Since 2018, HMD Global has been pushing for Android One across all its devices—from flagships to affordable budget offerings. To ensure it has all price segments covered, HMD Global unveiled its most affordable Android One phone with the Nokia 2.2. The first phone under the Nokia 2 series to have Android One (the previous two are Android Go devices), the Nokia 2.2 aims to offer all the goodness of Android One at a sub-Php 5k price.
Superseded by the Nokia 2.3—which launched in the Philippines recently, is the Nokia 2.2 the ideal budget Android One phone?
-Compact, pocket-friendly size
-Quad-core processor is surprisingly adequate
-Cameras struggle in mixed lighting
-Videos are saved as .3GP
-Face unlock is a dud
Inside the box, you have your usual contents that include the phone itself, MicroUSB cable, 5w charger, headset, documentation, and the phone’s battery. The Nokia 2.2 is one of the few phones nowadays that still use removable batteries.
While it roughly the same size as the Nokia 2.1, HMD Global managed to fit a bigger 5.7-inch display through having slimmer bezels and implementing a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera. You do lose stereo speakers on the Nokia 2.2, but the phone overall looks more modern than its predecessor.
A rare feature of the Nokia 2.2—at least for phones in 2020— is that it comes with a removable battery. While it is much smaller than the one found on the Nokia 2.1, having a removable battery means you can easily swap a drained cell for a fully charged one.
The polycarbonate back panel has a glossy finish, making it prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches. Since it is removable, you can swap the Nokia 2.2’s default black back panel for Xpress-on covers in Forest Green, Ice Blue, and Pink Sand.
Being an Android One phone, HMD Global beefed up the Nokia 2.2’s internals with an Helio A22 processor paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage—a far cry from the 8GB internal storage and 1GB RAM found on the Nokia 2 and Nokia 2.1. Since it is running a bloatware-free version of Android, the Nokia 2.2 performed fine in multitasking between apps.
Despite having only a quad-core processor, the Nokia 2.2 can handle games like Call of Duty Mobile at the lowest graphics settings. While you Asphalt 9 is playable at the lowest graphics settings, the same cannot be said with PUBG Mobile. In the popular battle royale game, the Nokia 2.2 struggles through running PUBG Mobile with in-game lags and significant frame drops.
When it comes to battery life, the Nokia 2.2’s 3000mAh scored a little under 10 hours in PCMark, which is below average in 2020. However, having a removable battery means that you can easily swap battery packs while on the go and not fumble through connecting your phone into a power bank. Charging it takes around two hours via a dated MicroUSB port.
One of the Nokia 2.2’s big upgrades from its predecessor is its 13-megapixel rear camera. Compared to the Nokia 2.1’s cameras, you get better dynamic range and detail with the Nokia 2.2, though it still struggles in mixed lighting. Auto HDR does help manage tricky lighting situations, but can only do so much given the phone’s processing power.
As for videos, while the Nokia 2.2 can shoot at Full HD, it is strange that it saves them as .3GP and not the usual .MP4 format. It would have been better for the Nokia 2.2 to shoot videos in .MP4 as the said format is more compatible with a broad range of devices.
While the front camera doubles as the phone’s face unlock, it is not worth using this feature. On our experience, the front camera struggles with identifying our faces, especially in low-light conditions. If you want to keep the Nokia 2.2 secure, its best to stick with the PIN method.
Being a significant upgrade to the Nokia 2.1, the Nokia 2.2 continues to maintain the line’s reputation of providing clean, stock and optimized Android to budget phones. The shift to a removable battery is something we did not expect, and the cameras have improved considerably, despite the unusual video format. While face unlock felt more like a gimmick than a real feature, the Nokia 2.2 is an ideal device for those who need a backup or weekend phone.
Even if the Nokia 2.2 is superseded by the recently-launched Nokia 2.3—which for Php 1k more gets you a bigger display, bigger battery, and dual rear cameras—the Nokia 2.2 is still a great choice for those looking for an Android One phone at the sub-Php 5k price point.
Nokia 2.2 specs
- MediaTek Helio A22 quad-core processor
- PowerVR GE8320 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 5.7-inch HD+ IPS display
- 32GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera with AF and flash
- 5-megapixel f/2.4 front camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
- Android 9 Pie (Android One)
- 3000mAh Removable Battery