Budget phones are always going to be compromise devices, but the Nokia 3 compares poorly against other low-cost phone options, and is only recommended if you're a die-hard Nokia brand fan.
- Nice design for a budget phone
- Clean Android install
- 2 years of updates
- Ordinary performance at best
- Very slow camera
- Poor battery life
The revived Nokia's cheapest handset looks pretty good on the outside, but appearances can be deceptive.
Nokia is one of those phone brands that generally brings with it fond memories of mobile devices that were solidly more on the "feature" rather than "smart" phone side of the fence. Not that Nokia didn't have its own entries in the smartphone race, both with its own Symbian-based handsets and then later with Windows Phone based handsets, but declining sales saw the Finnish communications giant lose both market position and interest in the space, before selling its entire mobile business to Microsoft. Microsoft later dropped the Nokia name from its handsets. Given the glacial pace of its handset releases, it's very likely that it's also out of the handset game as well.
So how can I be testing out a "new" Nokia phone, precisely? It's because Nokia's deal with Microsoft sold off the factories and intellectual property, but not the actual Nokia naming rights. It has sub-licensed that naming for mobile phones to fellow Finnish company HMD Global. That's where the new range of Nokia handsets, beginning in 2017 with the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 hail from. HMD has quite the history and expectation for quality to live up to but has very solidly positioned itself as a low-cost player, especially with the RRP $249 Nokia 3.
- More attractive than your average budget smartphone
- Comfortable and functional, if not remarkably stylish
- Slow performance leads to missed or blurry shots
- Quality is below average even for a budget handset
- Plodding performance even for a budget smartphone
- Nokia's Android implementation is lean, at least, and the promise of software updates is appreciated
- Poor longevity despite its low-power processor
- Getting a full day's use out of a single charge will be a struggle for most users
- The Nokia 3 makes too many compromises to warrant its asking price
Pricing and availability
Knock, knock, Nokia's back for more
The Nokia brand makes its return with the affordable, Android-powered Nokia 3.
- The Nokia 3 retails for $249, but you can find it selling for around $150 at retailers like Amazon and Catch.
Nokia 3 specs
Power, storage and battery
|Display size||5 inches|
|Pixels per inch (PPI)||294|
|Rear camera megapixels||8MP|
|Rear camera aperture size||f/2.0|
|Front camera megapixels||8MP|
|Front camera aperture size||f/2.0|
|Dimensions||143.4mm x 71.4mm x 8.5mm|
|Network category speed||Category 4|
|Operating system||Android 7|
|External storage support||Up to 128GB|
Compare SIM-only plans for the Nokia 3
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