The ramblings of paulsnar

Damn Nokia, back at it again with those phones

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(Sorry for the meme title.)

So, Nokia have made a comeback.

After a long day of fighting with programming tools, I popped on Twitter to see that the Nokia event I thought was on tomorrow actually happened today. Apparently a couple of phones were announced, and they’re not really what I was expecting.

Nokia is going against the flow, just like OnePlus did a few years back. All of their phones try to pack moderate-to-fairly-good specs in a pretty reasonably priced package. You aren’t exactly getting Galaxy S-line specs for this, but it looks pretty damn good for the price point.

I didn’t just mention OnePlus in passing. Actually these new phones fill out a niche in which OnePlus has also dipped a toe with the X, which has been sold on and off for quite a while. 1 Unfortunately, OnePlus X didn’t sell well enough2 for them to continue making them, and so the niche is empty once again.

There are many people who should upgrade to a better phone than their current one (most likely a feature phone), but also don’t want to spend just too much money on their new phone. OnePlus X was sort of expensive for this category, yet it seemed to work fine.

But let’s get back to Nokia. The brand new Nokia 3, 5 and 6 3 (priced at €139, €189 and €229 respectively) seem to hit just the right sweet spot of not too shabby specs4 balanced with an affordable price.

Of course, I can’t finish this post without mentioning the resurrected 3310. 5 It’s actually also pretty great for a feature phone, and at €49 not too expensive as well.

The new lineup seems to be just perfect for the European market, especially for the people who need (or should need) a better-than-nothing smartphone that “just works” and isn’t weighed down by things like UI skins and subpar specs. I really hope this time Nokia swim not sink, because that would certainly be better not only for them, but for other folks as well.

Now let’s talk about drawbacks! There’s always drawbacks to be found.

This time it’s the Micro USB port on all of these phones. Still not that bad, but takes away a bit. I thought that USB-C was the future.

The Nokia 3 runs upon a Mediatek chipset, which is not really a thing that I would endorse, however for the price point it seems reasonable. That seems to help save about €40-50, so I guess others won’t mind.

The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the home button. That’s also not anything of importance, however after using one next to the camera on the back, it’s incredibly convenient. But I guess it’s possible to live with one on the front if you try hard enough.

The 3 and 5 also have only a mere 2 GB of RAM. Having used a Nexus 5X with the same amount, it’s not the worst, however there’s often times I would wish for more. I guess the price might justify that.

The resolution on the 3 and 5 is pretty bad (720p clocking in at about 290 and 280 ppi, respectively), but again, you get what you pay for. The bigger one is at 1080p, which is quite alright for that price point though. 6

But that’s about it for me. Looking forward to more info!

  1. It’s off now, not much of a surprise there. Actually, so is everything else – right now one can only buy the 3T. 

  2. [citation needed] 

  3. As an aside, the preview pictures for some of these phones (where you can pick the color) seem to be really compressed. Wonder what’s up with that. 

  4. Also they got the button order right (glaring at you, Samsung). 

  5. I could write an entire other post about the design that’s visible in these screenshots, which I should probably hold off until I at least watch some video of 3310 being used. But still, I can’t figure it out – are those Opera icons on the 4 and 7 positions on the menu? [Edit: According to Wikipedia, S30+ supports Opera Mini. I wasn’t sure that Opera Mini still exists and what is it doing on a phone not even equipped with 3G, but oh whatever I guess.] Also I love that they call the screen glass a “window”. 

  6. Note that the specs don’t mention the pixel density for the 3 and the 5 ;)