Nokia 3.1 Plus review

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Mister Mobility’s Nokia 3.1 Plus review is ready, and you are dying to find out what he thinks of this mid-range smartphone from the stables of HMD Global. Jump in to find out.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Quick Specs

  • Display: 6 inches, 720 x 1440 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio, IPS LCD screen
  • Build: Machined Aluminium body
  • Security: Fingerprint (rear-mounted) and Face Unlock
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP + 5 MP dual camera, LED flash
  • Front-facing Camera: 8 megapixels, LED flash
  • Battery: 3500 mAh
  • SIM: Dual-SIM, Nano-SIM

nokia 3.1 plus phone desktop

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Quick Pros And Cons

Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this device.

  • Lovely design and superb aluminium body
  • Great battery life
  • Very good cameras front and back
  • Solid calls and network connectivity
  • Some small lag in performance

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Hardware And Design

Nokia 3.1 Plus review

This is a very well-designed smartphone with a FullView display and solid build. Its machined aluminium body certainly feels more premium than the average smartphone with its specs. The fear of your phone dropping and shattering into a million pieces isn’t there. The Nokia 7 Plus is like that, and the Nokia 3.1 Plus is like that too.

In addition, it is so comfortable in my hand that I give it a 100/100 score for build, size, and weight. Put all the flagship and cutting edge features that I want into this very design, size and weight, and I am buying it without hesitation.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Software

The 3.1 Plus runs stock Android OS. That means, Android the way Google would love everyone to use it. Nokia has not filled the phone with bloatware. As a matter of fact, there are no pre-installed apps besides Google’s.

I did find it odd that no music player was pre-installed. Not even Google’s. Odd. However, as I launched Play Store to install a 3rd party player, I observed that Google Music Player was already in the process of being installed. Okay. Good show.

Will  the Nokia 3.1 Plus get Android 9 Pie? Yes; it will. Nokia promises two years of major software updates for its Android smartphones. Plus, the 3.1 has been spotted on Geekbench running Android Pie. This suggests that testing is already in progress and the update will arrive soon.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Network And Telephony

Call quality is classic Nokia – strong, clear and crisp.

The ability to block a pesky number, as well as report it as spam, is there. So if there’s an unwanted number that keeps calling you, easy-peasy.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus supports 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. In use, the phone keeps a strong hold on 4G and only switches to 3G or 2G when the 4G signal is really weak. Which I cannot say for a number of other phones I have reviewed.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Display And Multimedia

The loudspeaker is loud but, as is characteristic of mid-range devices, lacks some bass. However, if you use a good pair of headphones, you get solid quality audio playback.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Photography

nokia 3.1 plus review phone back

Even when using the camera, there is a pause right after tapping the shutter button before the camera actually takes the shot. If you are not patient, you will miss the shot.

Focusing is slow too, but once focused, the picture taken is good. Here are some photo samples for you to examine:

Let’s begin with two pictures taken with the rear dual camera:

nokia 3.1 plus camera landscape cloudy sky

nokia 3.1 plus camera bokeh mode

And here are two taken with the selfie camera:

nokia 3.1 plus selfie camera under shade
nokia 3.1 plus selfie camera under shade

nokia 3.1 plus selfie camera outdoors

The images are not bad at all; right?

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Multitasking And Performance

The Nokia 3.1 Plus comes in two variants – 2 GB RAM + 16 GB storage, and 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage. Our review unit is the former, and unfortunately, performance is its weak point.

For starters, the phone’s System uses 9.8 GB out of the 16 GB internal storage. That leaves the user with only about 6 GB space out of the box. You can get more storage space by using a memory card in the dedicated micro-SD card slot. It supports cards of up to 400 GB capacity.

Limited storage apart, while in use, I experienced a mild lag. The lag is there when you are snapping pictures, launching apps, and switching between apps. As I will elucidate in the next section, the Nokia 3.1 Plus has great battery life. That is partly because of the Helio P22 chipset. But that budget chip combined with 2 GB of RAM is also responsible for the lag. Nothing goes for nothing.

Setting up the fingerprint security was easy and the sensor is fast enough in responding.

nokia 3.1 plus review browser
Nokia 3.1 Plus review: does the performance match?

Geekbench repeatedly returned an error about needing an internet connection, although there was an active internet connection on the phone. So, I downloaded 3DMark instead and ran benchmark tests without issues. The tests returned the following scores:

  • Slingshot: 628
  • Ice Storm Unlimited: 10,582

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Battery Life

Battery life of this phone is superb. Getting a full day out of a fully charged battery is the easiest thing ever. The Helio P22 processor shines through here.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Review: Final Words

The 3.1 Plus wins my heart completely with its solid build and comfortable feel in the hand. It has great battery life, and it takes very good pictures. However, this 2 GB RAM model is quite limiting and I could feel it in every action I carried out on it. There was that small lag launching and switching apps.

Unfortunately, the 3 GB RAM version is not available in Nigeria. I wished this is the variant available for this Nokia 3.1 Plus review, as I expect much better performance from it. Bummer.

If you do want a pocket-friendly mid-range smartphone with very good cameras, a solid battery, and which exudes all the aura of a premium device, this is for you. The recommended retail price (RRP) for this variant is N55, 000.

Ordinarily, I would end this Nokia 3.1 Plus review with a rating as high as 4.5, if not more, but the lag experienced during usage robs it of some points, especially when you consider the price of the phone.

MobilityArena review Rating: 3.9 / 5.0

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