Product Reviews

Nokia 3

The Nokia 3 is the entry-level smartphone in the brand’s new trio of devices (there’s also the rebooted Nokia 3310 feature phone), offering up a solid design, a pure Android experience and a super low price tag. 

It may not turn many heads, but the Nokia 3 has a solid spec sheet and the brand will be hoping that the Nokia name will resonate with those looking for a low-cost phone. 

The Nokia 3 comes with a 5-inch HD display, MediaTek quad-core chipset, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 8MP rear camera, 8MP wide-angle front snapper and 2,650mAh battery.

Nokia 3 price and release date

The Nokia 3 is out now in the UK and costs £129.99 from Carphone Warehouse. Deals for the phone on a contract also start at £12.99, making this a very affordable device.

It’s currently uncertain if the phone will be launching in the US or Australia, but if it does we expect prices to be around $150/AU$200. We’ll be sure to update this review when we hear more news about a release date around the rest of the world.

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Nokia 3 design and display

The Nokia 3’s compact design means it fits easily into the palm of the hand and can be used one-handed without issue. 

It has a metal frame which makes the phone feel solid and well built, and there’s a hint of premium class about it even if the rear of the handset is polycarbonate. 

The rounded corners and sides produce a design that’s reminiscent of Nokia’s (then Microsoft’s) Lumia range of Windows Phones handsets, and coupled with a 143.4 x 71.4 x 8.48mm frame it results in a pleasantly styled device. 

There’s a bright 5-inch HD screen up front and the polarized IPS display gives crisp, clear images and good visibility. There’s a resolution of 1280 x 720, and it’s coated in Gorilla Glass for added protection. 

We found the display to be pretty impressive given the price of the Nokia 3, and we’d have no problem watching videos and playing games on this screen.

Nokia 3 interface and performance

Nokia has chosen to stick with the stock Android 7 Nougat interface on its trio of new smartphones, and that means the Nokia 3 has a clutter-free on-screen experience, without any clunky overlays or pre-installed bloatware. 

It also means you should get prompt security and software updates, which is always good to know. 

This isn’t a high-end media machine though, and the quad-core MediaTek chipset and 2GB of RAM won’t want to be pushed too hard. That said, the Nokia 3 can comfortable handle the camera apps, the likes of Twitter and Facebook and low-intensity games. 

If you’re a fan of the more graphically-intensive mobile games though this won’t be the phone for you, as there’s just not enough power under the hood to give you a decent experience.

General performance was pretty snappy during our hands-on time, with the stock Android interface running smoothly – although it’ll be interesting to see how well it fares when a portion of the 16GB of internal storage is filled with apps, games and photos.

There is a microSD slot on the Nokia 3, allowing you to expand on the 16GB of internal space by up to another 128GB, and it also supports 4G connectivity for fast data speeds.

Nokia 3 battery and camera

There’s a 2,650mAh non-removable battery inside the Nokia 3 which should provide a reasonable amount of usage from a single charge, but it’s something we’ll put to the test in our in-depth review. 

The 8MP front and rear cameras offer up basic shooting opportunities, but image quality is still perfectly acceptable for a phone of this price, and you’ll be hard pushed to be genuinely disappointed about anything on show here. 

Early verdict

It’s been a long time since Nokia dominated the budget end of the market, but with the Nokia 3 we could well see the brand make a return as one of the major players in the entry-level range. 

The solid specs and stylish design provide an enticing proposition for anyone wanting a basic, easy to use smartphone that’s not going to cost them a fortune.

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