There are plenty of Android phones, but not many Android One smartphones. The latter is a near-stock version of the Android platform released by Google, has a clean user interface (UI) and comes with a promise of timely security and software updates for two years. While most manufacturers prefer to have custom UI, Nokia is committed to the Android One programme. Interestingly, Nokia 2.2 is the most affordable Android One smartphone in the Indian market (not to be confused with Android Go, designed for low-spec devices).
This one sports a 5.71-inch HD+ display with 400 nits brightness. There are thin bezels on the sides and a teardrop selfie notch at the top. The power button and the volume key are on the right panel; the audio port is at the top and the microUSB charging port at the bottom. There is a dedicated voice assistant key on the left panel, making it convenient for Web searching and apps launching. Slots for removable battery and SIM card are hidden under the detachable rear panel. Overall, the phone looks good but has a soft finish that makes it a fingerprint magnet and is a little slippery to hold.
It runs Android P out of the box and can be upgraded to Android Q as soon as Google releases it. The device has basic apps on board for calling and messaging along with Google apps, Gmail, Chrome browser, Photos and more - all placed neatly in the app tray. Although there is no pre-installed third-party app, one can download WhatsApp, Facebook or any other app from Google Play Store. Shortcuts can also be added to the home page.
Powered by the quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 chipset, my review unit had 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage out of which 11 GB was consumed by system files. In case you run out of storage, the Files application can be used to remove duplicates and unwanted data. It has no fingerprint scanner either, but Nokia has added a face unlock feature that does liveliness detection. However, I found it a bit slow. The 13 MP rear camera with auto-focus is an average one, though. Images captured during bright daylight were good, but low-light images had a lot of noise, even though Nokia has used an AI-powered low-light image fusion technology. The 5 MP front camera captured decent selfies. And the 3,000 mAh battery lasted me a day on average use. Being an Android One device is the biggest plus point of Nokia 2.2, but it lags in the camera department. Therefore, one can also consider getting the Redmi 6 with a rear dual-camera set-up at the same price.