Nokia 2.2 Review

An average phone for a great price

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Testing Situations:

I used the unlocked variant of the Nokia 2.2 for one working week as my daily driver. This means I put the sim card into the device on a Sunday evening and took it out on a Friday evening. This gave me the opportunity to test the device in the most real-world scenarios as possible. I had some days where I traveled to and from work with not much in between. This means mostly just email and music streaming. There were other days where I was not only at work but went to the park to play Pokemon Go and had to run many errands in between.

I felt this would give readers the best idea of how this device would fair in everyday usage. The device was tested on AT&T’s network running Android 9 with the August 5th, 2019 security patch.

Performance:

The Nokia 2.2 runs on some modest hardware which should run most applications. The specifications are as follows:

  • 5.71 HD+ Display (1520×720)
  • Quad Core MediaTek Processor 2.0ghz A53 cores
  • 3gb ram + 32gb rom
  • Micro USB + 3.5mm
  • 13mp rear camera + 5mp front
  • 1080p video
  • Rear Speaker
  • Google Assistant Button
  • GSM Compatible

Unfortunately though for whatever reason, these specifications did not lead to even decent performance. Most applications stuttered and lagged a lot. Google Maps, in particular, took several seconds to boot up and even when it did start it took several seconds to perform many actions. GPS lock-on was fairly quick, however, using features such minimized maps was very slow. It was disappointing to see how even basic apps struggled to perform consistently. I noticed apps struggled to stay in memory as well such as Google Play Music closing in the background while using maps in the foreground.

If you’re planning on playing games though the performance isn’t terrible. I was able to play games such as Angry Birds 2 and Pokemon Go with some stutter but at around the frame rate, you would expect. Not full 30 or 60fps, however, the frame rates were surprisingly consistent.

Camera Performance:

The Nokia 2.2 is sporting a SINGLE 13mp camera. This isn’t like the Google Pixel implementation of a single sensor implementation. It’s more of a cost-saving feature than a “feature”. The camera software and processing aren’t great either. You’ll find many photos are over or underexposed depending on where you focus. If you use HDR you had better get ready to hold the phone very still! If you don’t the photo will come out pretty badly. Oddly enough, if you take a picture with HDR on using this phone you can actually see the phone take multiple pictures at different exposures. It’s slow and painful, but the pictures aren’t horrible. Check the gallery below for some samples.

Battery Performance:

The Nokia 2.2 has an upsettingly average battery life. You would think a 720p display, power-efficient processor, and 3000mah battery would lead to good battery life. Unfortunately, though, I would only expect 3 hours of screen on time and barely getting to the end of a workday. My hypothesis is that due to poor software management the processor is constantly running on high. This causes greater than expected battery drain. The slow charging speed and the included 5v 1 amp charger also means you won’t be topping up quickly.

Battery life

Other Minor Aspects:

Display:

The display is a wide format 720p display. Given the pricepoint and resolution, this was a nice display. It didn’t get super bright, however, it did look good. I found myself enjoying watching Youtube videos on it and playing games on it. The only thing I wouldn’t try on this display is 720p 60fps video. The framerate becomes very choppy. 720p at 24 or 30fps works just fine though.

Speaker:

The speaker is rear-mounted but loud. Unless I laid my phone on a bed or couch I didn’t find myself wishing it was side-mounted. It didn’t seem to distort too much at high volume either. Media consumption is a high point for this device given the display and speaker quality.

Storage:

The Nokia 2.2 has a base of 32gb of storage with a micro-sd card slot (having about 22gb out of the box). Given the price of the device, I expected 16gb of storage. As you will primarily be storing music and a few apps on this device 32gb is respectable.

Storage

Build Quality:

The device is built with a removable polycarbonate shell. I never felt as though the casing would come off or that the device would snap in my pocket. There were times though that after taking the casing off I wouldn’t know when it was snapped back on properly. A full day would go by would out one of the clips being snapped on and I wouldn’t notice. I don’t know whether this is a good or bad thing, however, I was happy with the quality of the device.

Conclusion:

The Nokia 2.2 is a good device that could be better. Given the price of $130-140 I wasn’t expecting much more than what I got. With the specifications, they put in though and Android One running on the software front I expected far better performance. I feel as though if HMD optimizes Android 10 well on this device it could be a real winner (expected in Q2 2020).

If you need a sub $150 device now then I can’t help but recommend this device. It gets the job done very well. However, if you can fork over $50 more and can wait a few more weeks I would consider either a Moto G7 Play or the Nokia 6.1. With higher-end Snapdragon 600 series processors and better cameras, I cannot recommend the 2.2 over these devices. If consistent software updates and a low price are important to you though then I say go for the 2.2. It’s a device that gets the job done but takes its time doing so. Please consider picking up the Nokia 2.2 by clicking here

Disclaimer:

The Nokia 2.2 was given to us as a loaner device from HMD Global. We were not paid to review this device and must return it after the review period is over. Links to purchase any HMD device in this review are not affiliated and we do not make money as a result.  We thank HMD for their support of Onetechstop.net.

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