Product Name:Nokia 7.2
Despite being quite active on the global stage, Finnish phone maker Nokia has been rather quiet in India all through the year. Yes, we’ve seen HMD Global launch a number of new Nokia phones in the country in 2019, but most of them have made it our shores in a very subdued manner.
And one of these phones has been the Nokia 7.2, which despite being a major announcement by HMD Global led Nokia, has somehow managed to go very much under the radar.
Launched alongside four other phones at IFA 2019, the Nokia 7.2 is arguably the device that the company is focussing the most on, and that too for a good reason. It comes with a powerful 48-megapixel based triple camera set-up which features two other ZEISS Optics branded lenses enclosed within a circular module that looks unlike anything else you’d find in the segment.
But apart from this camera set-up, the Nokia 7.2 has a lot more going for it. Read our review to find out if this device that starts at Rs 18,599 is worth your money.
Classy design with the solid build quality
Zeiss branded rear cameras
Good overall performance
Pricing is a bit steep
Nokia 7.2 Review: Design and display
Back in 2017, the Finnish smartphone maker introduced a completely new design scheme with its metal and glass-clad special edition device, the Nokia 8 Sirocco. At the time, it was unlike anything else that the company had designed before.
Soon, that design scheme became central to the new Nokia’s existence, and the majority of its phones started sporting similar rounded curves and classy exteriors like the 8 Sirocco. The same was true for last year’s Nokia 7.1, and now with its successor, the 8.2, Nokia has again tried to use the same playbook. However, there are slight differences here.
While the biggest of them is the consequence of Nokia using a triple camera set-up enclosed within a circular camera module, the other appears to be the result of the company seemingly moving away from its strategy of keeping it classy and straightforward when it comes to the design of its phones.
The company has attempted to stir the pot a little by introducing a Cyan Green colour with the device. Although the Nokia 7.2 still manages to look premium and has an air of class about it, this particular colour does do a little towards nullifying the effect.
This is further exacerbated by Nokia’s decision to use matte finish plastic instead of glass on the back of the phone. While the quality of the polycarbonate used for the phone appears quite good, it still does not look as premium as many of the HMD Global designed Nokia phones we’ve reviewed in the past.
Apart from that, though, the design focuses more on functionality, and the design team at Nokia has done a good job in ensuring that the 7.2 gets things right when it comes to the ergonomics. As a result, the weight feels manageable, and despite the use of plastic, the phone does have a nice heft to it. The size of the phone also feels like it’s primed for single-handed usage.
What also helps in ensuring that one-handed use of the phone is its 6.3-inch water-drop notch panel at the front. Nokia says that this is a Full HD+ PureDisplay panel which can produce up to 500 nits brightness and support for HDR10, as well as the ability to upscale video content from SDR to HDR in real-time.
In our time with the phone, we found its display to mostly living up to the expectations it raised when we first found mention of it on the Nokia 7.2’s spec sheet. While viewing angles are good and watching movies and videos on it is a real treat because of its good colour accuracy, peak brightness is a slight issue as the display does tend to lose the plot a little when used under harsh sunlight.
Nokia 7.2 Review: Specifications, performance and battery
Under the hood, the Nokia 7.2 is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 660 chipset paired with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 512GB with the use of a MicroSD card.
In our time with the phone, we found this core hardware to perform quite well. For all intents and purposes, we found the phone to be up to the task as games ran fine between medium and high graphics.
Multi-tasking was a breeze, with the device showing no signs of slowing down in our time with it. The credit for this should go to the 6GB of RAM that was available on the device we reviewed. While there is no reason for us to believe that the base variant with its 4GB of RAM would throw up any issues, it would be still advisable for buyers to invest a little more and go for the 6GB RAM variant to ensure that their device runs smooth like new in the years to come too.
That extra amount of RAM should also come in handy with future Android updates. The phone ships with Android 9 Pie and is Android 10-ready. It’s also an Android One phone, which ensures that you not only get superior performance as compared to other competing phones with custom takes on the OS, but also the promise of faster and more updates than them.
For the battery, Nokia has packed a 3,500mAh pack which supports 10W charging over Type-C. However, because the phone runs a clean copy of Android 9, we found the Nokia 7.2 to perform quite well in the battery department.
On medium to heavy use, we found the device to last us a day, which is quite acceptable for a device in the segment. Our only qualm in the battery department is that the phone could have come with a faster charging standard than the 10W that it has been designed to support.
Nokia 7.2 Review: Cameras
While the circular camera set-up may look like a feature from a phone outside the price segment, the lenses it houses within it are firmly from it — and so is the performance.
In our time with it, we found it to click some decent shots in well-lit situations. However, most of them were using the device’s primary Quad Bayer lens, which clicks images at default 48-megapixel size.
While these images were generally quite detailed and also impressed with their colour accuracy, the results, however, were a little different when we switched focus to the 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens on the device.
This lens provided unreliable results at the time and reminded us of the issues that have plagued Nokia phones in the systems in the past. Yet, it is heartening to see the phone maker finally making some progress in the right direction, even if it’s only with the Zeiss branded primary lens.
The depth-sensing 5-megapixel lens in the set-up also does a good job. However, during our time with it, we found the camera AI to err a little with edge detection. But that’s something which also holds for a lot of the phones in the segment, so it didn’t come as a deal-breaker for us.
On the front, the phone has been equipped with a 20-megapixel lens for clicking selfies. During our review, we found the lens to click good front-facing shots with impressive facial detail and accurate skin tones.
Nokia 7.2 Review Rating
Design – 8
Display – 7
Performance – 8
Cameras – 7
Battery – 8
Overall – 8
Nokia 7.2 Review: Verdict
Like many Nokia phones that we’ve reviewed in the past, the Nokia 7.2 is a difficult phone to recommend wholeheartedly or even junk right off the bat. Instead, this device sits uncomfortably in the middle, making things not only difficult for us but also the end buyer.
It’s brilliant and frustrating in equal measures.
Take the design, for example. While it attempts to remain classy, and could easily be recommended to buyers, the fact that the design also sees Nokia use plastic on the phone makes it a difficult buy at its price point that falls just shy of the Rs 20,000 mark for the top-end variant.
The same can also be said about the overall performance. On the one hand, it performs quite well for all intents and purposes. Yet, the fact that it only features a 660 SoC under the hood does make it look a little underpowered vis-a-vis the competition.
The Nokia 7.2 is still quite a good offering if you want an Android One device that promises a decent mix of good performance, optics, and design.