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Mobile HDR10 means it can display a wider range of colours, but mostly it is about brightness and contrast. It uses HDR metadata fromHDR10 compatible content (movies, videos and stills) to adjust the image. AboveHDR10 is Dolby Vision. You can read about HDR10 and Netflix support here.

It joins an elite group of Flagship phones with HDR10

These include Apple iPhone 8/X/XS, LG V30/40 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S9/+/Note9 and Sony Xperia XZ2 – all phones at least three times more expensive.

Brightness is spectacular averaging 500 nits (typical) and 600 (maximum auto). Given that it is an IPS screen you can’t get perfect black like OLED but it went down to around four nits giving a contrast ratio of 1300:1.

Daylight readability was average, probably because of the reflective Gorilla Glass 3.

There are no colour or saturation controls so what you see is what you get. It favours punchy, vibrant colours over DCI-P3 accuracy – what Joe and Jane Average prefer.

Screen summary: The best word for it is enjoyable – it is a lovely screen far better than you can normally get for the price.

Performance

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
1.8Ghz Quad-Core Kryo 260 Gold
1.6Ghz Quad-Core Kryo 260 Silver
60% faster than Nokia 6 processor
GPU Adreno 509
RAM 3GB LPDDR4X-1333Mhz
32GB eMMC 5.1 (19GB free)
MicroSD to 400GB (uses dedicated slot2)
Free, unlimited photo storage with Google Photos
OTG external storage support

The Qualcomm636 is a mid-range SoC with many of last year’s flagship Qualcomm 835features now included.

Nokia sticks fairly close to its reference design to ensure good Android One support. You will find the 636 in BlackBerry Key2, Motorola Z3Play (reviewed here) and many more smartphones only seen in China.

Geek Bench 4 performance tests show 1924/4911 single/multi-core. This is in line with other phones using the same SoC and shows a good implementation of the Qualcomm SoC. By comparison, it is about the same speed as last year’s flagship Qualcomm 835 based Google Pixel 2 XL.

Renderscript is 4608, and it will achieve 60fps in common mobile games.

External temperature is 35° under load – great.

Comms

Comms Wi-Fi AC. Dual band, wave 2, 1×1 MIMO, Max 433Mbps
Wi-Di, Hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0 (supports SBC and aptX)
USB type C 2.0 (480MBps bit tops out a 280Mbps)
NFC

The device supports a maximum of 433Mbps on the 5GHz band at 2m from our reference D-Link AC5300 router. At 5M it is 130MBps and then switches back to the 2.4GHz band. This is the only real compromise over flagships that support 867Mbps or even faster. Still, it is fine for most uses including streaming of FHD content.

NFC is handy for Google Pay.

Sound

Sound 3.5mm audio jack
Earpiece
Down-firing speaker
ANC dual mics

It has a particularly loud ringtone measuring over 80dB. Music/voice is around 75dB – very good for hands-free and music use.

Output via 3.5mm cable to buds or an amplifier is 20Hz-20kHz although signal strength (volume) is a tad low.