Nokia 7.2 Review: Minimalist and Utility
Nokia’s journey in the Indian smartphone market was initially marked by mid-ranger and budget offers. And Nokia 7.2 is ahead in charge this year. The smartphone includes everything Nokia users want to enjoy – a seamless, premium design, a clean Android interface and regular updates. But is it enough to survive in such a competitive market? Find out –
Nokia 7.2 competes with Redmi Note 8 Pro, Realm 5 Pro and the likes. These best-selling mid-rangers now come with a Snapdragon 7-Series SoC, segment-defined features like plenty of RAM and storage, HDR display and what not. Nokia 7.2 keeps it simple. Beneath the hood is a Snapdragon 660 that powers an Android 9-based stock Android interface. Due to the lack of many features common to mid-rangers, the chipset is capable enough to run the software without too many interruptions. But on the up front, the phone may feel lazy as apps and games become more resource intensive. My fears are confirmed by the benchmark scores and how they compare to the best sellers scores. You can see them below –
On AnTuTu, Nokia 7.2 is only comparable to smartphones launched in the first half of 2019. In the second half, with the advent of phones like Redmi Note 8 Pro and Realme 5 Pro, Nokia 7.2 did not match. The presentation. Still, the GeekBench scores are actually quite impressive considering a smartphone powered by Snapdragon 712 and MediaTek Helio P90. The 3DMark score, though, is still quite low.
But the benchmark only tells part of the story. Despite having an older processor, you really won’t find any problems using the smartphone as a daily driver. The pure, stock Android interface ensures that there is no lag while operating the UI. But apps take a significant amount of time to open, especially the most popular ones like Facebook and Instagram. Games like PUBG Mobile also take more than a minute to reach the main menu. So obviously it’s not the fastest smartphone in the segment, but it’s easy to use. I’ll give it to you.
I tried a few games on the Nokia 7.2 to see how the frame rate and number of durability matched the competition. Call of Duty: Mobile, Nokia 7.2 delivers 60 FPS at 84% stability, while PUBG Mobile delivers 97% stability at 30 FPS and Asphalt 930 FPS at 89% stability. Gaming stats were a revelation after the poor performance of the benchmark results. Nokia 7.2 has proven to be quite capable as a gaming device, despite not being referred to as a dedicated gaming mode and other mid-ranger gaming enhancements. Although we didn’t get the best quality graphics and load times were often too long, you didn’t drop a single drop on the frame once you played on the map. This is what counts in the end, and Nokia 7.2 delivers without interruption.
The good thing about Nokia 7.2 is that no matter what other stock Android smartphone you are coming from, you will feel right at home. In fact, whether you come from a Xiaomi or Realme smartphone, the UI is quite intuitive and easy to use. There’s not much of a learning curve. There’s an app drawer that gives you quick access to the top of relevant apps, and gestures aren’t so bad on Android 9 as critics say. It takes a while to get used to the pill-shaped home button at first, and the two-step process for accessing the app drawer is certainly tedious, but it wasn’t a deal breaker.
The Nokia 7.2 is a showcase of all Google additions to Android 9, and on the front, it will also get the native features of Android 10, including live captioning, dark mode and more. So if you are looking for popular enhanced features in Realme and Xiaomi smartphones then this is not to be missed. While using the smartphone as a daily driver, I realized that it is an excellent option for those who just have basic needs. Apps that dominate your use do not have too much bloatware with the Google ecosystem, and a clean interface that does not distract you from the task at hand.
The Nokia 7.2 has a 3500mAh battery inside that is charged using a regular 10W charger. Charging speed is definitely a problem because I had to tether the cable for more than two hours to top up the phone. There is no fast charging. But the battery, thanks to all the power optimization Android 10 brings to the table, easily lasts a day. I used it during the event to take photos and videos, send and receive messages across multiple apps, and played a few games, and by evening, there was still about 20 percent charge left. It’s almost decent compared to the rest.
In our test for battery life, the Nokia 7.2 PCMark Work 2.0 battery test takes 568 minutes to run, which converts to about nine hours of screen-on time which is quite decent. The 15-minute PUBG mobile battery emits about 4 percent, while the 30-minute Big Bang Theory on Netflix emits about 6 percent.
After the penta-camera setup in Nokia 9 PureView, Nokia 7.2 comes with a triple camera setup. No, the camera setup is nowhere to be found but HMD has continued to work with Zeiss Optics to develop the camera. On the Nokia 7.2, you’ll find a 48MP primary sensor with f / 1.8 aperture, an 8MP ultraviolet sensor and another 5MP depth sensor. So technically, only two of the three lenses are used for shooting. The third is to capture depth information for the image. Nokia uses the Pro Camera app in it, where you can access almost all the options by rotating the shutter button. Swipe up to access pro controls and swipe left or right to cycle between portrait, night and video modes. It’s also easy to switch between lenses because the option is just above the shutter button when the top shelf is sprinkled with additional options that may not be as aesthetically pleasing to look at, but I found it quite useful.
Here’s how the camera performed:
The primary 48MP camera is quite good for daytime photography, if there is enough light. AI visual detection starts almost immediately and you will see the phone applying additional settings in real time through the View Finder. I especially liked the HDR capabilities of the camera. Shooting directly under the sun should have darkened the shadows on other mid-range smartphones, but the Nokia 7.2 manages to extract a lot of details from the shadows and even from the ultraviolet lens. Nokia 7.2 doesn’t apply too much saturation and contrast to photos, and the colors are much more natural than the others. Now it may not sit well with users who are accustomed to the boosted colors that most AI algorithms do. The camera is also capable enough to reproduce the texture as you can see in the dog photo.
A little light
In low light, Nokia 7.2’s camera performance is significantly reduced. This has been the case with most smartphones before but offers from Realme and Redmi have set a standard in low light photography this year and are competing with Nokia 7.2. You can see from the two photos above how the details have been muddied. We used Night mode for taking photos (which also takes a good 4-5 seconds to take a shot), and its brightness and color are mostly accurate, lacking detail and sharpness.
Portraits and selfies
Portrait mode and selfies come out pretty well. The background blur looks a bit artificial and some parts of the hair are blurred, but overall, the details and sharpness.
Design and display
Nokia 7.2 is well made. HMD has used a new technique to match it using polycarbonate, but I bet you won’t even understand it as plastic. We got the Charcoal Black variant of the device, and it was a buzz of praise right after it came out of the box. Despite using plastic and playing a gigantic, elongated camera bump, the Nokia 7.2 looks well made and different from the rest. Most polycarbonate smartphones look cheap these days, but Nokia 7.2 is not one of them. Instead, you get a breathing power button that alerts you if you have a pending notification, a USB-C port, and rounded corners. The phone is also quite easy to hold and use. It is not slippery and it is not a fingerprint magnet. But from the front, the Nokia 7.2 looks pretty old-school now. There is a rather large drop notch with a thick chin engraved with the Nokia logo. The company could have stopped putting the logo and expanded the panel a little further down. There is a single speaker at the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top.
The 6.3-inch display is another good thing about the Nokia 7.2. The LCD panel works like an OLED panel thanks to Nokia’s Pure Display technology which simply means that the panel has an improved dynamic contrast ratio that makes the LCD screen look even blacker despite having a pixel backlight. Nokia has also managed to get an HDR10 certification for the display although we’re not sure if it’s a 10-bit panel in the first place. Despite HDR certification, Amazon and Netflix content does not run on HDR. You can only watch HDR videos on YouTube. The phone also has a dedicated chip for converting SDR videos to HDR but I didn’t see any major difference between the videos or the games. Still, the 6.3-inch LCD display went up to 558 lux at maximum brightness under the sun and dropped to 5 lux at the lowest brightness in the dark.
The last row
Nokia 7.2 may not be so powerful to look at, but it is a pleasure to use. The Snapdragon 660’s lightweight stock Android interface is fully capable of handling, handling simple daily tasks as well as providing reliable performance while gaming. The camera is the dark horse, consistently providing good results if the subject is well illuminated. Low-light images, however, are a weakness. Despite having a polycarbonate body and quite a large camera bump, the Nokia 7.2 is one of the best smartphones in its segment.