Nokia 2 review

You get what you pay for, and you don't pay much here

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Battery life

  • Large 4,100mAh battery
  • Excellent stamina
  • Slow charging

The Nokia 2's battery is one of its stand-out features. It's a 4,100mAh unit, far larger than that of most other budget phones.

As you'd hope, battery life is excellent. Even after hammering it with hours of podcast and Spotify streaming, some YouTube watching on the train and plenty of WhatsApp messaging, we were still left with 40% charge by 11:30pm.

This is the kind of stamina we'd like to see in every phone. And if you're a light user you could get the Nokia 2 to last two days between charges.

A 90-minute video played at maximum brightness takes 15% off the battery, suggesting a full charge will last around 10 hours. We actually expected slightly less drain considering the exemplary real-world stamina, but it still easily bests the Moto G5. That loses 22% in the same test.

There's no fast charging, though, so you'll probably want to recharge the Nokia 2 overnight.


  • Weak rear 8MP camera
  • Extremely slow low light shooting
  • Limited-quality selfies

The Nokia 2 has bizarrely low-end camera hardware. Its rear camera has an acceptable 8MP sensor, but the lens has an unusually small f/2.7 aperture. This means the 'hole' in the lens is rather narrow, letting less light in.

You can see this just by looking at the phone's back. Many cheaper or similarly priced phones have larger apertures, leading us to wonder whether HMD Global just thinks this particular lens is a good performer for its specs and cost.

There's not much evidence of this in action, though, aside from fairly solid sharpness at the center of the frame. Photos have bags of purple fringing in areas of high light contrast, edge sharpness is quite poor. 

And thanks to the low-end sensor quality, dynamic range and detail aren't close to those of the Moto G5.

One caveat worth making: we've seen worse 8MP cameras, but its performance is not appealing even given the Nokia 2's price.

Nokia's night image processing has a fair stab at maintaining some semblance of detail and color at night, but the result is shooting that's almost criminally slow. You have to wait several seconds for the Nokia 2 to do its thing before the process is finished.

The phone also uses rather slow shutter speeds at night, meaning you'll often find your photos appear blurry even if you could swear your hands were perfectly still.

Our usual solution for this issue is to take multiple exposures, but given the Nokia 2's low light shooting speed, you could be there all night, snapping away.

If the Nokia 2's camera was a bit faster we could live with the image quality, once the price drops a little anyway. However, most rivals that are just slightly more expensive take much better photos.

The front camera has a basic 5MP sensor. Selfies are just about passable, but don't have much fine detail. There's some shutter lag too.

Camera samples

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.