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Nokia 3.1: A Smartphone That Focuses On Autonomy

Nokia does not bother anymore with over layers. In recent months, the Finnish manufacturer is feeding the market with smartphones running Android One, the “pure” version of Google’s OS. And the Nokia 3.1 is no exception to the rule. This terminal will have the mission of conquering small budgets thanks to its finish and its good autonomy. A complicated task considering the rest of its characteristics.



Since the acquisition by HMD Globals, Nokia has taken over the hair of the beast. The smartphones of the Finnish manufacturer are selling without problem and the company continues to invest. Then the terminals are linked in this year 2018. In recent months, the Nokia 1, 8 Sirocco and 7 Plus are passed in our labs, with various fortunes. Today, it is the Nokia 3.1, successor of the very average Nokia 3, which interests us. It is now a habit for the Finn, the terminal embarks Android One, a “pure” version of Google’s operating system where the promise of regular update is authentic. The small novelty of the terminal is on the other hand on the screen side with the arrival of the 18: 9 on an entry-level model of Nokia.

Proposed for € 169, it is facing the Asus Zenfone Max Plus M1, Honor 7C but especially Xiaomi Redmi S2. Will he have the kidneys to win the recommendations of the Digital? This is the challenge of this test.


There is no saying, Nokia teams know what they do. Lightweight (138 g), the 3.1 offers an exemplary finish. Its plastic shell surrounded by an aluminum frame is the most beautiful effect. Unfortunately, this effort of aesthetics is spoiled by the accumulation of fingerprints over time. At the front, the IPS panel of 5.2 inches in 18: 9 format occupies only 70% of the facade. A low ratio at the time of notches and borderless. It must be said that the bottom edge is still 1.5 cm high.

The Nokia 3.1 offers a particularly smooth handling. The side buttons (volume and lock), all located on the right edge, are easily accessible. On the other hand, we can regret the absence of a fingerprint sensor, a feature however more and more common, even in the entry-level. It will therefore go through the unlock button and the smartphone screen to access its content. Old school.

On its left side, the Nokia 3.1 has a microSD port up to 256 GB, enough to give air to 16 GB or 32 GB of internal memory available depending on the version. Note that Android still occupies 8 GB of storage. Always useful data before choosing the version with 16 GB of memory. Finally, no IP certification is to report. No sealing or resistance to splashing so …


For its 3.1, Nokia offers a IPS panel of 5.21 inches to 18: 9 ratio displaying 720 x 1440 px and offering a resolution of 310 dpi. A rather average screen. Android One requires, no setting allows the user to adjust the colorimetry. It will therefore be necessary to do with the “basic” values. The color temperature peaks at 8,810 K, far from the ideal of 6,500 K, and a contrast ratio more than average (1,601: 1). Luckily, the good delta E of the slab (3,4) catches the whole.

Thanks to its high maximum brightness, the slab increases to 479 cd / m². The Nokia 3.1 may well become the ally of summer readers. An already high value that enjoys a satisfactory reflectance (11%). On the other hand, those who prefer to read in the dark should not appreciate the minimum of 20.4 cd / m², too bright in complete darkness.

In terms of responsiveness, the results are not much more positive. The persistence time is even rather bad (18 ms), while the touch delay is just average (112 ms).


The Nokia 3.1 runs with a chip Mediatek MT6750 supported by 3 GB of RAM (in its 32 GB version). The chip is composed of 8 cores Cortex-A53 (4 x 1.5 GHz and 4 x 1 GHz). This is unfortunately not enough to run Android 8.1 correctly, even in the absence of overlay. The terminal is often slow, even when it comes to opening settings or messages, simple tasks. Juggling between applications becomes painful. It will therefore be necessary to arm yourself with the patience of a Buddhist monk.

Nokia-31-heater.jpgThe Nokia 3.1 after intensive use of the camera.

If it is already difficult to manage Android, when launching a very greedy 3D game, the response of Nokia 3.1 and its chip T860MP2 is exactly that expected: it panics. Slowdowns and limited graphics are the two things that stand out.


On its upper edge, the Nokia 3.1 has a 3.5mm mini-jack connection. A catch finally average and which suffers from a big defect: at the maximum volume, the distortion is particularly high (4%). It is therefore necessary to reduce the power of a notch to have an optimal sound experience. Unfortunately, this significantly lowers the output level of the jack from 108 mVrms to 77 mVrms. The least helmet a little energy saver will make a mouthful. The connection is made up however by a distortion kept at a minimum level and a rather wide dynamic range. If the crosstalk had been a little weaker, Nokia 3.1 might have hoped for a better rating.

Located on the lower edge, the Nokia 3.1 speaker is of poor quality. It delivers a sound too weak and lacks clarity.


With Android One, the Nokia 3.1 inherits the photo application from Google. Disengageable, it allows to set ISO, self-timer and access to HDR. Unfortunately, it is not the most fluid, the fault, again, the limited performance of the smartphone.

On its back, the Nokia 3.1 carries a simple module equipped with a 13 megapixel sensor and a lens opening at f / 2. In full brightness, his shots are just passable. The rendering is not very detailed, faded and the contrasts are limited. Smoothing is added, further decreasing the amount of image information. Luckily, the outlying areas do not suffer an additional loss of quality.

As often, things are even more complicated on low-light shots. The details are rare, partly because of the smoothing, the colors fade and the final rendering is terribly bland.

At the front, it’s an 8-megapixel sensor that acts as a selfie machine. It also offers a passable rendering, the device having all the trouble in the world to manage backlighting and light transitions.

The Nokia 3.1 is capable of shooting in 1080p and 30 fps. The rendering of videos is acceptable, despite light problems, again.


At the heart of its 3.1, Nokia installed a non-removable battery of 2990 mAh. And he’s doing a good job … at first glance. We installed SmartViser, our home automation software, to use the Finnish terminal. Simulating normal use of smartphone with sending text messages, video playback, internet browsing, etc., it will still be 15h59 to lead the 3.1 up to the fateful 15% battery. A beautiful performance. However, it is important to qualify it. Because of the slowdown of the smartphone, SmartViser realized in 15h59 much less action than a fluid terminal. About 20% less than an Honor 6X that offered a range of 15:39. This explains the absence of a fifth star where the rest of the marathoners of her level easily pick her up.

In real conditions, these 15h59 on SmartViser correspond to about two days of real use without going through the charger box. Note that it takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge Nokia 3.1.


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