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Nokia 3.1 Plus review: Power & Entertainment on a budget

Nokia 3.1 Plus is the HMD’s attempt to bring a Nokia smartphone to those looking for a big, powerful yet an affordable smartphone. While Nokia 3.1 is already out there the defining feature of Nokia 3.1 Plus is its bigger “6-inch display”, that offers better media-consumption experience.

Nokia 3.1 Plus comes without a notch and sports a 6-inch HD+, 18:9 ratio display. Nokia 3.1 Plus also comes with a powerful processor in Mediatek Helio P22 than the one on Nokia 3.1. It also features a Dual-Camera on the back, a first for Nokia smartphones in this price range. Read all about Nokia 3.1 Plus at our dedicated page.

We have used Nokia 3.1 Plus 3GB Indian variant as our daily driver for around 6-7 days and this is our early review of the smartphone. It may help you in deciding whether you should really go for Nokia 3.1 Plus as your next if you really wanted to own one and are still undecided. Keep in mind that performance wise 2GB RAM variant of Nokia 3.1 Plus may be different than the 3GB RAM.

Nokia 3.1 Plus design:

Nokia 3.1 Plus looks and feels imposing due to its big display size and lack of a notch. It sports a Aluminium back cover with a die-cast strong metal structure. The Aluminium cover body shines with Nokia build quality and three-step assembly design.

It feels much more robust than the recent Nokia smartphones like Nokia 5.1 Plus and Nokia 6.1 Plus. It also feels great while holding in the hand because of its matt-coated back.

Here is the unboxing of the Nokia 3.1 Plus Black color Indian model.

Nokia 3.1 Plus display review:

Nokia 3.1 Plus display can be said to be really good for its price range and is really enjoyable while consuming media. For testing the display we have also streamed video and zoomed in to see the quality of the display. You can watch the video for more but here are our observations.

  • Nokia 3.1 Plus display is impressive for a low-cost mid-ranger. The 18:9 display ratio will appeal to many. Even after being a IPS LCD display it has deep blacks and colors pop out. The color profile is quite similar to displays on other costlier Nokia smartphones.
  • It has good level of maximum brightness and ideal brightness level is around 60-70% in most of the cases. Adaptive brightness is calibrated properly and does its work in most of cases well.
  • Sunlight legibility is satisfactory. The color interpretation and contrast are good. Viewing angles are wide.
  • Video streaming looks great on the big screen of Nokia 3.1 Plus.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Audio output quality review:

Nokia 53.1 Plus audio output is quite loud and clear. Audio quality is goodh and even at full volume there are no distortions. Streaming videos or playing high-quality games constitute very good experience on Nokia 3.1 Plus. Though it doesn’t come with a stereo speaker, the Single speaker with smart amplification AMP+ works very well.

Nokia 3.1 Plus imaging samples & early camera review:

Nokia 3.1 Plus comes with Dual-Cameras on the back. You can have a quick look on the rear camera specs below.

  • Primary camera Dual main: 13MP PDAF/F2.0/1.12um
    Dual 2nd: 5MP BW/FF/F2.4/1.12um

  • Front-facing camera Front: 8MP FF/F2.2/1.12um

  • Flash Single LED flash

We will post our detailed camera review and comparison to Nokia 5.1 Plus camera soon. Nokia 3.1 Plus captures images with good amount of resolved details and keeps colors natural. In low-light too it shines and captures good amount of light even in without flash scenarios. Check camera samples captured with Nokia 3.1 Plus rear camera below.

Rear Camera:

Check all original full-size Nokia 3.1 Plus camera samples by clicking on the thumbnail below.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Software & Camera UI:

Nokia 3.1 Plus comes with Pure unadulterated Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. It sports features like double tap to wake up and Ambient display (lift to check). Check some of the screenshots from the Nokia 3.1 Plus below.

The camera UI on Nokia 3.1 Plus is similar to that seen on other non-Zeiss branded Nokia smartphone and packs Live Bokeh/Bokeh feature on rear and front cameras.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Performance review:

We have conducted this test in heavy usage scenario. So, there are two of the heaviest Android games open in the background. Then we have the browser with 10 tabs, camera and other apps open in the background. So, how does Nokia 3.1 Plus actually perform in this very heavy usage scenario. You can decide for yourself by checking the video, but here are our observations. Keep in mind that we have tested the 3GB RAM variant.

Browsing:

Even with 10 browser tabs open it always seems that Nokia 3.1 Plus can take even more load. Pages load quickly. Scrolling, zooming, panning, tab changing all are very snappy.

Gaming:

Gaming is enjoyable on Nokia 3.1 Plus. We have tried to demo the game-play with heavy and critically acclaimed games like like GTA San Andreas and PUBG Mobile. The device certainly holds the promise of hours of enjoyable game play without a pause. You would love the volume output and the performance of the phone remains blazing fast.

Multitasking:

With 2 super-heavy games (GTA San Andreas and PUBG Mobile), 10 browser tabs, Camera, and many other apps open in the background Nokia 3.1 Plus remains totally responsive and lag-free.

All super-heavy games usually resume fine from background while running simultaneously. As you will notice in the video, apps/games resume fast from background during multitasking and there are no crashes/lags/freezes even with so much load.

Nokia 3.1 Plus Battery Life, Fast Charging & Call quality:

Nokia 3.1 Plus has an excellent battery life and I have been getting around 42-44 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device, which involves lots of browsing, apps testing and daily chores. It may be around 46-48 hrs for a moderately heavy usage scenario and that is really very impressive considering it is a mid-range Android smartphone. Screen-on time typically varies between 6.5-7.5 hrs for heavy usage scenario.

Nokia 3.1 Plus offers stellar call quality because of its innovative Antenna design. Call reception is usually very good. I didn’t face any issue like call drops etc and it holds well even during long conversations.

We must admit that we missed quick-charging feature on Nokia 3.1 Plus as it has become a must have feature on smartphones.

 

Nokia 3.1 Plus Positives & Negatives:

Negatives

  • No quick-charging support

Positives

  • Display is good for a low mid-ranger with good color interpretation, brightness, and outdoor readability.
  • Performance wise quite capable (3GB RAM variant)
  • Imaging features like Live Bokeh and Dual-Cam trickle to this price range
  • Excellent Battery life

Nokia 3.1 Plus Conclusion:

Nokia 3.1 Plus offers a big 6-inch HD+ display with 18:9 screen ratio that offers very good video watching and gaming experience. In the price range that Nokia 3.1 Plus belongs to, such kind of display will prove to be a strong point for the device.

We have done our hands-on evaluation with the 3GB RAM variant and it has proved itself to be a capable smartphone. It handles even heavy multitasking very well and can handle games like PUBG and GTA SA running simultaneously. Again a bog thumbs up considering the price range it belongs to.

Being an Android One smartphone, Nokia 3.1 Plus has guaranteed two years of Android OS update and 3 years of monthly security updates.

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Nayan
Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and GadgetOx since long. He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing. Write to him at Email: [email protected]
http://www.nokiapoweruser.com
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