Nokia 7.2 Hands-On: Can It Take on the Competition?

HMD Global has excelled in the design department ever since it relaunched the Nokia brand back in 2016 and it continues with the Nokia 7.2

Highlights
  • The Nokia 7.2 does not feature any modern features like in-display fingerprint scanner and AMOLED display
  • HMD Global has priced the Nokia 7.2 at Rs 18,599

Nokia 7.2 is the latest mid-range smartphone from HMD Global and it starts at Rs 18,599. By hearing the price tag, you may expect the phone to offer in-display fingerprint scanner, Snapdragon 700 series processor, quad cameras, AMOLED display and so on. However, Nokia 7.2 does not feature any of those, instead, it follows the company’s strategy of delivering the user experience, which is something very similar to that of Apple. The Nokia 7.2 has an IPS LCD display with a teardrop notch, Snapdragon 660 processor, triple rear cameras with the primary one being a 48MP shooter from Samsung, 3500mAh battery and it runs Android 9 Pie out of the box. The base variant offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, priced at Rs 18,599. The phone is already available for purchase in the country, but should you pick one? Here’s what we think of the Nokia 7.2 after using it for a brief period.

Nokia 7.2 Hands-On: Design and Display

HMD Global has excelled in the design department ever since it relaunched the Nokia brand back in 2016. The first Nokia smartphone under HMD Global- the Nokia 6 still offers an excellent in-hand feel, thanks to the usage of Series 6000 Aluminium. The Nokia 7.2 is no different in the design aspect. The smartphone is constructed out of the glass, but when you take into the hands, it doesn’t feel that way. The phone feels like it has a metal back which is mainly due to the multilayer coating that HMD Global has used. According to the Finnish company, Nokia 7.2 has a light-diffusing satin glass back and it comes in two colour options- Charcoal and Cyan Green.

As for the in-hand feel, the Nokia 7.2 is a winner, but at times, you’ll feel the phone slipping out of your hands because of the smooth coating which HMD Global has achieved.

The Nokia 7.2 has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display with the company PureDisplay technology. Unlike the smartphones available in the similar price range, the Nokia 7.2 does not feature an AMOLED panel. During our brief usage, we noticed the Nokia 7.2’s display to get bright enough even in bright sunlight conditions. Also, the display is HDR-ready. On top of the screen, there’s a teardrop notch housing the selfie camera. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass technology.

Nokia 7.2 Hands-On: Hardware, Software and Connectivity

As for the design and display, the Nokia 7.2 manages to take on the competition, but it falls way behind the competition in the hardware department. The Nokia 7.2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset and comes in two variants- 4GB+64GB and 6GB+64GB. Yes, it’s the same Snapdragon 660 chipset that we saw on the Nokia 7 Plus launched back in April 2018. We’re not saying the Snapdragon 660 SoC is a bad option, but there are several new chipsets available from the house of Qualcomm like Snapdragon 665, Snapdragon 675, Snapdragon 710 and Snapdragon 712. Even HMD’s Nokia 8.1 has the Snapdragon 710, which is a way better chipset than the Snapdragon 660.

Real-life performance of the Nokia 7.2 is decent in our brief period and it’s largely due to the stock version of Android 9 Pie that comes pre-loaded. Surely, the Nokia 7.2 will be first in the line to receive the Android 10 update, so that’s a bonus for the users who purchase this smartphone. Connectivity options include Dual 4G, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS and a USB Type-C port. The phone also has a dedicated hardware key for triggering Google Assistant and it will come in extremely handy for the people who make use of the assistant from Google.

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The Nokia 7.2 has a 3500mAh battery and the company says it’s compatible with 5V/2A charging speeds, so it seems like the phone lacks fast charging support. With the Nokia 7.2, the brand is also promising two-day battery life which we will evaluate over the testing period.

Nokia 7.2 Hands-On: Cameras

HMD Global has stepped into the megapixel battle with the Nokia 7.2 and it’s also the company’s first phone to rock triple camera system. The smartphone has a primary 48MP 1/2-inch quad-pixel sensor on the back which works in tandem with an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP depth sensor. On the front side, the Nokia 7.2 has a 20MP shooter for clicking selfies and attending video calls. On top of these, there’s the ZEISS branding which promises to deliver excellent camera performance. And yes, there’s the circular camera module housing the three camera sensors on the back with a noticeable bump as well.

The camera app inside the Nokia 7.2 is the same, and due to the sub-par hardware, clicking a Portrait shot requires at least 5-10 seconds. Here are some of the sample shots captured using the Nokia 7.2. What do you think of them? Let us know by commenting below. I noticed that the camera fails to focus on the subject in the Portrait mode, but the issue will be fixed with a software update.

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Nokia 7.2 Hands-On: Verdict

HMD Global’ strategy for the Indian market is quite different. In the United States or other countries, Nokia 7.2 may be a great mid-range smartphone because they don’t have companies like Xiaomi, Realme and so on. But in India, the competition has way better smartphones than the Nokia 7.2. According to HMD Global, the Nokia 7.2 is an offline-focused smartphone, but even Samsung’s A series of phones are also offline-centred ones. Samsung has some great smartphones under the A-series- especially the Nokia 7.2’s direct competitor Samsung Galaxy A50s.

Yes, HMD Global delivers timely software updates to the customers and if that’s something on your list of features, then the Nokia 7.2 is a perfect choice. The Nokia 7.2 is a decent smartphone with excellent design, HDR-ready display, promising triple rear camera system, but in some aspects, it falls behind the competition, especially in 2019.

We will come out with the full review of Nokia 7.2 in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.

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Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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Kaushik IMA
Kaushik IMA

Nokia 7.2 has been artificially limited to LTE Cat 4 for Indian market. CA is not supported. DO NOT BUY.

Pritesh
Pritesh

Thanks for the info.

Nikhil
Nikhil

Realme XT is clear winner over here. Nokia 7.2 is lagging behind every department except software department. Even though its not Oxygen OS, software is good. Not great. Nokia needs to work a lot on camera department. Just like Motorola, they are going out of market pretty soon. Snapdragon 660 in 2019 at 20000 is real trash. You have snapdragon 845 at lesser prices on two variants with much better camera than this.

Kaushik IMA
Kaushik IMA

The camera on Nokia 7.2 is quite good, comparable to Realme/Redmi. But the thing is that the 7.2 has been limited to LTE Cat 4 (no CA) for Indian market, so it’s not a good buy.

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