When the Nokia 7.2 was first announced in late 2019, it received little to no fan fare. A lot of people immediately dismissed it due to its outdated Processor despite having reasonably decent specs elsewhere. So how has it held up since then? Is it worth picking up over newer devices from a lower segment such as the Nokia 5.4? Let’s find out!
So let’s start with the hardware. Despite the thicker than modern bezels on the front and waterdrop notch, the rest of the design still holds up. The phone still feels very solid in the hand, and the classy color options, green included, still look good. So does the frosted matte back finish. I don’t think the same thing can be said about some of those crazy gradients some other phones are coming with.
I also haven’t had any hardware issues to speak of. The fingerprint scanner is still decently quick, and the buttons still feel very clicky. Other than the bezels, the display also still holds up nicely. So it’s a 1080p LCD display that measures at 6.3″. It won’t blow you away by any standards, but it’s a good display. I’ve had PureDisplay, which adds HDR to videos, glitch out on me a couple of times, but other than that, everything works as you would expect.
Performance and battery
If you’re expecting me to tell you the ancient SD660 is letting this phone’s performance down, I’m gonna disappoint you. The phone’s performance is almost flawless. It’s still quick opening apps, and runs smoothly most of the time. Sadly where this chipset shows its age is when it comes to power consumption. You see, the combination of a 3500 mAh battery and a fairly old processor means that this phone won’t last you more than a day of usage. This, for me, is the biggest flaw of the 7.2. It consumes too much power while in standby, especially compared to newer devices like the 5.3, 5.4, and 3.4.
The phone initially launched with Android 9, and now it’s currently running on Android 10 and expected to receive android 11 sometime in the future. The phone has also received numerous bug fixes throughout its life cycle, and that’s one of the benefits of having an Android One device. The other benefit is the lack of bloatware and a clean user interface. Built-in features though are what competitors will have over the 7.2. Stuff like one-handed mode, more customization, and the biggest omission for me is swiping down from anywhere to bring down the notification bar. Something that has been added with newer Nokia devices. You can still use the fingerprint scanner for that, but it’s not as convenient.
The biggest issue with the 7.2’s software has been reliability. The software still has some random bugs, and it can be very frustrating when the phone becomes laggy due to RAM management issues or the proximity sensor decides to glitch out after phone calls. Out of every modern Nokia device I’ve used, this one seems to have the most software issues.
As for the cameras, they really start showing their age specifically in low light situations. Daylight images are still decent from the main 48 mp camera, and even the 8 mp ultra-wide camera is acceptable. But using night mode shows you how far we’ve recently come on newer devices like the 5.4 where the 7.2 struggles to capture enough light, and the images are noisy and just plain bad. Luckily you can always install gcam which improves things immensely. I would rely on it for all situations.
Video quality also struggles a bit. There is no stabilization at 4k 30fps, even though electronic stabilization is quite good at 1080p. The video quality just isn’t great. There is too much noise and the dynamic range is average at best. The audio quality is okay though (making full use of OZO)
So should you buy the Nokia 7.2 for a bargain price? My honest opinion is no. I don’t know what is it exactly, but that final layer of polish usually found on excellent devices just isn’t found here. The hardware is let down by the software, and it has nothing to do with the Snapdragon 660. Had the software reliability been good, I would still hesitate recommending it due to the mediocre battery life. If you’re deciding between it and a new Nokia, you’re better off getting either the 5.3 or the 5.4. If you already own the 7.2, upgrading to these devices doesn’t make sense either, so holding off to see whats coming might be the best option for you.