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Nokia 3 hands-on first look: can it compete with Moto G and Xiaomi?

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The Nokia 3 is a dirt cheap 5-inch Android phone with clean software and the added spice of a sturdy build quality.

What's special about it you ask? It's all about the price: the Nokia 3 is cheaper than the Moto G4 and G5, it's even cheaper than the popular in Asia and in some parts of Europe Xiaomi Redmi phones. We spent a short time with this new Nokia, but it was enough to appreciate its metal frame, notice its otherwise plastic build and the weird auto-focus selfie camera. We did not expect much and if you approach the Nokia 3 with similar expectations you might even like it.


Okay, so what do we have here? The Nokia 3 is a 5-inch phone with an 720 x 1280 pixel HD resolution, and a base quad-core MediaTek system chip. In our short time with the device, this proved to be a decent combination in daily tasks which ran well, but you can't expect the phone to do great with more intense applications.

There is 16GB of storage on board, which given the ultra affordable price is actually okay. You also have a microSD card slot and with it, the option to expand that storage to save more of your photos, videos and offline music.

We're also happy to see 4G LTE connectivity on the Nokia 3. The bands will be limited to the markets that it will be available in, and we expect it to launch in Europe.

There is nothing remarkable on the camera front: an 8MP shooter on the back, and an 8-megapixel selfie camera. We should say that unlike most fixed focus cameras, the selfie camera on the Nokia 3 is an auto-focus one, which gives you a bit creamer backgrounds and is nice to have.

Overall, the Nokia 3 shapes up to be a very good affordable phone. It is made to last with a sturdy build quality, and while it lacks in premium features, its price makes up for most of these flaws. If Nokia indeed delivers timely Android updates to this one, it might just be better than all the other cheap Androids out there.


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Story timeline

This story is part of:

Nokia at MWC 2017 (11 updates)
  • New Nokia 3310 camera turns out better than Galaxy S7 camera: an unbiased comparison
    28 February New Nokia 3310 camera turns out better than Galaxy S7 camera: an unbiased comparison The original Nokia 3310 from 2000 didn't have a camera, but if it did, we're sure it'd have been rad. Fast-forward to 2017, though, and there's hardly a phone out there tha doesn't come with some sort of a snapper built into it. Good thing, then, that the brand spanking new 3310 from 2017 has one, and of the fancy-schmancy 2 megapixels at that! So we thought... maybe you guys would be interested in feasting your eyes on some real-life camera samples straight from this glorious shooter? You got it!
  • Moto G5 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Nokia 6: specs comparison
    28 February Moto G5 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Nokia 6: specs comparison The Moto G5 Plus, Samsung Galaxy A5 and Nokia 6 offer relatively similar specs, and yet they're very different devices...
  • Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on preview: Is it worthy of the legendary name?
    27 February Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on preview: Is it worthy of the legendary name? HMD Global has brought the Nokia 3310 back from the dead. The new 3310 shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, but it's coming out 17 years later. What is it and who is it for? Check out our hands-on preview of the new Nokia 3310 (2017)...
  • Nokia 3 hands-on first look: can it compete with Moto G and Xiaomi?
    Now reading
    27 February Nokia 3 hands-on first look: can it compete with Moto G and Xiaomi? The Nokia 3 is a dirt cheap 5-inch Android phone with clean software and the added spice of a sturdy build quality...
  • Nokia 5 hands-on preview: bouncing back on stock Android
    27 February Nokia 5 hands-on preview: bouncing back on stock Android The Nokia 5 is crafted out of a single sheet of anodized aluminum that can be painted in Silver White, Matte Black, Tempered Blue and Copper White colors, so it joins the ranks of premium chassis phones in its class like the Moto G5 Plus or most every Xiaomi handset. The smooth metal body is a looker, especially in the blue or red hues, but it feels a bit slippery in the hand, so we'd advise a case on that puppy. Other than that, the phone is well-made, with no gaps or creaks all around, and with solid, easy to press buttons that give good tactile feedback. The phone carries a 5.2-inch HD display, which is nothing to write home about in terms of resolution, but has good viewing angles, and no visible slant to the overly cold or warm side of the color spectrum. The Nokia 5 also comes with the contemporary USB-C port at the bottom, and a physical home button (no finger scanner, though), making it a nice mix of the modern and the nostalgic trends...

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Nokia 3 specs
Review
  • Display 5.0 inches 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware MediaTek 2GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2650 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie

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