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Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review


The Nokia 2.2 is an inexpensive smartphone made by HMD Global that is targeted for low-end and emerging regions. HMD Global has been particularly competitive in the budget category in 2019.

When you're looking for an inexpensive backup or even an entry-level phone for small children, siblings, or even senior family members, your search will frequently turn up a ton of Nokia cellphones along with a flurry of phones from Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei.

Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review

With an unlocked price of about $140 and all the advantages of Android One, the Nokia 2.2 may be the ideal partner as a reliable backup device. Refrain from being misled; this differs from most phones we frequently evaluate. Due to its limited price range, the phone has to make several concessions.

However, it doesn't necessarily indicate that it's a poor phone; it only means you should lower your expectations before purchasing.

Design and Hardware

Plastic was used to construct the Nokia 2.2, indicating that it is a low-cost smartphone. This smartphone is compact and will fit comfortably in your hand. It sports a Dewdrop notch and a 5.71-inch display.

Although thick, the display's borders are adequate, given their cost. HMD Global has applied the Nokia logo on the bottom chin's thick area. Between the frame and the display lies the earpiece.

It's beautiful with a plastic backplate, but you would be thrilled to see that it also has a user-replaceable battery. Both the Nokia 2.2's battery and its back cover are detachable.

The fact that many low-end phones now have non-removable batteries shows how far we've come in the mobile industry, which is a good bonus. The 3,000mAh battery appears more than adequate for daily use with a smaller, less expensive smartphone.

Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review

This is one of the few smartphones available if you'd want one with a replaceable battery. It is a dual SIM phone with two dedicated microSD card slots and two Nano-SIM slots. Even on cheaper smartphones, seeing a micro-USB charging connector is distressing, even if installing a headphone jack is standard practice.

Given the size of this smartphone overall, HMD Global placed the power and volume keys on the right, making them all simple to access. On the left, there is a separate Google Assistant button. The Google Assistant can be called up with this button from any screen, and you may utilize the walkie-talkie mode to hold down the button while issuing commands.

The Google Assistant may be used more quickly by releasing the button, stopping the Assistant from listening, and instantly processing your query. Although this activity may be turned off in the settings, we would like to be able to change this button's functionality if necessary.

Software and Display

Specs for the Nokia 2.2 are reasonable. The MediaTek Helio A22 SoC powers it like the Xiaomi Redmi 6A. Although by no means the most powerful CPU available at this price, it should be able to handle routine daily chores.

We got the 3GB RAM edition of the Nokia 2.2 for review; it is also offered with 2GB RAM and 16GB or 32GB of storage. The lower-priced model is available for Rs. 6,999, while the more expensive variant costs Rs. 7,999.

The performance of the Nokia 2.2 is not very promising due to the primary processor and small quantity of RAM. Expectations must be moderated because nothing is at all sharp. Nevertheless, the Android One's small weight undoubtedly contributes to keeping the phone from stuttering.

Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review

Although loading apps take a little longer than they should, they operate well once loaded. Although a bit concerning, the typing and swiping experience is relatively good. But it's worth turning off the haptic feedback because it's terrible.

The Nokia 2.2 is a member of the Android One platform, much like previous smartphones bearing the Nokia name. With simply the after-sale support app My Phone as a supplementary app, it runs pure Android Pie. Major OS upgrades for the Nokia 2.2 are promised for two years, while monthly security updates for Android are promised for three years.

Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review

A relatively recent security patch from June was installed on this smartphone. Given that many manufacturers, especially entry-level smartphones, tend to overlook software support, the Nokia 2.2 offers an advantage over the competition in this area. The Digital Wellbeing function of Android Pie, which aids in tracking smartphone usage, is also available on the Nokia 2.2.

The 5.71-inch display has a 19:9 aspect ratio and an HD+ resolution of 720x1520 pixels. You do have the choice to modify the panel's color temperature, according to HMD Global. According to our observations, it had good viewing angles and could become bright enough to be seen outside. However, we discovered that the notch had a vignetting effect that was very noticeable against a white backdrop.

Performance, Cameras, and Battery life

We understand the MediaTek Helio A22's capabilities well, thanks to our previous reviews of the Xiaomi Redmi 6A and Tecno Camon i4. We did see latency while switching between apps and going through the Android menus. The processor could be more powerful. Thus, more extensive programs load more slowly than usual.

HMD Global does include facial recognition in place of the fingerprint scanner that the Nokia 2.2 lacks. You may unlock the smartphone with this function by being recognized by the 5-megapixel selfie camera. We discovered the procedure could have been more active, and better light made it take considerably longer.

Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review

Benchmark tests were conducted to see how the Nokia 2.2 compares against its rivals. The Nokia 2.2 scored 63,627 in AnTuTu, comparable to other smartphones using the same chipset. It received a 4,638-point score in PCMark Work 2.0. Although the Nokia 2.2 couldn't complete Geekbench 4, it scored 256 on 3DMark Slingshot Extreme OpenGL.

Additionally, it achieved 21 frames per second in the GFXBench T-Rex test and 8.1 frames per second in Manhattan 3.1.

It would not be a great decision to get the Nokia 2.2 if you intend to play video games on it. With the visuals set to Smooth and the frame rate at Medium, PUBG Mobile operated on this smartphone by default with the Low setting. Much with these settings, we experienced slowness throughout gaming, which choppy in-game audio made much more annoying. Inconveniently long load times for the games were another issue.

Let's now discuss the cameras. The Nokia 2.2 includes a single 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

In addition to the standard picture and video modes, the simple camera app now offers time-lapse, panoramic, Google Lens, and square modes. You may set the fast toggle for HDR to "auto," which will automatically turn it on when the scenario calls for it.

Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review

Before pressing the shutter button, you must account for the apparent lag in the viewfinder. The Nokia 2.2 took passable pictures in natural light but had trouble getting the appropriate exposure. Overexposure was a common problem in daytime photographs.

When photographing macros, the phone took a while to focus, and the images could have been crisper than we had hoped. Additionally, the camera took a long time to save pictures and prepare to allow us to snap the next one. Dark and grainy photos were the norm for low-light photography.

The camera was able to produce brighter photographs utilizing HDR, though. Since there isn't a night mode, we advise you to use HDR while taking low-light pictures.

The lack of a portrait mode prevents you from taking pictures with blurry backgrounds?the average selfie camera. Images were washed out and needed more depth. Although HDR is an option for the selfie camera, we found that it had no discernible effect.

The primary and selfie cameras have a 1080p maximum for video recording. However, although most other smartphones record movies in the MP4 format, this smartphone saves video in the outdated 3GP format. You will obtain unstable results due to the need for video stabilization. While filming videos, we also discovered a focus-hunting problem.

A 3000mAh replaceable battery powers the Nokia 2.2 and provides adequate battery life. Due to the MediaTek Helio A22's efficiency, this phone's battery lasted more than a day while performing benchmarks, taking camera samples, using WhatsApp, and playing games for 30 minutes.

In contrast, the phone struggled in our HD video loop test, managing only 10 hours plus 10 minutes of playing. With the included charger, charging does take more than an hour and a half.

Final Verdict

The Nokia 2.2 is a cute little anomaly in a market of high-end flagships and mid-range value for money. Still, you're better off buying a second-hand phone or increasing your budget to acquire a better smartphone. If you prioritize performance and the user experience, you'd be better off choosing the Pixel 3a over the Nokia 2.2. It continues to be the undisputed benchmark for cheap phones in the US.

Nokia 2.2 2/16 Black Review

However, the Nokia 2.2 is an excellent small alternative that handles the essentials quite well as a backup or a cheap beginner phone. The Nokia 2.2 is unique since it is one of the few to receive software and security upgrades continually. However, the CPU is subpar, and the camera quality is similarly unimpressive.

The Nokia 2.2 merely serves as a reminder that better models are available for a little more money, including the Nokia 4.2 and Redmi 7, due to its generally poor performance and terrible value. Except for the fact that it features Android One, the Nokia 2.2 has little to distinguish itself from devices like the somewhat more expensive Redmi 7.

Although it promises frequent upgrades and a UI that looks and feels like vanilla Android, the phone's weak hardware renders it useless.

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