The brightness varies – it is a good 10% lower at the edges.

Screen summary: Pass – fit for purpose

Performance

Processor Qualcomm SD439 12nm
4x A53 2Ghz and 4 x A53 1.46GHz
GPU Adreno 505
Vulkan 1.1, OpenGL ES 3.1+
H.265 (HEVC), H.264 (AVC), VP8
RAM RAM: 3GB LPDDR3
Storage: 32GB eMMC  20GB free
OTG Support: Yes
Micro-SD card expansion: 400GB UHS-1

The Qualcomm SD439 is the entry-level Snapdragon of choice for 2019. It is 25% faster and uses 25% less power than the SD430. Nokia uses most of its features, but it is not Qualcomm reference design. To reduce cost, it does not use Wi-Fi AC (it is N), Bluetooth 5.0 (it is 4.2), X6 Modem, and QuickCharge 3.0 features (none).

Performance tests: Geek Bench, 4 single/multi-core/compute 902/3337/3095. To put that in perspective it is about as powerful as a 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note4.

Game use: No but will down-mix video to 720p

Heat load and throttling: While it did not throttle due to heat under 100% load for 15 minutes, it ranged from 66,267 GIPS to 82,014 GIPS (average 77913) taking a breather about every 2.5m. This accounts for occasional lag when you have too many apps open. Maximum heat was 37°.

Comms

Wi-FI Wi-Fi N, dual-band,
Wi-Di, Hotspot
BT Bluetooth 4.2
Codec: SBC and aptX
NFC Yes
USB Micro-USB 2.0
GPS GPS and e-compass

You cannot expect Wi-Fi AC or BT 5.0 at this price and not using the entire Qualcomm kit saves quite a lot of pennies. However, NFC and a Fingerprint reader are a real bonus as it supports Google Pay.

Signal strength on 2.4GHz was -52dBm and throughput was 72Mbps compared to our reference Samsung Galaxy Note9 at -36/192Mbps.

What this means is that the Wi-Fi antenna is not as sensitive as other phones and won’t have the speed or distance from the router. It dropped quickly to 50Mbps at 10 metres and 10Mbps at 20metres.

GPS response times were slow – almost too slow for turn-by-turn navigation and taking 20-30 seconds to recalculate routes.

4G/LTE

LTE LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps
Bands: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41  
Sim Single sim with dedicated microSD slot
Other VoLTE or VoWi-Fi capability depends on carrier

Signal strength was -93 compared to our Galaxy Note9 at -104 so it is more sensitive. It barely picked up the second nearest tower at -105, but the Note9 does not see it at all.

Bands are perfect for Australia, but international travellers need to check if they are covered.

Sound

Sound 3.5mm audio jack
Earpiece
Speaker: mono down-firing
Mics – 2
Buds: standard 3.5mm combo
Res Qualcomm Aqstic and aptX

We tested the corded buds, and the best thing we can say is why bother. Yes, they deliver voice and have a mic, but the fidelity is sorely lacking.

We tried the device with a pair of Sony WH-100XM3 headphones that support Hi-Res aptX/HD. The phone can use the aptX codec, and it was clear with little crosstalk.

Sound Signature

Deep Bass: 20-40Hz – nil
Middle Bass: 40-100Hz – nil
High Bass: 100 to 200Hz – nil
Low-mids: 200-400Hz – creeping in at 250Hz
Mids: 400-1000Hz – gradually building
High-mids: 1-2kHz – flat
Low-treble: 2-4kHz – flat
Treble:4-6kHz – flat with a slight peak at 5-6kHz
High Treble: 6-1kHz – flat
Dog whistle: 10-20 – drop off at 16kHz

There is no bass and extremely recessed mids. Higher mids and treble were good. This is an analytical signature – quite clear and crisp for voice but not for movies and music.