Nuu Mobile is a budget handset maker whose phones range from a bargain-basement £39.99 to the 5.7-inch Nuu Mobile G3, examined here, which costs £199.99. The chassis may be plastic, the screen low resolution, the processor average, and the camera setup moderate — but if you're on the tightest of budgets, is it worth considering?
The Nuu Mobile G3 is based on a MediaTek Helio P25 chipset with 4GB of RAM, a combination that delivered average Geekbench 4 scores of 3,757 (multi-core) and 955 (single core). That's well ahead of the MediaTek MT6750V/M in the £166.99 STK X2 (2,623 and 661 respectively), but nowhere near what you'd see from a flagship-class handset, which deliver multi-core scores well over 8,500.
If CPU performance is reasonable, battery life is disappointing. The 3,000mAh battery only managed 5 hours 30 minutes under the Geekbench battery test, gaining a benchmark score of 2640. Many users may struggle to get through a full day on a single charge.
There are minimal bezels on the long edges of the 5.7-inch screen, which curves slightly, giving this handset a somewhat upmarket look. This is mitigated somewhat by significant top and bottom bezels, and by the quality of the screen itself. The 18:9 screen is notchless, but the resolution is just 720 by 1,440 pixels (282ppi), so the viewing experience could be better: text can look grainy at times, and video can lack definition. The screen is amazingly bright, which helps with outdoor viewing in bright sunlight, but indoors the adaptive brightness setting is a bit too much. Perhaps toning it down might help with both indoor readability and battery life.
My review unit had a crimson back that reflects light to give some interesting effects, similar to the much more expensive Honor View 20. There's also a dark blue version with the same light reflection capabilities that's somewhat more demure-looking. In both cases the backplate is smooth, shiny and not very grippy, although it does curve into the long edges, which helps a little. A lozenge on the back houses the two camera lenses, with a fingerprint reader below this.
This is a dual SIM handset, and the second SIM slot can also house a MicroSD card for storage expansion. There is 64GB of internal storage, of which 8.94GB was used out of the box, leaving 55.06GB free.
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There is no 3.5mm headset slot, but you get a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter in the box. Headphones are not provided, but many users will already have a preferred headset. There are what appear to be two speaker grilles on the bottom edge, but close inspection reveals that the right-hand one is covered on the inside. Audio quality (from the left-hand grille) is quite tinny, with moderate maximum volume. You'll probably prefer to use a headset most of the time.
Even on the budget smartphone, the cameras need to deliver at least passable images. The 13MP front camera shoots a reasonable selfie, while the 13MP main rear camera, in combination with the second 5MP depth-sensing camera produced some nice bokeh (sharp subject, blurred background) shots. However, the rear camera struggled in both low light indoors and bright light outside, and overall the results might not meet expectations.
The handset runs on Android 8 with the addition of an FM radio, a file manager and not much else. It's a shame that there aren't a few added extras like a reading mode for the screen — this is almost a requirement these days and I did miss it.
The Nuu Mobile G3 may attract potential buyers because of its fancy backplate and availability in red. But if you're interested in buying a handset at around the £200 mark, do take a look at what else is on offer. For example, I found last year's Motorola Moto G6 for £180, while the Honor 10 Lite costs £200 and has a similar light-refracting backplate. A scout around will uncover other possibilities, too.
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