Home Science & Technology First impressions of an easily repairable phone

First impressions of an easily repairable phone

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Nokia should be applauded for its approach to repairability with cheap replacement parts, easy-to-remove components and a partnership with iFixIt for guides, and it’s something I’d like to see on more smartphones.


  • Easily repairableThe Nokia G22 has been designed to be easily serviceable, allowing you to replace a faulty battery, display or USB-C port.

  • Quite affordableThe Nokia G22 costs just £149.99 with some decent specs and is a budget option.

  • Multi-day battery lifeNokia claims the G22’s 5,000mAh battery can last up to three days on a single charge.

Introduction

The Nokia G22 may look like a standard budget smartphone, but it has one trick – it’s easy to repair.

Nokia has focused on repairability for its latest G-series handset, making it easier than ever for consumers to replace the battery, screen and USB port – the three components that commonly fail on smartphones – requiring only basic tools and cheap replacement parts. which are supplied by the reputable iFixIt brand.

Repairability aside, the Nokia G22 looks like a decent budget option with a large battery and 50MP camera for just £149.99. I spent some time with the Nokia G22 at the pre-launch briefing, and here’s what I think so far.

Design and screen

  • Mainly made of plastic
  • Easily repairable
  • The HD+ display is good, if not a little dim

The Nokia G22 is a budget smartphone, and this is largely reflected in the overall design. It’s made mostly of plastic, including the bezel that sits between the display and the back panel, but feels surprisingly sturdy. The use of plastic also means that it is quite light in the hand.

Still, it has excellent build quality, with little features like a slightly curved back that helps the phone sit more comfortably in the hand, and a display that disappears into the bezel rather than a sharp edge like some budget options.

Nokia also claims that it is quite durable and can withstand more than 100 drops before it stops working completely.

However, it doesn’t matter. Unlike almost any other phone on the market, it’s designed to be easily serviceable, extending the life of the phone even further.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Nokia claims the battery can be replaced in less than five minutes using a SIM removal tool, a guitar pick and a 00 screwdriver – and it was demonstrated while a Nokia representative was giving a media presentation at the same time. In fact, he managed it in 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

It looks very simple, with no glue sticking to the components, and the company has partnered with iFixIt to provide replacement parts, tools, and detailed instructions.

It’s not just about the battery; you can also replace the display and USB-C charging port with very little effort. Spare parts are also cheap, with the battery costing £22.99, the charging port £18.99 and the display £44.99.

This display, by the way, is a 6.5-inch panel with HD+ resolution. This might sound disappointing on paper, but in real life text is still relatively sharp and fairly bright, although colors seem a bit washed out. After all, this is a cheap smartphone, so you have to sacrifice.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The 90Hz refresh rate at least makes things smoother in use, which is handy because it’s not very fast to use. More on that in a bit.

Cameras

  • The main rear camera is 50 MP
  • The 2MP macro lens doesn’t offer much
  • AI camera developed by Nokia

At under £200, you shouldn’t expect flagship-level camera performance from the Nokia G22, although it’s equally not as bad as most budget Android rivals.

The rear camera offering consists of a 50MP primary sensor along with a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. While it’s technically a dual-camera offering, the 2MP macro lens is likely just there to bump up the numbers a bit and make it a more tempting option. The test shots I took during my hands-on briefing with the macro lens were uninspiring and rather bland, confirming my suspicions.

The main 50-megapixel sensor does show promise, and Nokia claims it uses the same AI algorithm that runs on the more capable Nokia X30. This includes Nokia’s in-house custom night mode, which it claims is much better than the budget competition, although it’s not something I could test in a bright conference room.

Still, it takes pretty decent photos in well-lit environments with a decent amount of detail, although focus can be a bit off at times.

Flip the phone over and you’ll find a single 8MP selfie camera that’s good enough for WhatsApp video calls and the occasional selfie, but that’s about it.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Productivity

  • The Unisoc T606 is not as fast
  • Android 12 with 2 OS updates is planned
  • Three days of autonomous work

With the relatively unknown Unisoc T606 chipset at the heart of the Nokia G22, it’s safe to say it’s not a powerful computing machine – although with such a low price and maintainability taking center stage, that’s not too much of a surprise.

That’s paired with 4GB of RAM with the phone able to take an extra 2GB of RAM from the ROM to boost performance when needed, like when taking photos or trying to play a simple game, even though the latter isn’t what I wanted would really recommend with the G22. This is a handy feature, especially for the budget segment of the market, where RAM is traditionally limited.

In my short time with the phone, I found the Nokia G22 to be perfectly fine for browsing the web through Chrome, scrolling through Instagram and sending text messages, but don’t expect it to handle anything particularly complex without lag or stuttering. I’ve already noticed intermittent slowdowns, even with simple things like accessing the multitasking menu.

The G22 comes with Android 12, which is a surprise considering the cheaper Nokia C22 and Nokia C32 come with Android 13 Go and Android 13 respectively.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I asked about this, and a Nokia representative explained that it was simply because the phone had been in development for quite some time – right down to improved repairability – although they reassured me that it would be one of the last Android 12 devices from Nokia to hit the market . market.

At some point, it will receive the Android 13 update, with two OS updates and three years of security patches promised by Nokia, but there’s no word on when that might happen.

However, even with Android 12, the smartphone provides an almost stock experience that can only really be matched by the likes of Google and Motorola, with a clean OS free of viruses and unnecessary features.

According to Nokia, the phone should last up to three days, and it should hold its maximum capacity longer than many competitors. It also claims to last up to 800 cycles at peak efficiency, compared to 500 cycles in most competitors. Although at a 20W charging rate, it will probably take quite a while to go from flat to full.

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Early thoughts

Nokia should be applauded for its approach to repairability with cheap replacement parts, easy-to-remove components and a partnership with iFixIt for guides, and it’s something I’d like to see on more smartphones. This, combined with a three-year warranty and two OS updates, helps users keep the phone for even longer – not bad for a smartphone costing under £150.

Otherwise, the 50MP camera is a nice touch and the three-day battery life sounds promising, but I’ll save my final thoughts for the full review.

UK RRP

RRP EU

Manufacturer

Screen size

Storage capacity

Rear camera

Front camera

Video recording

IP rating

battery

Fast charging

Operating system

Release date

Refresh rate

Ports

A set of microcircuits

AZP

A “hand scan” this is just our first impression of the product – not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early feel of what it’s like to use it. We call these “hands-on reviews” to make them visible in search. However, they are always non-evaluative and non-recommendative. More about our policy reviews.

Jargon Reporter

mAh

Abbreviation for milliamp-hours and a way of expressing the capacity of batteries, especially the smaller ones in phones. In most cases, the higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last, but this is not always the case.

IP rating

Abbreviation for “Ingress Protection Code”, which lets you know how waterproof or dustproof a device can be.

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