2018 was the year Nokia made a mark as a phone maker standing up after a major fall when Samsung and Apple took over the smartphone market 10 years ago. HMD Global, the company with the licence to makes Nokia smartphones, focused on entry level and midrange smartphones plus strengthening their ties with Google as they offer Android One phones with guaranteed updates for two years.
Here we have the Nokia 3.1, an entry level smartphone that promises puew Android experience for budget conscious Android purists. Did it deliver? Lets find out!
Nokia 3.1 specs:
- Octa Core Mediatek MT6750 processor
- Mali T860 MP2 graphics
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal memory expandable via microSD up to 256GB
- 5.2-inch HD IPS LCD display (720 x 1440 pixels)
- 13 megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash
- 8 megapixel front facing camera
- Dual SIM, Sual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, FM Radio
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- 2,990 mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo (Android One) upgradable to Android 9.0 Pie
- Price: P8,990
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
There is actually nothing new in the design department as all Nokia smartphone looks and feels the old Windows-powered Nokia Lumia devices from the past. They are very boxy and and blocky. But whats stand out is the choice of materials Nokia did for the Nokia 3.1. It has a metal frame, a glass front and a plastic back. We love this combo as the back is not fingerprint magnet as compared with glass back smartphones. Overall build is very top notch considering this is an entry level device.
As for the display, we have a 5.2-inch display which already pretty small with today’s standards, we could only wish Nokia could put a bigger 5.5-inch instead. The screen is fairly bright though it struggles a bit under direct sunlight. Thankfully, there is no notch but we noticed its thick bezels top and bottom.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
The thing we like most about Nokia smartphones is they all run pure, no bloat version of Android. There are no skins and custom UI on top of it. The Nokia 3.1 is under Google’s Android One program which means it will also receive refular security patches and two major software updates for the next two years. But for now, it is running Android 8.1 Oreo and we still waiting ANdroid 9.0 Pie to come as of this writing.
Under the hood, we have a Mediatek 6750 chipset which is a tried and tested processor but considered old by today’s standards. This is the same chipset powering the OPPO F1s from 3 years ago. Good thing our review unit has 3GB TAM with 32GB internal storage. This means better multi tasking and you can install more apps.
Lower your expectations with the front and back cameras. For this price point, we consider the cameras fairly decent. They are not OPPO F9 or Vivo V11 level of photography but definitely more decent than other phones at this price range.
You be the judge and check out some of our sample photos
CONNECTIVITY AND BATTERY
All necessary connectivity options are available in the Nokia 3.1 such as 4G/LTE, WiFi and Bluetooth. Internet speeds is surprisingly good and calls are clear with no issues. It does lack a fingerprint scanner and we could wish it they could add one since is already a norm entry level smartphones.
We have a 2,990 mAh battery here and it is just the right size for the phone of its screen size and chipset. The MT6750 sips less power plus its screen is only on HD so expect less battery consumption. We managed to get four and a half hours of screen on time by watching two consecutive two Netflix movies and few minutes of You Tube.
We highly recommend the Nokia 3.1 especially for Android purists on a budget. Software is lightweight, no bloat, pure Android goodness and great build quality. With a sea of Chinese smartphones with custom skins and preloaded apps, the Nokia 3.1 is is truly standout among the rest.
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