Nokia has been outside of the flagship smartphone game for a while, but that doesn’t mean that the company is completely irrelevant. Like other companies that suffered a fall from grace, Nokia is now confined to the budget smartphone market. I was given the opportunity to review one of the latest entries, the Nokia G310 5G.
Not quite a premium phone, not quite a Bargain Bin handset, the G310 5G is a device to get if you want a nice balance of affordability and capability. It sits above the Nokia G210, and it’s eclipsed by phones such as the Nokia XR21. Thus, you’d expect a feature set to reflect this.
The question is, does the Nokia G310 5G reach The Sweet Spot between these phones, or is it the Forgotten middle child? Let’s find out in this review.
Nokia G310 5G Review: Design
In terms of design, I have to admit; if it wasn’t for the Nokia logo front and center, I would have expected this to be a Motorola phone. The use of textured glass in the rounded rectangular camera Island is reminiscent of some of Motorola’s 2023 smartphones. It definitely resembles the Moto G Stylus 2023. In any case, the design does look very nice.
The back glass has this very nice textured and translucent look to it that plays with the light in a very neat way. The light permeates the glass and illuminates it beneath the surface, giving it a bit of depth. So, rather than reflecting off of the surface, the light looks volumetric. It looks absolutely beautiful in the sun.
As for the camera Island, it has a two-tone look that looks like a mixture of glass and metal. However, it’s actually two types of plastic. The size of the camera package and the nearly flush design give it an almost minimalistic and Sleek look.
The Nokia G310 5G has a singular color all around with the glass matching the color of the frame. When it comes to thickness, I’d say it’s pretty much in the middle. It definitely reaches the sweet spot between clunky and too thin. The volume rocker sits pretty high on the phone with the fingerprint scanner/power button right below it. Up front, we have the notched display with a teardrop notch up top and a pretty sizable chin bezel. However, I’ve definitely seen worse chin bezels.
Overall, in terms of design, I think that Nokia went for a nice and understated design that you appreciate. It’s the kind of design that brings to mind the saying “Less is More.”
Nokia G310 5G Review: Build Quality
When it comes to the build quality, admittedly, this phone is not winning any awards. That’s not to say that it’s bad; it’s just that Nokia didn’t go all out to give this phone a premium feeling. The back glass does feel pretty nice, but it does have an almost plasticky feel to it. That’s only made worse when you feel the camera package and its plastic components.
The Nokia G310 5G does have a nice bit of heft to it. This gives you the feeling that it’s not a cheaply made device. It’s pretty significant in the hand, and the thickness of the phone adds to that a bit. Other than that, the use of plastic components for the frame and the buttons does hinder the feeling of it.
On the other hand, when using the phone, there are no creeks or other sounds when pressure is added to it. This means that everything is tightly secured and nothing is moving around when I’m using it. Everything is held together tightly, which means that they should hold together for an extended period of time. Also, all the buttons are very clicky and tactile, which is a plus.
Overall, I’d say that the build quality is good. It gets all of the important parts right like eliminating creeks, and clicky buttons. These all hint at solid Manufacturing. Other superficial qualities like premium materials and weight in the hand aren’t there, but they’re not quite as important as the fundamentals.
Nokia G310 5G Review: Display
When it comes to Android phones, there’s always the chance that an affordable phone comes with an amazing display. This is something I’ve come across many times when reviewing the devices. So, when I first powered on this device, I did so with the understanding that I could very well be blown away by the screen performance. How does this display perform?
Starting off with the screen brightness, it makes me feel nostalgic. Nowadays, even budget phones come with either very bright displays or panels that have an extended brightness mode to boost the brightness in the sunlight. However, back in the day, that was not the case, and you had to just deal with the poor visibility when you stepped into the sunlight.
Unfortunately, that’s the experience I had with this phone. The display brightness is very average. I can comfortably view it at full brightness while inside, which means that outside visibility is a major issue. The moment I stepped into the sun, I was greeted with my reflection. It was very hard to see anything on the screen, and that made taking pictures outside tough as well.
I turned on Adaptive Brightness to see if there was some extended brightness mode, but there was none. It was stuck with the default brightness. When outside in the shade, I think that the screen does pretty well. However, once you step out into the sun itself, you’re going to have to cover the screen with your body.
When it comes to the colors, I’d say that they are decent. Some displays I’ve seen on affordable phones really challenged the notion that LCD displays are unsaturated. However, you won’t get that with this display.
When I turned on some ultra-saturated high-definition HDR videos, I was met with a few pretty pleasing colors. I found that many of the more saturated colors were violet and other colors around that spot in the spectrum. These are videos that are meant to push your display’s colors to the absolute limit, so, the majority of your viewing experience will be pretty mundane compared to the videos.
When watching videos and playing games on this phone, the colors don’t really pop off of the screen, and there aren’t any Vivid or saturated display modes to boost the colors. Overall, the display is just a display.
The contrast of this display is also nothing to write home about. It’s your typical LCD display with no tricks used to boost the contrast. This means that blacks are a dark gray, and high-contrast scenes look pretty dull. So, don’t expect any surprises there.
In terms of smoothness, this display is pretty decent. It’s not the smoothest display you’d find on the market, but it’s still above older phones that you’ll find in this price range. It has a 90Hz refresh rate. This means that the display is notably smoother than a standard 60Hz display.
So, if you are used to a 60hz display, then you will enjoy the added smoothness. However, if you’re more used to high refresh rates, then you will not be impressed.
In my opinion, it’s pretty nice. Animations are pleasant to watch and, with the additional hertz, animations ease in and out pretty gradually.
As I said, there are some cheaper phones with exceptionally good displays. Some of them are very bright for the price, some of them are very colorful, and some come with insanely high refresh rates. In the case of the Nokia G310 5G, it’s evident that the company didn’t put much more effort into the display other than having it turn on. You won’t find an exceptionally great display experience, but it’s not exceptionally bad. You will have a very average and run-of-the-mill experience.
Nokia G310 5G Review: Speaker Performance
Just like with display quality, I’ve tested a fair amount of devices with varying speaker qualities. Sometimes, some of the cheaper devices surprised me with how well their speakers performed. I had my preconceived notions about how the speaker quality would be with the Nokia G310 5G, however, there were some surprises with this phone speaker.
Starting off, I was disappointed to see that there was only one speaker on this phone. It’s a single bottom-firing speaker in an age where phones of similar prices come equipped with dual stereo speakers.
When it comes to loudness, this was a bit of a disappointment. The speaker on this phone is by no means loud. Honestly, I was really wanting a bit more power. When testing speakers, I usually test them at near full volume. However, in the case of the Nokia G310 5G, the volume was full the entire time. And, I was still wanting more power from the speaker.
Nokia does have an ace up its sleeve, as this phone comes with a volume booster. Once the phone is at full volume, simply click the volume up button one more time to enter the volume booster mode. This will bring additional punch to the sound. Nokia says that this is for outdoor situations where you need a louder speaker so that everyone can hear that awesome new TikTok you just discovered.
There are a few issues with this, however. Firstly, the volume booster mode is Handy, but it’s building off of a peak volume that’s already underpowered. So, the volume booster mode pretty much just brings the volume up to par with other phones. It’s not providing any additional power.
Also, if you’re planning on using the volume booster mode, be prepared for the most shrill and brazen sound you’ve ever heard. The volume booster mode seems to just crank up the higher tones using a built-in EQ which makes the sound extremely hard to listen to. So, if you listen to music using this mode, your ears will get tired extremely quickly.
This is the area that surprised me about this speaker. I was expecting very weak low-end performance and shrill audio. However, that was not the case. Honestly, there’s a very pleasant amount of low-end, and that gave the sound a very nice depth and warmth.
I listened to several genres of music with this speaker, and I was actually able to get some decent performance while listening to classical music. The speaker isn’t the optimal speaker for classical music, but it did a great job of producing a well-balanced sound. Lower instruments like double basses and bassoons were able to sing very nicely. They sounded much better than I would expect from a single-firing speaker.
Moving on to more modern genres, the added bass gave a nice punch to epic cinematic music. While classical and epic cinematic music use similar instruments, cinematic music focuses more on impact. The low-end really made the sound pretty much explode. So, if you’re watching an action flick, then the music will sound amazing.
Other genres like 70s pop and 90s R&B sounded amazing. These are two genres I feel have a very tasteful amount of low-end in the sound, especially 90s R&B. 90s R&B focused a ton on warm velvety low sounds that just massage the soul, and this speaker was able to showcase that very nicely. I was able to get a good sound with ’80s music, but that genre had a particular focus on higher-end audio, even with the basses. So, I didn’t quite have the best experience with listening to 80s music.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with how much depth I was able to get from this single-firing speaker. It really sounded nice.
Moving on to the high end, I was less than impressed. Nokia really toned down the high-end performance of the speakers. Granted, too much high-end audio can make the sound brazen on the ears, so I do appreciate the company’s restraint here. However, the higher-end just sounds flat. Sometimes, you want some additional punch when you’re listening to songs with higher percussion. Also, if you’re really into ’80s music, you will want to have those higher synth sounds really sing.
However, that’s not the case. All the higher-end audio just sounds flat with no emphasis. The low end sounds nice, but all the higher tones just seem to sound dead and lifeless. I listened to some examples of ’80s music with a lot of higher synth, and the higher tones just blended in with the mid-tones. The same thing happened when I listened to music with higher percussion. A lot of 90s hip-hop used a strong snare drum. When I listen to that music, the snare drum just blends in with the rest of the audio.
The same thing goes for vocals. The singers’ voices just did not project through the rest of the music. Again, they just sounded flat and lifeless
It seems that Nokia tuned the speaker to really emphasize the low end of the audio. However, the higher tones didn’t get any attention. It’s as though the company just took an EQ, cranked up the lower end, and left the other tones flat. If you want to listen to certain genres of music, you will definitely have a pleasant time. However, the music will sound dull for the most part.
Nokia G310 5G Review: Performance
Speaker quality, display quality, and build quality are great. However, none of that matters if the performance is bad. When it comes to the performance of this phone, it’s about par for the course for a device of this caliber. I didn’t really notice many stutters or dropped frames while using the interface, but they are there.
They’re few and far apart, and they don’t bog down the overall experience. It’s just the occasional stutter that happens when opening up a folder or summoning a menu.
Generally, however, the performance is solid. I didn’t come across any instances when apps took too long to load or lock up. App performance was smooth, and so was the general usability.
It did not heat up all that much. However, I did notice that the performance took a bit of a dip when the phone did eventually get warm. It wasn’t too bad, however. The occasional drop frames would appear slightly more often, and apps will take a little bit longer to load. Some apps will take about a second and a half to load, and some will take about 2 seconds. However, even that’s not too bad
I’d say that the performance of this phone is solid, and you will not have a bad time using it.
Nokia G310 5G Review: Gaming
Regular performance is one thing, but gaming performance is another. The Nokia G310 5G isn’t quite a gaming-centric device, however, there were some surprises. So, let’s go through the section to see whether this phone should be your next portable gaming console.
Simple 2D games
Simple 2D titles are usually the easiest ones to conquer, and I expected this phone to perform admirably. However, the experience was admittedly lackluster at some points but exceptional at others. I played simple 2D titles such as Best Fiends and Survival.IO.
Both games showed some stutter on this phone. They were far from unplayable, but the stutter and drop frames were very much noticeable. When I played Survivor.IO, the game started to lag very early in the round where there were only a few zombies on screen. Unfortunately, as the number of zombies increased, the game lagged even more. Still, it was not unplayable. Regardless, this is still something to keep in mind if you plan on using this phone for some serious gaming.
Mid-range 3D games
Cranking up the graphics a bit, I tried out some 3D games. The games I tested on this device were games like Asphalt 9, Sky: Children Of The Light, DragonBall Legends, and others of this caliber. These are 3D games that are moderately graphically intensive and can definitely slow down weaker Hardware.
The performance of the Nokia G310 5G is a bit of a mixed bag with these games. There is definitely more stutter than I would have wanted. While playing Asphalt 9, I would see it lag every now and then, this game gets very intense very fast, so it could be a pretty heavy load on the phone.
As for Sky, the gameplay was noticeably smoother. There was no lag or drop frames from what I could see. It was definitely nothing I will call a bad performance. The thing about this game is that most of the gameplay revolves around flying over large open areas. That just means that the phone has to render that much more, and it does so proficiently. Other games like DragonBall Legends ran equally as smoothly.
When it comes to games like these, it seems that the Nokia G310 5G is a decent performer. Most 3D games that you’d run across have graphics similar to these games, so you should be able to play most of your favorite games without much issue.
Graphically intensive 3D games
Now, let’s reach the top of the ladder. Games like Sky: Children Of The Light and Asphalt 9 are very pretty and nice to look at, but there are some titles that go the extra mile. Of course, I’m talking about games such as Honkai Star Rail and Genshin Impact. These are some of the most graphically intensive games on the market today, and they’re definitely capable of pushing your hardware to its limits.
Starting off with Star Rail, I played this game on its highest graphical setting, and smooth gameplay was not an option. The game ran at a consistently low frame rate which I figured to be between 12 and 15 frames per second. That only got slower as I entered into battle. Ultimate attacks would cause the game to drop some serious frames. Also, just running through the town setting, the game did not want to keep up.
However, it was still perfectly playable. You can definitely play this game on its highest graphical settings and still have a playable experience, albeit with consistent lag. Turning the graphics down to the low settings gave me much smoother performance, so you will want to do that.
Moving on to this game, it’s no surprise that I got a consistently laggy experience. When I turned the graphics up to the highest settings, rotating the screen and getting that motion blur effect turned the game into a slideshow. It was less playable than Star Rail on its highest settings.
Again, when I turned the graphics down to their low settings, the experience was much smoother. So, more graphically intensive games, obviously, slow this phone down. However, they still remain relatively playable at the highest settings and perfectly playable at lower settings.
All in all, this is not a gaming phone, but it’s still possible to get some decent gaming in. You’ll be able to play most of the titles on the Google Play Store without any fuss. Just know that more graphically intensive games will definitely slow it down
Nokia G310 5G Review: Camera
The camera is an area where I also had a few pleasant surprises. Nokia phones aren’t quite known for their camera quality, and this is still a mid-range device. So, my hopes weren’t super high when testing out this phone’s camera. However, the results came out much better than I expected.
When it comes to the exposure, the camera did a great job at creating a well-balanced and well-exposed image. There weren’t really any places I felt came out underexposed. Overall, I actually felt that the images leaned more toward the bright side. There are some areas where I felt were getting really close to being overexposed. Some areas showed a few hot spots, but nothing was too severe.
At worst, some areas would just come out rather bright. Overall, the exposure is pretty nice.
This is the area where I was pretty surprised. Some cameras on cheaper phones usually tend to focus on oversaturating the image to make it seem more appealing. However, this camera actually struck an amazing balance with the color saturation.
It managed to make colors that were pleasantly saturated but kept from going overboard. There’s enough punch in the pictures to give grass a nice green and juicy look to it and the sky a nice sea blue. However, they kept from being cartoonishly saturated.
A good example is the flower below. This is a red flower, and digital sensors have a hard time capturing red. Normally, this red flower would look extremely saturated and bright in this image. However, the camera seemed to tone down the colors and deliver a nice balanced red tone.
I definitely give Nokia props for its excellent color reproduction. The colors were a bit on the warm side, and that helped with the overall look of the images. I think that the colors are probably the best part of the images.
Another amazing aspect of the images is the contrast. Some of the shadows in the images do tend to get crushed, but it’s not a huge deal. Overall, I think that these images have excellent contrast. I can see the crisp shadows in high-contrast shots, and they look very nice. If the colors are the best part of these images, then the contrast will be the second best.
Now, for the low-light performance. This is a pretty mixed bag, as the results were pretty inconsistent. For starters, without using the night mode, the phone didn’t really attempt to brighten the scene. It appeared to take the pictures of the scene as is. When the lights go down even lower, the camera will take a longer exposure shot to compensate for not brightening up the scene. That could be frustrating, as some scenes benefit more from a simple ISO boost rather than having to hold the phone steady.
When using the night mode, the phone will take an even longer exposure shot in dark environments. With that mode enabled, the results were a bit varied. Some shots came out very blurry and noisy while other shots came out nicely exposed and sharp. It seems to be hit or miss with the low-light performance.
With its best shots, I was able to get some pretty nice results from this camera. So, you might want to be careful when taking pictures at night with this camera.
Overall, I think that the camera performance is solid for this phone’s price. Honestly, I think that the colors and contrast really help to bring out these photos and make for some nice shots.
Nokia G310 5G Review: Battery
When it comes to the battery performance, there weren’t any surprises that jumped out at me. I was able to get just over a day of battery usage on a single charge. That was with moderate usage consisting of some light gaming, video watching, and social media scrolling. The phone lasted overnight into the next day but didn’t last too long after that.
I’d say that the battery performance is pretty decent overall. However, if you’re planning on using this phone heavily, then you’re going to want to have the charger ready. On heavier days, I will still be able to get about a day’s worth of battery power, but it was really struggling toward the later hours.
Overall, I consider the Nokia G310 5G to be a solid device. It doesn’t particularly excel in any category. However, it’s not particularly bad in any category either. The screen brightness isn’t the best and the speaker quality leaves a bit to be desired. However, it excels at just being a generally good phone from head to toe. It does manage to hit a sweet spot in the market by offering a nice user experience.
Do I recommend that you pick up this phone? I’d say yes! For $199.99, you’re getting a solid device with solid performance across the board. There are other options around this price range from the likes of Motorola and TCL, and I think that you should consider those options as well. However, the Nokia G310 5G is ample competition for these devices.
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