There are two kinds of phone fan.
One is totally unphased at dropping a grand on the latest and most sought after slabs of perfection.
But what about the rest of us? We’re not so willing to frit away huge sums of cash money on a slab of glass and metal. Especially when there’s an army of sub £250 smartphones out there. Plenty of ‘em have serious specs, as well as designs that nod towards the glitzy starlets of smartphone showmanship, a la Samsung and Apple.
The Nuu G3 is one of them. Those dual cameras on the back and shiny glass build caught our attention at Mobile World Congress, so we made sure to get our hands on one like the phone-addicted magpies that we are…
Design and Screen
The G3 has a clean and simple look, with curved edges that make it a snug fit in the hand. The 2.5D glass gives it a flashy glossiness that has more in common with the Samsung Galaxy S9, not the pasticky feel we’ve come to find with a lot of budget phones.
The real party is around the back, though: there's a super shiny panel which catches the light - adding a touch of glamour, just like the Honor 9. You’ll also find the easy-to-reach fingerprint sensor there, right underneath the dual camera - but not so close you'll be smudging the lens every time you unlock the phone. There’s a micro SD slot up top, in case the 64GB on-board storage won’t satisfy your media hoarding.
The 5.7in LCD screen has one of those all-the-rage 18:9 aspect ratio panels, which makes for a fuller screen experience - even if the pixel count isn't exactly huge. I squeezed in a short game of Temple Run 2, and thought it was still pretty impressive for a mere 720p resolution.
A few years ago, we'd feel truly spoilt to get dual cameras on a sub-£200 phone. It's hardly uncommon on mid-range handsets now, but even in 2018 it's still a pleasant surprise.
You get a 13MP and 5MP setup on the back of the G3, which adds a bokeh-blurring portrait mode. Dreamy out-of-focus backgrounds are assured, even if it’s a bit fiddly to use the on-screen slider, as you have to be really precise to get convincing results.
Are you going to get Google Pixel 2 or iPhone X quality photography out of it? Nah, not really - the pixel count might be decent, but this is still a budget phone. But do you really need print-quality snaps for your instagram posts of your dog rolling around in the snow?
Since the world’s experiencing a selfie epidemic, as if all mirrors have been banished, the G3 has another 13MP camera ready for your close-ups and closer-ups. There’s a beauty mode too - which actually makes your eyes sparkle a bit. No thank you. That front-facing camera has a more important job to do anyway - face recognition. Although we didn’t get to see that in action, so can't say how responsive it is.
Performance and software
Underneath all the blue glass bling is a MediaTek octa-core CPU, which is fine for a sub-£200 handset but hardly likely to set any benchmark records - even if it is paired with 4GB of RAM to help out with multitasking.
It runs Android smoothly enough, but the G3 still stuck on 7.1. There are plans for Nuu to upgrade to Android Oreo later this year, but there's no set date so you could be waiting a while. On the plus side, you get NFC for Android Pay - something that's still not guaranteed in a budget phone.
An ample 3,000mAh battery offers quick charge, allowing you to easily top up the phone before the day is out. With such a low screen resolution, we'd hope it could eke out enough juice to last until the next morning - but we'll have to wait until a full review to find out.
The Nuu G3 is a capable, decent phone for a fifth of the price of an iPhone X. There, we’ve said it. It proves that face-recognition and dual cameras needn’t be reserved for only the kings and queens of the smartphone dynasty.
We can’t hammer this home enough. So we’ve got an electrical drill, a chisel, a 5 metre ladder and a flashlight to shine onto you and say ‘It’s only £200!’
Even with that attractive price, though, there are plenty more well-established names with equally bargain-priced handsets. Whether the G3 will stand out when it arrives remains to be seen - but if you like a bit of shiny, shiny glass, there's no doubt the Nuu is a bit of a head turner.