Reviews

Nokia 7.2 Review: Android One Meets 48MP ZEISS Optics Camera

HMD Global, extending its diverse Android phone lineup, has recently released new Nokia 7.2. The new addition picks up from where Nokia 7.1 left off, it improves a lot and retains all that was great! We recently received our review unit and after some thorough testing, here is what we think about the phone.

One thing that has been fundamental to Nokia’s rise to success is the brand’s software experience. Rather than developing a unique skin like other manufacturers, Nokia makes use of Android One program. Through this initiative, Google is able provide vanilla Android just like on a Pixel phone to other devices. While this sure is a noteworthy factor about Nokia 7.2, in our detailed review we will see how it stacks up in other areas and against competing options.

Nokia 7.2 Review

Before we share our thoughts, let’s take a look at all the Nokia 7.2 tech specs.

  • Network: (GSM / FDD / TDD / WCDMA)
  • Display: 6.3’’ Display (2340 x 1080 PPI)
  • Processor: Snapdragon 660
  • OS: Android 9.0, Android One
  • Camera Rear: 48 MP 1/2″ Quad Pixel, 5 MP depth sensor, 8 MP sensor with ultra-wide lens
  • Camera Front: 20MP Quad Pixel
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, Bluetooth and 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • Memory: 4/6GB RAM + 64/128GB Storage
  • Dimension: 159.92 x 75.15 x 8.25mm
  • Battery: 3,500mAh

Nokia 7.2 Review: Exterior and Design

Nokia 7.2

Starting with the exterior and inspecting the overall design choices by the brand, there is this rather large circular camera bump on the back. Housing 3 cameras, this bump makes 7.2 easily distinguishable from other phones. Further, Nokia has stuck with premium materials just like on the 7.1 — complete glass on the rear. Different however, is this new Matte finish available for the rear glass which is exceptionally pleasing and a breath of fresh air from all the gradient colors which we have been seeing a lot of lately. The matte finish is also unique to Charcoal, other paint options — Cyan Green, Ice — however are glossy. Nokia 7.2 comes with a physical fingerprint sensor which is perfectly located at the rear center. The placement is optimal and as fingerprint sensors have been around for time now, the performance is just as expected.

Mating front and rear glass, the phone comes with a matte plastic surround that is curved outwards for better grip. Nokia could have went with a steel chassis but to save costs, this is a good alternative and works well. As for button placement, power button is on the right along with the elongated volume rocker. Uniquely, these aren’t all the buttons, there is an additional Assistant button on the left that can be pressed to immediately bring up Google Assistant. The convenience of this feature might only be for a selected number of customers who find a dedicated button easier to initiate Assistant rather than the software shortcuts. As the saying goes, it is better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it!

On the left, you also get your SIM tray which carries dedicated dual SIM support alongside microSD expansion. Lastly, you get a USB Type-C port on the bottom along with a speaker cut-out and 3.5mm headphone jack up-top!

Nokia 7.2 Review: Internal Hardware and Performance

Nokia has always had this minimal approach for all of its modern phone designs: straight and sharp lines coupled with classic shapes. All of these design cues are present on the Nokia 7.2 as well. However, as most customers look for performance and internal hardware first, lets see what Nokia 7.2 offers in this regard.

– Display

Nokia 7.2 is equipped with a large 6.3 inch FHD+ tall display. Being based on LCD technology, what makes it truly amazing is the fact that it supports HDR. Named as PureDisplay, Nokia 7.2 comes with the capability to view HDR10 content that carries more contrast and a wider dynamic range. Further, learning from last year’s Nokia 8.1, Nokia 7.2 can also upscale regular content (SDR) into HDR which is even better as HDR content is a bit hard to come by.

In terms of physical dimensions, the display has a great body-to-screen ratio thanks to minimal bezels on each side a new, tear-drop style notch that is considerably smaller than the last iteration.

– Processor, Storage and RAM

Powering the device is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 chipset which is a step behind latest Snapdragon 670. For RAM and storage, there are few options. You can opt for the 4GB RAM version and 64GB storage or get the 6GB RAM variant with 128GB. Most will make the jump for the higher priced model but for those who don’t, there is microSD expansion available up-to 512GB.

For day to day use, the phone flies through everything. Overall UI is snappy and there isn’t any lag in loading up apps. Also, on the 6GB RAM edition, a large number of apps can remain open in the background– making for faster loading and better battery life. If you plan on gaming, the chipset is equipped to play light to medium class titles. Demanding games that are GPU intensive can run but at lower frame rates. The chipset is geared towards optimized daily usage and it certainly delivers in that regard. Nokia could have gone with a recent Snapdragon 670 chip but the performance gains aren’t directly noticeable hence this can be overlooked.

Here are some performance benchmarks:

– Battery

One thing that is key these days, especially in mid-range phones such as this, is battery life. Users are looking to extend their phone usage as far as possible before plugging into a wall adapter. Fortunately, HMD Global has considered this as evident by its choice to go with a 3,5000mAh battery module. At first look the capacity seems less but Nokia 7.2 further optimizes battery performance through Android One. As the software is stock with no overlaying skin, 7.2 has great efficiency. Marketed as a 2-day battery life phone, we have experienced the claim to be true. Depending on usage your endurance may vary but it should easily last you a complete day and more if not 2 complete days.

Nokia 7.2 Review: Camera

Nokia 7.2 Camera

Camera systems on Nokia phones have previously been a mix-bag. Despite Nokia partnering up with ZEISS on its mid to high-range phones for quite some time, the end results have remained sub-par. Fortunately enough, however, Nokia 7.2 drastically improves! While there are 3 cameras for added versatility, the star of the show is definitely the main 48MP sensor that provides crisp, high-dynamic range photos! Also, the camera app has been improved as well to provide better post-processing, AI integration and also, a Night mode.

Other two sensors on the rear include a 8MP ultra-wide module and a single depth sensor for portrait shots. The wide module is what we have seen on a lot of other phones, it gets the job done but produces lower-res images as compared to main camera. You can see our sample shots to get an idea of how the phone performs. Also, it is worth mentioning, Google Camera mod is available for this phone as well!

For the front, there is a 20MP sensor. It is advertised as Quad Pixel which means you should get brighter photos! Also, the higher-res makes for some crisp selfies.

Nokia 7.2 Review: Software

Android One on Nokia 7.2

Combining everything is Nokia 7.2’s signature software. Taking the pure Google route, Nokia phones are all Android One. Where other brands provide their own overlays on top of Android — which is why despite running same Android versions, you get drastically different UIs on third-party phones. However, Nokia provides the complete, pure experience directly from Google! If you have ever used a Pixel device, Nokia 7.2 runs the same exact software. ‘

This approach makes for some great advantages. Firstly, there is no bloat. When adding an overlay, brands are basically giving the processor more things to execute on top of Android hence slowing down the experience. This doesn’t happen with stock Android. Secondly, fast updates! If previous Nokia phones were to be used as reference, all have been receiving updates almost at par with Pixel devices. Out of the box, no doubt, Nokia 7.2 runs Android Pie which is dated but we can expect an Android 10 update to arrive quite soon — sooner than phones competing with the 7.2!

Default bundled Nokia 7.2 Apps:

  • Wallpapers: Nokia has added a Wallpapers app which you can use to get perfect resolution wallpapers for your device. These get updated regularly giving you a wide variety of choices.
  • Google Duo: Duo is Google’s video call solution. It is bundled stock with Nokia 3. You can configure it directly with your Google account. It will automatically sync your contacts and allow you to contact them through video call.
  • Camera: The camera app is a modified version suited for the Nokia 7.1. It includes different modes along with HDR capability, Night Mode, Pro Mode and AI Integration.
  • Google Keep: Google Keep is also pre-installed on the device. Keep is a note taking app which supports sync directly with your Google account. This works best when you have multiple devices or you want to view your notes directly on your computer.

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About the author

Taimur Akmal

Devoted writer, enjoys developing code. Appreciates excellent food, exceptional coffee and great company. He is also into sublime design and nicely built cars.