Nokia 3.1 Unboxing, Quick Review: Pure Android Goodness that Won’t Break the Bank

by Duey Guison  September 5, 2018

Time to check out HMD Global’s most affordable Android One phone!

No other manufacturer has gone all in with pure Android quite like HMD Global and Nokia. The company has openly declared that all of their phones would run pure Android via  Android One and Android Go, and they’ve been true to their word so far. The Nokia 3.1 is the latest Android One smartphone from the brand, and HMD Global hopes that the improved specs and its pure Android experience is enough to make people switch.

What’s in the box?

The Nokia 3.1 comes with a white box with a clear photo of the Nokia 3.1 up front. Inside the slide-out box, you have the phone itself, along with a SIM eject tool, 5W wall charger, MicroUSB cable, headset, and some documentation.

There’s no preinstalled screen protector or protective case included with the Nokia 3.1, which may disappoint those planning to buy this phone.


It looks very similar to the Nokia 3. 

You’re right – if you compare the back panels of both the Nokia 3 and Nokia 3.1, they look almost identical save for the engraved Android One branding on the latter. That means you still have an aluminum frame—this time with chamfered edges, and a matte polycarbonate back cover that is resistant to smudges.

Port layout remains the same, too: you have your SIM and MicroSD trays on the left, power and volume controls on the right, headphone jack on top, and MicroUSB and loudspeaker at the bottom.

Because the Nokia 3.1 maintains the compact shape of its predecessor, it is very pocketable. Using the phone one-handed is easy with the Nokia 3.1.

Did they change anything with the display?

Yup. The Nokia 3.1 has a 5.2-inch 18:9 display, which gives you more screen estate compared to its predecessor. What’s nice is that increased screen size doesn’t translate into a bigger body, as it has roughly the same dimensions as the Nokia 3. To make that happen, the Nokia 3.1 ditched the capacitive buttons of its predecessor for in-display buttons. Fingerprint-resistant Gorilla Glass protects the display.

During our initial use, the Nokia 3.1’s display renders vibrant colors and is bright even at 50% brightness.


How about the cameras?

The Nokia 3.1 borrows the rear camera of last year’s Nokia 5. The upgraded rear cameras should give better quality photos—at least on paper. Here are a few sample shots we took so far:

As for the front camera, you get the same wide-angle 8-megapixel f/2.0 sensor of its predecessor. We can’t give you a solid verdict right now – you’ll have to wait until our full review if the phone’s snappers deliver.

What is under the hood?

You have a MediaTek Helio 6750 processor paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. We were getting conflicting results from AIDA64, AnTuTu, and CPU-Z on whether the Nokia 3.1 came with a MediaTek MT6570 or MediaTek P10. We reached Nokia for clarification, and they said that the Nokia 3.1 does come with an MT6750 processod.

Keeping the lights on is a 2990mAh battery, which is slightly smaller than average. There’s no fingerprint scanner or face unlock on the Nokia 3.1, so you’ll have to settle for PIN and Password security methods.

On the OS side, you have stock Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. Since the Nokia 3.1 is an Android One device, it is guaranteed to be updated to Android Pie and Android Q in the future, along with monthly security updates.

How much does it cost?

The Nokia 3.1 is priced at Php 9,990 and should be available nationwide. Even if is an Android One phone, the Nokia 3.1 will be facing a tough competition with the said price segment. We will be publishing a more comprehensive review in the coming days to see if this phone is worth considering.

Nokia 3.1 specs

  • MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch HD+ IPS display, 1440 x 720 resolution, anti-fingerprint coating, Gorilla Glass
  • 32GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, AF, 1.12um sensor size, f/2.0 aperture, LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera, AF, 1.12um sensor size, f/2.0 aperture, 84-degree wide angle
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 2990mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (Android One)

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