Nokia mobile is taking its entry-level smartphone line-up to the next level. HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has recently launched the new Nokia 2.3 in Mzansi which boasts improved performance, a low price, and the latest and greatest version of Android.
The phone offers several other great features too. Notably, the device has a built-in Google Assistant button, giving users easy access to Assistant without always having to use the “Hey, Google” wake word. We got to spend some time with it over the month of June and behold, it has lived up to Nokia mobile’s reputation of providing entry level devices that are worth every cent.
With that, here are some of the features we are loving on the Nokia 2
It has a fantastic design
The device features a small teardrop-shaped notch at the top for the front-facing camera and a chin at the bottom — but apart from that, it’s got a nice edge-to-edge display with rounded corners. The display measures in at 6.2 inches, with an IPS LCD HD+ resolution. Despite its 6.2-inch screen size, the Nokia 2.3 is usable with one hand (though I do have large hands).
Other aspects of the design look great, too. There’s no camera bump on the back, making for a much smoother look. There’s a beautiful effect that plays upon the rear when it catches the light, which gives the back an appearance of having ridges, especially on the Cyan Green colour, where the Nokia 2.3 looks more sophisticated. It also comes in Charcoal, but Cyan Green is the one we have for review.
Build quality is HMD Global’s strength, and it continues to deliver phones that feel like they deserve a higher price tag.
All that power
Powering the Nokia 2.3 is a Mediatek Helio A22 SoC with a PowerVR GPU and 2GB RAM. While it performs most day-to-day tasks without too much of a struggle, it does stutter here and there and also freezes occasionally (particularly when switching apps). Do not expect apps to launch at rocket speed or games to load up and run well, either.
If you’re not a power user, you only use a handful of apps, and you don’t play demanding games, the Nokia 2.3 will be sufficient.
As is the case with most Nokia mobile phones, the Nokia 2.3 is a part of the Android One program. That means you get a promise of three years of security updates and two operating system upgrades. We touch a bit more on that later on in this piece.
The Nokia 2.3 will get you through a full workday with medium use and a full day with light use with its 4000mAh battery. I often arrived home around 6pm with 40% remaining. Battery anxiety starts to creep in whenever I decided to extend my night out, though — around 9pm it hit 20%.
AI features in the camera
Nokia mobile focused a little on improving camera quality, ensuring that you’ll get decent shots even in an affordable phone. In the Nokia 2.3, you’ll get a Portrait Mode that blurs out the background of your photos, making for a more professional-looking photo. The phone features a dual 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel camera. It also adds features like image fusion technology that allows the phone to combine details from multiple photos — making for a more vibrant image overall.
Given the market placement of the device, it can take adequate photos during the day, with decent detail, though colours can look a bit muted at times. Problems start to creep in as the day goes on. The phone can barely take solid low-light photos, but it’s not consistent. You need to stay as still as possible because there is no optical image stabilization. Any movement will result in a blurry photo. It does not help that the phone isn’t the fastest to snap photos.
Android 10 for the win
The device comes with Android 10, which is the latest and greatest version of Android. Further, Nokia mobile says that the phone is guaranteed to get monthly security updates for three years, and full operating system for two years — so the device should get both Android 11 and Android 12 when they’re released and become available.
The phone comes with Android One, so Android, in general, it is relatively clean, and updates should be available quickly after they are released. It is one of the first things you’ll notice once you power on the device and start browsing.
The Nokia 2.3 is great build quality with a nice design, a strong screen experience, along with decent performance and battery life. Its camera system is solid. Perhaps the best thing about the phone is the price — you can purchase the Nokia 2.3 from R1999.
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