Nokia 2.2 Review: Not worth the money

Nokia 2.2 detailed review

HMD Global Oy’s smartphone launch for 2019 seems to be something slow for the popular Nokia brand. After showcasing a few models at the Mobile World Congress in February, it was about to release them in a specific market in a slow but steady manner. Fortunately, India is one of those markets and we’ve just got another Nokia x.2 model. However, this is the cheapest Nokia smartphone you can get without going to the Android Go universe. This is Nokia 2.2.

A few weeks ago, we reviewed Nokia 4.2, which was the brand’s first launch in India for this year. Shortly after that, we reviewed Nokia 3.2. We conclude that spending hundreds of dollars more and investing in a more refined Nokia 4.2 is more understandable, unless the ultimate goal of the phone buyer is to get a bigger display. So where does the cheap Nokia 2.2 stand? It gets a MediaTek Helio A22 chipset with up to 3GB of RAM. Find out.

Construction and design

According to the smartphone’s product page, the Nokia 2.2 “consists of a solid polycarbonate body” with a “high gloss finish”. In reality, the Nokia 2.2 looks like part of a budget smartphone and plays with a very simple build and design. The Nokia 2.2’s glossy back panel looks tough and presentable on the hand but not particularly strong or eye-catching. There is a hollow plastic sound from the rear panel when you play the drum lazily on the rear panel with your fingers. You’ll want to buy a bottle of Colin with this phone because the back panel is a palm-sized magnet for fingerprints and stains.

Being a budget smartphone, Nokia 2.2 doesn’t have a dual-camera setup on the back. Instead, it gets a modest single-sensor shooter on the back with a single LED flash. The Nokia 2.2 has a 3.5mm audio jack on the top but that’s it. There is no secondary microphone anywhere in the vicinity. On the left side of the phone is a dedicated Google Assistant key, which by default turns on the virtual assistant even when the screen is off. The bottom of the Nokia 2.2 has a microUSB port and a primary microphone. On the right side are the power button and volume rocker, which are a little harder to press due to the curvature of the steep inside of the body.

Also, at the bottom right there is a small tab that allows the user to remove the back panel completely. Inside, we see two card slots on either side, one containing a primary SIM card and the other a microSD card. The other slot has a secondary SIM card. Most of the space inside is occupied by user-removable lithium-ion polymer batteries. Named HQ510, the battery has a rated capacity of 2920mAh. It goes without saying that Nokia 2.2 does not get IP rating for water and dust resistance. Unlike its brethren, it does not receive a noticeable light. In short, Nokia 2.2 has a nice build and design for the price.

Display and audio

The display size of Nokia 2.2 is the same as the expensive Nokia 4.2. It is a 5.71-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 720 x 120 pixels. Nokia likes to say “selfie notch” at the top of the display. Simply put, the phone has a small round notch at the top for a single selfie camera. Thanks to Android 9’s native support for display notch, bundled apps like YouTube run smoothly with Protrusion. Games like the Asphalt 9 fill the screen space around the groove, while games like PUBG Mobile do not. It’s a trend that we all have to have, whether we like grooves or not.

While Nokia 2.2 seems to be sharing its display with older Nokia 4.2, there is a noticeable drop in quality on cheaper units. The colors on the Nokia 2.2 display look a bit darker than they really are. Brightness ranges from 5 to 666 LUX according to our test kit, which is enough to see in most environments. Like the rear panel, the display has a glossy finish, which makes the surface easily exposed to stains and fingerprints. The bottle and a sheet of tissue paper mentioned above by Colin will go a long way in correcting the unwanted “glossy panel” effect.

If you are buying Nokia 2.2 for better audio, be prepared to be disappointed. It has a single loudspeaker on the back panel, suitable for calls, ringtones and alarms but not good for music. The small driver’s voice is vague and sometimes vague. Accidentally placing a finger or palate on the speaker grill can cause the sound output to be almost completely muted. Fortunately, there is a small bump around the grille that can give the phone some lift when placed on a tabletop surface. But if the phone gets lost somewhere in the middle of your bed, blanket and pillow, you are more likely to miss your morning alarm.

Performance

Nokia 2 and Nokia 2.1 rely on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset (Snapdragon 212 and Snapdragon 425 respectively) but Nokia 2.2 breaks that trend and uses a MediaTek Helios A22 chipset instead. Built on a 12-nanometer process, the Helios A22 offers four ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores at 2.0GHz. The onboard graphics processing unit is a PowerVR GE8320, which, based on our experience with the review unit, seems to be a bit more responsive than the Adreno 504 on Nokia 3.2’s Snapdragon 429 chip. Nokia 2.2 is offered in two variants: one with 2GB RAM + 16GB internal storage (Rs 6,999) and the other with 3GB RAM + 32GB internal storage (Rs 7,999). Our review unit was certainly next.

The Nokia 2.2 review unit is more or less as decent as the Nokia 3.2. In AnTuTu 7.0, the unit scored 61554 points, while Nokia 3.2 scored 63903. GeekBench refuses to run on Nokia 2.2 due to server connection issues. In 3DMark’s sling shot, Nokia 2.2 scored 440 points. In comparison, Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 4.2 received 415 and 821 in the same test, respectively. In PCMark storage, Nokia 2.2 (with a score of 7069) lost to Nokia 3.2 (5574) and Nokia 4.2 (6965).

Nokia 2.2 Geekbench 4 failed to run the benchmark test

In everyday situations, using the Nokia 2.2 review unit was almost difficult. From the beginning (initial Android setup, i.e.), the phone was slow to respond. It usually takes up to four seconds to bring up the default keyboard. Everyday apps, such as YouTube and Chrome, take an average of about four to six seconds to launch and get ready for use. Pressing the Dedicated Google Assistant key sometimes does nothing for about three or four seconds. In short, get Nokia 2.2 if you don’t mind waiting for something to happen on your phone.

Gaming in the review unit was an equally painful and frustrating experience. According to our Gamebench Metrics tool, the Asphalt 9 runs at a moderate frame rate of 10 frames per second, and PUBG Mobile, at a mandatory low graphics setting, runs at 15 frames per second. Any one game was a challenge. The frames are moved at a significantly lower rate and make it a difficult task to control the player. Playing a game on Nokia 2.2 was not exciting or entertaining. It is better to go with simple titles like 2048 and Candy Crush Saga on this phone.

Software

Nokia 2.2 is the cheapest model from the Finnish phone maker that runs Android One. The lower priced models get the simple and light Android Go 7 For any modern Nokia smartphone powered by Android One, for example, Nokia 2.2 gets the latest near-stock version of Android, version 9 (Pie). It promises to update the software regularly for up to two years. The UI is clean and easy to use. The app drawer is blotware free, so those who like stock Android or something close to it will appreciate it.

Pill-based navigation, which was introduced by Google on Android 9, is enabled by default. The UI has the option to switch the settings to a dark device theme, which should make them happy by choosing white text on a dark background. Note that this theme setting is not exactly system-wide and it only changes the look of certain system elements, such as notification drawers.

The camera

While at least two cameras can be seen on the back panel of many smartphones today, the Nokia 2.2 can be seen on the back panel with a decent single shooter. It is a 13-megapixel 1.12um sensor with an aperture of f / 2.2 and autofocus. It comes with a single LED flash that doubles as a phone torch. The front camera is a 5-megapixel unit attached to the phone’s “selfie notch”. Nokia 2.2’s default camera app has modes like HDR, Panorama, Low-Light Enhancement, Time Lapse, Beautification and Google Lens.

Just a camera in the back

Pictures taken in daylight through Nokia 2.2’s primary (and only) sensor are somewhat dull and lack detail. The colors also faded and washed out. For example, the leaves of a tree seem to be drier than them. Zooming in reveals the loss of detail and focus on many elements of a frame. However, most of the photos taken inside the house are noisy and colorless. Inside shots say, a conference room, easily blurred. Low-light photos are grainy and blurry, so it’s best to avoid them Selfies, on the other hand, look remarkably sharp around the main subject, although they can also do so with more color. These become noisy and blurry in low light just like the regular shots through the rear camera.

Normal mode, outside, daylight

Normal mode, outside, daylight

Normal mode, indoor, regular indoor lighting

Normal mode, indoors, slightly less light

Normal mode, indoors, low light

Selfie camera, indoor, regular indoor lighting

Selfie camera, indoors, low light

The default camera app is slow to respond and almost unused. A lot of times, the app in the review unit comes to a standstill and shuts itself down when I try to view a picture I took a few minutes ago. It takes about two seconds to switch between photo and video mode. A “beauty” slider can be set for both regular photos and selfies. After all, Nokia 2.2 can’t be considered for its optical capabilities. If your budget can be expanded to accommodate a Redmi 7 instead of Nokia 2.2, then your mobile photography experience should be significantly improved. You can read more about Redmi 7 and its camera quality here.

Battery

The battery setup of Nokia 2.2 is rather unique. Like previous Nokia models, the Nokia 2.2 has a user-removable battery. The battery of the review unit carried model number HQ510 and had a rated capacity of 2920mAh. A few years ago, users who had a user-removable battery feature in their phones had the option to replace the unit themselves when their batteries became obsolete. But at the moment, it’s hard to say whether this is an advantage for Nokia 2.2 because a Google search of the model number provides very little usable information. We’re not sure if Nokia will sell batteries online.

According to our standard battery benchmark test, Nokia 2.2 scored 7 hours, 31 minutes. In comparison, Nokia 4.2 and Redmi 7 scored 8 hours, 50 minutes and 9 hours, 5 minutes in the same test, respectively. In everyday use situations, the Nokia 2.2 Review Unit lasts for most of the day with moderate usage, including thirty minutes of gaming, twenty minutes of browsing, and a few app installs. When the phone is unused in my bag for a full two days, the battery goes down to about 30 percent from full. The standard bundle charger takes about two hours to fully charge from 10 percent. In short, Nokia 2.2 has a decent battery life but it could have done better.

The last row

Nokia 2.2 has entered the budget smartphone market with a price tag of Rs 7,999 (for 3GB RAM / 32GB storage variant) at a time when its more sophisticated brother, Nokia 4.2 has received an updated price of Rs 10,490 (for the same 3GB RAM) / 32GB storage. Variant). Although you can save a few thousand bucks with Nokia 2.2, you will miss a lot in terms of features and quality. Performance also takes a hit with Nokia 2.2’s weak MediaTek Helio A22 chipset.

Nokia 2.2, Nokia 4.2 product pages

Compared to phones like the slightly more expensive Redmi 7, Nokia 2.2 has nothing to differentiate itself from, except that it comes with Android One. While it promises timely updates and a clean stock UI like Android, it makes itself almost unusable due to the phone’s low-powered chipset. Forget Nokia 2.2; Get Beefier Nokia 4.2, or Redmi 7.

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