Top positive review
If you want a phone, that's it.
September 13, 2018
Some context first:
Why did I buy a phone?
I broke the screen on my 3 year old moto x play. It was 100$ to change the screen and 150$ to get a used one on ebay. I have a good mobile plan and it seemed like it would have gone up 12$ a month to get a subsidized phone. I decided to look for an unlocked phone in the 300$ range instead of those two options.
How do I use my phone?
There are 4 reasons I use a phone: calendar, texting with family, gps and taking pictures of the kids.
So now the review:
The phone is awesome if you want to use it for productivity, phone stuff and family pictures. Nokia seems to have taken an average phone and improved everything that matters so that it becomes a good phone that will last a while without becoming incredibly slow. It has a high amount of ram (4GB), a more than decently fast cpu, and an android version with basically no extra crap software. By far, it's the cleanest android implementation with no extra crap. If you want a basic phone that you don't have to change every 2 years because it's become unbearably slow, I think this phone is it. (Of course, the phone having just recently come out, we can't say how it will be in 2 years.)
The only two real downsides:
1)The camera is not so great and I'm still learning to use it effectively. Comparing to my moto x play, I get more missed shots now (motion blur mostly). This being said, it's not half bad. After 2-3 days of taking more pictures, I'm much more effective. It may be a camera interface issue mostly. (Full disclosure, I'm a decent photographer and I've even shot weddings for money.) It does seem like the default camera app has a lot of smoothing. I might try with some other camera apps. A big plus side (for me) is that the default camera app has manual settings built-in.
2)The loudspeaker is not as loud as my previous phone. I probably just have to recalibrate a bit to how this phone works. The motorola loudspeaker was so loud, I could use it as a speakerphone *without* turning on the speakerphone mode. That's how loud it used to be. Basically, I think I just got used to a phone that a loudspeaker so loud that I don't really hold the phone right up to my ear now.
Issues I've read in other reviews that aren't a problem:
The screen is fine. Seriously. It's not an amoled, I realize that, but compared to every phone I've had previously, it's fine. If I want to work on editing pictures, I go to a proper computer anyway. I also don't listen to movies and play games on the phone, so I don't have a problem with the screen.
Size and weight are quite manageable. It's on the bigger side, but there seems to be a recent trend back towards phone inflation. It's slightly bigger than my moto x play, but not enough for me to feel the difference. (For comparison, when I moved from 2 phones ago to the moto x play, I felt the difference instantly and it bugged me for a number of weeks.) I haven't had to necessarily hold the phone with both hands all the time. This being said, I have large hands compared to most people.
It's an awesome phone, especially if what you want is a phone that can last a while, works properly, does the basics well and is not too expensive.