Gadgets

This inexpensive Android phone is so powerful, it should be twice the price.

Cheap powerful android phone
Cheap powerful android phone

As an affordable phone that feels more like a flagship handset, the Nuu B30 performs admirably.

ZDNET’s key takeaways

The Nuu B30 Pro is available now from the Nuu mobile website, for only $299.99.
This is a budget phone that – based on looks and performance – I thought would cost a lot more.
The camera can be a bit laggy, it’s only guaranteed two years of support, no wireless charging, and only supported on select networks.

When I received the Nuu B30 Pro for review, I immediately unboxed it, signed in with my Google account, and turned it on to see what it could do. I did not bother to look up the price. Why? I wanted to save that information until the end so I could make an educated guess about the price based on how the phone performed.

I’m not going to tell you that this new device from a company you’ve probably never heard of will outperform your Pixel 8 Pro, but I will say that I was surprised by how inexpensive the B30 Pro is.

$299. That’s it.

When I held this phone in my hand, I was confident it would sell for twice the price. With a sleek curved display, a brilliant, blueish backplate (covered by Gorilla Glass 3), and a “flagship” sensation in the palm, this phone caught my attention. It’s good. Very good.

I was also impressed that it provided what appeared to be a reasonably stock Android experience. Nuu has made very few changes to the UI, so if you like vanilla Android, you’ll be pleased to know that the B30 Pro provides it.

The specs

  • 6.7″ curved AMOLED display with a 120hz refresh rate and 2,400 by 1,080 resolution
  • CPU – MediaTek Dimensity 7050
  • RAM – 12GB
  • Storage – 256 GB
  • Cameras – 108 MP main camera with 8MP wide-angle and 2MP macro lenses and 32MP front camera
  • OS – Android 13
  • Dimensions – 6.37 by 2.92 by 0.35 inches
  • Biometrics – on-screen fingerprint scanner
  • Price – $299.99 on the Nuu Mobile Site

As I’ve previously stated, the Nuu B30 Pro appears to be a real competitor for some of the market’s flagship products. However, this does not imply that it is capable of defeating the best. The primary reason for this is that the CPU is on the lower end of the scale. However, throughout my time with the phone, I only noticed the lower-powered CPU when taking photos and had some slowness when watching HD movies on YouTube. Aside from that, this phone was fast, with animations and scrolling that seemed buttery smooth.

Let me address the photo-taking issue. The B30 Pro’s lower-powered CPU did not result in poor image quality. In fact, I found that the cameras were more than enough. The only issue was with processing power. After pressing the shutter button, there is a short delay before the photo is captured. At initially, this prompted me to take several hazy photographs. After I realised what was going on, I was able to adjust to the peculiarity and snap some reasonably excellent photos, even in low light.

Regarding video, I watched several on YouTube and they were crystal clear, with sound that may not overwhelm you with volume, but the quality was comparable to any middle-grade phone I’ve ever used.

Apps installed and opened quickly, the on-screen fingerprint scanner was as good as any I’d used (save the Pixel 8 Pro), and the display was a pleasure to look at.

However, the most significant disadvantage of utilising the Nuu B30 Pro is its very limited list of supported carriers, which comprises the following:

  • Gen Mobile
  • Hello Mobile
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Mint Mobile
  • Q Link Wireless
  • SpeedTalk Mobile
  • T-Mobile
  • Tello Mobile
  • Ultra Mobile

You cannot use this gadget on networks like as AT&T or Verizon. However, if your carrier is one of the following, you are in luck.
ZDNet’s buying advice

I’ve come to expect disappointment from most low-cost Android phones, but the Nuu B30 Pro has made me reconsider that position. This device is elegant, well-designed, and provides ample power for most everyday tasks. And with so much RAM and internal storage, this phone might easily sell for twice its asking price.

Of course, because to the limited network support, this device is not suitable if your carrier is one of the larger networks. However, for those on lesser networks with smaller budgets, the Nuu B30 Pro should be regarded the pinnacle of low-cost Android smartphones.

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