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Nokia 2.4 Review: Could’ve Been Better

But it depends on how much you really want a clean Android experience


HMD Global, the company behind Nokia phones, has released several iterations of its budget phones, and one of the latest to be available in Kenya is the Nokia 2.4. Nokia 2.4 starts at Ksh 13,799 for 2/32GB model and Ksh 15,500 for the 3/64GB model (Our review unit is the 3/64GB model)

Like other models from the Nokia brand, Nokia 2.4 runs on Android One, the closest you can ever get to experience vanilla Android out of Google Pixel phones.

In Kenya and many other countries, it’s hard to experience the clean Android experience without denting your wallet since Android One seems way on its death bed.

But does the Nokia 2.4 stand a chance to outclass phones from Chinese counterparts? Let’s find out:

Design and Build

Nokia 2.4’s design is not close to what many would consider impeccable. Still, the phone wins some votes on the inclusion of diagonal ridges that give the polycarbonate cover a nice touch.

Nokia 2.4 rear view
Nokia 2.4 rearview (the back shell has diagonal ridges)

These ridges help in providing a firm grip while holding the phone. Besides, they can trap your grease from your fingerprints which is a plus considering such is uncommon on nearly all, if not all, budget devices from other OEMs.

The phone is considerably large with a 6.5-inch display, a sizeable bottom chin that carries the Nokia logo, and a waterdrop notch at the top which houses the selfie camera.

Nokia 2.4 frontview
Nokia 2.4 waterdrop notch

A second Nokia logo is on the back of the phone sitting vertically at the centre of the polycarbonate shell. At the same time, the fingerprint sensor and the small camera bump are located on the upper half. The location of the fingerprint sensor feels right, and you can always reach out to unlock the phone with your index finger without any fuss.

Nokia 2. rearview
Nokia 2. full rearview

The sides are still made out of plastic although the phone has been given a nice sturdy finish that makes it look anything but cheap, at the same time, not premium.

Nokia 2.4 has the regular power button and volume rockers on the right.

Nokia 2.4 sideview_1
Nokia 2.4 sideview_1

There’s an additional Google Assistant button on the left that can be disabled.

Nokia 2.4 sideview_2
Nokia 2.4 sideview_2

On the bottom is the single speaker, and a micro-USB port.

Nokia 2.4 bottom
Nokia 2.4 bottom view

The headphone jack is located on the top.

The phone ships in three colours Dusk, Fjord and charcoal – similar to Nokia 3.4.

Our Nokia 2.4 review unit is dressed in a charcoal paint job.

Display

Nokia 2.4 has a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with 1600×720 resolution. If you like your device displays uninterrupted, Nokia 2.4 won’t make a good candidate as it has a centrally placed waterdrop notch at the top.

The big advantage of this display is the size, which makes it suitable for doing activities that require substantial screen real-estate like watching movies or keeping up with your fellow netizens.

One big downside of the display the limited brightness, which makes the phone barely usable while outdoors.

Another one, as you’d expect, is the clarity of the display which suffers greatly from the large size and fewer pixels.

Performance

Nokia 2.4 handles light tasks like scrolling through social media, watching videos and the likes well. These are the most common activities you’ll be doing with your phone.

The phone runs on the two-year-old Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 processor, a popular choice on budget phones, paired with a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. And with 3GB of memory onboard, the phone handles day to day tasks just fine. I wouldn’t recommend pushing it hard.

Software

Nokia 2.4 runs on Android 10 out-of-the-box thus has all the bells and whistles that were included in Google’s last-gen Android update. The clean Android experience is commendable, and the only sign of bloatware is Netflix and Nokia’s own My Phone app, which doesn’t hurt.

Apart from these two, no other third-party apps, unlike the full-blown bloatware (and ad clutter) experience, found on most custom ROMs.

The good news is that the phone, like all Nokia smartphones, is part of Google’s Android One program which promises two major Android updates. In simpler terms, Nokia 2.4 is legible to receive Android 11 and 12 (HMD Global will ship Android 11 to Nokia 2.4 in Q1, 2021, according to its official roadmap).

Another advantage of the Android One program is three years of monthly security updates.

Although, let me say it; the three years of monthly security updates is more of a PR stunt.

Our review unit is stuck on Google’s August 2020 security patch, and for the uninitiated, Google just rolled out the December patch a few days ago.

Camera

For its price, Nokia 2.4 has a dual-camera setup on the rear; a 13 MP primary lens and a 2 MP depth sensor. The phone’s camera takes less exciting pictures for the price, and sufficient lighting is a necessity.

I did find Nokia 2.4 quite slow while taking pictures and the auto-focus is not only off but also sluggish.

The main camera has different shooting modes, including portrait and night mode, but don’t expect anything impressive in that direction.

Images from the front camera are overly exposed in most circumstances. But, no complains, HMD isn’t asking for an arm and a leg here.

Battery and Charging

Nokia 2.4 has a 4,500mAh battery which is decent and will get you around two days of use before taking you back to the tedious charging process – there’s no fast charging. The phone takes around four hours to charge.

What’s in the box

The phone ships with a pair of earphones, a USBA-to-USB cable, a clear case and a SIM ejector pin.

Nokia 2.4 box contents
What you’ll find inside the package

Conclusion

Nokia 2.4 checks a variety of boxes with its two-day battery life, clean android experience, and large display. In other sections, however, Nokia 2.4 fails to offer competitive specs to its peers. The two-year-old processor is a bummer and HMD Global could’ve done better opting for new chipsets from MediaTek.

TECNO Spark 5 Pro(review) offers better with its 4GB memory, and 128GB ROM and only costs Ksh 14,000. Another better device is Xiaomi’s Redmi 9C that offers better specs and only starts at around Ksh 13,500.

Nokia 2.4 is for someone who gives precedence to battery life and a clean software experience. But if the value for money is what you’re after, Nokia 2.4, unfortunately, doesn’t cut it.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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