NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ review: Two budget smartphones worth considering

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NUU Mobile G3

The NUU Mobile G3 clocks in at US$199.99 and the G3+ clocks in at US$229.99. But even better, as of this review, they’re listing on NUU Mobile’s site for US$139.99 and US$149.99 which is a killer deal.

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We’ve reviewed our fair share of thousand dollar flagship phones and even mid-range phones. We’ve also been able to review a handful of budget phones and they just keep getting better.

The NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ are both budget phones whose prices are very attainable for just about everyone. The NUU Mobile G3 clocks in at US$199.99 and the G3+ clocks in at $229.99. But even better, as of this review, they’re listed on NUU Mobile’s site for $139.99 and $149.99 which is a killer deal.

That all being said, both the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ are worth considering if your budget is tight. But you have to remember that as good as these phones are, they’re still budget smartphones so you can’t compare them to higher priced flagships. Read on for the full review of the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+.

Specifications

The NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ have identical features and specifications except the G3+ battery is 1,000 mAh bigger:

  • Operating System: Android 8.0 Oreo (NUU Mobile says it will be upgradeable to Android 9 Pie later)
  • CPU: Helio P25 Octa-Core 2.39GHz
  • Display: 5.7″ HD+ 1440 x 720 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Cameras:
    • Rear Camera: 13 MP + 5MP
    • Front Camera: 13MP
  • Video: HD recording 1920 x 1080
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage:
    • Internal: 64GB
    • External: Supports up to 128GB MicroSD card
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh (G3) 4,000 mAh (G3+)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Dual-SIM, NFC
  • Dimensions: 153mm x 70mm x 9mm

What’s In The Box

  • NUU Mobile G3 or G3+
  • Power brick
  • USB Type-C cable
  • TPU case
  • SIM ejection tool
  • USB Type-C to AUX dongle
  • Manuals and documentation
NUU Mobile G3

Blue is the G3 and the black is the G3+

Design

The design of both the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ is identical, there is no difference between them even in dimensions. The entire phone is made of glass and metal, just like most phones these days. The materials feel really nice, one could argue it doesn’t feel as premium as a flagship but I think it’s not far off.

The front of the phones have a decent sized 5.7″ HD+ display with nice slim side bezels. The top and bottom bezels are much more noticeable and large but this is a budget phone so we can’t expect all the bells and whistles. The front also houses the 13MP front camera, sensors, earpiece, and a nice LED notification light.

Turning the phone over you’ll find a nice glass back with a nice pattern that reflects in the right light. There is the fingerprint sensor, dual 13/15MP cameras, LED flash and the Nuu Mobile branding. Surrounding both pieces of glass is a nice metal frame.

There’s nothing on the left side of the metal frame while the right side houses the textured power key and volume rocker. I love that all the buttons are on the right side, it makes handling the phone one-handed easier. At the top, you’ll find the SIM card/SD card tray which you can access with the included tool.

At the bottom, you’ll find the USB Type-C port as well as the speaker. There are also antenna lines that run along the bottom as well as the top and the microphone is nestled in at the bottom as well.

Overall, the feel of these budget smartphones is nice. While they’re not flagship phones, they look and feel like a flagship phone. I think, for this price, the materials, construction, and design of these phones are really nice. At first glance, no one will tell the difference between this and a more expensive phone.

Display

The NUU Mobile G3 series has a 5.7″ HD+ display which gives you a decent 1440 x 720 resolution. This is certainly one of the main reasons these phones are priced in the budget range. That being said, while I prefer at least an FHD display at 1920 x 1080 on a smartphone. This display isn’t bad at all, just lower resolution. So you’ll still be able to enjoy HD content but at 720p resolution.

That all being said, the colors on this display are very nice. They are vibrant and clean and somewhat punchy. The blacks are acceptable, not as deep as other more expensive displays but for the price, this is very acceptable. Whites are very clean and bright as well and text is easy to read, no issues at all.

Videos and photos look very nice on the display, you really don’t see a major difference between this HD+ display and better FHD+ displays. I’ll keep repeating this throughout the review, for the price, I don’t think buyers of the NUU Mobile G3/G3+ will complain at all about this panel.

Overall, this is a great panel for the money. Of course, you will see the difference if you held this up side by side to a higher end smartphone but your wallet will probably thank you.

NUU Mobile G3

The display is okay

Software

The NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ both run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. This is somewhat of a disappointment as it is not the latest Android version. I would have like to see NUU Mobile use Android 9.0 Pie on this device. Google is already working on the next version of Android which will come later this year, so it feels like this device may behind even if it gets Pie this year. But there is good news, NUU Mobile does say they will be upgrading the G3 and G3+ to Android Pie this year.

That being said, Android 8 is still nice and it runs well on the G3/G3+. For the most part, the interface looks like stock Android. NUU Mobile uses Google Photos as your default gallery app, it uses Android Messages and Android Dialer for your texting and phone calls. There is little to no bloatware on the phones, which is a huge plus.

Overall, the software here runs just fine, it would have been nice to see Android 9.0 instead of 8.0 but again, for the umpteenth time, they are budget smartphones and Pie is supposed to be coming.

Performance

When it comes to performance, the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ held up decently well considering the MediaTek CPU inside. This is another reason these are budget smartphones because MediaTek CPUs are generally cheaper to use than Qualcomm Snapdragon CPUs. That’s not to say that MediaTek is bad, not at all. They can be very good, but they do lag behind in terms of power.

The G3/G3+ felt pretty good, all things considering. There was the occasional lag when opening apps or switching between apps but nothing most people couldn’t deal with. They just have to remember that the phone they’re using is probably paid off and the guy next to them is still paying a monthly payment on that US$1,000 phone.

Scrolling, pinch to zoom, and gestures were all acceptable, there was the occasional jitter or lag but nothing horrible. Compared to budget phones from just a year ago, things have drastically improved. The fingerprint sensor was amazingly fast on both units, this isn’t unusual as the technology has really gotten better over the years.

Gaming is okay on these phones but not the best, for obvious reasons. The phone can get a bit hot when playing graphics intensive games and the games can slow down from time-to-time. This is all normal given the CPU running on these phones.

Overall, the performance isn’t bad given the price you’re paying for the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+. I think most users are going to be fine and most users buying this phone aren’t really looking for a gaming phone.

Speakers/Sound

The speaker on the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ isn’t going to win any awards here. It’s tinny, thin, and lacks any sort of depth. It’s pretty flat and dead but it’s fine for videos in a pinch. If you want good sound, you’ll need to go with headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.

Camera

The camera on the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ is acceptable. It’s certainly not going to compete with higher-end phones but it does a good enough job that I think most people will be happy. Like most budget or mid-range cameras, it does fairly well in good lighting conditions so you won’t have any issues with outdoor photos or indoor photos with good lighting.

Low-light situations are where budget cameras don’t do so great. To be honest with you, sometimes even flagship cameras can suck in low-light. The advantage higher-end phones have is their AI and software capabilities that can help with low-light conditions.

Still, in the right conditions, these cameras can give you nice clean and vibrant photos. For the most part, I think most users considering budget smartphones are prepared to deal with results from a camera like this.

Overall, these phones have good front and rear cameras for good lighting conditions. They don’t do so great in low-light but that’s not going to be a deal-breaker for the users considering this device.

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth reception was fine, industry standard, it works. Call quality was also fine, once in awhile callers said I sounded like I was in a box but only when on speakerphone. Overall, the call quality on the earpiece is good, the speakerphone isn’t great but again, given the price, many won’t have a problem with this.

Battery Life

Battery life on the G3 was acceptable, it got me through the day for the most part. A few times, depending on what I was doing, I had to charge it a few hours before bedtime. The G3+ with a battery that is 1,000 mAh bigger, did a better job. Most days it had at least 30% left in the tank at the end of the day. Battery life is going to be different for everyone, it really depends on how you use it and what settings you have.

NUU Mobile G3 budget smartphones

The G3+ has a 4,000 mAh battery compared to the 3,000 mAh battery in the G3.

Price/Value

The NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ are super budget smartphones and are priced at US$199.99 and $229.99 respectively. NUU Mobile currently has a sale on them on their website which makes them a crazy $139.99 and $149.99.

Even at the regular price, I think both of these phones have tons of value to users who are on a strict and tight budget.

Wrap Up

The NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ aren’t for everyone. They don’t have all the bells and whistles and performance flagship phones have and not everyone needs all of that. These are affordable budget smartphones that give users a pretty good experience for the price of entry. If you’re looking to save some cash on a new smartphone but still have a decent performing device, then the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ are certainly a pair of budget smartphones to consider.

*We received a review unit of the NUU Mobile G3 and G3+ for the purposes of this review.

NUU Mobile G3/G3+

US$199.99/$229.99
8.8

Design

9.0/10

Display

8.5/10

Software

9.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Speakers/Sound

8.5/10

Camera

8.5/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.0/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Decent design
  • Not a bad display for the price
  • Dual-Sim and unlocked
  • Performance is good for everyday tasks
  • Great battery life, especially from the G3+
  • Slim and thin
  • Priced right

Needs work

  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Cameras aren't the best but one must remember this is a budget phone

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