Nokia 2 First Impressions: A surprise budget smartphone with flagship-level design

Some budget devices can bring in learnings from flagship manufacturing experience.

  • Published: October 31, 2017 4:56 PM IST
nokia 2 front

At an event in Gurugram today, HMD Global launched the Nokia 2 smartphone. In what was a global launch, the company entered the budget segment with the Nokia 2. Here are my first impressions of the device.

Talking about the budget segment, HMD Global believes that the $100 to $150 segment is where India places prime focus. However, manufacturers tend to cut corners to make ends meet of sorts. At first glance, the Nokia 2 seems to check a lot of the right boxes with its product.

The thought behind the device

HMD believes urban citizens, or more specifically, Indian millennials (who are the intended audience) spend long hours in their daily commute. Since I live in Navi Mumbai, and work in Mumbai, I relate to the four hours I spend daily commuting between home and office. My friends in the NCR region don’t have it any better. Some of them who travel between Noida and Gurugram have it tough. But as they say – c’est la vie– such is life.

It seems finally a company is putting some thought into a very practical challenge, which is battery. HMD says it’s easy to make a power bank out of the phone, but that’s not what it has done. The company claims two days of battery back up on the device that is portable.

Nokia 2 specifications

An impressive 4,100mAh and innards in the form of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor that works in a power efficient manner, ensures that you have 4G LTE connectivity, the ability to capture loads of images, and still have juice left at the end of the second day of use. HMD emphasized that it’s not looking at standby time, but phenomenal use. I reckon that means the use case of the Indian millennial, which involves selfies while sitting, selfies while travelling, obsessive use with social media and browsing. All of this over an LTE network.

nokia 2 back

HMD has managed to do all of this in a package that is not in your face. It’s supposed to be ergonomic in the true sense. Very friendly on your palm. The device has 1GB of LPPDDR3 RAM. While it comes with 8GB onboard storage, you can expand available storage via the MicroSD card slot present, with support for up to 128GB.

In terms of optics, the Nokia 2 has an 8-megapixel primary camera with auto-focus and flash. It also has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. In addition, are ambient light and proximity sensors on the front of the device. The Nokia 2 comes with a mono speaker. While the device comes with Android Nougat out-of-the-box, the company claims Oreo is coming soon.

With support for VoLTE and VoWiFi, the device is bound to answer your long-term commute needs. To consume potential content you would access over a high speed data network, the Nokia 2 comes with a 5-inch high contrast LTPS HD screen. HMD says this is a very power efficient display.

nokia 2 google assistant

First-hand experience

The thought of vanilla and clutter-free Android experience, with the Google Assistant on a sub-Rs 10,000 device does sound exciting. While the company mentioned a 99 Euro price tag for it, we’re still awaiting clarity on the rupee pricing details. The best offering is the fastest rollout of the latest Android version as it becomes available.

The build quality of the Nokia 2 does surprise you at first glance, and to great extent even impress you. No doubt, it’s got some good industrial design thought put into it. The company says it’s milled from a single block of series 6,000 aluminium. These were terms used for higher-end flagship devices until now. I guess as we look at bezel-less smartphones this year in the higher-end spectrum, the design language in the budget segment is also bound to receive an overhaul.

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Nokia 2


Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 Quad-Core 1.3GHz Processor
8 MP with LED flash
  • Published Date: October 31, 2017 4:56 PM IST