At an event in India, HMD Global announced the launch of the EUR 99 Nokia 2, its most affordable Android smartphone till date. While the India price of the smartphone will be revealed closer to its release later this month, you can expect it to be around the Rs. 7,000 mark. That may sound like too much of money for a phone that boasts of rather modest specifications on paper, but HMD believes it has a couple of tricks up its sleeves that will convince people of the Nokia 2 value proposition.
Like other smartphones in the Nokia lineup, the Nokia 2 runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It sports a 5-inch LTPS LCD HD (720×1280 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, and is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 SoC coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
The Nokia 2 specifications look rather modest when compared to the competition in the sub-Rs. 10,000 category but HMD Global is hoping the “two-day battery life” of the smartphone, coupled with the design and the promise of regular software updates will make it a compelling option nonetheless.
The Nokia 2 comes with a 4100mAh battery, by far and away its standout specification on paper. Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global says the big battery is backed by a bunch of other technologies and optimisations that help the phone hit the claimed two-day battery life.
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“First of all the technology selection,” Sarvikas explained. “LTPS does not exist in anywhere near this [price] range but we decided to invest in it because that draws 50 percent less power when the display is on.”
He added that a survey HMD Global commissioned revealed that consumers actively use their smartphone (i.e. when the display is on) for around five hours a day, which means that if a phone uses a display technology that is power efficient, the potential for battery savings is enormous.
The decision to go with Snapdragon 212 and offering just 1GB of RAM was also made with power optimisation in mind – and Sarvikas is confident the end user experience will not suffer as a result.
“We did a lot of homework before we chose the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212,” he said. “If you look at the work we’ve done for example on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 with the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 – let’s say if you go to Geekbench for example, we have the best integration and also the best power consumption – we get the most performance and the best power consumption in the industry. We’ve deployed the exact same logic on the 212.”
“What you see happen[ing] on Android is that the operating system is getting more efficient. With [Android] O, there’s a material improvement in performance, but also power consumption,” he added. “You might know there’s an initiative called Android Go which is aiming at optimised experience for lower memory devices. We’ve taken a lot of those learnings and deployed them right now on [Android] N. And in future on O it will be even more effective.”
“What I’m saying is that you get the same great experience now with less investment on RAM and the chipset,” Sarvikas concluded.