[First cut] Nokia 2.2: Go-ing t(w)o Android One
Will Android One save the day?
After trying its hand in the mid-segment earlier this year, Nokia now seems to be focusing on the budget range of smartphones. After launching the Nokia 3.2 and the Nokia 4.2 recently, the brand has now introduced another budget segment smartphone, the Nokia 2.2. The smartphone comes as the successor of the Nokia 2.1 and the biggest difference between the two is the OS they run on. Yes, all Nokia phones come with stock Android but the Nokia 2.1 came with Android Go, while the Nokia 2.2 comes with Android One.
Ticks all the basic boxes but does not do much outside of it
Nokia has taken some of the basic elements from the modern day smartphone look-book and has added them to the Nokia 2.2. It may be a sub Rs. 10,000 device, but comes with design features that are often seen in some mid-segment smartphones. That said, we do not think they have been implemented well on the Nokia 2.2 because, at the end of the day, they do not pull the phone out of its sub-Rs 10,000 looks. And that is a pity because we have seen some really good looking sub-Rs 10,000 phones out there – like the Realme 3, the Redmi 7 and the Redmi Note 7s.
There stands a tall display with relatively thin bezels, coupled with a drop notch that is home to the smartphone’s selfie camera. Then there is the good old polycarbonate back (literally “old” because it comes with a removable cover) which looks and feels like glass- oh so reflective and smudge embracing – and comes with a single camera nestled inside a capsule unit along with an LED flash.
Along with some of the new age design elements, the Nokia 2.2 also comes with a few basic features in place. The phone holds the 3.5 mm audio jack on top while the micro USB port sits on the base. Like most smartphones, the power/lock button is on the right side of the frame and the Nokia 2.2 carries a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left. Unlike in the Nokia 4.2, the power button is not accented in white with LED light. Slightly above the power button is the volume rocker.
Nokia has gone old school when it comes to the back and donned the Nokia 2.2 with a removable back cover. Take off the cover and you will find two separate slots: one dedicated for the nano-SIM card while the other is a hybrid slot which can support a micro-SIM or a microSD card. A tiny loudspeaker also sits on the back right next to Android One branding. The back is obviously going to get scratched and smudged at even the slightest hint of a fall but the smartphone holds well in hand, so chances of it slipping out of your hand take a dive (pun intended).
The Nokia 2.2 is definitely a compact phone as compared to most smartphones that we see nowadays – it measures 146 x 70.6 x 9.3 mm and weighs 153 grams. Nokia has always highlighted design as one of its USPs and while the brand has never played bold like Huawei or Oppo when it comes to design, it has been pretty consistent. It has projected its phones as strong and durable but the Nokia 2.2 does not really fit that parameter. It does not have any mid-segment pretensions in the looks department. We received the Tungsten Black variant of the smartphone and it is available in steel color as well. But if you do not like the two color options, the brand will offer different color back panels for the device that you can switch to later on.
All in all, it feels as if the Nokia 2.2 has tried to keep up with trends of the phone design world, but has failed to deliver a wow factor. It looks decent, but there is no design feature that makes it memorable. It ticks all the basic boxes but does not do anything outside of it.
Modestly specced at best
The specs, just like the design of the Nokia 2.2 are very modest. But then Nokia has not been as generous as some of the other brands in the budget smartphone race, preferring to fight on “brand equity” and “experience.” The Nokia 2.2 comes with a 5.71-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels. The display is pretty compact and the colors and contrast do not seem too impressive, but because of the small display, the phone easily fits most palms.
The smartphone is powered by a MediaTek MT6761 Helio A22 processor which is paired with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. There is also a 2 GB/ 16 GB variant of the device. You can expand storage up to 400 GB on the device by using a microSD card. We do not have super high hopes from the processor as it is a low-end processor, which can only get you through your basic needs. Do not expect it to run a high-end game smoothly.
The smartphone comes with a single 13-megapixel primary camera on the back with f/2.2 aperture and autofocus. There is a 5-megapixel selfie camera on the front. That might not sound too impressive on paper but Nokia claims to have improved the low light performance of both – we will discover in our review. The smartphone runs on a 3,000 mAh battery that should last for about a day, thanks to the small, HD+ display and other relatively modest specs, but is nevertheless a step down from the 4,000 mAh on the Nokia 2.1.
The Nokia 2.2 powered by Google’s Android One initiative and comes with Android 9.0 (Pie) out of the box. This means the smartphone is assured to get Android updates for at least two years and is actually being pushed as the most affordable smartphone likely to get the Android Q update.
Relying on Android One to make an impact
The Nokia 2.2 is priced at Rs. 7,999 for the 2GB/16 GB variant while the 3 GB/32 GB variant sells for 8,999. The brand is offering the two smartphones for Rs. 6,999 and Rs. 7,999 until June 30, under an introductory offer. With competition like Realme and Xiaomi offering similar or even better specs at lower prices, the Nokia 2.2 is pretty much in the eye of the budget smartphone storm. Its design and its specs are unlikely to make a dent in the armor of its rivals, so it all really boils down to how well it performs. Will Android One save the day for the Nokia 2.2? Stay tuned to find in our detailed review.