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Review: Nokia 3.4

Review: Nokia 3.4

Last November 2020, we tested the Nokia 2.4 an affordable entry-level phone and as we start the year our friends from HMD Global sent us their latest device the Nokia 3.4 for our review. The Nokia 3.4 was also included in last year’s HMD Global virtual launch event that showcased several other new Nokia smartphones.

Plus, the Nokia 3.4 joins in the roster of new Nokia phones campaign that ties up in the promotion and celebration of its release for the upcoming 25th James Bond film franchise “No time to die.”

The Nokia 3.4 is another entry-level smartphone that retails for only PHP6,990 now available thru its e-commerce official online store on Shopee, Lazada, and authorized dealers nationwide.

Now let’s begin our initial review of the Nokia 3.4.

Unboxing

First thing you’ll notice are the front and back of the Nokia 3.4 retail box with a glimpse of the overall design of the phone with a nice clean layout. Key features can be found on the back while at the front the Android logo and promise of a 2-years Android upgrades are seen at the bottom right corner.

The contents included in the box are the following: Nokia 3.4 phone, SIM Tray tool, Quick Start Guide, Product and Safety Info, USB Wall Adapter, USB Type C Cable, Clear Protective Case, and Earphones.

Design and Display

On the front, it has a built-in 6.39-inch HD+ display at 720×1560 pixels with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The front camera has a punch hole design located on the top left corner; a proximity sensor that automatically turns off the display to prevent keypad presses as well as battery consumption when you’re in a call; the earpiece at the top center; and below the screen a Nokia logo is placed.

On its backside, you can eventually spot an AI triple camera and the LED flash housed in a circular design, a fingerprint sensor and a silver Nokia logo can be found on the center.

For our review unit we got the vibrant Fjord blue color that emits a nice cyan blue to purple tint when you shift its hue from side to side. For those who are curious what Fjord means, it’s a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier which can be found mostly in Norway.

The back cover is made of polycarbonate material with a textured line design and matte finish. Holding the Nokia 3.4 makes it less slippery and no fingerprint marks due to the overall finish and the material used.

On the right you have the volume control and power/lock button that are very responsive, while on the left you have the Dual SIM+Memory Card slot and a dedicated Google Assistant/Google Search key.

At the bottom you have a USB Type C port for your charging or transfer of files, a loudspeaker, and the microphone. Up top there’s another microphone and an available standard 3.5mm port to plug in your headphones.

Going back on the display, although the Nokia 3.4 is an affordable device it does offer a large display that’s built enough to maximize your entertainment content from watching your favorite movies, online streaming, playing your favorite games, web browsing etc.

The display is not a Full HD but you get colors that are almost fine, contrast is so far good however what we noticed that the blacks are a little bit darker. In general, the display never bothered us as we enjoyed the quality it exhibited during our test. Using the device on direct sunlight you just need to set your brightness to maximum to allow you to see further on the display or you can also turn on the dark mode option in the display settings.

AI Triple Camera and Video

The Nokia 3.4 boasts of an AI triple camera set-up on the rear. It has a 13MP primary, a 5MP ultra-wide and a 2MP depth camera. It has a selection of shooting modes from Portrait, Photo, Video, Night, Panorama and Time Lapse. You can also select and save photos in HEIF format or High efficiency image file format to save more space. Other features you can use under the settings are a personalized watermark; HDR mode to see more detail and exposure range; and long press on shutter can capture video quickly or choose burst shots.

The camera can capture decent and well-exposed shots when the lighting conditions are good which in turn you get nice-looking images. There’s a little loss on details but the colors are just the right amount of exposure not too saturated. We also experienced our shots a little bit hazy or blurry especially when the lighting is not good. We just need to tap the screen and focus some area that are darker so that it will have the right exposure. It has a dedicated night mode in case you need to take photos on dark conditions or use the built-in rear flash LED however there will be noise present in the shots. With Portrait mode you can choose custom shapes and blurred backgrounds to have a nice bokeh effect.

Camera app user interface

For the front facing camera you have a ready 8MP camera to shoot your selfies. You can get good or nice selfie photos when you exposed to a good lighting condition but low light you’ll get more noise on your shots. You also need to have a steady hand to get nice sharp photos.

A dedicated Google Lens shortcut can be found on top of the camera app, it lets your camera phone identify text or objects both within images and in a live view thru the use of artificial intelligence.

Check out our sample photos below:

Wide-angle lens

Main Camera – Normal

Front Facing Camera

Front Facing Camera with Flash On

Night Mode

Portrait Mode

For video the device can take videos on both the rear and front camera up to Full HD 1080p and 720p with a selection of frame rates from 30fps to 60fps. Unfortunately, it does not have any optical or electronic stabilization so you really need to use a steady hand or much better a tripod.

Check out our sample video below using a video resolution of 1080p at 30fps:

Performance, Hardware and Sound Quality

Built-in hardwares onboard the Nokia 3.4 features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 chipset, Adreno 610, 4GB memory and a 64GB storage that can be expanded via MicroSD on the available card slot supporting up to 512GB.

The built-in android software almost took up 14.79GB of space leaving you only around 49GB to store your photos, apps, music and more. You may get additional storage via Google Drive app which is already pre-installed that automatically comes with 15GB of storage space for free. You can sync and backup your files there whenever you need it.

The Nokia 3.4 during our test presented us a fair and stable performance. It was able to handle emails, search the web, watch videos, even running and opening the apps was smooth. Typical use of the device for text messaging has no set backs and answering calls are very clear.

This device can also handle some online gaming apps like Call of Duty, Mobile Legends, PUBG and a simple game of Subway Surfers. There was no lag during our gameplay and so far its been a smooth fun playtime with the Nokia 3.4.

Audio quality on the Nokia 3.4 is not bad, it produces a fairly good, clear and consistent tone performance with all of the sound firing out from the loudspeakers near the charging port. Although, it just misses that extra bass sound you wanted to hear especially on music when you want that deep deep bass to come out.

Software and Security

The Nokia 3.4 runs on Google’s standard Android One OS getting an updated Android 10 and Android 11 ready as well. The good thing about the Android One as it presents a clean, less cluttered user interface and no value-added apps.

There are no social media apps that comes with the device such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter but it already have the pre-installed YouTube and YT Music app. Android One users will have a peace of mind on this Nokia device as it offers 3 years of monthly security updates and 2 years of software upgrades.

For added security, it offers a rear fingerprint scanner at the back to unlock the phone, authorize purchases or app access. Other additional device security you can choose from are Screen Lock, Face Unlock and Smart Lock.

Android One interface

Battery

The Nokia 3.4 has a large non-removable 4,000 mAh battery but it now uses a USB Type C charging port which I’m happy it had on this affordable phone. From the day I started opening the device having an 80% charge on its battery just doing the unboxing video only, checking on its features and installing some needed apps for my review the battery lasted for almost 3 days. That’s quite impressive! It can even last a day or more if you’re only using it for text or calls. Plus, it has an adaptive battery technology that prioritizes power to the apps you use the most or often.

It took almost 3 hours to charge the device from 0 to 100 percent even though the adapter that comes along with it offers a 5W charging. During our charging test we observed it had a 15% charge in just 20 minutes then increasing it to 60% after one hour and 30 minutes.

Other Noteworthy Features

As we have mentioned the device has a dedicated button for the Google Assistant. Just by pressing the button the virtual assistant will ask you to speak what you want. You can manage tasks, create lists, get directions or search something you need on the internet.

You can listen to your favorite FM station thru the FM Radio app by using the headphones that comes along in the box acting as an antenna.

Conclusion

The entry-level Nokia 3.4 gets a little upgrade from the Nokia 2.4 it still has a good amount of value in terms of design, performance, user interface, build quality, display, camera and its battery life. I am a big fan of the Nordic design it’s beautifully crafted smartphone, keeping the company’s reputation for making well designed and well built phones.

Although, our overall experience with the phone gave us a little concern on the camera side especially the quality you’ll be getting in your shots. We just need to get a additional shots before getting that nice looking images. But if the camera is not a big deal for you and somehow love the nifty features it has then the Nokia 3.4 might be the phone your looking for.

It may not be the feature-packed smartphone you’ve ever wanted but at a price of PHP6,990 it is still a very nice budget smartphone. You also get a peace of mind on this Nokia device with its promise of 3 years of monthly security updates and 2 years of software upgrades.

What We Like

  • Large 6.39-inch display
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • Nordic design and 3D Nano Textured Cover
  • Google Assistant Button
  • Affordable price
  • Android One software with a clean and uncluttered UI
  • Array of security options
  • Monthly security updates and software upgrades
  • USB Type C port
  • Wide angle lens and night mode
  • Supports 10W charging

What We Want:

  • More storage
  • Include a PRO shooting mode
  • 16MP main camera
  • Full HD diaplay

Nokia 3.4 Full Specifications:

  • Price: PHP6,990
  • Color Variant: Vibrant Fjord and Timeless Charcoal
  • Display: 6.39-inch HD+ Punch Hole Display
  • Resolution: 720×1560 pixels / Aspect Ratio: 19.5:9
  • Brightness: 400 nits (typ), 300 nits (min), NTSC (typ) 70%
  • OS: Android 10 – Android 11 ready
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
  • Memory: 4GB
  • GPU: Adreno 610
  • Storage: 64GB MicroSD card slot supports up to 512GB
  • Camera and Flash: Main: Dual 13MP+2MP depth+5MP UW, LED Flash Front: 8MP
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/AGPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer (G-sensor), Gyroscope
  • Charging: 5V2A Charging Compatible
  • Battery: 4000mAh, Non-removable
  • I/O: Type-C USB, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Dimensions: 160.97×75.99×8.7mm
  • Weight: 180g
  • SIM Slot: Dual-SIM nano slots + MicroSD
  • Security: Biiometric Face Unlock, Rear Fingerprint Sensor, AI Camera Imaging
  • Others: Google Assistant Button, aptX Adaptive

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