Nokia 7.2 review: Classy design meets pure Android

Nokia 7.2 review: Classy design meets pure Android

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nokia 7.2 starts at Rs 18,599 for the 4GB + 64GB configuration.
  • It comes with an elegant glass design and attractive PureDisplay screen.
  • It also gets a solid battery life and stock Android Pie software.

HMD Global hasn't launched a lot of phones this year, perhaps to bring some simplicity and uniformity to this year's lineup after releasing numerous phones in 2018. In fact, one of the reasons the Nokia 7.1 was hard to recommend last year (despite being an attractive smartphone) was due to the more affordable and popular Nokia 6.1 Plus. The newly launched Nokia 7.2 does not face that problem, which is why it is easy to call it the best Nokia phone to buy under Rs 20,000 right now.

Nokia 7.2 starts at Rs 18,599 for the base model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage and goes up to Rs 19,599 for the 6GB + 64GB configuration. This makes it more affordable than the Nokia 7.1 when it launched. However, given the nature of the market right now, the Nokia 7.2 still faces stiff competition against the likes of Realme XT, Redmi K20 and Samsung Galaxy M30s.

A few things going for the Nokia 7.2 is its premium glass design and stock Android software. The phone also touts upgraded cameras with Zeiss lenses and a PureDisplay screen, among other things. We review the Nokia 7.2 to find out whether these features are convincing enough to invest in.

Nokia 7.2 Design

HMD Global prides itself on crafting phones that exude elegance and class and the Nokia 7.2 is a testament to that. The phone looks and feels premium thanks to a combination of high-end materials being used. The front and back of the Nokia 7.2 is glass while the frame is a polymer composite that is supposedly as strong as polycarbonate and lighter than aluminium. This essentially means the frame will feel like plastic to the touch but offers a solid build that won't allow the phone flex under pressure.

The Gorilla Glass 3 protection on the back is of the frosted, matt finish variety that offers an extremely smooth feel. It actually makes the panel slippery, but it is great at avoiding fingerprints and smudges. The unit I received was in Charcoal Black colour, which looks elegant and stealthy. The Cyan Green colour is easily my favorite between the two and definitely the one to buy if you're looking for a colour that stands out without looking to overt.

Nokia 7.2 is a tall phone, which means reaching the top of the display to pull down the notification panel will be difficult with one hand. The frame is around 8.25mm in thickness and weighs 180 grams, so it does feel substantial in the hand. Depending on how big your hand is, you might reach the rear fingerprint sensor naturally in one go or your finger may touch the camera module instead.

Speaking of the camera module, HMD Global has gone with a circular mound on the Nokia 7.2, which gives it a unique look in the portfolio. It is not as big and unsightly as the old Nokia Lumia 1020, which is good. It is much smaller and quite elevated, which means the phone will not rest flat when placed on a table. This is worrying as it can cause scratches on the camera glass after a while, although I did not notice any damage during my week-long usage.

Around the frame, you will see the volume keys and power button on the right side. The power key gets an LED notification light as seen previously on the Nokia 4.2 and Nokia 3.2. The light glows when you receive messages, notifications or missed calls. On the left side of the frame, you will find a dedicated Google Assistant button and a SIM tray that can hold two nano SIM cards and a microSD card. A 3.5mm headphone jack can be seen on the top while the bottom of the phone gets a Type-C port and a single speaker grille.

Nokia 7.2 Display

Nokia 7.2 sports a 6.3-inch FHD+ PureDisplay screen. It is the same screen technology used by HMD on the Nokia 7.1 and Nokia 8.1 last year. PureDisplay is claimed to offer a higher contrast and wider dynamic range compared to regular LCD displays. It natively supports HDR and can also upscale SDR videos to HDR in real time when the feature is enabled in Settings.

HMD's PureDisplay technology impressed us last year and the same is the case with the Nokia 7.2 this year. When the PureDisplay mode is enabled, you'll notice colours look more saturated while watching videos or playing games. You can switch on Dynamic Mode which will automatically change the tone of the display depending on the content you're watching, which is a feature I found to be a little unstable. You can also enable White Balance that will offer more balanced whites across the UI.

The Nokia 7.2's display looks fantastic, offering deep and punchy colours that will make you believe you're looking at an OLED display. The display is sharp and offers good brightness levels indoors, but not quite enough for outdoor viewing. Nokia 7.2 meets the Widevine L1 standard, so you can stream content on Netflix and Prime Video in HD resolution.

Nokia 7.2 Performance and Software

The Nokia 7.2 runs on an octa-core Snapdragon 660 SoC paired with up to 6GB of RAM. You would be familiar with the processor as it is over two years old now, which may put off some users. But the Snapdragon 660 SoC is a solid mid-range processor that is known to perform well and handle day-to-day tasks with ease.

When it comes to social media browsing, messaging or playing games, the Snapdragon 660 will offer a smooth, lag-free experience. Based on a 14nm process, the processor is also quite power efficient. It is equipped with an Adreno 512 GPU, so you won't be able to run games like PUBG at high graphic settings without running into lags and framerate issues.

While the Snapdragon 660 is known to be a snappy processor, the Nokia 7.2 does not feel like a snappy smartphone. This is largely because of the stock Android interface, which comes with slow animations that can make the phone feel slower than it really is. That being said, there's no denying the appeal of a clean, bloatware-free Android software.

Nokia 7.2 is an Android One device much like every other Nokia smartphone and ships with Android 9 Pie. HMD has been terrific when it comes to delivering major software and security updates, so you will feel safe with the Nokia 7.2. A little while ago, HMD revealed a timeline for Android 10 rollout for Nokia smartphones, but the Nokia 7.2 was missing from the list. With HMD now starting Android 10 rollout with Nokia 8.1, we expect the Nokia 7.2 to receive the update by Q1 2020.

As mentioned earlier, the Nokia 7.2 comes with a fingerprint sensor, which is not as snappy as you would find on rival smartphones like Realme XT and Redmi K20. Same goes for face unlock which is also slow and cannot be carried.

Call quality over the earpiece is clear and loud and the caller had no trouble listening to me as well. The speaker on the bottom is clear as well and offers a balanced sound while playing music or watching videos, but it doesn't get too loud.