Price (RRP): $199
Nokia 2.2 is the new ‘.2’ version – last year it was 2.1 and previously 2.0. It joins the Nokia stable of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9-series and as we like to joke, ‘Rabbits ain’t got nothing on Nokia for prolific breeding’.
The unlocked Nokia 2.2 costs $199. According to our spies at JB, it is walking out the door without signing up to Telstra pre-paid. Buyers, pop down to Woolies or Aldi and grab a $15-20 per month pre or post-paid, no contract, sim pack. These are smart, cost-conscious buyers who would not even consider the cheapest Telstra plan that starts at $50 per month.
The Nokia 2.2 elicits a mixed bag of emotions. It did not help that we had the premium Samsung Galaxy Note10+ ($1999), Samsung Galaxy 10+ 5G ($1849) and the Vivo S1 ($449) on the testbed. Why? Because you simply cannot and must not compare a $199 phone to these.
More importantly, you need to look at who is buying the Nokia 2.2 and not the Nokia 3.2 ($249) or 4.2 ($299).
Again, my spies tell me that the average shopper has a price in mind. As the Nokia 2.2 is its cheapest Android offering, it is not a hard sell. Trying to talk them
This group is only concerned that it gets a decent phone that will last a year or two. It could not give a rat’s backside for in-depth specification analysis.
Review format change
Over 60% of GadgetGuy’s traffic is now via mobile, and our traditional long-form (4-6-page) reviews don’t suit that. We now look at the buyer profile and what they expect for the price. The result – we will put everything you need to know in the first two pages. You will see the word ‘Pass’ if it meets or exceeds or extensive paradigms.
Don’t worry – where appropriate the heavy tech stuff and specifications will appear after that.
Nokia 2.2 TA-1191 Single sim
Position: One of the lowest cost, pure Android Go smartphones
Pass: and from a very reputable company. Nokia elicits strong loyalty.
Screen: 5.71-inch, 1520 x 720, 19:9, 295ppi, 79% STBR, IPS, LCD – claimed 400 nits
Pass – it is not overly bright, contrasty or colour accurate and the night sky theme makes it look even darker than it is. There is no screen protection, and it will scratch.
Pass – its a good screen, a step above what you can expect at this price
Processor: MT6761 Helio A22; 12nm; four-core 2GHz A-53; PowerVR GE8300 GPU; – all in one SoC with Wi-Fi 5 (N), BT 4.2, GPS, LTE modem. 2GB/16GB/microSD (claimed to 400GB).
Pass – It is a little laggy and not for gamers or power users but fine for phone and general use. Warning: there is only 5GB free of the 16GB storage but you can add a microSD.
Battery: 3,000mAh that at screen-on, low/high use will last about 12/8 hours.
You will need to charge this once a day although claimed standby time is 21 days. A 5V/1A USB-A to micro-USB charger is in the box. The HQ510 battery is removable, and spares should cost $20-30 (generic to original). Recharge time is around 4 hours.
Pass – when the spare batteries are readily available, it may make sense to buy one.
LTE: Single SIM plus dedicated microSD slot
LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41
Pass – It has reasonable city reception on all major Telco bands. Its ability to find adjacent towers is limited, so it is not ideal for rural/remote use.
Comms: Wi-F N 2.4Ghz only, BT 4.2. GPS
Wi-Fi N is strong at -33dBm, but the maximum achievable speed 2.4Ghz is 65Mbps.
BT 4.2 is single-point and supports the SBC codec. It also has a 3.5mm jack and headphones. These act as the FM radio antenna, but there was no radio app.
Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer and light sensor. It lacks things like a pedometer, eCompass etc.
GPS is too slow for turn-by-turn navigation but fine for use on foot with offline maps.
Pass – fit for the task
Sound: Don’t ask.
It is fine as a phone and dreadful as a mono music speaker. The single bottom mic lacks any noise-cancelling and we found the need to ‘cup’ it to the mouth for the clearest conversation. The 3.5mm and BT output is more than adequate.
Pass – fit for the task
It has pure Android 9 One. Nokia provides two years of software upgrades and three years of monthly security updates meaning Android Q is coming.
It also has a dedicated Google Assistant key (that requires internet connection). Nokia makes a big thing about AI, but that is all part of Android 9 – not the hardware.
Pass – excellent
Size: 146 x 71 x 9.3mm x 153g;
Polycarbonate frame and clip off back (Xpress-on covers). It is relatively solid with a flat-screen and back, but you will need to be very careful of scratching the screen.
Security is via face unlock (very slow), pin or pattern.
Pass – fit for purpose
Camera: Rear: 13mp, F/2.2, 1.12UM, AF, LED flash, HDR, [email protected]; Selfie: 5MP
Daylight shots are great – reasonable colours, contrast and detail.
Office light shots (600 lumens) are OK, but colours are a little washed out, and definition starts to suffer.
Low light shots are very noisy and lack detail.
Video shots need good daylight, and as there is no OIS or EIS, you need a steady hand.
Pass: with caveats. Good social media quality camera.
GadgetGuy’s take. Nokia 2.2 is one of the lowest cost, pure Android One phones – what more do you need?
You get exactly what you pay for so you may as well pay for Nokia support and quality than a refurb or no-name brand.
Competition: Telstra currently has a carrier-locked Nokia 2.2 for $149 as a pre-paid device plus a Telstra Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband Go voice/data plan starting at $50 per month.
If your expectations are not unrealistic, then this is as good as it gets for $199.
It passes every parameter for a <$200 phone and it has a removable battery.