In 2022, smartphone tech has reached a point where you can buy even an affordable phone and still have all the basics covered. If you go for the cheaper models from popular brands, you still pay a bit for the name alone. However, there are plenty of offerings that are worth considering, if you veer off the beaten path.
Such are the Nuu phones — a brand that specializes in making smartphones that deliver bang for buck. Nuu sent us two devices to check out — the B15 and the B10. At the time of this article, they are priced at $179.90 ($50 off) and $139.90 ($30 off), respectively.
Design and screen
Nuu phones come with cases, screen protectors, chargers
Both phones have a soft rectangular shape and are built of plastic, with the B15 having a more muted matte finish on its frame, while the B10 went for the shiny look. Their backs, however, are both glossy.
The Nuu B15 is significantly thinner, which is one reason we gravitate towards it more. Otherwise, both phones feel solid in the hand and veer towards being slightly on the heavy side — no doubt thanks to their large batteries.
The Nuu B15 has a 6.78-inch, 1080p screen with a 90 Hz refresh rate, which is great value for a phone that’s well below the $200 mark! It makes animations smoother and feels like the device is more responsive.
The B10 has a 6.55-inch display with an HD+ (720p) resolution and no high refresh rate, which is yet another reason we think it’s worth springing the extra $40 for a B15 instead.
That aside, both phones have a fingerprint scanner embedded into the side-mounted power button and we found both scanners to work a-ok. You don’t even need to press it — just tap your finger on top of the scanner and the phone unlocks.
Also, both have a headphone jack, which — in this day and age — is considered an actual bonus. Crazy, we know.
Hardware and performance
The Nuu B15 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G88 — an octa-core processor that can hit up to 2 GHz clock speed. It’s coupled with 4 GB of RAM and the phone has 128 GB of storage on board.
Obviously, it’s not going to be the most powerful processor, but is it good enough? We ran it through GeekBench and 3DMark’s Wild Life Extreme out of curiosity.
But numbers don’t mean much in the real world. So, we also installed Apex Legends Mobile to see if the phone can run modern gaming titles.
And yeah, we put the settings on low just in case and managed to run through a match with no issues. So, if you want to pick up an affordable phone for a youngster in the house, that they can play on — the B15 is a good contender, with its large 90 Hz screen and its $179.90 price-tag.
The Nuu B10 has a MediaTek Helio P60, which is also an octa-core, 2 GHz processor. It is also paired with 4 GB of RAM, but has 64 GB of storage.
Despite the similar clock speeds and core count, the P60 is a slightly worse performer than the chip inside the Nuu B15 and we could notice this throughout interacting with the interface. And while we gamed on the Nuu B10 as well, and it worked fine, we still think the B15 is worth the extra $40 here, too.
That all extends to their batteries, too — the Nuu B15 has a 5,000 mAh cell, while the Nuu B10 has a 4,000 mAh one. Sure, both should last you a full day, but the B15 has that extra juice and it supports 18 W fast-charging for quicker top-ups.
The Nuu B15 has a quad camera setup with a 48 MP main camera, a 5 MP ultra-wide camera, a 2 MP macro and 2 MP bokeh cameras.
Yeah, the two 2 MP cameras don’t sound like anything special. We took a few snaps with the main camera and the ultra-wide camera, though.
With enough light, we got pretty good photos — the phone has HDR and an AI mode that will automatically tune up post-processing, based on what you are aiming the camera at:
The Nuu B10 has a 48 main camera, that seems to be similar to the one in the B15, and a slightly higher-res, 8 MP ultra-wide camera. Then, there’s another 2 MP macro sensor.
For a quick snap to share a great moment on social media — these cameras cna work great. They do tend to crush shadows a bit and won’t be amazing in low-light photography, but we wouldn’t say we are disappointed by these images, considering the phones’ pricing.
Speakers and sound
Both the Nuu B15 and Nuu B10 have mono, bottom-firing speakers. We found the B15 to sound pretty OK, even with music playing — it has some bottom end in there and it’s not harsh in the highs. It can sound a little bit boxy, but is loud enough for most needs.
The B10’s speaker, on the other hand, is quieter and tinnier-sounding than the one on the B15. It can do its job for talking-head videos on YouTube and — obviously — ringtones and alarms, but the one on the B15 is just better. So, again, we find the extra $40 worth it here.
All in all, if you are looking for a smartphone below the $200 mark, you will need to live with some drawbacks. The Nuu B15 and Nuu B10 look good, have big screens, and offer a solid core experience. They support GSM networks like T-Mobile and MVNOs – including Gen Mobile, Metro PCS, Mint Mobile, Tracfone, Ultra Mobile, US Mobile, and many more., no CDMA, so be sure to check with your carrier if you are interested. In any case — here are the links again: