Nokia 2.2 review: pure Android experience inside a durable body

Our Nokia 2.2 review sheds light on the capabilities of this budget Android One smartphone from the stables of HMD Global. How well does the Helio A22 processor handle stock Android 9 Pie? What delights and niggles does the Nokia 2.2 have hidden under its plastic body?

Nokia 2.2 Review: Quick Specs

  • Body: Plastic;
  • Screen: 5.71-inch, 720 x 1520 pixels, 19:9 apsect ratio, IPS LCD with a notch.
  • Rear Camera: 13MP, f/2.2 auto-focus lens; LED flash; video recording,
  • Front Camera: 5MP fixed focus lens;  video recording
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio A22, quad-core CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz, PowerVR GE8320 GPU
  • Memory: 2/16 GB or 3/32 GB, plus dedicated microSD slot for up to 400GB expansion
  • OS: Pure Android 9 Pie;
  • Battery: removable 3,000mAh.
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, FM radio, microUSB 2.0
  • Colors: Black; Steel.
  • Misc: Physical Google Assistant button.

Nokia 2.2 Review: In the box

Nokia 2.2 review: Inside the box
Nokia 2.2 review: Inside the box

Opening up the box, we find the following items inside:

  • the Nokia 2.2 phone itself (our review unit is the 2GB/16GB model in colour black)
  • 3000mAh battery.
  • pamphlets, including Quick Start Guide.
  • 3.5mm audio headset.
  • USB cable.
  • 5V/1A wall charger.

Nokia 2.2 Review: Quick Pros And Cons

Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this device.

  • loudspeaker is quite loud and of good audio quality
  • pure Android 9 software
  • guaranteed software updates for 2 years and monthly security updates for 3 years
  • available internal storage is low

Nokia 2.2 Review: The Hardware And Design

Nokia 2.2 review
Nokia 2.2 review

Being a budget smartphone, the Nokia 2.2 has a plastic body and the back cover is removable. Both SIM card slots and the dedicated memory card slot are underneath the cover. A user replaceable battery is there as well.

The volume and power buttons are on the right edge. There is a hardware Google Assistant button on the other side. Both the power and Google Assistant buttons are assymetrical in position.

Unlike the Nokia 3.2, there is no LED light incorporated into the power button here. A 3.5mm audio jack slot is positioned at the top right edge. At the bottom edge of the phone area microphone hole and USB port. The loudspeaker grill is on the back cover.

Nokia 2.2 Review: The Software

The Nokia 2.2 runs pure Android OS – Android the way Google wants it. There is no custom user interface here. And it works as efficiently as it can.

Smartphone users who are used to all the bells and whistles of various custom UIs may not like the simplicity of stock Android, but then that is a personal thing. The bottomline is that it works efficiently.

The Nokia 2.2 has no bloatware. The only pre-installed apps are Google apps. As a matter of fact, using it is like using a Google Pixel. It also means that it will get 2 major Android updates. That means the Nokia 2.2 will get Android Q this year and Android R in 2020.

In addition, it will get monthly security updates for 3 years, so your Nokia 2.2 will stay secure till 2022. Our review unit got the July 2019 security update while with us.

As part of Google’s Digital WellBeing suite, the Wind Down feature enables the user set a time when the phone automatically turns off notifications and changes the screen to grayscale for that period each day.

I also like how Android 9 is able to adapt to my notifications preferences. For example, if I constantly swipe away notifications from a certain app, the software will ask me if I want to stop seeing that particular notification, and take action depending on my response. The option to set time limits on individual apps is also available as part of Android 9’s Digital WellBeing suite.

Nokia 2.2 Review: Network And Telephony

Nokia 2.2 with waterdrop notch

This is a Dual SIM phone, with both SIMs supporting 4G networks. However, you can have 4G active on only one at a time. And, yes; it supports Glo’s LTE band 28(700), though the network is currently rolling out 4G on band 3(1800) also.

Call quality is good and the phone holds on to network signals well, as far as I can see.

Nokia 2.2 Review: Playing Music and Video

The Nokia 2.2’s 5.71″ LCD display with a waterdrop notch isn’t groundbreaking in any way, but it is smooth and of good quality compared to most of the competition.

The loudspeaker is quite loud and of good quality for this class of device. There is no built-in music player, though you can play music through Files. Google’s default file manager. It offers you Play-Pause-Skip controls, but that is all. If you want more control over your music play, you can download and install a music player of your choice.

The same goes for video: there is no dedicated video player, but you can play them through Google Files. This gives you limited control too, so you will need to visit the Play Store for a video player of your choice should you want more features.

We are hazarding a guess that this lack of dedicated media players is to keep app storage space down and let users decide whether or not they really need dedicated players.

There is an FM Radio pre-installed, and it requires a 3.5mm cable plugged in.

Nokia 2.2 Review: Photography

Nokia 2.2 back

How do the cameras on the Nokia 2.2 perform? We have samples for you to examine and draw your own conclusions. Don’t forget to click on them for larger samples. First, here are samples from the 13 MP rear camera:

Lagos State accident and emergency centre - shot on Nokia 2.2
Lagos State accident and emergency centre – shot from a moving car.
Nokia 2.2 camera low light no flash
Nokia 2.2 rear camera sample photo – indoors, low light, no flash
Nokia 2.2 camera lowlight with flash
Nokia 2.2 camera sample: indoors, lowlight, with flash

Galaxy - shot on Nokia 2.2 daylight

And it is time to check out the 5 MP, fixed focus selfie cam:

Nokia 2.2 selfie camera sample in daylight

Nokia 2.2 Review: Multitasking And Performance

Nokia 2.2 volume and power buttons

In regular use, the Nokia 2.2 runs fairly smooth, partly thanks to the fact that it runs pure Android OS without any extra layer of a custom user interface to impact performance. Using and switching between apps is a generally smooth experience but if you are familiar with better performance, you will notice the mild sluggishness of the Helio A22 processor. You will notice it during heavier tasks, e.g. while using the camera.

Out of the box, the Nokia 2.2 2GB/16GB has about 6GB storage free. The operating system and pre-installed apps take up a whopping 10.45GB of the 16GB specified space. A good micro-SD card alleviates the pain, but we would be much happier if the user got at least 10GB out of the box. Thankfully, you can use cards of up to 400GB storage capacity.

The hardware Google Assistant button is present on the Nokia 2.2. You can use it to launch websites, take pictures, and more. Instead of saying, “Hey Google” to activate Assistant, just push the button to do that. Press and hold it to have Google listen to you talk. Yes; like push-to-talk.

For example, I hold the button and say, “Take a picture”. It launches the camera app, and activates a 3-2-1  countdown, after which it takes a picture all by itself. And it understands the difference between asking it to take a picture and asking it to take a selfie. When I push the button and say, “Take a selfie”, it launches the selfie camera, counts down and shoots. The Google Assistant button is a cool and nifty feature.

For security, there are face unlock, PIN, and password as options.

Nokia 2.2 Review: Battery Life

Nokia 2.2 with removable back cover and removable battery

The Nokia 2.2’s 3000mAh battery is good enough to keep the lights on for most of the day if you do not stay on your phone all the time. if you do, be prepared to plug it to a wall socket at some point in time to top it up. There is no fast charging in here, so you are stuck with good old snail charging. The built-in Adaptive Battery feature is really useful and helps to keep power drain to the barest minimum.

And since the battery is replaceable, if you use it long enough for it to begin to degrade, you can always buy a replacement battery and pop it in. Why change the whole phone because the battery is bad? This is one of the advantages of a user-replaceable battery in a phone.

Nokia 2.2 Review: Why should you buy it?

So, why should you buy the Nokia 2.2? Like Nokia Android phones, it offers simplicity inside and outside, a smooth user experience, thanks to pure Android OS, the guarantee of software updates and security patches that is hard to find from competing brands, solid battery life, good photography, and hardware durability.

At a price of ₦30,000 (or about $85 internationally), it is a little pricier than competing products, but again, it offers performance and value that you won’t get from most of them, so it is fair game.

Gionee M7 LITE is available for roughly the same price. For a little more, you can get the TECNO Spark 4, or Infinix HOT 8 Lite, all of which have similar specs but a bigger battery and bigger storage.

Other Nokia 2.2 Resources

That is it on our Nokia 2.2 review, but we have more in-depth reviews and articles on the way. Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with new articles from MobilityArena.

Nokia 2.2 review: pure Android experience inside a durable body
Nokia 2.2 review: pure Android experience inside a durable body 12

The Nokia 2.2 has a removable back cover and user-replaceable battery, provides the pure Android experience, and manages to run smoothly most of the time. Nokia's legendary durable build quality is here too. Enjoy our Nokia 2.2 review.

Editor's Rating:
3.7
re

33 comments

  1. I think it’s totally worth the price. I have used a Nokia 8 and can testify to the good feeling of stock Android software. Everything was smooth and it was one of the few phones I used that I didn’t bother about changing since I have latest software. But I lost it. Was forced to change eventually

  2. Nokia 2.2 still one of the best Nokia phones I love so much, despite its a budget phone but the simple look makes me admire it. Overall this device is not bad, the recent OS and the 3000mAh battery capacity are the two features you can’t right off. As for the price the phone is value for money.

    1. Am looking for a small budget phone, & I think this Nokia ll ba good deal. I like the all the specs. Can’t wait to get my hands on one. Nice fone.

  3. It was kind is weird to see removable battery, it’s been long i last saw that. By and large it fair for the price.
    My Up point for this device is the body build, water-drop notch display at the top, two major andriod update is a Waoo at the budget grade. While the down side was the 3000MAH, they should have done better at least 3500MAH at #30K we’ve got a lot of competition.

    1. Yeah. That’s exactly my point. With ₦30k,there are other strong contenders in that price range. HMD Global should have put this in mind and tried to bring the price down a bit.

  4. I really love the design and to know it has a removable battery that is a edge. Will definitely wish for 1 as a smart phone

  5. I feel this is a budget friendly phone and since its an android one project its quite a steal for the price just 30k but the 6 gig of internal storage space out of the box it’s quite a bummer tho .all in all I feel they could have at least added a quick charge feature would have trumped all other phones in its price range.

  6. Great review, as usual. I noticed a few typos: “Nokia 3.2 Review: In the box”. Am sure you meant Nokia 2.2. Also you have, “…software updates for 2 years ANMD monthly security …”

    As a way of introducing myself to Nokia, post their brief romance with Microsoft, I bought the Nokia 2. I had challenges with space and I see same problem with this one. Once you installed apps you’ll have no space again. The memory card is NOT a solution as the Nokia did not allow me to move apps to memory card easily. I had to go through some process of re-formatting and preparing the card for apps.

    I think the updates for 2 years is a great bargain, although I think for the price Samsung Galaxy A10 is a better bargain, of course, my opinion.

    I like this dedicated physical button for Google Assistant. It’s weird when you hear an ‘agbalagba’ shouting ‘Hey Google’ over and over again and the phone just decide to embarrass you instead by not responding. Almost like calling your child to impress everyone about how smart your baby is and the baby just look at you and look away.

    1. Yeah. You’re right. Android do not allow a permanent move of some Apps to external memory card, and such apps usually consume a large space on the phone, plus the fact that they also eat a wholesome part of the RAM. So, with 16GB ROM, SD card is not really the solution here.

  7. I presently use a Nokia 3.1 plus, but unfortunately it doesn’t support Glo Mobile 4G LTE network. It’s a welcome development that this particular phone supports the network. Great review though.

  8. Nokia brand has been a problem solver to the world in terms of technology. Talk of durability, accessibity and ease of operation etc. I can vividly tell that a blind man can operate this phone without much assistance. Thumb up Nokia! Thumb up Mister Mobilty! Your passion to ease peoples lives will never be look down on!

  9. Nokia brand has been a problem solver from time immemorial. Talk of the durablity of devices, accessibity ease of operation etc. Nokia 2.2 according to the review is superb, performs exccedly great more other expensive phone brand. Thumb up Nokia! Thumb up Mister Mobility! Your passion to ease peoples lives will never go unpaid!

  10. The Nokia 2.2 to me is real value for money at ₦30000. Especially the fact that it continues to be updated to the newest OS Android R in 2020 with monthly security updates. Top of the deal again is that though having an internal memory of 16gig, the ability to use a micro SD up to 400gig is mouth watering. Needless to mention the 3000 MAH Nokia battery that is ever reliable. I love it.

  11. I love this Nokia 2.2 smartphone. The specs are absolutely awesome. I love the 3000mAh battery and the price is okay.

  12. Although Nokia took its time to join the “Android Wars” they appear to be gaining some ground and are now showing some interest in the budget-range market. For #30,000 the specs are just OK especially with the presence of dual 4G support .As you have pointed out the removable battery and the pure Android 9 Os without extraenous bloatware (which I crave by the way) and regular update support are good selling points but the 3,000MAh battery is a drawback particularly for those who aren’t fans of topping up their batteries on the go.

  13. Nokia 2.2 with all these spec is value for money. However I think they can improved on the battery capacity to at least 3500Mah. The design is good at #30000 price point. Impressed with the way Nokia are making a comeback.

    1. It’s marketing sense, they will never put everything in a single phone.
      Now we have another variant for everything. We can’t eat our cake and still have it, we’ve got to make a choice.

  14. Removable battery? Bring it on. This is as budget as they come and the sweet spot for me is guaranteed updates for 2 years. It looks pretty decent and the camera isn’t disappointing.

    Downside for me is the low internal storage: 10Gb for the OS? Haba Nokia. I’ll like to see how the 2.2 performs in the market though; will be interesting to see whether people will bite. The stock OS should be the deal breaker though in my opinion. Good review

  15. To start with, the ₦30,000 price is a little bit on the high side. I don’t know what HMD Global was thinking to have placed such a price tag on this device. But, then, the phone has some attractive options to it, like; Face Unlock (in place of Fingerprint scanner), external storage of up to 400GB to compensate for the low 16GB storage, dual 4G on both SIM slots, 3000mAh replaceable battery, pure Android 9 Pie, 19:9 aspect ratio for a wider view, Mediatek Helio A22, quad-core CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz will make for a faster browsing, 13MP Rear camera with flash, should be good enough for taking pictures in daylight(samples shown attested to that fact), the position of the 3.5mm audio jack at the top right-hand corner of the phone is a brilliant idea, the loud speaker embedded is good as well, especially for someone like me who doesn’t like wearing earpiece or earphones around.
    So, if I’m asked if I would buy this in case I could afford it, my answer would be absolute YES! 💕

  16. The camera does leave something to be desired but the design of the phone is very pretty especially for this price point.

  17. Nokia phones has been recognized as one of the timeless best phones so with all these specs listed under this perfect understandable review,i believe Nokia phone is out with a more perfect loud bang,a masterpiece and a treasure worth beholding.The specs are so mind-blowing!👏👏

  18. Nokia phones are reliable, there 3,000 Mah lasts like the 4,000 mah batteries of some other android phones.

  19. Compact performer

    Btw you made a mistake in the write up, “andreno 506” ,the mediatek a22 processor uses a PowerVR GE8320 gpu ,not the andreno 506 of snapdragon

    I understand this is a typo, but no problem tho
    I hope/wish i get to win the giveaway . Thanks🙌🙏

  20. Wow!!!..what i really love about phones is the specifications because i love online games and seeing this phone with great specification of 1.8ghz (a fast clockspeed) and 3/2 gb ram is enough for me running pubg without out lagging ….in a nutshell it a beast phone in cheaper price

  21. Am impressed with all these specs but where I think this device should have been improved is the battery capacity. 3000mAH is not enough for 2019/2020 device. 4000mAH should have been ok to me.

  22. I think the phone worth the cost, especially in area of security which is monthly for three years and also software update for two year interval is ok. Nokia is a good brand. But the down side is how long can it 3000mAh battery last in africa, considering the electricity issue

  23. The major reason why I like this device is because of its stock Android experience… other than that, I still feel that the device is a bit overpriced

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