Nokia 3.4 review: Decent daily driver for those on a budget

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Nokia has surprisingly been churning out a lot of good budget smartphones lately and this one’s no different. While there’s stiff competition at its price point, I can vouch for the Nokia 3.4 as a daily driver, especially for people who depend on their smartphones to accomplish a huge chunk of their daily tasks. Here are some of the things you have to take note of when considering this device. 

Design

The overall build is lightweight and easy to navigate. The fingerprint scanner is conveniently placed under the disc-shaped camera module, which is close to the top of the rear’s layout. It’s a good design choice because it minimizes unnecessary elements when the device is used with a ring light or stabilizer.

The dedicated Google Assistant button is placed on the left side of the device opposite the power button and volume rocker. It’s convenient but is prone to being accidentally activated when you’re picking up the phone.

The punch-hole screen and the textured rear work well together to pull off an elegant design that’s complemented by the Fjord Blue colorway of the unit on-hand. Since the Nokia 3.4 is more on the budget-friendly line, it uses a plastic material to encase the whole device. While the phone gives off a premium vibe with its design, the material feels a bit cheap.

Performance

The interface is smooth and apps are easy to navigate and organize. On top of this, the gesture control is easy to use with only one hand.

The Snapdragon 460 chip makes sure that multitasking is not a problem. The phone can run more than a handful of apps at once, like GSuite, Facebook, and Spotify, without lag. However, it’s different with games, such as PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile. It takes time for in-game graphics to render, which can severely affect player performance.

Camera

Don’t expect too much from the Nokia 3.4’s camera—it’s serviceable at best. It works okay in well-lighted environments, but don’t bank on images to have a rich contrast. It doesn’t perform well in low light even when using the night mode feature, which bumps up the shadow, making the image look noisy and overly processed. Photos also come out a little bit pasty and undersaturated, but it’s something that a photo editing app can fix.

Display

The 6.39-inch IPS LCD display is one of the features that stand out in the Nokia 3.4. The colors are bright and the brightness is enough to make the screen visible under direct sunlight. However, it would have been better if it were Full HD. The 720×1560 resolution crops some content, while others were squeezed in-frame. Finer details such as small in-game texts appear to be pixelated at times, but the rest look fairly sharp.

Battery

The Nokia 3.4 battery life is impressive. HMD Global claims it can last for two days, and we got pretty close to that. Battery drain is slow, as even more than an hour of heavy use barely leaves a dent on the battery. However, charging is a different story. It supports only up to 10W charging, which means topping up to 100% means charging the phone for a little over two hours.

Speed says

The Nokia 3.4 is a good phone for productivity thanks to its clean and straightforward UI (it runs pure Android 10 and is Android 11-ready), decent processor, and impressive battery life. However, if mobile photography is important to you, you might want to look elsewhere.

When it was launched, it was priced at P7,990. In February however, it got a price cut and now retails for P6,990, which is a better price point for the features the phone offers.

Geek meter: 8

Specs

  • 6.3-inch HD+
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 CPU
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD up to 512GB
  • Android 10 (Android 11 ready)
  • 4,000mAh battery w/ 10W charging
  • 160.97 x 75.99 x 8.7 mm, 180g
  • Colors: Fjord, Charcoal
Words and photos by Ant Sierra

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