Over the last two years, HMD Global has been on the relentless quest to rekindle the magic of the Nokia brand in the smartphone space. And indeed, it has made a lot of headway in its mission. One of the things that HMD global has focused on is the real world experience of an entry-level smartphone with chest thumping of specifications that a gamut of Chinese smartphone makers play in. The new Nokia 3.1 Plus is a derivative of this product-making mindset and it impresses.
Why does this happen though? There are dime-a-dozen budget smartphones but this Nokia is a different animal because of its sheer build quality. You get an aluminium build which is unlike any other I’ve seen on a smartphone. It’s got this rusty matte finish which feels very secure and sturdy – almost tank-like in build quality.
Like all the new Nokia phones, it also has bevelled edges which makes it quite ergonomic to hold despite its large size – which is there due to its 6-inch 18:9 screen. There is no gimmickry here as there is no notch but this seems like a decent screen.
Core performance has always been decent on these new Nokia phones thanks to the Android One experience which is there again on this phone. It’s further coupled with a Helio p22 offs core chipset that’s married to either 2 or 3 GB of RAM. For basic day to day use, this should be ample firepower.
Then there are dual cameras on the back. A 13-megapixel one and a 5-megapixel one for the portrait mode. On the front too, there is an 8-megapixel camera — as of now I haven’t tested the cameras a lot so I’m reserving judgement on these.
Like the Nokia 7 Plus, the battery life should be good on this phone thanks to the capacious 3,500mAh battery. The fact that the Helio p22 is built on a 12nm process should further improve battery efficiency of this device. Nokia is promising a two-day battery life which is insane but even if this phone manages 70% of this claim, it will be a class leader.
Unfortunately, like all the phones in this price segment, there is no USB Type C. Software wise, this phone is clean and simple to use, while also offering the security of regular Android updates and has Android enterprise certification.
Right now this is looking like a well-balanced package and it’s going to give the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro some headaches considering the reasonable Rs 11,499 starting price of the phone. The device goes on sale from 19 October.