Hands On: Nokia 1.3 and 2.3

Nokia's entry level 2.3 smartphone (Image: Nokia)

Entry level devices, exceeding expectations

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14 May 2020 | 0

If one were to describe a new smart phone as having a 158mm (6.2”), 1530×720 screen, 13MP camera and 4,000mAh battery, one might be forgiven for thinking it would also have a huge price tag.

However, these are the specs of the updated Nokia 2, making it the 2.3.

With an unvarnished version of Android 10, and Nokia’s guarantee of two years worth of operating system and security updates, this is an entry level phone of a different sort.

 

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While many manufacturers are packing more into the high end, driving prices well over €1,000 per device, Nokia has been focusing just as much energy on the entry to mid-level devices.

Powered by a MediaTek Helio A22 chipset with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (SD card expandable), the core of the 2.3 is fairly sturdy, but not blazingly powerful, which means it sips at its generous battery capacity, leading the maker to claim a 2-day life.

The screen features a thin surround, with what is described as a water drop notch that houses the forward facing 5MP camera.

The wrap around body feels comfortable in the hand, and has openings for the mic, speakers, charging port, SIM port, headphone jack, and buttons. If there is one criticism of the 2.3, and its 1.3 sibling, it is the lack of a USB Type C port for charging and data, sticking with the micro USB standard. While this gives backward compatibility with older chargers, it does not give the flexibility or new capability of the new standard.

Both the 1.3 and 2.3 benefit from a dedicated Google Assistant button, allowing instant access to those features, which is a useful and a distinguishing feature.

A standout feature for the 2.3 is its face unlock capability, providing security and ease of use.

In use, the budget chipset copes in the 2.3 well with most tasks, with the device feeling responsive as it loads and switches between applications. The 19:9 aspect ratio screen displays HD video beautifully, and copes well with high quality streamed content.

The Nokia 1.3 runs the Go edition of Android 10. (Image: Nokia)

The Nokia 1.3 is the entry level device that sports a Qualcomm 215 chipset with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage (also SD card expandable), running a 145mm (5.71”) HD+ display at 19:9 aspect ratio. There is an 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, and a 3,000mAh battery. Battery life is stated as a full day on a full charge. It runs the Go edition of Android 10.

The chassis of the 1.3 is a little more basic than the 2.3, with a detachable plastic over at the back, and an old fashioned removable battery.

The dedicated Google Assistant button also features, as does the 2 year OS and security update guarantee.

In use the 1.3 is what it is, a very budget device. That said, for basic use of comms, connectivity and streaming, it performs admirably, with load times the only noticeable lag. Once loaded, apps seemed to work as expected, with no real performance issues.

With the 1.3 and 2.3 having respective price tags of around €110 and €145 SIM free, these are entry level, but bargains nonetheless.

Their respective specs allow them to punch well above their price tag weight. With the usual Nokia build quality and the unique 2 year update guarantee, these entry level phones deliver some of the best bang for buck to be had currently.

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