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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Nokia 7.2 first impressions: One of the best camera phones under Rs 20,000

Android One-based Nokia 7.2 is available online for a starting price of Rs 18,599. Here are our first impressions of the latest Nokia phone.

tech Updated: Sep 25, 2019 11:48 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Nokia 7.2 is priced at Rs 18,599 in India.
Nokia 7.2 is priced at Rs 18,599 in India. (HT Photo)
         

There are many things to like about the Nokia 7.2. Let’s begin with the design. The Nokia 7.1 successor does away with an ugly boat-shaped notch on the front in favor of a smaller and curvier dot notch cutout. The back panel is still glass but the matte finish-like design makes it much better looking than other glass phones we’ve seen in recent months. The vertical dual-camera setup has gone and comes in a circular camera module – reminiscent to the old Lumia and even Motorola Moto G’s round camera modules.

The front is dominated by the display with a fair amount of bezels around the screen. Volume and power buttons are located on the right edge while the left edge houses a dedicated Google Assistant launcher. The base has USB Type-C port with speaker grilles while the top panel houses the 3.5mm headphone jack. The fingerprint sensor is located on the back panel.

At 6.3-inch full HD+ display, Nokia 7.2 isn’t small but so are other smartphones in this price segment. The big-screen phones have their own advantages, multimedia streaming being the first. The PureDisplay technology is said to enhance the visual experience on the phone. There’s an HDR 10 support as well.

Coming to the biggest highlight of the phone, Nokia 7.2 comes with three rear cameras - 48-megapixel primary camera, 5-megapixel depth sensor, and 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. The camera UI is fairly simple and easy to get started with. There’s a dedicated night mode as well. The biggest takeaway from our brief usage of the phone is the optimised camera hardware-software balance that delivers stable and rich quality images across light conditions.

Nokia 7.2 houses a triple camera setup of 48MP primary sensor, 5MP depth sensor, and 8MP wide-angle lens.
Nokia 7.2 houses a triple camera setup of 48MP primary sensor, 5MP depth sensor, and 8MP wide-angle lens. ( HT Photo )

The wide-angle mode on the phone is very impressive. There’s no skew on the sides. The depth mode is equally good. It does a good job of mimicking DSLRs with a sharper focus on the subject in the forefront and natural-looking blur in the background. There are a bunch of software features to make these portrait shots richer.

A closeup shot from new Nokia 7.2 (Image cropped and resized for web)
A closeup shot from new Nokia 7.2 (Image cropped and resized for web) ( HT Photo )

The dedicated night mode did a good job but we’re still apprehensive about its performance. One, the image processing is fairly slow. Second, it struggled a lot when there were multiple light sources – rendering images with smudgy colours.

Night mode sample shot (image resized for web)
Night mode sample shot (image resized for web) ( HT Photo )

Nokia 7.2 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor. The chip is known for its quality performance but it is available on much cheaper smartphones such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 and Oppo K1. At a starting price of Rs 18,599, Nokia 7.2 seems a bit expensive given the choice of processor and other run-of-the-mill features. Under Rs 20,000, you can consider much more powerful phones such as Xiaomi Redmi K20 and Realme X. We will dive deeper into the performance and other aspects of the phone in our detailed review. Until then stay tuned.