Nokia 3.4 Full Review

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Nokia 3.4 was recently launched and continues to appeal to many people looking for a clean, and durable smartphone that won’t cost a fortune. However, making the right choice begins with a clear view of the value of the purchase.

The latest Nokia 3.4 device is a solid device with great textural colours and sturdy design giving off the reliability that Nokia is known for. On closer look, the Android One clean interface looks a lot like Google Pixel 4a but doesn’t deliver the same performance.

Like the first of the Nokia 3 series, the Nokia 3.4 comes with great RAM and internal storage in an affordable package compared to the Nokia 5 and 6 series. The Nokia 3.4 smartphone comes with the newly released Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 SoC processor, which ramps up the processing power. It equally boasts of a triple camera setup at the back but uses the punch-hole frontal design that looks good.

Nokia 3.4 Key Specs

  • Name: Nokia 3.4
  • Available colours: Charcoal, Fjord, Dusk
  • Released: September 2020
  • Dimensions: 161 x 76 x 8.7 mm
  • Mass: 180 Grams
  • Display Type: IPS LCD
  • Display: 6.39 inches,
  • Resolution: HD+ 720×1560 pixels (269 ppi)
  • Front Camera: 8 MP wide, + LED [email protected] video
  • Rear Camera: 13Mp (wide) + 5 MP (ultra-wide) + 2 MP (depth) _ LED [email protected]
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 (11 nm), Octa-core (8 × up to 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 and A73),
  • GPU: Adreno 610
  • Storage: 64GB expanded up to 128 GB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Connectivity: BT 4.2, WiFi b/g/n, USB-OTG, GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS), NFC (some markets)
  • Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, proximity
  • Headphone Jack: Yes
  • Wireless Charging: No
  • Extras: FM Radio, 5W charger (supports 10W), nano-SIM, USB Type C port


The Nokia 3.4 box gives you a glimpse of everything you can have from a smartphone in terms of packaging. You can quickly glance at the snapshot of the front and rear end of the device, which is quite different from the previous packaging for Nokia mobile phones. The brand takes a step away from its Nokia legacy handshake to focus on the product.

Nokia 3.4

On one end, you can also find the Android One logo, which also gives a glimpse of the operating system, alongside two years warranty and Android upgrades package. It’s a great marketing choice for Nokia. By giving buyers a taste of the smartphone’s features.

On the inside, the retail package features a wall adapter, cable, earpiece, manual, phone rear cover and the smartphone itself.

Accessories

Personally, I love Nokia 3.4 white’s casing. First, the translucent colour can be used by everyone. It’s a bit more decent than most and will reduce the impact of falls and slides on your device, making it last longer.

Nokia 3.4 case

Design

The Nokia 3.4 has a pretty sleek but sturdy grip that fills out the hands. The back does feel a bit cheap, but it gives off a pleasant textured outlook that will resist scratches for some time. Yes, this is a far cry from the cold metal premium feel that other mid-range phones deliver. However, Nokia still manages to mock the glass/aluminium feel with polycarbonate plastics that will remain great for a long time.

You also find the Nokia logo at the rear alongside the fingerprint scanner as opposed to the rapidly evolving in-screen fingerprint scanner.

 The screen borders, however, are similar to other budget-friendly phones. The right side contains the power and volume buttons. However, you will also notice the Google Assistant button to the left side, which you may consider disabling if you won’t use it. It’s also not distinguishable and might become a pain if you accidentally press it more often than not, leading to more lags.

A great addition here is the 3.5 mm headphone jack, typical in budget-friendly smartphones and great for music play without external sound systems.

Display

On the front, you will enjoy the 6.39-inch LCD with a punch hole that houses the 8MP front camera to the upper left side.
It also comes with tiny bezels, around the screen but is almost bezel-less compared to the Nokia 8.3 5G. It’s also an HD (1580 X 720 px) resolution which is quite a tremendous step-up from many other budget-friendly smartphones, but its HD resolution is still a far cry from what you can get with the Nokia 8.3 5G. However, I honestly, feel it’s a sharp-looking display at its more affordable price. It does look washed out or grainy like most budget devices at all.

Under direct sunlight, you can still view the screen, although you might struggle a little.  Nevertheless, its gigantic 6.39-inch screen will be felt and enjoyed for movies and gaming. However, you should also note that Nokia 3.4 doesn’t notify users about new notifications. Therefore, you might need to tap the power button and scroll up when you want to view notifications.

The Camera

Nokia 3.4 smartphone comes with a triple camera setup. A 13MP primary camera, 5MP ultra-wide and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, you have an 8MP sensor in the punch hole for taking good-looking selfies.

In adequate natural light, the Nokia 3.4 takes okay pictures, although they might look a little vague and fizzy up close. Dynamic range is a bit okay using its in-HDR processing, but shots might often have ‘ghosting’. This means if you don’t have steady hands, you might have some problems taking decent photos.

In truth, whether you have the HDR feature turned off or on, the camera still struggles to take good photos, and the quality deteriorates in low light. While there is a Night mode, which tries to get rid of shadows, you might still end up with blurry and poor images.

Camera samples from the Nokia 3.4

The 5MP ultra-wide camera does enable wider snapshots but isn’t adequate. Many photos with these sensors are relatively low with a blurry yellowish tint.

For videos, although it can shoot up to 1030p, 30 frames per second, it doesn’t feel like it. There’s no stabilization, so videos end up looking shaky and amateurish. You can also have some decent-looking bokeh photos with the rear camera. However, the 8MP selfie camera does produce decent photos but doesn’t do well in low-light settings.

Software and Performance

The Nokia 3.4 smartphone comes with the Snapdragon 460 chipset, which is an excellent value for your money. The Snapdragon 460 SoC is built on an 11nm process and has a CPU of 4 Kyro 240 Gold cores (Cortex-A73) clocked at 1.8GHz and 4 Kyro 240 Silver cores (Cortex-A53) with similar clock speed. You also get the Adreno 610 GPU. Combined with 4GB RAM, you can look forward to a decent performance. This allows you to navigate through your smartphone quickly. You will also get an internal storage of 64GB which is a great deal.

However, realize that this budget-friendly smartphone will not fair well with 3D games or very demanding apps like Fortnite, so you might consider leaving them out. If you are a lover of running all kinds of social media apps, communication apps, email and 3D gaming at once, this smart device isn’t for you. Personally, I found it decent for running about four apps (plus one very demanding) at once.

Overall, it offers decent navigational power, especially if consuming every internal storage inch isn’t your goal.The Nokia 3.4 comes with Android One (Android 10) out of the box, and Nokia mobile promises that it will support the much-expected Android 11 for up to 2 years. This is the real selling point for the Nokia mobile.

With the Android One, you can consider that most Google apps will run with less bloatware. Some other lightweight apps may also run with minimal lags. It off-course comes with a vast range of pre-loaded apps, including Netflix, Nokia Support, Forums, Basic Info, the Google App screen, and many others. You also get the Digital Wellbeing, adaptive battery, and dark mode feature, which you can equally find in other budget-friendly smart devices.

As said earlier, you can quickly use the right-side button to call-up Google’s much-advertised assistant. But I particularly don’t use this feature, because it tends to lag a lot. However, there are any other shortcuts and top notifications you will quite enjoy.

Battery Life

Perhaps, the sweetest aspect of buying the 3.4 is its enormous 4,000mAh battery. This gives you over two days of mid-heavy use and outlasts many other budget-friendly smartphones in its category. This off-course might be helped by its lower resolution screen and snapdragon chipset. Battery charging, however, isn’t quite remarkable as the smartphone comes with a 5W battery charger, which only gets you from zero to 16% in 30 minutes.

This means you might take over 4 to 5 hours to get your smartphone to full charge, which might be a pain. Consider buying a 10 W charger as it’s Type-C USB supports such chargers. That way, you can ramp up its charging speed and charge your smart device to full charge in just over 2 hours.

Verdict

The Nokia 3.4 is a great looking smartphone that ticks many boxes in terms of design, display, and battery.  However, if you want to enjoy stunning photos, this may not be the smartphone for you, although you can of course have solid shots with the right scene. Battery charging is pretty slow, so you might consider buying an additional charger which wouldn’t cost a lot.

The Snapdragon chipset and Android One functionality is equally a great reason to choose this smartphone.  You are also guaranteed two years of major software updates and three years of security updates free of charge, making it a great value, for an affordable smart device.

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