Nokia 3 Review

Nokia 3 Review: A decent cheapy with some irritating flaws

The Nokia 3 is affordable for the South African market, but is it any good? Our Nokia 3 Review will help you make up your mind.

Nokia 3 Review

The Nokia 3 launched in South Africa at the beginning of June this year. While Nokia’s are no longer the market dominator of 15 years ago, the South African market is always in need of affordable smartphones. Let’s dive into it, this is our Nokia 3 review.

Nokia 3 Review: A decent budget smartphone?

Smartphones are ridiculously expensive, especially if you’re looking at things from the Samsung Galaxy S8 or iPhone 8/X point of view. With the top of the range coming in at over R15 000, the Nokia 3 retails for a rather impressive R2,199.

With a 5-inch HD screen, Android Nougat operating system, 16 GB storage and an 8MP camera on the back AND front, the Nokia 3 will be able to take good selfies and not run out of space. Although the screen is “HD” quality, we were a little put off by some of the colours on the screen. Nothing hectic, the screen just sometimes looked a little washed out or synthetic while using apps like WhatsApp.

BODY Dimensions 143.4 x 71.4 x 8.5 mm (5.65 x 2.81 x 0.33 in)
Weight 140 g (4.94 oz)
SIM Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.0 inches, 68.9 cm2 (~67.3% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~294 ppi density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass (unspecified version)
PLATFORM OS Android 7.0 (Nougat), planned upgrade to Android 8.0 (Oreo)
Chipset Mediatek MT6737
CPU Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU Mali-T720MP1
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB
Internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary 8 MP (f/2.0, 1.12 µm), autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus
Video 720p@30fps, check quality
Secondary 8 MP, f/2.0, autofocus, 720p


While the screen may have been a bit of a let-down, the real problem was the touch keyboard.

Nokia 3 Review

This problem occurred rather frequently but did also happen with other apps, leading us to believe the processor or 2 GB ram were struggling.

Even having a few apps running often caused the phone to freeze. There were occasions where we were left sliding our finger repeatedly over the screen as the phone froze while using Instagram.

The problem didn’t require a reboot and could be solved just by closing the app completely and opening it again. Frustrating, yes, but not a major problem considering the price of the phone and its decent camera.

A similar problem did occur while using WhatsApp. The screen would become unresponsive to the touch and the only way to get it going again would be to close the app and reopen it.

Nokia 3: Feels like value for money in the palm of your hand?

The Nokia 3 feels lightweight yet strong enough to make you believe it won’t break when it falls from time to time.  The battery life continues with that strong mentality, the phone boasts a 53-hour endurance rating. In simple terms, the phone feels like you could get away with charging it once every two days after work, something that is even more rare with modern smartphones.

Should you buy a Nokia 3?

If you’re looking for an affordable smartphone that offers more than the ultimate cheapies, then the Nokia 3 is a good choice. It has its minor flaws and freezing moment but it offers you storage, a decent camera and gets the job done.

We wouldn’t try gaming or jam-packing your phone with apps, but if you want to save money and get a bit more than the bare minimum, the Nokia 3 is indeed a good phone (if only just).