HDR10 display support. Visuals look more pleasing with HDR10-compatible apps, like Netflix. I also love how the peak brightness is more than enough to withstand direct sunlight. If there’s one thing I want to change here, that’s the resolution. For a display this size, it feels like FHD+ isn’t enough for some folks who love to pixel peep. But overall, I’m surprised to see IPS LCD to be a non-issue for someone who’s used to AMOLED.

Performance

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The downside of owning a Nokia 7.2 is the old chipset. The Snapdragon 660 underperforms compared to what competitors offer. But the Android One software softens the effect a bit. I love how system animations are rendered properly. It almost feels like it’s iOS. I can still play games but settings need to be adjusted below medium for a smoother experience. The only complaints that I have are the slow recognition of fingerprint gestures, inability to quickly switch to split-screen, and the lack of on-display swipe down for notifications.

With Android One, you’re guaranteed to receive up to three years of security updates and up to two years of major Android software update. It’s still on Android 9 Pie with 2020-01 security patch, so it’s still waiting for Android 10.

If you’re not into playing games, Nokia 7.2 will give you a consistent performance whether it’s streaming, productivity, or social media.

READ: Vivo S1 Pro Review – Finally, A Good Mid-Range Vivo Phone

Benchmark Scores
Antutu 171,539
Geekbench 5 Single-Core (CPU) 328
Geekbench 5 Multi-Core (CPU) 1377

Camera

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Nokia 7.2 is using three main Zeiss cameras. One is a 48MP f1.8 Sony sensor, while the other two are 8MP f2.2 ultrawide and 5MP f2.4 depth sensors. Gyro-EIS kicks in when using the ultrawide and the main sensor for videos, which is handy to have as I was able to get a very smooth recording. However, it’s not available in 4K so you need to use 1080p for that.

Photo-wise, HMD Global’s mid-range phone can deliver great-looking photos in daylight. I noticed that colors are more saturated and HDR processing more pronounced, but not to the point of destroying the image quality. The dynamic range is just OK indoors. It usually blows out the highlights while outdoor images tend to have crushed shadows. The auto-focus isn’t its strongest point, as I typically need to do several shots to nail down the subject. It’s always fun to have an ultrawide option. While the quality isn’t something to write home about, I didn’t mind the very soft details and overexposed results. Night mode works on both main and ultrawide sensors. I have to say that the quality is good enough when you’re looking at the photos from small screens. Once you view them in a monitor, you’d rather forget about it.

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The 20MP f2.0 selfie camera of Nokia 7.2 can capture good images, provided you have good lighting. Where I’m impressed, however, is the accuracy of portrait mode. Yes, the software tends to blur out the edges of the subject but it’s more pleasing to look at than having a partly focused background. I also love the fact that it doesn’t make the face quality soft.

Audio

The south-firing speaker delivers monotonous sound quality. It lacks bass with so-so max volume output. This means ambient noise will easily overpower background playing music.

Battery

There’s only a 3500mAh battery inside the Nokia 7.2. Normal usage usually provides up to 5 hours of screen time with 18 hours of standby. Although I didn’t play games that much, the most battery-depleting activity I did was enabling Wi-Fi hotspot. I was impressed that it didn’t drain the battery that much. It even left me a good amount of 4 hours of screen time.

Battery Endurance 23 Hours
Capacity 3500mAh
Charging Time 2 hours
Average Screen-on Time 5 Hours

Verdict

Nokia 7.2 with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage is still retailing for P15,990. As a phone, it’s not a bad performer. The battery life is surprisingly good and the Android One program seems to keep the performance in check. The quality of the design is arguably its best feature. However, it’s going to have a tough time on the market now that Realme XT(P16,990) and Redmi Note 8 Pro (P12,990). Those two are more packed with features and better specs. Should you get the Nokia 7.2 in 2020? Nope. Unless it retails for less than P10k, then maybe, just maybe.

READ: Realme XT Review – Beastly 64MP Camera for Day and Night Shooting

Nokia 7.2 specs, price, availability in the Philippines

  • Display: 6.3-inch IPS LCD FHD+, teardrop notch, HDR10
  • Design: polymer composite build with an aluminum frame, Corning Gorilla Glass 3(front and back), Google Assistant button, Notification LED via the power button
  • CPU: Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 (14 nm)
  • GPU: Adreno 512
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Memory: 128 GB + dedicated microSD, up to 512GB
  • Camera: Zeiss Optics 48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF
    8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
    5 MP, depth sensor
  • Selfie Camera: Zeiss Optics 20 MP, f/2.0
  • Connectivity: 4G LTE A, Wi-Fi ac Bluetooth 5.0, EDR, LE, aptX GPS, USB Type-C, headphone jack, NFC(except Latin America, USA, and India), FM Radio
  • Security: rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner, face unlock
  • Battery: 3500 mAh, 10W standard charging
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie with Android One
  • Release date: October 19 in PH
  • Price: P15,990 official SRP in the Philippines

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