Nokia have recently introduced some new devices, mainly aimed at the budget to mid range end of the market and through their value for money have become a firm favourite since their relaunch 3 years ago.

We have reviewed a number of their devices here at Ausdroid and have been somewhat impressed by their devices overall. However there have been a couple of odd exemptions to this, like any device but overall we have been impressed.

So when Nokia/HMD Global announced the launch of a new budget device running Android One, the Nokia 2.2, we thought it might be good to review the device and see how well it performs as a budget smartphone.

Build Quality

The Nokia 2.2 has come to realise the embodiment of the usual Nokia design we have become familiar with. The design is very much unique to how HMD Global design their Nokia branded devices.

Taking the Nokia 2.2 out of the box, holding the device in my hand, it feels lightweight and not very heavy or intrusive. The overall design of the Nokia 2.2 is a glass front with a rear polymer plastic shell and frame which can be personalised through various Xpress covers; something that reminds me of the early Nokia feature phones that offered something similar back in the day.

The front of the Nokia 2.2 houses the 5.71-inch IPS LCD display with a teardrop notch located at the top of the screen that houses the 5MP front facing camera. The display, which is a little bright at first glance and seems quite ok, does also seem a little washed out colour wise. Using the device outdoors, the screen can be a little too dark.

In terms of SIM and MicroSD card input, a removable backing enables the SIM card and MicroSD card to be placed inside the rear cover instead of a dedicated slot. Also interestingly, the Nokia 2.2 comes with a removable battery – somewhat unheard of now for a while. Its unsure as to whether spare/replaceable batteries will be made available.

One thing that I have come to like with current Nokia/HMD Global devices are the dedicated Google Assistant button which is located on the right hand side middle of the device. On the left hand side of the device, there is the standby/power button located right in the middle and just above that is volume rocker buttons (up/down/high/low).

The top of the Nokia 2.2 houses a 3.5mm audio jack, for those who still prefer wired headphones as such. In terms of power charge, the Nokia 2.2 comes with a MicroUSB charging port which is located in the middle bottom of the device with the rear bottom microphone located just to the right of this.

The rear of the Nokia 2.2 houses the single 13MP rear camera, alongside a single LED flash. This housing is ever so slightly raised via a bump in the top middle rear of the device. Located on the right hand side rear of the device, is the rear speaker, which isn’t really worth going into detail about really.

The Internals

Under the hood, the Nokia 2.2 is powered by a Quad-core Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 processor chipset, along with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage that can be expended to 400GB via MicroSD and trust me when I say, you will need to use this for additional storage.

Sadly though, with this chipset, performance did suffer a little bit of lagging and whilst apps didn’t crash, the lag was noticeable and honestly expected based on the processor chipset the Nokia 2.2 comes with, even with Android One.

Battery power wise, the Nokia 2.2 comes with 3000mAh battery that can be removed and replaced, but it is unsure if spare batteries will be made available to purchase outright. Battery wise, the Nokia 2.2 did last the day when being taken off charge at about 6am and not really charging it all day and returning home say about 7:30-8pm, I did have about 30-40% battery life. That’s after watching a couple of YouTube videos, taking camera shots, social media, email and playing a couple of games for about half an hour to an hour.

Xpress-on yourself

As stated previously above in the build quality section, the Nokia 2.2 comes with the ability to interchange the backing of the Nokia 2.2 with various colours and styles.

As stated, this reminds me a lot of interchangeable covers previous Nokia smartphones and indeed earlier devices offered back in the day.

In terms of cost and availability of these Xpress-on covers, these are available through both the Nokia Australian website or through Big W for the Ice Blue cover for $29.

Lights, Camera, Action!

The Nokia 2.2 comes with a single 13MP rear facing camera, which is fine but the shutter did lag a bit and also the pics taken were ok in the right lighting but in low light or high brightness the pictures did end up with a bit of noise.

The front facing camera is a 5MP camera, which is ok for selfies, however like the rear camera, sadly in low light or high contrast/brightness photos can seem either too dark or too bright, with a lot of noise and grain showing.

What most disappoints for me with this is the camera software is very limited. Features and modes that are available include square, panorama, time lapse, normal photo, Google Lens, beautify and video modes. There is no pro or manual modes nor is there any AR Stickers available, meaning if your after these features, you will need to download and use other photo apps like SnapChat or Facebook/Facebook Messenger.

There is also the ability to take burst shots by holding down the low/down volume button, however this mode cannot be enacted if beautify mode is also active.

Also, the camera shutter is also a bit slow in its performance and this is noted when trying to take videos or pictures with movement. Also the lack of stabilisation is also a bit of an issue.

Android One all the way

Interestingly, the Nokia 2,2 runs Android One software instead of say the Android Go Edition, which is normally placed onto budget ended devices and I have to personally say, I prefer Android One software over just plain old normal vanilla Android.

With Android One software, security and firmware updates are guaranteed for a least two years and Nokia/HMD Global have been able to guarantee and meet with its devices. During the review period I did note that there was at least 2 security updates and goes to show HMD Global/Nokia’s commitment to bringing updates pretty fast to their devices.

However, one thing worth noting that Nokia have placed a couple of their own apps like the radio but also the My Phone app, which was originally known as Nokia Care and helps diagnose any issues and help get the answers or repairs you need.

Should I Buy One?

In all honesty, given there are people who cannot afford either a mid range or high end device and the Nokia 2.2 is squarely aimed at these potential customers.

For the price the Nokia 2.2 is based at, which is $199, I wasn’t expecting a lot but I have to say that the Nokia 2.2 does offer some good features. Personally, I believe this is where Nokia was aiming for with the Nokia 3.2 I reviewed a few weeks ago.

However, the overall performance along with the disappointing camera, does make me wonder if it would be worth spending a little bit of extra funds, say about $50 to $250, you could get a fair bit more bang for your buck so to speak.

Overall, I can see the Nokia 2.2 being for those who don’t necessarily worry about high or mid range specifications, features and inclusions and you could do a little worse but also a little better if you shop around.

There is some value with the Nokia 2.2 and I think as a first ever Android phone user to having a spare device, the Nokia 2.2 is pretty good and I can see this device being marketed for those who want a simple, somewhat hardware device that will go the extra mile.

You can purchase the Nokia 2.2 from the following retailers/telco providers:

Retailer Colour Price
The Good Guys Black $199
Big W
JB Hi-Fi $198
Telstra Black with additional Ice Blue Xpress-on Cover $149
Source: Nokia 2.2.
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Anthony Sullivan

Could you ask HMD if their service centre or if anyone will carry spare batteries?