The Nokia 3.1 Plus on Cricket Wireless is HMD Global’s first smartphone available in the United States. The company is making a concerted effort to expand its presence in North America this year.
All You Need to Know Nokia 3.1 Plus 32GB
At about $160, it’s not exactly a flagship model, yet you’d never guess its low price from regular use. This low-priced smartphone comes close to greatness thanks to its outstanding battery life and solid performance.
High-Quality Construction, Dim Screen
The Nokia 3.1 Plus feels and looks like a much more expensive phone. It has a vertical camera system in the middle and a fingerprint sensor on the back, just like many other HMD Nokia phones we’ve seen.
It stands out from the crowd of black smartphones because to its distinctive blue and matte design. The Nokia 3.1 Plus not only feels excellent, but it also looks fantastic. It adds additional substance because of its weight.
You won’t have to worry as much about shattering your new phone because of the polycarbonate back and Aluminium frame. The phone has the weight and solidity of a brick, and like older Nokia models, it would probably survive being thrown across the room (but please don’t).
The phone’s rounded corners make it easy to hold. Because of its size and tall 18:9 aspect ratio, reaching the top of the screen while holding it in one hand may be difficult. People who prefer compact phones could be disappointed by its size.
The matte reverse is prone to fingerprints, however they can be easily removed with a damp cloth. It has a detachable polycarbonate case. The USB-C charging connector is located at the bottom, and there is a little lip to help peel it out.
Just a MicroSD or SIM card can be inserted here. There is no way to change the battery. Because this phone’s built-in storage is only 32GB, the included MicroSD card will come in handy. The presence of a jack for headphones is also welcome.
The 5.99-inch IPS LCD display is surrounded by thick bezels. The earpiece, Nokia logo, and front-facing camera may all be found in the top bezel. There is no storage space on the bottom bezel, also called the “chin.”
The Nokia 3.1 Plus doesn’t look too antiquated, despite not adhering to the bezel-less trend in smartphones. Screen corners are softened for a more contemporary design. The display has a resolution of 1,440 by 720 pixels.
If you get really near to the phone, you can make out individual pixels, but from a regular viewing distance, they’re hard to make out. The Colours are dull and the viewing angles are poor, making it difficult to make out what’s on the screen from a distance.
One major issue we found was that the screen was very difficult to read in direct sunlight. Adequate best describes the quality of the display. The quality of streaming video services like Netflix and YouTube is consistently poor.
We compared it to the similarly priced Moto E5 Plus (also available from Cricket Wireless) and found that while the Nokia phone was marginally brighter, the Motorola phone had superior image quality and more natural Colours. While the Nokia 3.1 Plus isn’t ideal for marathon TV episodes, you can get by with it.
Reasonable Efficiency for the Cost
The Nokia 3.1 Plus has been on sale in many countries, although the version sold in the United States differs slightly. The global edition’s MediaTek chipset has been replaced by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor and 2GB of RAM. The execution is satisfactory and should be comparable.
It’s to be expected that performance will be slower than with a high-end smartphone. It takes a while for apps to load, and it takes much longer to switch between them. The fingerprint sensor is temperamental, so using apps like Instagram and Twitter may be sluggish at times.
Considering its low price of $160, the Nokia 3.1 Plus astonished us with its ability to handle a wide variety of common chores. According to benchmarks, this phone is superior than others in its price range, such as the Moto E5 Plus.
As it has a little better processor, that makes perfect sense. In terms of gaming, you should only play games that don’t have high graphics requirements. Due to poor frame rates, we were unable to complete a single game of PUBG: Mobile.
We were able to play Breakneck and Alto’s Odyssey, however there were occasional slowdowns. Lighter mobile gamers shouldn’t have any trouble, but serious mobile gamers should go elsewhere.
There is No Android One App.
The Android One software found on most HMD Global-produced Nokia phones is the original, untouched version of Android developed by Google itself. As a result, Google pushes out frequent software upgrades and security patches to the phones, and they include nearly no bloatware.
HMD had to remove the Android One logo from the Nokia 2V on Verizon and the Nokia 3.1 Plus so that they could be sold in U.S. carrier stores. HMD has promised rapid software updates for these devices through its carrier partnerships.
The company’s word is all we have to go on at this point. Happily, it has a solid history; it is one of the few manufacturers who have successfully rolled up Android Pie (the most recent version) to a wide range of previously launched phones.
But, when you initially turn on the Nokia 3.1 Plus, you’ll have to contend with bloatware. There are a lot of unnecessary apps that come pre-installed on the phone, such as Amazon Shopping, Candy Crush Friends, Candy Crush Saga, Daily Pedometer, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, Yahoo!
Finance, and more. However, once you’ve set up your phone, you can delete practically all of these and never have to worry about them again. The Nokia 3.1 Plus has a lot going for it, including the fact that it is one of the cheapest phones that runs Android 9 Pie. The software’s user interface is not only easy to navigate, but also aesthetically pleasing.
Shipwreck Caused by Camera.
The rear of the Nokia 3.1 houses a dual camera. There are two lenses, one with 13 megapixels and the other with 5 megapixels. Live Bokeh shots, also called Portrait Mode on other phones, are possible with this setup, but that’s about it.
As expected of a budget phone, optical zoom is absent. The specifications are nice, but the performance falls short. Throughout all of our time with the Nokia 3.1 Plus, we have barely managed to take a photo that is sharp. Budget phones like the Moto E5 Plus and the Nokia 6.1 still capture blurry images in bright sunlight.
An image becomes fuzzy whenever there is any motion, either on the part of the subject or your own unsteady hands. The camera struggles to focus in low light, rendering the photographs useless.
Although the Active Bokeh option does not improve sharpness, the blurred effects it creates around subjects are remarkably lifelike. Selfies captured by the front-facing 8-megapixel camera are serviceable but not outstanding.
Superb Endurance for a Battery
The 3,500mAh battery in the Nokia 3.1 Plus, according to the manufacturer, is good for two days of use. That’s perhaps a bit of an exaggeration for people who make moderate to heavy use of their smartphones, but it’s not far off.
By the time we hung up the phones at the end of the day, around half of the day’s calls had been made. That’s on top of using it for other things, including playing games like Breakneck, listening to music, taking pictures, checking notifications, and checking out social media.
We went all night without charging the phone and made it to 15% by 2 in the afternoon the next day. The Nokia 3.1 Plus has a battery life of up to two days with moderate use.
Our battery life test showed that the Nokia 3.1 Plus could play a YouTube video at full brightness for a stunning 6.5 hours. It’s superior to phones with smaller batteries, such as the iPhone 8.