As smartphone component prices go down and the competition heating up, we see Nokia coming back to their roots. But this time around they are slowly replacing their featurephone lineup with the Android One smartphone and the smartphone in question is the recently launched, Nokia 2.2. Now the sub INR 5,000-6,000 market has seen its fair share of competition this year with the likes of Realme and Xiaomi slowly making advances.

We gave the Nokia 2.2 a chance and here are our thoughts on it.

Nokia 2.2 Specifications

  • Display: 5.7-inch LCD, FHD+
  • Software: Android 9 Pie, Android One
  • Fingerprint Scanner: No
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio A22 Processor
  • RAM: 2/3 GB
  • Storage: 16/32 GB internal, microSD support
  • Main Camera: 13 MP LED Flash
  • Selfie Camera: 5 MP
  • Connectivity: micro USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, Dual SIM
  • Battery: 3,000mAh, Li-ion Polymer, removable
  • Price: Starts– Rs 6,999, Ends– Rs 7,999

Box Contents

A complete list of items you get inside the box:

  • Nokia 2.2 smartphone
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Warranty and User Guide

Design

As you could have judged by the price, the phone is made from high-quality plastic with an added glossy touch. This one has a removable battery, so the back panel can we removed which we have seen after a very long time in a smartphone. The smartphone has a very low footprint and is good for single-handed usage. Since the phone has a glossy finish to it, you will find yourself constantly rubbing it with a cloth just to get rid of those smudges.

Moving on, there’s a single camera on the back along with an LED flash placed vertically in the center. On the bottom right you see the speaker opening with the Nokia logo embossed in the center. On the inside, we see two cards slots on either side, one of which houses the primary SIM card and a microSD card. The other slot houses the secondary SIM card. The button layout is simple, with the volume rockers and the power button on the right and the dedicated Google Assistant button on the left.

Yes, you heard it right, there is a dedicated button on the left for the Google Assistant something we haven’t seen in the budget segment. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top, along with with the microphone while the MicroUSB slot in on the bottom.

On flipping the phone, you get a 19:9 aspect ratio 5.7-inch LCD display with a dewdrop notch and the classic thick chin on the bottom with the Nokia logo in the center. There is a decently thick border running along with the display which is to be expected from a phone in this price segment.

Display

The Nokia 2.2 comes with a 5.7-inch HD+ LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a dewdrop notch. The notch adds a character to the phone and its good to see Nokia not going with a boxy design instead. The notch on the top houses the selfie shooter and the earpiece is sandwiched between the top frame of the phone, along with other sensors.

There is nothing else to boast about the 720p display here, it gets the job done and you will barely find a need for those extra pixels. The display offers good colors that look deep and pleasing. Brightness levels are decent indoors but will leave you wanting more under sunlight.

Software and Performance

Like other Nokia smartphones, the Nokia 2.2 also runs on the Android One platform with the latest Android 9 Pie and will be upgraded to Android Q once it is available. Now this year’s model has a bump when compared to the earlier gen which was powered by Android Go platform. The Nokia 2.2 is guaranteed to receive two years of major OS updates and three years of monthly Android security updates, which is perhaps the USP of this smartphone.

The smartphone came with the latest security patch and the during the time of testing we did get some software updates as well which bumped the experience. There’s not a lot of ad-on apps and services included here, considering how light the performance of this smartphone is. You get a Nokia care app, the camera app is also supplied by Nokia. The phone also gets Android Pie’s Digital Wellbeing feature which helps monitor smartphone usage.

Apart from this, you get the full Pie experience with features like Adaptive Display, Adaptive Battery and the pie navigation gesture. There is a dark mode included as well, for some reason.

Coming to the performance aspect of this review, the Nokia 2.2 is powered by MediaTek’s Helio A22 chipset. Now, this chipset can be considered as above entry-level SoC which supports just bare minimum hardware. We have seen this chipset on a bunch of Tecno smartphones and of course the Xiaomi Redmi 6A. We did notice some lag while switching between apps, and apps were really slow to open, to the point that hindered the overall experience.

When selecting the RAM and Storage model, we would highly suggest going with the 3GB RAM variant which will give you plenty of extra RAM and 32GB storage as well. This chipset is not made for handling stress and hence no gaming but on the flip side, you can enjoy casual browsing, YouTube and other social media apps without any issues.

Camera and Battery

For a phone in this price bracket, the Nokia 2.2 comes packed with a 13-megapixel rear camera which is assisted with an LED flash and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter that is tucked inside the notch. The default camera app on the Nokia 2.2 features modes such as HDR, panorama, low-light enhancement, time-lapse, beautification, and Google Lens. The images taken in the broad day with the rear camera have good colours but lack details. There is some AI trickery involved which Nokia says has been added in the night mode as well. For outdoor shots, we recommend leaving the camera in HDR mode to get slightly better results.

During the low light situation, the Night mode usually delivered some decent results, which uses the long exposure method and combines a bunch of images to deliver a result. Coming to the selfies, they are just average period. You don’t get any sort of portrait mode to get fancy background blur.

Moving on to the battery, the phone packs a removable 3,000 mAh cell which when combined with the Helio A22 delivers some satisfactory results. During our mixed usage tests, the phone easily lasted a little over a day with close to 4 hours of screen-on-time. Charging the battery to full took over an hour and a half with the supplied charger.

Pricing

Nokia 2.2 – INR 6,999 to INR 7,999

Pros

  • Android One benefits
  • Dedicated Google Assistant button
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Poor performance
  • Below average cameras

Verdict – Should you go for it?

This is the cheapest offering in the updated Nokia lineup and for INR 7,999 what you get is 3GB RAM, dedicated Google Assistant button and all the benefits of Android One program. The only stand out feature in this smartphone is its software, while the low performing chipset drags the overall experience down. Considering the level of competition currently in this segment, it is hard to recommend this smartphone at the current price.

Maybe wait for a price cut to happen or look out for sales where you could easily get the Nokia 5.1 Plus (Review) for the similar price or have a loot at the recently launched Xiaomi Redmi 7 (Review).