Nokia 3.1 review

It’s a 3.1… out of 10, maybe

Nokia 3.1 review
Image Credit: TechRadar

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Battery life

  • 2,990mAh battery 
  • Good stamina for very light use
  • Relatively poor longevity under heavy use

The Nokia 3.1 has a 2,990mAh battery, which seems a decent size for a phone with a 5.2-inch 720p screen. Significantly larger phones get by with almost no extra capacity.

Our experiences with it are mixed, though.

The Nokia 3.1 does well in our standard video test, of playing a 720p 90-minute video at maximum brightness. It loses 14% charge, which is a great result.

However, the phone also loses charge quicker than most with some higher-intensity tasks. A 40-minutes GPS tracked run, for example, took a huge chunk off the battery level. Browsing over 4G drains the Nokia 3.1 more quickly than most too.

Head out in early evening with 50% charge and it may well be dead before you get home if you overdo browsing.

Stick to messaging and the odd bit of social network use and you should get through the day easily enough.

The Nokia 3.1’s battery tech is also dated. Micro USB charging is starting to smell musty, and the charger is not just non-fast, it’s only a 5W plug. Saying that, so is the Moto G7 Play’s. This doesn’t matter if you plan on charging overnight but means a quick 15-minute recharge won’t get you too far.

Nokia 3.1 review

Image Credit: TechRadar


  • Single 13MP rear camera with flash
  • 8MP front-facing camera
  • Poor focusing

The Nokia 3.1 has a basic camera array. There’s a single 13MP camera on the back and an 8MP one up front.

With the right amount of patience, and the right settings applied, the Nokia 3.1 can take charming photos. However, this is still a categorically bad camera, for several reasons.

First, the camera usually takes several seconds to initialize. You are left waiting. And if the moment hasn’t passed by the time it wakes up, you may at least find your patience fraying around the edges when the preview image appears.

Focusing performance is also terrible. The Nokia 3.1 often refuses to focus properly, leaving you with a blurred image. If it does decide to work, focusing is slow.

When shooting standard images, dynamic range is poor. This completely reverses when you switch on the HDR mode. Like most recent phones, the Nokia 3.1 has excellent software-based dynamic range enhancement. However, HDR photos are extremely slow to capture. There’s no Auto HDR mode, and for the best results you’ll want to use HDR almost every time.

Nokia 3.1 review

Image Credit: TechRadar

Shooting with the Nokia 3.1 is no fun. It’s lethargic, you need to manually increase screen brightness to make sure you can see what you’re actually shooting, and focus is horribly unreliable.

However, with patience and a steady hand, the Nokia 3.1 can still capture some lovely HDR images. Behind-the-scenes software lifts up all the shadow detail that would otherwise look near-black in a standard photo.

Night images are poor, though. Extreme grain and low detail show that this is both a low-end sensor, and that image enhancing software does very little for these images. Several of our darkest images are riddled with pure white dots, which may be uncorrected sensor pixel errors.

The Nokia 3.1 captures video at up to 1080p using the rear camera, or up to 720p with the selfie camera, and neither uses software stabilization to make your footage look smoother. This camera seems almost entirely under-optimized.

Selfie quality is poor too. Images suffer from muted color and a lack of fine detail.

Camera samples

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.