Nokia 4.2, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 210 hands-on review

HMD's Nokia 4.2, a $189 Android One phone, is now available for purchase

It’s no secret that HMD Global, the Finnish startup that makes Nokia-branded Android phones, is putting most of its efforts into making budget-to-midrange devices. That focus was highlighted at Mobile World Congress 2019, where HMD debuted five smartphones — four of which cost less than $200. While the fifth phone — the Nokia 9 PureView — was the only one to arrive on U.S. shores initially, another is finally making its way.

Here’s what you need to know about the new Nokia 4.2, Nokia 3.2, and Nokia 1 Plus, as well as a feature phone, the Nokia 210.

Nokia 4.2

Like Motorola and its new Moto G7 range, HMD is focused on making its latest budget phones look good. The Nokia 4.2 has slim bezels around the sides of the screen, as well as a teardrop notch at the top. There is a “chin” or bottom bezel, which has the Nokia logo. It’s a polycarbonate frame with a metal unibody, but the back and front are covered with glass for a more premium feel.

There is a fingerprint sensor on the back, below a dual-camera system. Its one 13-megapixel main camera is paired with a 2-megapixel depth-sensing camera, meaning you should be able to snap some decent Live Bokeh photos, which works like Portrait Mode on other phones by adding blur behind a subject. The teardrop notch on the front has an 8-megapixel camera for selfies.

The Nokia 4.2 has a 5.71-inch screen with an HD+ resolution, as well as a 19:9 aspect ratio. Its size makes it quite compact to hold, and the phone isn’t too thick. It’s under the Android One program, which means it runs stock Android 9 Pie without any bloatware, and it will get version updates for two years and security updates for three years.  All of this is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 439 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. There is a 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage variant as well. You should expect enough performance to do a handful of tasks, but not much more. In our brief time, we noticed the phone occasionally stuttering simply moving around the operating system, so heavy gaming won’t do well.

Along with a headphone jack, HMD has added an NFC chip, which means you can use the phone for contactless payments via Google Pay. This is something you won’t find on Motorola’s latest U.S. budget phones. There’s also a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left edge of the phone that lets you quickly chat with the artificially intelligent voice assistant, which is a new feature on phones from HMD. Double tap the button to get a Visual Snapshot of your day, meaning you can quickly glance at dinner reservations from Gmail, reminders, traffic updates, and more.

To keep it all chugging along is a 3,000mAh battery, but sadly the phone uses a MicroUSB port for charging instead of the more universal and versatile USB-C port.

The Nokia 4.2 costs $189 for 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage, putting it head-to-head against the Moto G7 Play. It comes in pink sand or black color options, and it’s now available to purchase from both Amazon and Best Buy.

Nokia 3.2

The Nokia 3.2, as the name suggests, is even more affordable than the Nokia 4.2, though it does have a bigger 6.26-inch screen (also with a teardrop notch). The killer feature here is the 4,000mAh battery, which HMD said should keep the phone going for two full days.

It’s a bigger screen, but there’s a similar HD+ resolution, as well as the 19:9 aspect ratio. It’s also an Android One phone running Android 9 Pie, but there’s a weaker Snapdragon 429 processor inside with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage. Like the Nokia 4.2, a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage model is also available.

We’re not fans of the back design, which looks a little dull, but the build quality feels solid as usual. This phone also has a dedicated button on the left side for Google Assistant, as well as an LED light in the power button on the right to indicate when notifications come through. There’s a MicroUSB port on the bottom to charge the massive battery.

There’s a 5-megapixel camera on the front, with just a single 13-megapixel camera on the rear, where you’ll see no fingerprint sensor. Instead, the phone uses the front camera for facial recognition, though this isn’t secure enough to use for unlocking banking apps or for authenticating purchases (this is present on the Nokia 4.2 as well).

The Nokia 3.2 retails for $169 for the 3GB RAM option, or $139 for the 2GB RAM model. It’s available in Europe, but there’s no word on U.S. availability yet.

Nokia 1 Plus

HMD’s first Android Go smartphone was the Nokia 1 that debuted last year. Android Go is a lighter, smaller version of Android that’s designed to run on phones like this, which have 1GB RAM or less. Most of the apps that come pre-installed are Go apps, like Google Go, Google Maps Go, or even Google Assistant Go. These apps require less processing power and take up less space, which is helpful as these phones have little internal storage. The newest Android Go phone is the Nokia 1 Plus, and it’s a supersized version of the original from 2018.

The Nokia 1 Plus has a 5.45-inch screen with a 18:9 aspect ratio (its predecessor has a 4.5-inch screen), so it’s no where as close to any normal “Plus-size” phones. It’s easy to use one-handed, and the sofrware it runs is and it runs Android Go (Pie edition). Unlike Android One phones Android Go phones don’t have the same commitment to version and security updates, so don’t expect the same kind of software support. The screen is surrounded by chunky bezels, with a front-facing 5-megapixel camera. The rear camera is packed with 8 megapixels.

The phone’s back has a 3D nano-pattern design, which offers additional grip. It’s still removable (there are various color options to choose or swap the back to), and that also means you can take out the 2,500mAh battery. Around the phone, you’ll find a headphone jack and a MicroUSB port. It’s all powered by a MediaTek processor (MT6739WW) with 1GB of RAM, so don’t expect speedy performance.

HMD sells the phone for $99 for the 8GB storage option. There’s no word on whether it will come to the U.S., but it’s available in Europe.

Nokia 210

The final phone will — like the Nokia 9 PureView — turn heads. Not because it has five cameras, but because it’s the only feature phone in this list. HMD said it’s the number one feature phone brand globally, and it’s planning on keeping that momentum with the Nokia 210.

Meant for emerging markets where data plans and smartphones are pricey, the Nokia 210 is a viable alternative as it only costs $35. It has a tiny, 2.4-inch QVGA display (320 x 240), and a VGA camera on the back. It supports dual SIM cards, so you can use two numbers on one phone. It features a removable 1,020mAh battery, a MicroUSB port, a headphone jack, as well as 16GB of internal storage. There’s also a mobile app store where you can download some apps and games, but don’t expect anything akin to the Google Play Store. Classic Snake is pre-installed, in case you want to fuel your nostalgia even more.

We love the size of the phone, and holding such a small device made us feel nostalgic and long for compact phones. It looks charming. Unlike some of HMD’s other Nokia feature phones, the Nokia 210 doesn’t run KaiOS, but a proprietary operating system instead.

The Nokia 210 is available in Europe. There’s no word on a U.S. release date yet.

Updated on May 14, 2019: The Nokia 4.2 is now available in the U.S.


Samsung adds One UI and battery boosts to Galaxy Watch and Gear smartwatches

Samsung has updated software for its Galaxy Watch, Gear Sport, and Gear S3 watches to implement its updated and simplified One UI interface. The update also offers new watch faces, battery life improvements, and health and fitness features.

Motorola One Vision vs. Nokia 7.1: Which is the best budget phone for you?

If you're trying to decide whether the Motorola One Vision or the Nokia 7.1 would be a better buy, then we've got you covered with this comparison. Find out exactly what sets these Android phones apart and which is best for you.

The best bezel-less phones cut all the right corners without losing space

As the smartphone industry marches toward a bezel-less future, we compare the shrinking bezels on the latest and greatest devices. Find out which manufacturers have the smallest bezels on their smartphone as we compare them side by side.

Motorola One Vision vs. Moto G7: Which phone is a vision of budget perfection?

If you're shopping for a new smartphone and you don't have much to spend, it's always worth checking out Motorola's wares. But which bargain phone is best — the Motorola One Vision or the Moto G7? Find out as we compare them.

OnePlus 7 Pro vs OnePlus 7: Is the Pro worth the extra dough?

If you're wondering about the differences between the OnePlus 7 Pro and the plain, old OnePlus 7, you're in the right place. Join us as we put the two head-to-head and reveal precisely what sets them apart and which one you should buy.

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?

Realme starts selling phones in the U.K., and its low prices aren’t fiction

Realme, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer from the same group as OnePlus, Vivo, and Oppo, has launched its first device in the U.K. and Europe. The Realme 3 Pro is a competitively priced phone with an impressive specification.

The best OnePlus 7 Pro cases to keep your OnePlus in one piece

The OnePlus 7 Pro is OnePlus's latest flagship killer, and it's an incredible phone. But it's expensive, and it's not going to protect itself. Get solid protection in the style you want with the best OnePlus 7 Pro cases.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, the best Android tablet in the game, is now $152 off

Apple dominates the tablet market, but others are catching up: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, our favorite Android tablet, proves that these devices have what it takes to compete with the iPad Pro -- and it's on sale right now for just $498.

Here are some common Kindle Fire problems, and how to fix them

Is your Amazon tablet giving you grief? Is it refusing to behave the way you expect? Take a deep breath -- everything will be fine. Here are some widely reported Kindle Fire problems and a few possible solutions to go with them.

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.

FCC chairman and commissioner support the T-Mobile and Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.

The best iOS games you can play offline on your iPhone and iPad

Even though we're always glued to our phones, we don't always have access to Wi-Fi or have steady service. Whether you're on a flight, riding the bus, or sitting in a waiting room, you can always play these excellent iOS games.