Nokia 3 Review UK

nokia 3 camera

Nokia 3 Review: Overview & Price

The Nokia 3 phone was released in the UK on the 12th July 2017; in this review, we will be looking at what makes it special as well as showcasing some of the best Nokia 3 contract deals in the UK

Nokia has opted for a very style and design-orientated phone here, and perhaps neglected the performance aspect of this phone.

Check out these Nokia 3 deals…

The Nokia 3 sim free is priced at £129.99 here in the UK, it’s easy to think that this phone is a value for money monster.

A 5-inch IPS display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage are all that you can expect from the Nokia 3.

Let’s take a look…

Nokia 3 Review: Design & Display

The Nokia 3 phone has a plastic back but a metal frame, it feels easy to hold in your hand to thanks to the slightly rounded corners.

It’s also nice and grippy, meaning you can leave it on your desk or workstation without risk of it sliding off and damaging the device.

The Nokia 3 weighs in at 140g, not very heavy for a smartphone but still heavy enough to feel good in one hand.

We were lucky enough to be able to review the Copper White colour phone; if this is not to your taste then you have the Silver White, Matte Black or Tempered Blue option.

We found the back of the phone to be extremely clean and has a nice texture, it also doesn’t collect fingerprints either which is great.

The design feels extremely strong and durable, the phone is splash-proof too, however, we don’t recommend letting this device take a dunk in the tub as this will definitely mess up the phone.

We would like to have seen a fingerprint scanner on this phone, but unfortunately, there isn’t one, meaning it will take slightly longer than other phones to unlock your device.

On the right-hand side of the phone is where you will find the volume rocker and power button, the power button is a little small and if you have chubby fingers then you may find this slightly annoying.

On top of the phone is where you will see the 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing you to use your wired headphones and not having to invest into wireless ones to follow suit.

Down at the bottom is where the micro USB port is housed.

You may be wondering is the Nokia 3 waterproof?

Well surprisingly it has an IP52 rating which means the Nokia 3 is waterproof, so no need to panic if you get caught out in the rain.

Overall we enjoyed the design on the phone and found it to be extremely sturdy, it literally feels like you could drive over this phone in your car and it wouldn’t make dent (please don’t try this).

The Nokia 3 has a 5-inch IPS LCD display with a low resolution of 720p and it has a pixel density of 294ppi.

We did find the screen to be a little dull and lifeless, and you will notice the odd pixel here and there.

Nokia 3 UK-SIM Free Smartphone - Blue
  • Sculpted design, manufactured with care
  • Purposeful technology, quality materials - Corning Gorilla Glass display and aluminium frame
  • 8 MP autofocus camera on both the front and the back. 12.7 cms polarized HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Watch and read easily on the polarised display. Battery: 2630 mAh
  • Pure, secure and up to date - Android Nougat, Google Services and no unnecessary extras

For the most part, though we enjoyed the Nokia 3’s display, because it is only 5.0-inches it means that it’s easy to reach all areas of the display.

We found that the brightness levels are great and you will have no problem viewing this phone in direct light, viewing angles are also strong which was a pleasant surprise.

See Related:

*Nokia 6.1 Review*
*Nokia 7.1 Review*
*Nokia 8.1 Review*
*Huawei P20 Pro Review*

You will notice that colours are not quite as bright as what you would find on an OLED panel, blacks aren’t that deep and colours don’t pop as much.

This is to be expected though as this is a budget smartphone.

If your someone who loves to watch media on their phone in the form of Netflix and YouTube, then you may want to opt for something a little bigger as this phone does struggle to give a good media experience.

For the average user through the display won’t cause any problems.

Nokia 3 Review: Performance

The performance aspect of the Nokia 3 phone is where we were most disappointed, the amount of lag on the phone isn’t great and this is by no means a phone that will sit well with gamers.

The phone has a massively underpowered MediaTek 6737 CPU, it struggles to navigate through the UI without causing huge annoyances, we found ourselves being frustrated more often than not at simply opening the camera app and messaging on Instagram.

The phone also has 16GB of internal storage, which is extremely weak, however this can be expanded through a microSD card.

We definitely recommend investing into a microSD for this phone, as 16GB in 2019 is simply not enough for 90% of users out there, photos and music will easily clog up this phone and make it even slower than it already is.

The Nokia 3 phone has 2GB of RAM too, which is actually decent but we found lots of lag on the phone and it would stutter when trying to do anything quickly.

The phone is capable of doing things such as reading; browsing social media and playing very light games.

When gaming we also noticed that the speaker is very bad, sound isn’t as loud as we hoped and it doesn’t sound half as clear as what we expected, but to our surprise call quality was good.

The Nokia 3 runs Android 7 software right out of the box, this is the stock version of Android and thankfully Nokia hasn’t filled the phone with tons of bloat either.

There is a split-screen feature that allows you to do two things at once, although we wouldn’t recommend it as we found it unreliable and laggy.

There is an app drawer, this means you can keep all of your favourite apps in one place without having to frantically search around for them, this makes for a smoother experience when navigating the phone.

We weren’t overly impressed with the performance aspect of the Nokia 3, if you’re someone who is coming from a flagship or even a good mid-range phone, then you will notice a significant drop in load times and navigating.

After a while we did get used to the sluggishness of the phone, but we weren’t impressed at all and found it to be extremely annoying.

Nokia 3 Review: Camera

The Nokia 3 camera is an 8MP f/2.0 camera, it’s not going to win any awards but it is capable of taking some decent shots especially when in strong lighting.

One thing we loved about the camera is the app, its easy to use and offers plenty of features to get the best shot possible.

We found colours to be rather dull and images weren’t as accurate as we hoped.

The camera lacks detail and colour accuracy too, the auto-focus is super slow and will often miss the subject completely, we also found there to be a fair bit of shutter lag after you have pressed button.

If you’re going to be taking shots for social media with this phone, then we recommend optimising every single aspect of the image, as the camera isn’t going to produce anything spectacular easily.

The same applies when in low light too, images are super blurry with a lot of noise, they often appeared unusable.

There is an 8MP selfie-camera lens on the Nokia 3 camera setup, which is very weak in performance as well, shots lack detail and its hard to get anything for the gram especially when the lighting isn’t the best.

The phone does offer video recording at 720p, which isn’t great but it’s capable of capturing some decent video footage when in good lighting.

We really wouldn’t bother trying to shoot video when in low-light as the camera really does struggle to draw in any ambient light and footage is barely usable.

You certainly won’t find any 4K OIS footage around here, you’ll want to invest in a tripod if you’re going to be taking lots of video with this phone but to be honest, we wouldn’t bother as footage just simply isn’t great.

Nothing amazing to report in this department either unfortunately; the camera is weak and barely capable of producing good shots, only so when in ideal lighting.

We expected a little more from the Nokia 3 camera, even though the phone is budget it would have been nice to shoot some half-decent images.

Seeing as though the Nokia 3 sim free is a sub £130 phone, we did not expect much of its camera performance.

Nokia 3 Review: Battery Life

The Nokia 3 phone has a 2630mAh battery, this isn’t a highlight either and isn’t going to make up for the poor performance or camera quality.

The battery of the Nokia 3 will last users around 10 hours of average usage, and 4 hours of screen on time, this was with us playing music on Soundcloud and playing the odd game here and there.

Nokia 3 UK-SIM Free Smartphone - Blue 

Nothing too exhausting for the phone especially seeing as though it only has a 5-inch display.

The average user will find the battery life of this phone average, it’s not a full day phone by any means and even a couple of games of 8-ball pool will rinse a lot of juice from this phone.

Unfortunately, there is no fast charging here either, the phone will go from 0-100% in around 2 hours.

Wireless charging is on another planet to the Nokia 3 so please don’t expect anything like that on this phone.

Nokia 3 Review: Summary

So is this phone worth your cash?

Well in 2019, probably not. It may seem like we have been very critical of the Nokia 3, but using the phone was extremely frustrating due to its poor performance, we expected the Nokia 3 camera to be better and at the very least a decent battery.

The Nokia 3 is waterproof as it has an IP52 rating, this is nice to see on such a cheap phone as some of the more modern devices do not own an IP rating.

But nope, the phone really doesn’t offer much value for money at all, if you’re someone who is going to be using the phone as a spare, or your someone who rarely uses it then this might be the phone for you.

Nokia 3 UK-SIM Free Smartphone - Blue
  • Sculpted design, manufactured with care
  • Purposeful technology, quality materials - Corning Gorilla Glass display and aluminium frame
  • 8 MP autofocus camera on both the front and the back. 12.7 cms polarized HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Watch and read easily on the polarised display. Battery: 2630 mAh
  • Pure, secure and up to date - Android Nougat, Google Services and no unnecessary extras

If you work on a building site or somewhere in which you need a durable phone, then this could work. For most of us though this phone really isn’t ideal and there are much better alternatives out there to choose from.

The Nokia 3 sim free is only £129.99 to buy, so for the price of the phone, we did not expect much performance power at all.

We definitely recommend checking out some of our other mobile phone reviews before making a purchase on this device.

If you are interested in this phone then feel free to check out the cheapest Nokia 3 contract deals in the UK at the top of this post.

Nokia 3 Review: Full Specification

Launch: 2017, June


  • Dimension: 143.4 x 71.4 x 8.5 mm (5.65 x 2.81 x 0.33 inches)
  • Weight: 140g (4.94 oz)
  • Build: Aluminium frame, plastic back
  • Sim: Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)


  • Type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
  • Size: 5.0 inches, 68.9 cm² (-67.3% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels, 16:9 ratio (-294 PPI density)
  • Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass (unspecified version)


  • OS: Android 7.0 (Nougat), upgradable to Android 8.1 (Oreo)
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6737 (28nm)
  • CPU: Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53
  • GPU: Mali-T720MP1


  • Card slot: microSD, up to 256GB
  • Internal: 16GB, 2GB RAM


  • Primary:
    – 8MP, f/2.0, AF
  • Features:  LED flash
  • Video: 720p@30fps
  • Secondary:
    – 8MP, f/2.0, AF
  • Video: 720p


  • Loudspeaker: Yes
  • 3.5mm Jack: Yes


  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP, LE
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS
  • NFC: Yes
  • Radio: FM radio with RDS
  • USB: micro USB 2.0, USB on-the-go


  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass


  • Non-removable Li-Ion 2630 mAh battery


  • Colours: Silver White, Tempered Blue, Matte Black, Copper White
  • Price: As seen in the above post


  • Performance: Basemark OS ||: 620 / Basemark OS || 2.0: 568 / Basemark X: 2210
  • Display: Contrast ratio: 1351 (nominal), 2.871 (sunlight)
  • Camera: Photo / Video
  • Loudspeaker: Voice 70dB / Noise 71dB / Ring 83dB
  • Audi Quality:  Noise -91.9dB / Crosstalk -91.8dB
  • Battery life: Endurance rating 53h

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