Hands On: Nokia 2

The Nokia 2 Android phone (Image: Nokia)

9 March 2018

Smart phones these days are undoubtedly getting smarter, with the processors and chipsets now packing incredible performance.

However, all of that performance tends to come at a price, which is usually battery life.

In the past, Nokia handsets had a reputation for long battery life that was entirely justified — they worked, for a long time.

While the Nokia 8 flagship device goes down the root of the bells and whistles, the Nokia 2 entry-level device goes the other way, offering a solid 2-day battery, while still giving a smart phone experience.

How does it do that, I hear you say?

The heart of the device is the Snapdragon 212 chipset supporting the quad-core A7 processor and Adreno 304 graphics processor. What that means is that it has an energy supping capability to make its integrated 4100mAH battery last for 2 days, on average.

This is all the more impressive as the Nokia 2 sports a very decent 720p 127mm (5”) screen that is by far the best feature of the device. This very decent screen, combined with a nice, smooth and sturdy chassis design, gives a far more premium feel than the budget price would suggest.

With 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, as well as a MicroSD storage slot, the Nokia 2 offers a good blend of capability. There are compromises, however. The rear camera is 8MP, while the front one is 5MP. Both work acceptably, but neither will win spec top trumps. Also, the LTE speeds are not to the highest standard, and it sports a MicroUSB, as opposed to USB Type C, for charging and data transfer.

Taken overall, this does not have the feel of a parts bin special, cobbled together from the low end of the market options to meet a price. Rather, the Nokia 2 has more of the considered approach of making an affordable device that has a decent spec, generous in some aspects, prudent in others, but coming together to give a decent smart phone experience.

That said, in usage of the Android 7.1.1 device, apps were a little slow to load, though generally performed well once open. This may have been exacerbated by the use of a MicroSD card as system storage (SanDisk Ultra 16GB), not just additional space, but still, it was a noticeable aspect. However, the migration and set up was, without doubt, the easiest this reviewer has ever had in adopting an Android device for review.

In the box is a charger with USB lead, and a pair of headphones that are perfectly acceptable, if a little old fashioned in their design. However, when a set of high-spec headphones were used with the headphone jack, the sound quality was quite good.

The Nokia 2 is not going to be for everyone, but as an affordable option that gives the user a competent smart phone experience, with the distinction of very unsmart-phone-like battery life, it is a winner.

The Nokia 2 is available with Virgin Mobile for €109 on prepay (in black), or unlocked without a contract from some suppliers for €150.


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