Nokia 7.2 Review: Mid-Range Phone, Flagship Camera

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If you are a savvy phone user, you are likely aware that Nokia has garnered a well-deserved reputation for making solid mid-range phones that are well priced. But with the company releasing a number of new devices towards the end of last year, is there any reason to upgrade to the latest offering, the Nokia 7.2?

To find out how Nokia has made the 7.2 different from the swathe of other solid mid-range offerings the company has made of late, as well as how it compares to other well priced devices currently on the market, we reviewed the phone for the past couple of weeks.

Here’s what our time with the Nokia 7.2 revealed.

Design flourishes

Let’s start with design, and here the 6.3″ (2280×1080) phone is an unmistakably Nokia device. Ever since HMD Global took over the manufacture of Nokia Mobile phones, the devices have had a particularly pleasing aesthetic.

With the 7.2, the firm has pushed the boundaries slightly, with most of that action happening on the rear.

Flip the phone over and you’ll see we’re talking about the circular camera housing. It’s designed by Zeiss, and for us is an ever so subtle nod to the Lumia 1020, although that model’s housing was noticeably larger.

Shifting back to our review model, and HMD has gone for a matte finish to the aluminium body on offer. It’s a nice change from the usual shiny options we see in this space. The matte finish does not improve handling or your grip though, and you’re going to want to use the clear plastic case that Nokia has provided with the device in-box for a couple of reasons.

The first is to improve handling as we eluded to earlier, and the other is to balance out the camera housing jutting out of the rear of the phone. This component means the Nokia 7.2 does not sit as flush when placed on a flat surface. It’s not a deal breaking element of the phone, but something that those with a finickier disposition may notice.

Sharp shooter

The next element to talk about is the camera setup. We touched on how it reminds us of the Lumia 1020 and its massive camera (at the time). Here HMD Global has opted for a triple lens setup, consisting of a 48MP, 8MP ultrawide and 5MP depth sensing option.

Having three lenses to call on for the rear is nothing new these days, but the size of the primary shooter is impressive. It’s not just big for big’s sake either, with the increased number of megapixels on offer meaning richer and more detailed images.

It’s also handy when you’re editing pictures once they’ve been transferred from the phone as you have more to work with.

Up front HMD Global hasn’t gone small either for the camera. It isn’t 48MP but is nothing to snark at bing 20MP. It provides solid selfies but could perform better in low light conditions. The front facing option also has the job of handling the facial recognition for the device, which works smoothly and with very little fuss.

All in all the Nokia 7.2’s camera performance is above par for most premium mid-range devices, with perhaps some of the more expensive Galaxy S series offerings of last year outperforming it in that regard.

Middle of the pack

With design and camera dealt with, let’s focus on the internals, and here the Nokia 7.2 might divide some users.

Internally HMD Global has gone modest in some areas and stronger in others. Starting with what’s good a 3 500mAh battery is powering the unit, which offers an above average amount of use time. If you need something to go from nine to five, plus a little extra, the Nokia 7.2 is well appointed.

Now for the bad, or rather less impressive, as an octa-core Snapdragon 660 processor and 4GB RAM has been entrusted with the heavy lifting. The performance in-hand is more than adequate, and the device handled multitasking well, never showing any signs of strain in our time with it.

For those users who place a lot of value in benchmarking though, the 7.2 may come up short. On AnTuTu it mustered a score of 177 719 which is not bad by any measure, but does not distinguish itself from the mid-range crowd. For context the Nokia 7 Plus of 2018 got a score of 141 374 from a similar internal setup.

Look past the benchmarks scores though, and Nokia 7.2 is more than capable to take care of all your multitasking needs.

Final verdict

Retailing locally for R6 299 (depending on the retailer), you’ll be hard pressed to find a better all-round mid-range phone than the Nokia 7.2. As with past Nokia Mobile devices we’ve reviewed, every inch of this phone is solid.

Where it wins us over though is the camera performance. It’s not going to out-shoot the Huawei P30 Pro for example (which is one of the best we’ve tested to date), but it yields richly detailed pictures in a variety of scenarios, which is really all you’re looking for in your smartphone.

With Samsung and Huawei leading the way in terms of premium mid-range devices, now the Nokia 7.2 can be included in the same conversation.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.