This review is another contribution of our readers, actually a reader. We tried to get our hands on the review model, but with no luck. Our long time reader (Marko Tomic) after a 2-month long search managed to buy the Nokia Power earbuds and did a detailed review. The earbuds are particularly hard to buy unless it’s from Ebay or Amazon since there is no real marketing for them, but you can get them for free with some phones, unfortunately only at some markets. So, here is how the story goes. Thanks Marko for the effort.
I bought Nokia Power earbuds on Ebay after lurking for 2 months and here is my review starting with:
The first thing you’ll notice is that the case itself is quality made, with a mat black color and minimalist design. On the front there is a Nokia logo and on the back a USB C charging port, and that’s it. The clasp itself is magnetically attached to the rim, securing the earbuds tight, I never needed to check if it will open while in my bag.
Opening the clasp, you are greeted with the earbuds and 4 tiny LED lights that indicate how much charge is left in the case itself. It’s very well designed and with its minimalist approach, and there are no particular guidelines to be shown for first time usage. The magnets inside the two holes are really strong and with just a simple nudge the earbuds securely fit into their designated slots. When you close the clasp there’s a distinct click you hear which I find reassuring that earbuds are secure. I never had an experience with them falling out or not charging which is not the case with the Nokia true wireless earbuds for instance.
Moving to the design of the earbuds itself. The buds are entirely made from plastic, which isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I can imagine it’s for keeping the weight down and for having integrated touch controls which I’ll talk about a bit later on. There’s a big Nokia sign on the front while on the inner side there are 2 charging pinholes, left and right earbud indicator and the earpiece itself. I opted for the large ones to have a secure fit and seal, but your results may vary. Keep in mind that the rubber ear buds are not universal so if you lose one, you’re out of luck. Luckily, they are really tight fitted around the edge of the earpiece themselves, so I imagine having no problem with them falling out for whatever reasons.
There is a slight bulge from the inside of the earbuds for the internals and securing a nice tight fit in your ear without additional wings that I saw in some other types of earbuds. Again, your experience with them might vary since not all ears are the same. Just above the Nokia logo there are 2 LED notification lights, red and blue when it’s in pairing mode and blue when it’s paired. They look discrete enough not to attract unwanted attention.
I had huge problems setting these earbuds. Sometimes only one would work or they wouldn’t connect each other and sometimes they would connect with each other but wouldn’t connect to my phone. I spent the next half hour trying to set them up, turning them on and off, and my phone as well, but with no luck. Then I found how to reset them in the provided manual. In order to reset you Nokia power earbuds simply put them in the case, touch and hold the Nokia logo for 3 seconds until both of them flash with a purple LED and that’s it. After that it was a smooth ride. Take them out, wait for 2 second for them to connect with each other and then the right one will connect with your phone. That’s it, really simple. You can use only the right earbud for calls, but not the left, which is a bit strange.
I tested the earbuds in various conditions, watching videos, playing games, walking, running, while working out and they preformed well in all conditions. I’m using the Nokia 8 for reference. While watching videos there is almost zero lag between the phone and the earbuds while on gaming there is a bit of lag but that’s normal with wireless earbuds. It’s OK for casual gaming but not for fast paced of first-person games. The first reason why I bought these earbuds are for running and my workouts. At first, I was scared they would fall out of the ear since I mostly had earbuds with wings and cables for that occasion. I was pleasantly surprised while running 15 kilometers that they didn’t show any sign they would fall out, the same goes for my shorter workouts. With all of that jumping around they stayed firm in my ears, so I was really happy with them in those conditions. While running there was not drop in connection for the whole 15 kilometers, the same goes for working out, depending of course where your phone is. For instance, there can be interference from other electronics. I had a walk the other day with my DSLR and if I would set my camera just in between my phone and earbuds there would be some sound stuttering.
The sound quality of the earbuds is as important to me as their design. I compared Nokia powerbuds with the earphones that came with Nokia 7 Plus, Sony WIC300B and Audio Tehnika ATH-CKX9iS earbuds. The Audio Tehnika earbuds have by far the best sound quality, but the cables had started to annoy me and the microphone stopped working, so it was time for and upgrade. I bought the Sony wireless buds, but there were still wires around them and they were not designed for running, but rather for walking and casual music listening. Remember I had the connectivity issues at first, well there was also a sound issue as well the first time I tested them. The mid tones heavily blown out, but the reset fixed that.
These are some of the well-rounded earbuds I ever owned, everything is pretty much well balanced and they are heavy on the bass. I came to like the Audio Tehnika for its wide dynamic range and clear bass tones, but the Nokia Power earbuds really came close. It’s still more mid focused but you can tune it with the equaliser to have more bass if you want like I did. And also, be sure to have the option for HD audio turned on (if your device supports it).
When you have a secure fit it only takes about 70% of loudness to really block out the outside noise, even though these are not noise cancelling earbuds. While running I did notice the change in sound, probably due to the sweat buildup in the ear canal, which used to happen with all the buds I used for running. The 6 mm graphene drivers really delivered along with an IPX7 water resistance.
As far as the call quality and the microphone goes, they are not the best, but that is not expected for this price point. The person on the other side heard me fine but they would say I sounded like I talked over loudspeaker. I think it’s good for a quick talk but don’t expect to use it for handsfree business calls. Anyway, it was OK for me to use Google Assistant while running.
The charging time is short when you use the case for charging. The battery capacity of 3000mAh is enough to provide up to 150 hours of battery life which I think is crazy. Nokia powerbuds really proved its name since they can easily go for up to 5 hours of playing music.
When it comes to touch controls, those work well. Here is the list of the controls which are different for each bud.
The left earbud:
One tap – play/pause
Double tap – volume down
Three taps – previous song
Long press – google assistant
The right earbud:
One tap – play/pause
Double tap – volume up
Three taps – next song
Long press – google assistant
The touch controls are very intuitive, I had no problem with that but I did find it hard to get used to the sensitivity of the buds and the position of the sensor on the bud. This caused me hitting many time the volume up instead of next song while running since you have touch it perfectly each time with just enough tap speed. While walking, I’m about 90% accurate. What I would like to see is an app to make my own touch input and I would personally have the double tap for the next song instead of three taps. Each time you do something, you hear a quiet DING sound effect which is easily distinguishable, so you know what’s going on.
The box is very well designed, sturdy and feels nice to touch. I love the minimalist design approach of the box. Inside you have your charging case with the earbuds inside, quick guide and guarantee, 3 type of ear tips and a USB C charging cable. Pretty basic, but good looking.
These are simply great earbuds and I think that Nokia Mobile did a nice job with them. I would like to see a wider accessory ecosystem that come with their phones and definitely better marketing effort to promote that. There is only a few reviews that can be found on YouTube which is shame, but luckily they are all positive. Why didn’t most people hear about these earbuds is a mystery , but that is why marketing is for.
I like the simplicity, ergonomics and the sound quality that these earbuds provide, and a long battery life helps also. The only thing I would like to see in the future products is a standalone app with more features and firmware updates.
Thanks again to Marko for your review. Hope you’ll post a photo of the buds on your Instagram account :). If you guys have Nokia PowerBuds, do share your experience with them in the comments section.