Not long ago sub Rs 10,000 meant cheap phones. Over the last few months, devices like Xiaomi’s Redmi 7 and the Realme C2 have brought both style and performance to this segment where aspirational buyers are demanding more bang for their buck and getting it. Nokia’s 2.2 takes over from the brand’s erstwhile budget offering – the 2.1 and adds a key differentiator that sets it apart in the budget segment – the Android One advantage. It’s a big deal in this segment; the Android One platform doesn’t just offer Android in its purest form sans custom UI and bloatware. It also puts phones on this platform on the fast track for OS updates and security patches. 

We took a trip down memory lane as we unboxed this smartphone. At a time when unibody phones are a thing, the Nokia 2.2 offers a swappable battery under the hood of a removable back cover. The polycarbonate back is refined, the phone looks quite elegant for a budget smartphone. The back is a fingerprint print magnet though. While the device looks good and feels good (in your hand) for a budget phone, it doesn’t quite match the style quotient of rivals like the Realme C2. You could bank on Nokia’s Xpress-on covers (at an extra cost) to add some oomph to the phone.

The 5.71-inch HD+ screen (720 x 1520 pixels / 295 PPI) looks vibrant even under sunlight and is in the same league as some of its competitors. Nokia manages to minimise the bezels and keeps the screen quite immersive for a device at this price point. At the heart of the Nokia 2.2 is a MediaTek MT6761 Helio A22 processor. Nokia offers two hardware configurations (both variants support external SD cards up to 400GB) – there’s a 2GB/16GB version, we checked out the 3GB/32GB version.

The Nokia 2.2 will disappoint heavy duty users. We experienced a lag while loading apps; the camera needed an extra second to fire up too. This is an area where the Xiaomi Redmi 7 trumps the Nokia 2.2. We put the 2.2 through an AnTuTu benchmark test where it notched up a score of 64066, significantly lower than the Redmi 7. We had no cribs about the 3000 mAh battery though, we didn’t need to reach out for a charger even after 24 hours of fairly heavy usage.

Single-lens rear cams are soon becoming extinct almost like devices with a removable back cover. This is an area where the Nokia 2.2 has its task cut out against most of its rivals that sport dual rear cams. The Nokia 2.2 opts for a 13MP rear cam and a 5MP selfie cam, both augmented by AI. Results were subpar in low light and acceptable in ambient light.

The Nokia 2.2’s focus to provide a solid all-around Google experience extends to its hardware too. There’s a dedicated button (on the left spine) to trigger Google Assistant. It will also become one of the first phones to get the step-up to Android Q. If you’re looking for a pure-play Android experience at a budget and to be first in line for latest OS updates, then the Nokia 2.2 is certainly worth checking out.

 

The Nokia 2.2 comes in Tungsten Black and Steel. You can snag it at a limited time offer price of Rs 6,999 (2GB/16GB) and INR 7,999 (3GB/32GB) till June 30th, 2019. These variants will be sold at Rs 7,699 and 8,699 once the offer price ends.

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