At $549, the Nokia 7.2 is a decent quality mid-priced Android phone. It hits all the right notes for business buyers. For everyone else, the Nokia 7.2 is a sensible choice rather than a pocket full of digital excitement. Choose it if you view phones as tools, not toys, if you prize value over pizzaz.
Nokia 7.2 at a glance
|For:||– Android One is the best Android experience
– Uncluttered user interface
– Well made
– Videos look great
|Against:||– Battery could be better
– Camera decent enough, but pictures a touch ordinary
|Maybe:||– Sober, business-like looks|
|Verdict:||Sensible choice but doesn’t stand out from mid-range pack.
Six months ago the same specification would have been sensational at the price, today it’s ordinary.
|Reviewed by:||Bill Bennett|
|Review date:||November 14, 2019|
HMD Global has revived the Nokia brand with a solid range of mid and low priced Android phones. In doing so, the company has breathed fresh life into that market.
The hardware is well made and reliable, we’ll get to how that works for the Nokia 7.2 in a moment.
Build quality is important, yet the company’s main strength lies in its partnership with Google. It is part of Google’s Android One programme.
Best Android around
In effect, Android One means Nokia phone owners get the best experience Google’s operating system has to offer.
You won’t see bloatware or other annoyances. You won’t face inconsistencies.
And you don’t run the gauntlet of risky pre-installed software. Best of all, it means the user interface is refreshingly uncluttered.
Android One is possibly the purest form of Android. Companies like HMD Global who are part of the programme agree not to change the software.
In return, Google commits to refreshing the Android operating system for two years and providing monthly security updates for three years.
In other words, you know where you are with a Nokia phone and you know where you are going. Buy almost any other Android model and operating system updates are something of a lottery. In most cases, your security is, at best, an afterthought.
If I were to buy an Android phone, I’d choose the Nokia-Android One approach.
Nokia 7.2 – good business choice
Android One is particularly good for business phone buyers who worry about security and keeping software current. Like I said at the top of this story, it’s a sensible choice but it’s not a thrill-packed ride into the outer limits of geek wizardry.
The Nokia 7.2’s hardware is more or less what you’d get elsewhere for $550. There’s a 6.3-inch screen with what Nokia calls a teardrop notch. Some Nokia phones allow you to black the top lines of the screen out giving you a square display. For some reason this is not an option with the 7.2 does.
Nokia’s PureDisplay technology means standard definition video plays beautifully. Software, I presume it is software, tweaks the video picture to make it look more like high definition video.
In practice, this is better than it sound. It is also better than you’ll find in other similarly priced midrange phones, or at least the ones I’ve seen here in New Zealand.
The display doesn’t compare with the much brighter OLED technology found on more expensive phones, but that would double the price tag.
There’s a rear fingerprint sensor. People can get agitated about the position of a fingerprint sensor. Putting it on the back makes for more screen on the front. It almost covers the entire front of the phone. Nokia also includes a Google Assistant button, if that’s your thing.
Back in black
The review phone is what HMD calls ‘charcoal’. This is marketing speak for black. The case sits somewhere on the spectrum between matt black and glossy black.
Black means the Nokia 7.2 looks more like a business phone than some of the flashy colours you can find on Chinese made phones.
The phone’s back has a pronounced camera bump. There is what Nokia calls a ‘triple lens’ camera. While that’s true in a strict sense, it isn’t the whole story. You get a 48 megapixel lens and a secondary eight megapixel wide lens camera. The third lens is a five megapixel depth sensor. It doesn’t take pictures. So, in this case ‘triple lens’ means two usable lenses.
The set up takes decent pictures, but then show me a 2019 phone that doesn’t. They aren’t outstanding, but they can be good. You’ll struggle to find a better phone camera on sale in New Zealand at this price unless you go to a parallel importer. On the other hand, you may find a set of camera features that better suits your needs.
- Despite the generous (at this price) 3500mAh battery, the Nokia 7.2 runs down a little faster than I like. I haven’t pushed it to the limit yet, but suspect it might not get me from 7:00 to 23:00 on a busy running around work day.
- 128GB of storage and 4GB of Ram seems good for a $550 phone.
- The Snapdragon 660 processor offers the kind of performance you’d expect in this price range. If you’re coming from a premium phone you might find it a little sluggish, but that’s more because you’ve been spoiled.
- This would be a great phone to buy for employees or younger family members who don’t feel the need for a day-glo finish.