Since the Nokia brand relaunch, HMD Global has done a great job of releasing clean designed, pure Android-base smartphones. The Nokia 7.2 is no different in this regard. It is different though in that it comes with a 48 megapixel, Zeiss lens digital camera and Nokia's PureDisplay technology.
The Nokia 7.2 smartphone is a beauty and its design is stunning. The frame is built with a polymer composite that the company says has double the strength of regular polycarbonate, but half the weight of aluminium. The frosted glass on the back is really nice - and not slippery at all, when compared to other devices. This results in a pretty light smartphone at only 180 grams. Below the camera is the fingerprint reader, which works really well for unlocking the device with a single coordinated movement of hand/fingers. This is also where you will find the NFC antenna so if you use Google Pay, this is the area you have to tap on credit card readers - and it works a charm here. Another security feature available is facial recognition.
Behind all this is a platform running Android 9 - with a path to Android 10 upgrades in the roadmap, which includes two years of upgrades and three years of security updates.
In addition to the usual power, volume up and volume down buttons you will find a new button on the left side - a Google Assistant hardware button, which allows you to invoke the Assistant without using "OK Google" or without pressing and holding the Home button on the homepage. This is really cool - until I found out that because of this hardware button you can't change the default Assistant (I use Alexa as my default Assistant, seeing I have a range of Amazon Echo-compatible devices at home). Strangely Google Assistant didn't like the system language "English (New Zealand)" and only worked once I've changed it to "English (Australia)" - but blame this on Google and the lack of support for the New Zealand market.
The battery is a pretty good 3500 mAh, which is managed through some smarts that try and stretch it to almost two days of normal use. In practice I was getting a full day out of it - but I have disabled power management for a list of apps and watched at least 90 minutes of video a day - see below.
One of my common use case is watching Netflix and Prime Video content during my daily commute - the 6.3” FHD+ display is a perfect size for this. This display also features PureDisplay, a technology that performs real-time HDR conversion so digital content will show with just a bit more contrast and details. This is a neat trick, considering the display uses LCD instead of the more expensive OLED technology. In reality you get some good video performance out of the combination of FHD+ and PureDisplay - and after watching some Netflix videos on both my other (OLED) smartphone and the Nokia 7.2 I can say it looks pretty similar to me.
The Nokia 7.2 comes with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage with support for a microSD card of up to 512 GB. The New Zealand model is dual SIM - and the tray is long enough to also accommodate a microSD card while using the two SIM cards - a feat.
In terms of networking, it is worth noting support for WiFi 5 GHz - something not all low- and mid-tier phones support.
The platform is based on an older Snapdragon 660 chipset. The result is that this phone won't beat the top-of-line 2019 models in terms of speed - but will come close. If you compare side-by-side with a top-tier device you will notice a slight delay when launching or switching apps. Otherwise it will feel pretty much the same but won't win any benchmark races.
The main camera does a very good job at portraits and bokeh photos, and even include a wide angle mode. These all work really well with good light but I found a bit lacking for night shots. The front-facing (selfie) camera is amazing though and the portrait photos are really detailed here. Overall you will get good photos and if you have some expertise you will enjoy using the Pro mode to tweak the photos even more.