Hands on: Nuu G3

A budget phone with a couple of flagship features

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Nuu G3 has lots of storage, dual rear cameras, sizable screen and an attractive price tag making it an interesting proposition at the budget end of the market.

For

  • Fingerprint and face unlock
  • Large, bright display
  • Affordable price

Against

  • Rear is a fingerprint magnet
  • Screen is 'only' 720p

The Nuu G3 has had its European launch at MWC 2018, and we got hands on with the budget smartphone that offers a big screen and facial recognition for an affordable price tag.

It finds itself going up against the likes of the Alcatel 3V and STK X2, with these budget offerings providing surprisingly solid feature sets for their price points. 

Nuu G3 release date and price

The Nuu G3 was launched in the US during CES in January, but it's now making its way to Europe where it's expected to arrive in April.

In the US the Nuu G3 price is $200, while in the UK you'll be looking at £199 for the SIM-free handset from the firm's website and Amazon.

Design and display

The Nuu G3 has a premium, tidy design which looks good. Pick it up and it feels lightweight, and the plastic body is noticeable - detracting a little from the premium look.

Round the back, the glossy, shiny rear makes the phone stand out as it catches the light - it's a nice affect, but the finish is a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

A centrally located fingerprint scanner, below the dual camera block, is easy to reach, as are the power and volume keys on the right.

Measuring 153 x 70 x 9mm the G3 is a sizable presence in the hand, and those with smaller palms will struggle to comfortably hold and use the phone in one hand.

The curved rear edges do allow the G3 to sit more snugly in-hand though, affording you a better grip on the handset.

On the front you get a 5.7-inch HD+ (1440 x 720) display with the now-popular 18:9 aspect ratio which makes it taller and thus better suited to movies and gaming when held in landscape.

The screen is bright and clear, and while we'd have liked to of seen a full HD display, the G3 is still perfectly usable.

Camera and battery

This may be a low-cost smartphone, but it does offer up something more commonly found in high-priced flagships - dual rear cameras.

You get 13MP and 5MP cameras on the back of the Nuu G3, and they worked pretty well during our hands on time with the phone. They're certainly not able to provide the same quality of images as more expensive phones, but if you're patient the G3 can take some good shots.

Round the front there's another 13MP camera ready for all your selfie-taking needs.

A 3,000mAh battery sits inside the handset, and it offers quick charge, allowing you to easily top up the phone before heading out for the night.

Performance and interface

The Nuu G3 comes with a MediaTek Helio P25 octa-core chipset and 4GB of RAM, which means there's a decent slug of power under the hood.

It manages to run Android smoothly, but it's not the latest version of Google's software. 

Instead it runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, although TechRadar has been told that the G3 will be getting an update to Oreo in March (for the US) - so there's a good chance it'll arrive in Europe with Oreo on-board come April.

The good news is that the Nuu G3 runs stock Android, and the firm hasn't added any bloatware, allowing for a clean interface and user experience.

You also get 64GB of storage, plus a microSD slot, inside the G3, which is a lot of storage at this price point.

Finally, it offers facial recognition for face unlock, although we were unable to try this feature out during our hands on time.

Early verdict

The Nuu G3 offers a decent amount of power, sizable screen, lots of storage and dual rear cameras for an attractive price tag. 

While there's competition from some more established names, if you're looking for something a bit different from your budget smartphone the G3 is worth considering.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.