HMD Global is a strange beast — while being home to Nokia’s smartphones, its phone doesn’t pander to the rat race of checking all boxes for spec sheet addicts, but rather it makes phones that are elegant to look at, has chic software that works seamlessly and increasingly, these phones have started to focus on cameras; a former forte of Nokia’s past greatness. The new Nokia 7.2 is an embodiment of this philosophy. That’s what makes the new Nokia 7.2 a great phone for most people, however, it lacks the punch for modern-day gaming fanatics.
- Perhaps the most significant element of the Nokia 7.2 is its elegant design. Offered with curved edges and flat rails coupled with a supple matte finish and a gorgeous turquoise green, this is easily the nicest looking phone that you can get for less than Rs 20,000. Even in the black, it looks stealthy and the best bit is that it doesn’t look overly flashy which bodes well for business users. Even its triple camera array on the back is encased in an attractive radial module which reminds me of the iconic Nokia Lumia 1020.
- Performance for basic tasks and even heavy multitasking isn’t problematic. Yes, despite the rather dated Snapdragon 660 system on chip and 4GB RAM, this phone is optimised to the t, and with the support of the pure Android Pie experience which is deployed as a part of the Android One program, this phone is clean without any bloatware which you’ll find on phones like the Realme XT and Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro.
- As this is an Android One phone, it will also soon get the update to Android 10 and it is also a very secure phone that’s supported by the Android Enterprise Programme. The combination of the Nokia branding and its Finnish origins, this will be also a more acceptable phone in the office space with IT managers more likely to allow corporate email access. Android One also makes this phone secure as HMD Global promises monthly security updates.
- One of the advantages of having rather frugal hardware phone results in stellar battery life. This phone delivered superb battery life. In my testing, often, the phone provided more than a single days battery life, often lasting a day and a half. It also supports USB PD 18W fast charging via USB Type C which you don’t get in most phones even today. Charging times are rapid with the phone getting fully charged in about an hour and half.
- Something as basic as call quality and network coverage is superb on the phone. I tested the phone on the Airtel and Reliance Jio networks in Delhi NCR. Generally, signal retention is also good which in turn helps the battery life as the phone isn’t hunting for a signal draining the battery more.
- Last but not least, this is the first Nokia phone to come with a triple camera system. The popular Sony IMX 586 sensor is being used in tandem with a wide-angle camera and a depth sensor topped up with stellar Carl Zeiss optics. The results are surprisingly good in both low light and bright scenes. The camera offers great natural bokeh, and its portrait mode has superb edge detection and bokeh models that simulate iconic Zeiss lenses. There is even a very capable night mode which makes this one of the best and versatile camera phones for less than Rs 20,000.
- The biggest weakness of this phone is that it’s powered by the year and a half old Snapdragon 660 processor. This means this isn’t the best phone if you’re in for playing graphically intensive games like PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile. Sure, you can play those games on this phone but there are phones that cost lesser and provide better gaming performance.
- Despite being an Android One phone, post the release of Android 10, the Nokia 7.2 still doesn’t have the Android 10 update. Of course, Nokia isn’t to be blamed for this as Qualcomm hasn’t updated the Snapdragon 660 for Android 10 yet.
- The 6.3-inch display has a waterdrop notch but it also has a big fat chin with the Nokia logo embossed. More than this, the panel is quite washed out which makes the viewing experience not as nice as some other phones.
The Nokia 7.2 may not have the chest-thumping specs that one associate with modern phones from Xiaomi and Realme, however, it is a master-class in a less is more product philosophy. It almost delivers everything the average user would want apart from having the finesse that a business customer would want. Perhaps, it only ones it ignores are gamers, but for everyone else, it’s great!