Technophile

Nokia 7.2 review: A good looker, but low value for money

Mala Bhargava | Updated on December 16, 2019 Published on December 16, 2019

With competition surrounding it, this phone stands little chance with its dated specs and lacklustre performance

For anyone considering buying a Nokia phone, it’s probably well to remember that this isn’t the Nokia of years ago. In its current day HMD Global avatar, the company is pushing in phones that are no match for the overwhelming competition snapping at its heels.

The Nokia 7.2, a smartphone we received some questions about, seems to have been created as if that competition just didn’t exist, ending up with a value-for-money equation that falls very short. Interestingly, we received the lower of the two versions available — 4GB RAM with 64GB storage — and that’s specially unexciting.

The Nokia 7.2 in its Charcoal colour variant looks sophisticated and sedate. It looks as if it belongs to someone who doesn’t go in for over-the-top flashy and is a balanced and sensible person. The build of the device adds to that mix. It feels solid though it’s surprisingly large and heavy for a phone that has only a 3,500mAh battery on the inside.

Design and colours

It’s actually getting difficult to find phones with that size of battery now. There’s a green variant that’s supposed to be particularly nice, but the Charcoal isn’t bad either, specially since it’s a smooth matte finish and has a nice round camera setup on the back which has a subtle but unmistakable Ziess logo in the centre.

The camera circle does stick out rather a lot though and you can go ahead and worry about getting it all scratched up when putting it down on hard surfaces. No case is provided in the box. On the back there’s also a physical fingerprint sensor which works fine though not supersonically fast as one has now become accustomed to. There’s a face unlock as well, but that’s slow and glitch-filled.

Before we get to the front of the phone, there are two buttons worth mentioning. Under the volume rocker is a button to trigger the Google Assistant. This is a feature that comes with most Nokia phones now and probably part of the Android One formula Nokia has been using, announcing straight off that this is a Google-centric phone. The other notable button is just the power button different because it incorporates an LED light. Now while some like the feature, I didn’t find it as welcome because at night it takes just one errant email or other notification to set it off and it shines a bright white in a dark room in quite a distracting way. Thankfully, you can set it to turn off at night.

Screen Quality

One of the biggest disappointments of the Nokia 7.2 is the quality of the 6.3-inch screen. No matter the specs the 1080x2340 pixels display is really dull with inadequate brightness, blue-tinged, washing out on tilting the angle, and poor contrasts and colours that lack punch. The screen has a notch but that’s a minor annoyance given the rest of the screen which looks like it belongs to basic phones from long ago. The sound on this phone is built to match — sharp and tinny and far from pleasant.

The fact that the 7.2, as with other Nokia phones now, comes with just Android and no needless flashes and frills on top is its strongest point. The amount of stuff other companies load up on phones is stifling and annoying but the 7.2 doesn’t have any of that. However, it is still Android 9 Pie though security updates are timely. Unfortunately, you don’t get to team the clean software up with powerful hardware. The processor used here is a very dated Snapdragon 660 and that too, on this device, with just 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The screen stutters as you scroll and navigate and overall feels anything but snappy. It’s a long time since I’ve actually seen a phone make for jagged scrolling.

Cameras

The rear camera set up includes a 48MP main sensor, a 5MP depth sensor and an 8MP wide angle lens. Photos are average and drop in quality sharply with the two companion lenses. Colours and dynamic range specially are weak. The night mode is a bit better showing clarity, but colours are still off. The front 20MP camera is adequate for causal snaps but won’t be working any magic.

It’s not just difficult but impossible to recommend the Nokia 7.2 seeing what Xiaomi, Realme and others offer at this and lower prices.

Nokia 7.2
  • Price: Rs 18,599
  • Pros: Sedate un-flashy design, good build, clean software experience with timely updates and no pushy bloatware, retains 3.5mm jack and memory card slot
  • Cons: Too expensive for what it offers, dated processor, unimpressive screen, sharp sound, poor face unlock, stuttering performance, low capacity charger, no fast charging.

Published on December 16, 2019
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