Hands on: Nokia 7.2 Review

The Nokia 7.2 has just been announced at IFA 2019 and it feels like the most interesting phone from the brand in a long time. For the €299 price, you’re getting a 48-megapixel camera, a really nice display and a design that’s a big improvement over the flagship Nokia 9 Pureview. 

First Impressions

With a starting price of €299, the Nokia 7.2 is a seriously tempting prospect. It looks to have a great screen, capable camera and all the benefits that come with Android One software.

Key Specifications

  • 6.3-inch HDR display
  • Three cameras on the back, including 48-megapixel sensor
  • Android One
  • Headphone port

The Nokia 7.2 has just been announced at IFA 2019 and it feels like the most interesting phone from the brand in a long time. For the €299 price, you’re getting a 48-megapixel camera, a really nice display and a design that’s a big improvement over the flagship Nokia 9 Pureview. 

My favourite Nokia phone to come out of the recent HMD Global licensing deal was the Nokia 7 Plus. This wasn’t the flashiest nor the most specced-out, but it focused on the basics and kept the price affordable. That’s exactly what the Nokia 7.2 (or Nokia 7 2019) does.

Nokia 7.2 price and release date

You’ll be able to snag the Nokia 7.2 in September for €299. We’re yet to get confirmed UK pricing but we’ll be sure to update this article when we know more.

Nokia 7.2 display and camera – Nokia is focusing on two tricky areas for affordable smartphones

With the Nokia 7.2 – and to some extent, the cheaper Nokia 6.2 – the Finnish brand is really focusing on two areas: screen and camera. It just so happens that these are two aspects often overlooked by phones at the more affordable end of the market.

The screen here measures 6.3 inches, runs nearly edge to edge, and is only broken up by a small dewdrop notch protruding from the top. It’s also what Nokia is calling a PureDisplay, which basically means it has a dedicated Pixelworks processor providing always-on SDR to HDR upscaling. During my briefing for the phone ahead of its IFA unveiling, Nokia reps said the display can hit 500 nits of brightness along with having improved dynamic range and higher contrast than previous Nokia phones.

While it’s hard to really gauge a screen’s quality after an hour of use, the FHD+ panel on the Nokia 7.2 certainly packs a punch you don’t often see with phones at this price.

Related: Best phones 2019

Then there’s the camera – or cameras to be precise. Like a whole load of phones in 2019, the Nokia 7.2 delivers a main 48-megapixel sensor backed up by a five-megapixel depth sensor and an eight-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. Nokia hopes this 48-megapixel snapper will set itself apart from rivals by its use of Zeiss optics and the impressive number of bokeh portrait options at your disposal in the very well designed camera app.

Like many other phones with such a high megapixel count, the Nokia 7.2 uses pixel binning (labelled here as Quad Pixel tech) to capture 12-megapixel images with that sensor – essentially turning four pixels into one. I only had a quick play with the camera during our short briefing session so I’ll save my final verdict on how well it performs until our full review – but my first impressions are very positive.

Nokia 7.2 design – Probably the best looking Nokia phone from HMD

For these new phones being announced during IFA 2019, HMD has immersed itself fully in the Nordic background of the Nokia brand for design inspiration. There are clean lines everywhere, with a simple overall look and very little ugly branding.

The back has a soft glass finish, with the flagship green hue bouncing off light in all directions. I really like that the back is matte too, making it resistant to fingerprints.

The cameras are housed in a glass circle with a circular fingerprint sensor below. There’s a USB-C port on the bottom, dedicated key for unleashing the Google Assistant on the side and a headphone jack.

Simple design can be found in the software too. This is an Android One phone and, as such, ships without any additional UI layers on top of Android. All Nokia has really done is add in its own camera app.

Being an Android One phone puts this right at the front for software and security updates, with Nokia already calling this an Android 10-ready phone. How long until Google’s latest iteration of Android finds its way onto this phone remains to be seen, though.

Related: Best budget phones

Nokia 7.2 specs – The one area the Nokia 7.2 feels mid-range

Inside the Nokia 7.2 you’ll find a Snapdragon 660 chipset, 4/6GB RAM and 64/128GB storage. While Nokia has said it is firmly looking at bringing 5G support to affordable phones in the future, this device remains a 4G phone.

The battery is a 3500mAh unit that can be juiced up via Qualcomm’s Quick Charge and Nokia reps claimed two days of use between charges.

Nokia 7.2 – Early verdict

With a starting price of €299, the Nokia 7.2 is a seriously tempting prospect. It looks to have a great screen, capable camera and all the benefits that come with Android One software.

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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