One of the big differentiators almost since HMD Global resuscitated the iconic Nokia brand has been Android One. This partnership guarantees the latest software updates for Nokia phones on the Android One platform. These devices are also first in line for any security patches. It doesn’t end there. Android One phones also offer a pure-play Android experience minus the clutter and bloatware. That’s why it’s a big deal that Nokia has added its newly launched entry-level device – the Nokia 2.2, to the Android One platform. But is that enough reason to buy this phone?
The sub Rs 10,000 segment is a crowded place and it’s not just cheap phones anymore. Devices like the Realme C2 and the Xiaomi Redmi 7 have made a significant impact, delivering serious value at this price. The Nokia 2.2 with its vibrant 5.71-inch HD+ screen (720 x 1520 pixels / 295 PPI) certainly has the presence to stand up against these devices. The polycarbonate shell looks quite elegant, the device feels quite nice in your hands. It lacks the oomph of the Realme C2; style is certainly a deal breaker for many buyers at this price point. It was almost nostalgic to see a removable back cover on the Nokia 2.2 with a removable battery, a novelty at a time when unibody smartphones have become the norm. Nokia also offers swappable Xpress-on covers (at an extra cost) to add some colour to the phone.
In terms of hardware, the Nokia 2.2 is powered by a Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 processor and has a 3000 mAh battery that won’t let you down. The entry-level variant features 2GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM; we tested the 3GB/32GB version. Both variants support external SD cards (up to 400GB). Overall, we found the device quite sluggish. There was a clear lag while loading apps or even firing up the camera. Devices like the Xiaomi Redmi 7 have an edge on this front; something our AnTuTu benchmark tests (The Nokia 2.2 registered 64066) underlined.
The Nokia 2.2 opts for a 13MP rear cam and a 5MP selfie cam, both augmented by AI. Results were average in lowlight and reasonably good in ambient light. Both the Realme C2 and the Redmi 7 feature dual-lens rear cams that give them an edge. AI is a big part of this phone with a dedicated Google Assistant button. This is an area where the Nokia 2.2 truly shines – a full-on Android Experience. This will also become one of the first phones to get the step-up to Android Q. If you’re not driven by speed and are seeking an unadulterated Android experience on a tight budget, then the Nokia 2.2 might work for you. Aside from the refined build, it’s the one thing this phone has going for it.
The Nokia 2.2 is available in Tungsten Black and Steel at a limited time offer price of Rs 6,999 (2GB/16GB) and Rs 7,999 (3GB/32GB) till June 30, 2019. You can buy these devices at Rs 7,699 and 8,699 once the offer price ends.
(Ashwin Rajagopalan writes extensively on Gadgets & Trends, Travel & Lifestyle and Food & Drink. He owns and manages Brand Stories, a creative Content outfit and www.bytesize.in, a premier lifestyle blog with a focus on short-format content. Instagram: ‘ashwinpowers’)