Nokia 3 Review

Introduction


Nokia is back in town. A new company, HMD Global, has taken ownership of the popular brand and has big plans for the future, including a flagship phone with top specs.

But even before that anticipated flagship, the new Nokia is back with a few affordable phones and we have its cheapest Android smartphone up for review: the Nokia 3.

Nokia 3 Review
Why is this phone different than all the other cheap phones out there? For starters, Nokia commits to a clean, clutter-free Android user experience, and that’s important. The Nokia 3 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, it features a sleek, recognizable design, 4G LTE connectivity and is priced to sell. But then, it also takes a few shortcuts that are hard to forgive, even on a dirt cheap phone: there is no fingerprint scanner, for instance.

We look at the Nokia 3 in detail to find out whether this new cheap Android phone can make a difference in a crowded space. Read on.

In the box:

  • Phone
  • Wall charger (5V, 1A)
  • microUSB Cable
  • Earbuds
  • SIM ejector tool
  • User manual

Design

It’s a looker.

Nokia 3 Review
Nokia 3 Review
Nokia 3 Review
Nokia 3 Review

If you had handed us a Nokia 3 a couple of years ago and never turned the screen on, we would have said that it looks just like another Nokia Windows Phone. It definitely carries that legacy look. That’s not a bad thing at all: quite the contrary, it lacks the rounded corners of most modern phones, and is instead much more rectangular. The frame is made out of metal and feels premium, while the back cover is plastic, but it blends well with the frame and looks good. As an added bonus, it does not get smudged with fingerprints easily.

Nokia 3 Review
Nokia 3 Review
The Nokia 3 is 0.33-inch (8.5mm) thick, but feels thinner and sleeker because of its rounded sides.

Up front, you have the Nokia logo discreetly located in the upper right corner, while in the bottom part are the three Android navigation capacitive keys. What’s missing is a backlight for those keys, plus there is no LED notification light.

The most notable missing feature, though, is a fingerprint scanner. It feels weird having a phone without a proper fingerprint reader in 2017, a feature that by now is available on many other cheap Android phones.

On the very bottom, you have a microUSB port for charging the Nokia 3. No USB-C here, but most other phones in this price range don’t have it either.

Finally, the Nokia 3 is also a dual SIM phone that also supports microSD cards. You have a two-slot tray for the SIM cards, and a separate one for microSD cards, all on the left side of the phone.

This phone is not water-protected in any special way, so keep that in mind.

Nokia 3

Nokia 3

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.81 x 0.33 inches

143.4 x 71.4 x 8.48 mm

Weight

oz (0 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

Dimensions

5.33 x 2.61 x 0.31 inches

135.4 x 66.2 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.74 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Nokia 3

Nokia 3

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.81 x 0.33 inches

143.4 x 71.4 x 8.48 mm

Weight

oz (0 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

Dimensions

5.33 x 2.61 x 0.31 inches

135.4 x 66.2 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)

Dimensions

5.74 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

145.8 x 72.3 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

I'm blue da ba dee da ba daa.

Nokia 3 Review

There is a 5-inch HD (720 x 1280 pixel) IPS LCD display on the Nokia 3.

The first thing you notice in the specs table is the low resolution, but that’s not our biggest gripe with this screen. The low resolution is noticeable: there is a slight pixelization, especially noticeable when you look at text, but what’s worse is that colors on the screen look very skewed and inaccurate. White appears very bluish, and colors are just all over the place, not balanced at all. This is one of the worst displays in terms of color reproduction that we have seen in a long while.

There are a few good things about it, though: 10-point multi-touch and proper oleophobic coating are two features that are well executed here and - believe it or not - are not standard on affordable phones just yet.

The screen gets bright, reaching peak brightness of 485 nits, but it is terribly reflective, which makes it harder to use outdoors. Software features like a blue light filter are not present (there are third party apps for that, though), and the minimum brightness goes only down to 20 nits, which is still way too bright for our eyes at night.



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16 Comments

1. Rafishant

Posts: 389; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Well. This is the very low end phone from Nokia. What do you expect?? The phone price in the Middle East is close to $80. What should you ask for that price?

2. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

Exactly! And else shd be expect from iphonearena and Victor. H?

7. Victor.H

Posts: 997; Member since: May 27, 2011

We took a look at European unit that costs around €140 (and in many markets €160). Where have you seen an $80 price for this phone? Give us a specific link, but without a link, it's hard to believe what you say. And yes, for €140, we expect more: phones like the Moto G4 / G4 Plus, Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime prove it's possible to have more in an affordable phone.

8. juandante

Posts: 679; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

iPhoneArena.

10. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

iPhoneArena ... indeed!

11. xeroxchap

Posts: 68; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

Also i think the term iPhoenarena will also be banned by iphonearena (lol)...just like they dnt allow to post Krapple with a "C" anymore !

15. FlySheikh

Posts: 443; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

'shamesung'

14. vishalvenky

Posts: 79; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Victor. Price of moto g4 is 190 fyi. and Nokia 3 is 149. what more can you expect from a 150EUR phone? . clean android interface but sluggish performance. dude get real! Even the s7 lags when you use maps and watch youtube.! speaking of xiaomi there has been constant reports of phone catching fire all the damn time (Dont ask me for the link. go watch youtube). How do you guys fail to see the yellow tint on the Iphone7 but see a blue tint on the nokia? isheep! If 16gb isn't enough you have a expansion slot. its expandable till 128gb. How can you mention this as a con if its expandable? You wont find a better 149EUR phone with price as cheap as that,better build quality, with 8mp cams on front and back, and Android 7 out of the box. period!

3. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

That's to be expected from a low-end flagship. I dont get why people get upset when a clearly poor product gets a lower score than an iPhone.

4. BILLAEE

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 24, 2017

Nokia the rugged phone before. Also another rugged phone I have found:#NOMU S30 mini

5. mahima

Posts: 696; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

almost same resolution as iphone 7 polarised screen (clearblack) not a bad screen for the price

6. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Looks like your rating was: Value=/=Spec Well done, iPhoneArena.

9. libra89

Posts: 2022; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Interesting review. It makes me glad to own a A3, even though I found the Nokia 3 to be curious about.

13. domfonusr

Posts: 955; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I have to admit its a little disappointing, but being in the US probably means this will never even be an option for me. I would much rather have the Moto E4, which is becoming available in the US through multiple offerings, and is tending to cost a lot less. I think I will remove the Nokia 3 from my "wanted phones" list.

16. Mr.mobile

Posts: 130; Member since: Mar 09, 2017

It would be lot better if nokia would choosen with NOKIA 3 with SD 425 16GB 2GB Price 5999 Nokia 5 with SD435 32GB 3GB price 8999 Nokia 6 with SD626 64GB 4GB price 12999 These would be super hit

17. TieuHoangDuy

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 17, 2017

I think this assessment is not fair. I own nokia 3 and found it pretty good. Its price is around 110 euros when it comes out. good screen when out. You require a fingerprint sensor for the 110 euro phone :)? You should compare it with higher priced phones such as samsung A3 or Moto G5 (110 euro vs 180 euro so funny) :))
3
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2650 mAh

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