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Nokia 2 Smartphone Review

Thomas Meyer, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Alex Alderson), 04/09/2018

Affordable Nokia Smartphone in review. HMD Global has released the Nokia 2, a €119 (~$147) Android smartphone with a monster battery. Find out in our review how the Nokia 2 fares in practice.

The Nokia 2 has a five-inch HD display
The Nokia 2 has a five-inch HD display

The Nokia 3Nokia 5Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 already represent Nokia’s entry-level, mid-range and premium hardware. The Nokia 2 extends their entry-level offerings, competing against devices such as the LG K4, the Motorola Moto E4 and the Samsung Galaxy J3 for market share. The Galaxy J3 is the most expensive of these devices, available online for around €130 (~$160). By contrast, the LG K4 is the cheapest at €90 (~$111). While the Nokia 2 and Moto E4 run Android 7.1.1 Nougat, the Galaxy J3 runs the slightly older Android 7.0, with the LG K4 still stuck on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. All smartphones have five-inch HD displays and support Dual-SIM functionality. The Nokia 2 and LG K4 each have 8 GB of storage, half the volume of the Moto E4 and Galaxy J3, both of which come with 16 GB of onboard storage.

The Nokia 2 has a 4,100 mAh battery, which is larger than any of our comparison devices. This large battery is reflected in the device’s dimensions, with the Nokia measuring 143.5 mm (~5.65 in) tall, 71.3 mm (~2.8 in) wide and 9.3 mm (~0.37 in) thick. This makes the Nokia 2 roughly the same size as the Moto E4, with the LG K4 and Galaxy being the smallest and slimmest devices respectively. The Nokia 2 weighs 164 g (~5.8 oz), which makes it heavier than all our comparison devices. There is limited water and dust protection thanks to the Nokia 2 being IP52 rated. There is no fingerprint scanner.

The Nokia 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor, which has four cores clocked at 1.3 GHz. This is unlike most entry-level devices which are powered by the MediaTek alternatives instead. The Nokia 2 supports up to 128 GB microSD card expansion and two nano-SIMs. In theory, the Nokia 2 can achieve up to 150 Mbit/s download and 50 Mbit/s upload speeds over LTE.

There is an 8 MP front-facing camera with autofocus and High Dynamic Range (HDR), and a fixed focus 5 MP front-facing camera for selfies among other things.

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Nokia 2 (2 Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 304, Core: 400 MHz
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, IPS, Scratchproof glass, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, , 3.5 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB), Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity Sensor
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM:850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS: 800/850/900/1900/2100 MHz, LTE:800/1800/2100/2600 MHz, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.3 x 143.5 x 71.3 ( = 0.37 x 5.65 x 2.81 in)
Battery
4100 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix Autofocus, High Dynamic Range, LED flash
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix Fixed focus
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, USB Type-B cable, charger, headphones, 24 Months Warranty, IP52, SAR value: 0.29 W/kg, fanless
Weight
161 g ( = 5.68 oz / 0.35 pounds), Power Supply: 49 g ( = 1.73 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
119 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The Nokia 2 is available in either black or white. Even though the Nokia 2 has a removable back, which gives access to the dual nano-SIM and microSD card slots, there is a non-replaceable 4,100 mAh battery. Despite being 9.3 mm (~0.37 in) thickness, the device is still easy to use one-handed.

The degree of dust and water protection that current flagship devices have is yet to reach entry-level hardware. The Nokia 2 is IP52 rated, which only protects against non-damaging levels of dust and complete protection from vertically dripping water with the device titled at 15°.

The power button and volume rocker are poorly placed.
The power button and volume rocker are poorly placed.
The Nokia 2 has a simple yet sturdy case.
Removing the battery cover reveals the dual nano-SIM and microSD card slots.

Size Comparison

144 mm / 5.67 inch 72.9 mm / 2.87 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 151 g0.3329 lbs143.5 mm / 5.65 inch 71.3 mm / 2.81 inch 9.3 mm / 0.3661 inch 161 g0.3549 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 136 g0.2998 lbs143.2 mm / 5.64 inch 70.3 mm / 2.77 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 148 g0.3263 lbs

Connectivity

The Nokia 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor. This is a quad-core CPU with only a 1.3 GHz clock speed. This is coupled with an Adreno 304, which handles graphics. To get an idea of performance, the Adreno 304 has around half the performance of the Adreno 320 and clocked slightly lower than the Adreno 305, putting the Adreno 304 just ahead of the Mali-400 MP4.

The Nokia 2 handily supports two nano-SIM cards and up to 128 GB of expandable storage simultaneously. This can be either a microSD, microSDHC or microSDXC card. The Nokia 2 has 8 GB of internal storage, which while is common for current entry-level devices, leaves you with just 3.5 GB available to install apps, etc. Hence, we would recommend using a microSD card, especially as you can move apps, music, photos, and videos across.

There is a micro USB Type-B port on the bottom of the device that can only be used for charging and data transfer. The headphone jack is located at the top of the device. The LED located just above the display is a nice touch. This is used as a notification light, lighting up when messages arrive. 

Software

At the time of writing the Nokia 2 comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat. In December last year HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas tweeted that the Nokia 2 would be updated to Android 8.1 Oreo, thereby skipping out Android 8.0 Oreo. While Sarvikas has subsequently tweeted that the Oreo update is being reviewed daily, the release date is still yet to be confirmed. The stock launcher has up to five home screens that can display apps icons and widgets and an app drawer, giving you an overview of all installed apps. As with other Android devices, the Nokia 2 supports quick actions, such as enabling or disabling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or features such as the flashlight without having to delve into settings.

The Nokia 2 has a drop-down menu which gives access to a series of quick actions.
The Nokia 2 has a drop-down menu which gives access to a series of quick actions.
Settings is the same as that found on stock Android.
Settings is the same as that found on stock Android.
A selection of Google apps are are preinstalled.
A selection of Google apps are are preinstalled
The Nokia 2 stock launcher has up to five home screens.
The Nokia 2 stock launcher has up to five home screens.

Communication and GPS

The integrated Wi-Fi module handles IEEE 802.11 standards b/g/n. This provides adequate transfer speeds from our reference Linksys EA 8500 router at 54.2 Mbit/s. We measured good signal attenuation of -33 dBm with the Nokia 2 close to an O2 HomeBox 2 router.

Naturally, the Nokia 2 supports LTE, GSM, UMTS, and Bluetooth 4.1. There is no NFC chip for Google Pay, but this is typical for current entry-level devices.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=459)
230 MBit/s ∼100% +315%
Nokia 2
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 8 GB eMMC Flash
55.4 MBit/s ∼24%
LG K4 2017
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
54.9 MBit/s ∼24% -1%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.9 MBit/s ∼20% -15%
Lenovo Moto E4
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.1 MBit/s ∼19% -22%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=459)
219 MBit/s ∼100% +304%
Nokia 2
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 8 GB eMMC Flash
54.2 MBit/s ∼25%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
Mali-T720 MP2, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.5 MBit/s ∼24% -1%
LG K4 2017
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
48.9 MBit/s ∼22% -10%
Lenovo Moto E4
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.1 MBit/s ∼21% -15%
GPS test - inside
GPS test - inside
GPS test - outside
GPS test - outside

Despite its relatively low €119 RRP (~$147), HMD Global has equipped the Nokia 2 with an accurate GPS sensor that even works inside.

We tested GPS accuracy by comparing the Nokia 2 against the Garmin Edge 500, a professional navigation system. Using Runtastic Pro, the Nokia 2 calculated a total distance covered of 8.94 km (~5.5 mi). By contrast, the Garmin Edge 500 mapped out a total journey of 8.97 km (~5.6 mi, 30 m (~98 ft) more than the Nokia 2. Comparing the routes recorded by the two devices, it is apparent that the 30 m (~98 ft) difference is because the Nokia 2 recorded slightly tighter corners than the Garmin Edge 500. Nevertheless, a 30 m (~98 ft) difference over such a long distance is a negligible one.

GPS test - Nokia 2
GPS test - Nokia 2
GPS test - Nokia 2
GPS test - Nokia 2
GPS test - Nokia 2
GPS test - Nokia 2
GPS test – Garmin Edge 500
GPS test – Garmin Edge 500
GPS test – Garmin Edge 500
GPS test – Garmin Edge 500
GPS test – Garmin Edge 500
GPS test – Garmin Edge 500

Phone Features and Call Quality

Nokia 2 contact list
Nokia 2 contact list
Nokia 2 phone app
Nokia 2 phone app

The phone app is based on the well-known Google phone app. You can save favorites, and view call history among other things. In our opinion, the number keys could be more clearly defined, even though they are easy enough to press accurately.

Voice quality is ok for a device in this price range, but calls made indoors sound tinnier than they do on more expensive Nokia smartphones. The Nokia 2 performs better outdoors though. Voice quality using the included headphones is not great either. We are impressed that HMD Global has included any headphones given the Nokia 2’s low price. The Nokia supports FM radio too, using the headphone cable as an antenna.

Cameras

The Nokia 2 has an 8 MP rear-facing camera that supports both autofocus and HDR. Despite these features, fine details are noticeably blurred, and the camera performs poorly in low-light. Worse still, the camera app is slow to open thanks to the sluggish Snapdragon 212 processor.

The front-facing camera is no better either, with a low 5 MP resolution and support for only fixed focus. Resulting photographs have blurred details, and a tendency to be noticeably overexposed.

A photograph taken with the Nokia 2’s 8 MP rear-facing camera.
A photograph taken with the Nokia 2’s 8 MP rear-facing camera.
A photograph taken with the Nokia 2’s 5 MP front-facing camera.
A photograph taken with the Nokia 2’s 5 MP front-facing camera.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

We then tested the Nokia 2’s front-facing camera under lab conditions. Under standardized lighting conditions, we take a photograph of a reference image that simulates details that are often difficult to accurately capture, such as fine lines or text set against a color background. The results are not great, with text looking blurry and the edges of lines getting progressively softer towards the margins of the image. Compounding this is the Nokia 2’s poor color reproduction, with colors looking too dull.

Accessories and Warranty

The Nokia 2 has a two-year warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Our test device came with accessories and paperwork typical for current smartphones. There is a short instruction manual with warranty information, a micro USB Type-B cable, a power supply, and a set of headphones, the latter of which’s inclusion is unusual for an entry-level device.

Input Devices and Operation

Navigating the Nokia 2 is handled by three capacitive on-screen buttons which are found on most Android smartphones. These sit in a black bar below most apps, taking up a small amount of screen space. They are arranged left to right by “Back”, “Home”, and “Multi-tasking”. It would have been a nice touch if these lit up when touched, but that is more of a comment on Android’s UI rather than a feature that HMD Global have omitted from the Nokia 2. Our test device comes with Google’s keyboard by default, which has numerous customisation options available including multi-language support. This keyboard can be replaced by other keyboards available from the Google Play Store.

The Nokia 2 onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
The Nokia 2 onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
The Nokia 2 onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
The Nokia 2 onscreen keyboard in portrait mode
The Nokia 2 onscreen keyboard in landscape mode
The Nokia 2 onscreen keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array

The Nokia 2 has a five-inch display with a native resolution of 1,280x720, resulting in a pixel density of 294 PPI. This is adequate for a device in this price range and is sufficient for daily use. The relatively low resolution will be noticeable for those who are used to higher-quality displays, with details looking pixelated when playing games. On the plus side, the Nokia 2 has a brightness sensor and a so-called sunlight mode. We have yet to test another entry-level device with these features, which makes their inclusion on the Nokia 2 even more impressive.

483
cd/m²
522
cd/m²
518
cd/m²
487
cd/m²
527
cd/m²
513
cd/m²
478
cd/m²
503
cd/m²
495
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 527 cd/m² Average: 502.9 cd/m² Minimum: 3.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 527 cd/m²
Contrast: 775:1 (Black: 0.68 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.3 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 5.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.12
Nokia 2
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo Moto E4
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
PLS, 1280x720, 5
LG K4 2017
854x480, 5
Screen
19%
26%
-5%
Brightness middle
527
488
-7%
502
-5%
385
-27%
Brightness
503
474
-6%
494
-2%
372
-26%
Brightness Distribution
91
87
-4%
89
-2%
92
1%
Black Level *
0.68
0.3
56%
0.35
49%
0.35
49%
Contrast
775
1627
110%
1434
85%
1100
42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.3
5.4
-2%
4.6
13%
6.2
-17%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.2
9
2%
8
13%
12.6
-37%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.8
5.5
5%
2.5
57%
7
-21%
Gamma
2.12 104%
2.27 97%
2.29 96%
2.08 106%
CCT
7894 82%
7397 88%
6351 102%
8257 79%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9338 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Using X-Rite i1Pro 2, we measured a maximum brightness level of 527 cd/m² at the center of the display, which is okay for an entry-level device. Activating the adaptive ambient light sensor slightly reduces the maximum brightness to 523 cd/m². The display has 91% brightness uniformity, with an average brightness level of 502.9 cd/m². The realistic APL50 Test (Average Picture Level), which evenly distributes light and dark areas across the display, gives a practically identical maximum brightness of 527 cd/m² at the center of the display and a black level of 0.69 cd/m².

The IPS display has strong colors that are noticeable in everyday use. Contrast levels are acceptable, and the Nokia 2 has good sRGB color space accuracy. Average Delta E scores for sRGB color and grayscale divergences are okay for an entry-level device, as is the display’s color temperature.

CalMAN grayscale (sRGB target color space)
CalMAN grayscale (sRGB target color space)
CalMAN color saturation (sRGB target color space)
CalMAN color saturation (sRGB target color space)
CalMAN color space (sRGB target color space)
CalMAN color space (sRGB target color space)
CalMAN color accuracy (sRGB target color space)
CalMAN color accuracy (sRGB target color space)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
25.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.6 ms rise
↘ 17.6 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 44 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
47.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 29.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 77 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.4 ms).

The Nokia 2 has stable viewing angles thanks to its IPS display. There are no color distortions even at low angles, although we did find that the screen darkens slightly too much for our liking. The Nokia 2 is not always completely readable in bright sunlight because of its so-so maximum brightness.

Using the Nokia 2 outdoors
Using the Nokia 2 outdoors
Using the Nokia 2 outdoors
Using the Nokia 2 outdoors
Using the Nokia 2 outdoors
Using the Nokia 2 outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

We have already mentioned the Nokia 2’s slow processor. The poor impression of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 that we got from using our test device is confirmed by benchmark results.

The Nokia 2 falls behind its competitors in our browser tests. The weak Snapdragon 212 is certainly the Nokia 2’s greatest downfall.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
24924 Points ∼28%
Lenovo Moto E4
30856 Points ∼35% +24%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
35669 Points ∼41% +43%
LG K4 2017
19230 Points ∼22% -23%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (22422 - 31844, n=3)
26397 Points ∼30% +6%
Average of class Smartphone (5600 - 293444, n=490)
87858 Points ∼100% +253%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
2304 Points ∼43%
Lenovo Moto E4
2674 Points ∼50% +16%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3436 Points ∼64% +49%
LG K4 2017
2152 Points ∼40% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009
2304 Points ∼43% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2630 - 11690, n=399)
5379 Points ∼100% +133%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
3109 Points ∼53%
Lenovo Moto E4
3518 Points ∼60% +13%
LG K4 2017
3741 Points ∼64% +20%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (2720 - 3109, n=2)
2915 Points ∼50% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (1077 - 15193, n=566)
5844 Points ∼100% +88%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Nokia 2
9 Points ∼1%
Lenovo Moto E4
617 Points ∼81% +6756%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
662 Points ∼87% +7256%
LG K4 2017
9 Points ∼1% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (9 - 546, n=3)
361 Points ∼47% +3911%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1745, n=643)
765 Points ∼100% +8400%
Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 2
251 Points ∼12%
Lenovo Moto E4
208 Points ∼10% -17%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
252 Points ∼12% 0%
LG K4 2017
144 Points ∼7% -43%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (207 - 274, n=3)
244 Points ∼12% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 16996, n=643)
2116 Points ∼100% +743%
Memory (sort by value)
Nokia 2
233 Points ∼15%
Lenovo Moto E4
576 Points ∼37% +147%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1055 Points ∼68% +353%
LG K4 2017
257 Points ∼16% +10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (229 - 575, n=3)
346 Points ∼22% +48%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 7500, n=643)
1558 Points ∼100% +569%
System (sort by value)
Nokia 2
901 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Moto E4
1077 Points ∼35% +20%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1395 Points ∼46% +55%
LG K4 2017
586 Points ∼19% -35%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (552 - 901, n=3)
749 Points ∼25% -17%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 14189, n=643)
3039 Points ∼100% +237%
Overall (sort by value)
Nokia 2
149 Points ∼10%
Lenovo Moto E4
531 Points ∼35% +256%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
704 Points ∼46% +372%
LG K4 2017
119 Points ∼8% -20%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (149 - 435, n=3)
329 Points ∼22% +121%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 6097, n=643)
1526 Points ∼100% +924%
Geekbench 4.4
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
938 Points ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1135 Points ∼24%
Average of class Smartphone (663 - 21070, n=328)
4681 Points ∼100%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
1118 Points ∼24%
Lenovo Moto E4
1532 Points ∼32% +37%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1858 Points ∼39% +66%
LG K4 2017
944 Points ∼20% -16%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009
1118 Points ∼24% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (883 - 11598, n=387)
4727 Points ∼100% +323%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
423 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Moto E4
530 Points ∼37% +25%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
634 Points ∼44% +50%
LG K4 2017
390 Points ∼27% -8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009
423 Points ∼30% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (390 - 4824, n=387)
1429 Points ∼100% +238%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
783 Points ∼41%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
923 Points ∼48%
Average of class Smartphone (486 - 4909, n=486)
1907 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
85 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
63 Points ∼4%
Average of class Smartphone (53 - 7150, n=486)
1510 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
106 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
79 Points ∼5%
Average of class Smartphone (68 - 6319, n=487)
1453 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 2
539 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Moto E4
774 Points ∼44% +44%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
925 Points ∼52% +72%
LG K4 2017
293 Points ∼17% -46%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009
539 Points ∼30% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (293 - 4900, n=527)
1770 Points ∼100% +228%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 2
120 Points ∼6%
Lenovo Moto E4
126 Points ∼6% +5%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
92 Points ∼5% -23%
LG K4 2017
0 Points ∼0% -100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009
120 Points ∼6% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (43 - 11302, n=526)
1982 Points ∼100% +1552%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Nokia 2
120 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Moto E4
155 Points ∼9% +29%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
115 Points ∼7% -4%
LG K4 2017
0 Points ∼0% -100%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009
120 Points ∼7% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (55 - 8338, n=529)
1708 Points ∼100% +1323%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 2
7150 Points ∼50%
Lenovo Moto E4
8266 Points ∼58% +16%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
11426 Points ∼80% +60%
LG K4 2017
4143 Points ∼29% -42%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (6786 - 7150, n=2)
6968 Points ∼49% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (735 - 45072, n=687)
14357 Points ∼100% +101%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
4150 Points ∼18%
Lenovo Moto E4
3168 Points ∼14% -24%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3725 Points ∼17% -10%
LG K4 2017
2359 Points ∼10% -43%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (4092 - 4150, n=2)
4121 Points ∼18% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (536 - 209204, n=685)
22559 Points ∼100% +444%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Nokia 2
4577 Points ∼25%
Lenovo Moto E4
3671 Points ∼20% -20%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
4381 Points ∼24% -4%
LG K4 2017
2609 Points ∼14% -43%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (4488 - 4577, n=2)
4533 Points ∼25% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (662 - 97276, n=685)
18200 Points ∼100% +298%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 2
5.4 fps ∼14%
Lenovo Moto E4
6 fps ∼16% +11%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
6.8 fps ∼18% +26%
LG K4 2017
3.4 fps ∼9% -37%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (3.25 - 5.4, n=3)
4.68 fps ∼12% -13%
Average of class Smartphone (0.5 - 322, n=705)
38.5 fps ∼100% +613%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 2
9.6 fps ∼34%
Lenovo Moto E4
11 fps ∼39% +15%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
11 fps ∼39% +15%
LG K4 2017
10 fps ∼35% +4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (5.67 - 9.6, n=3)
8.19 fps ∼29% -15%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 120, n=714)
28.3 fps ∼100% +195%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 2
1.6 fps ∼7%
Lenovo Moto E4
2.2 fps ∼10% +38%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2.6 fps ∼12% +63%
LG K4 2017
1 fps ∼4% -37%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (1.6 - 1.8, n=2)
1.7 fps ∼8% +6%
Average of class Smartphone (0.8 - 175, n=610)
22.3 fps ∼100% +1294%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 2
4.4 fps ∼22%
Lenovo Moto E4
4.8 fps ∼24% +9%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
5.4 fps ∼28% +23%
LG K4 2017
5.4 fps ∼28% +23%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (3.8 - 4.4, n=2)
4.1 fps ∼21% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 115, n=619)
19.6 fps ∼100% +345%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
1.4 fps ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
1.7 fps ∼9%
Average of class Smartphone (0.87 - 117, n=475)
18.2 fps ∼100%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo Moto E4
14 fps ∼82%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
3.8 fps ∼22%
Average of class Smartphone (1.2 - 110, n=477)
17 fps ∼100%

Legend

 
Nokia 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto E4 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 Samsung Exynos 7570 Quad, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG K4 2017 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 8 GB eMMC Flash


JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (10 - 302, n=540)
42.5 Points ∼100% +266%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Chrome 59)
17.17 Points ∼40% +48%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
14.57 Points ∼34% +26%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (11.6 - 14.2, n=2)
12.9 Points ∼30% +11%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
11.607 Points ∼27%
LG K4 2017
10 Points ∼24% -14%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (894 - 49388, n=701)
6908 Points ∼100% +255%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Chrome 59)
2921 Points ∼42% +50%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
2270 Points ∼33% +17%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (1948 - 2574, n=3)
2225 Points ∼32% +14%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
1948 Points ∼28%
LG K4 2017
1506 Points ∼22% -23%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
LG K4 2017
19723.2 ms * ∼100% -2%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
19274.5 ms * ∼98%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009 (15229 - 19275, n=3)
17580 ms * ∼89% +9%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
17184.6 ms * ∼87% +11%
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 (Chrome 59)
12791 ms * ∼65% +34%
Average of class Smartphone (571 - 59466, n=726)
10451 ms * ∼53% +46%

* ... smaller is better

At first glance, things do not look too good for the state of the Nokia 2’s internal memory either. The Nokia 2 offers a mere 8 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by up to 128 GB with either a microSD, microSDXC, or microSDHC card. We tested the Nokia 2’s memory card performance against our comparison devices with our reference Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 card, which has maximum read and write speeds of 270 MB/s and 150 MB/s respectively. The Nokia 2 shapes up well against our comparison devices, outperforming them in most areas. Androbench 5 benchmark results show that the Nokia 2 performs well when reading large or small data blocks from a microSD card.

Nokia 2Lenovo Moto E4Samsung Galaxy J3 2017LG K4 2017Average 8 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
42%
12%
-18%
-31%
89%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
61.18 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
44.9
-27%
59.6
-3%
44.41 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-27%
29.1 (11.2 - 63.4, n=21)
-52%
49.5 (1.7 - 87.1, n=436)
-19%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
81.93 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
65.4
-20%
70.3
-14%
75.28 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-8%
43.1 (16.3 - 84.2, n=21)
-47%
67.7 (8.1 - 96.5, n=436)
-17%
Random Write 4KB
8.1
29.2
260%
9.5
17%
5.35 (1.08 - 14, n=51)
-34%
23.1 (0.14 - 259, n=762)
185%
Random Read 4KB
17.44
18.7
7%
24
38%
18.1 (8 - 50.5, n=51)
4%
48.5 (1.59 - 226, n=762)
178%
Sequential Write 256KB
50.77
45.3
-11%
51
0%
22.1 (6.22 - 54.8, n=51)
-56%
99.5 (2.99 - 590, n=762)
96%
Sequential Read 256KB
131.15
187.6
43%
177.7
35%
129 (38.1 - 289, n=51)
-2%
280 (12.1 - 1781, n=762)
113%

Games

The Nokia 2 is best suited playing simple games such as “Angry Birds 2”. The Adreno 304, clocked at 400 MHz, lacks the power to comfortably play demanding games such as “Asphalt 8” or “Dream League Soccer 2018”. Attempting to do so results in a stutter experience that we would not recommend. Overall, GPU performance restricts the games that the Nokia 2 can play.

Dream League Soccer on the Nokia 2
Dream League Soccer on the Nokia 2
Dream League Soccer on the Nokia 2
Dream League Soccer on the Nokia 2
Angry Birds 2 on the Nokia 2
Angry Birds 2 on the Nokia 2
Angry Birds 2 on the Nokia 2
Angry Birds 2 on the Nokia 2

Emissions

Temperature

In daily use, the Nokia 2 has no problems with surface temperatures, averaging just over 26 °C (~79 °F) while idling. During our one-hour stress test, surface temperatures rose to a maximum of 32.1 °C (~90 °F) on the front of the device and 33.6 °C (~92 °F) on the rear. The hottest points of the Nokia 2 are at its top, while the coolest area is the bottom third of the rear of the device. This area averaged 27.9 °C (~82 °F) under load, over 5 °C (~9 °F) cooler than at the Nokia 2’s hottest area. 

Max. Load
 31 °C
88 F
31.5 °C
89 F
31.2 °C
88 F
 
 32.1 °C
90 F
31.6 °C
89 F
31.5 °C
89 F
 
 31.6 °C
89 F
31.6 °C
89 F
29.6 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 32.1 °C = 90 F
Average: 31.3 °C = 88 F
28.1 °C
83 F
28.9 °C
84 F
30.6 °C
87 F
27.8 °C
82 F
29.2 °C
85 F
33.6 °C
92 F
27.9 °C
82 F
29.9 °C
86 F
33.4 °C
92 F
Maximum: 33.6 °C = 92 F
Average: 29.9 °C = 86 F
Power Supply (max.)  27.3 °C = 81 F | Room Temperature 21.3 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31.3 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 32.1 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 33.6 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.8 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Thermal imaging of the front of the device during a stress test
Thermal imaging of the front of the device during a stress test
Thermal imaging of the rear of the device during a stress test
Thermal imaging of the rear of the device during a stress test

Speakers

Pink noise speaker test
Pink noise speaker test

The Nokia 2 has two speakers; one on the bottom of the device and a second above the display. We measured a maximum volume of 76 dB(A), which is fine for using the speakers for music or video playback. The sound quality is not great though, with the speakers occasionally producing harsh and tinny tones.

The sound is unbalanced too, with medium to high pitch tones from 500 Hz to 7 kHz sounding non-linear. What is more, we could hardly hear any bass, nor could we hear many high-pitched tones above 8 kHz.

The included headphones sound better than the speakers and are reasonable for the Nokia 2’s price. 

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.629.52524.922.43124.625.74026.4235030.831.76323.623.48020.222.110019.922.812517.619.816019.128.820019.128.625017.434.731516.941.640016.847.850015.153.963016.560.980015.668.910001574.4125015.574.5160015.374.2200015.772.1250015.570.5315015.574.1400015.473.2500015.874.163001677800015.873.21000016.1611250016.157.11600017.365SPL27.984.9N158.7median 16median 65Delta0.616.131.129.231.127.128.627.128.328.728.332.734.632.728.227.728.226.124.826.126.531.526.526.133.826.131.228.331.223.522.923.527.521.127.535.42035.445.82045.854.32254.362.822.962.86819.36871.118.371.173.618.373.672.717.972.775.716.475.77516.57575.316.775.375.616.275.674.316.174.372.816.272.872.816.172.871.416.171.474.316.174.371.51671.561.316.161.385.629.985.662.31.462.3median 71.4median 17.9median 71.413.32.813.328.231.128.230.330.130.329.329.929.333.634.433.62834.62827.229.327.229.232.229.231.934.131.939.836.939.836.423.836.448.421.548.451.720.951.757.121.357.159.819.759.865.820.165.867.618.567.667.719.367.769.517.869.567.817.467.867.516.467.567.616.467.667.916.667.97116.17174.716.174.77116.17161166158.716.158.758.916.158.951.31651.339.81639.880.930.180.947.91.447.9median 61median 17.4median 618.73.78.731.63025.427.225.32632.927.133.629.431.635.328.430.92729.720.827.22224.821.329.620.838.221.242.719.450.619.558.917.764.117.970.317.876.817.375.817.474.716.772.117.271.718.271.317.973.817.674.117.777.917.881.417.973.518.166.118.261.23086.51.366.4median 17.9median 70.31.314.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseNokia 2Lenovo Moto E4Samsung Galaxy J3 2017LG K4 2017
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Nokia 2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 35.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.9% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 85% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 9% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 90% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Moto E4 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 39.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (2.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 53% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 35% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 72% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 22% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy J3 2017 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (4.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 32% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 57% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

LG K4 2017 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 38.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 70% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 22% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 81% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 14% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Nokia 2’s power consumption is on par with our comparison devices. Unfortunately, the Nokia 2 lacks fast charging that is often found on more premium devices. This is currently common for entry-level hardware though.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.02 / 0.22 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.55 / 1.02 / 1.09 Watt
Load midlight 4.48 / 5.32 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Nokia 2
4100 mAh
Lenovo Moto E4
2800 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2400 mAh
LG K4 2017
2500 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-50%
-35%
13%
-84%
-44%
Idle Minimum *
0.55
0.87
-58%
0.82
-49%
0.64
-16%
1.263 (0.55 - 2.54, n=3)
-130%
0.882 (0.2 - 3.4, n=789)
-60%
Idle Average *
1.02
2.38
-133%
1.94
-90%
1.14
-12%
2.41 (1.02 - 5.1, n=3)
-136%
1.739 (0.6 - 6.2, n=788)
-70%
Idle Maximum *
1.09
2.47
-127%
2.06
-89%
1.25
-15%
2.5 (1.09 - 5.24, n=3)
-129%
2.03 (0.74 - 6.6, n=789)
-86%
Load Average *
4.48
2.63
41%
3.31
26%
2.26
50%
5.2 (4.04 - 7.07, n=3)
-16%
4.07 (0.8 - 10.8, n=783)
9%
Load Maximum *
5.32
3.86
27%
3.89
27%
2.36
56%
5.88 (4.07 - 8.24, n=3)
-11%
5.93 (1.2 - 14.2, n=783)
-11%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Without a doubt, the highlight of the Nokia 2 is its battery. The huge 4,100 mAh capacity gives the Nokia 2 two days of battery life with typical use. We found that we could extend this to three days with light use. Our Wi-Fi test confirms the Nokia 2’s supreme battery life compared with our comparison devices. During this test, we simulate the CPU and GPU load required to load and render websites. The Nokia 2 lasted 840 minutes in this test, a runtime between 14% and 38% longer than the competition.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
14h 00min
Nokia 2
4100 mAh
Lenovo Moto E4
2800 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J3 2017
2400 mAh
LG K4 2017
2500 mAh
Battery Runtime
-38%
-14%
-28%
Reader / Idle
1302
1425
WiFi v1.3
840
522
-38%
722
-14%
606
-28%
Load
316
305
H.264
608
819

Pros

+ long battery life
+ stock Android
+ dedicated Dual-SIM and microSD card slots

Cons

- extremely slow processor
- low-resolution cameras
- poor readability in sunlight

Verdict

The Nokia 2 in review. Test device courtesy of HMD Global.
The Nokia 2 in review. Test device courtesy of HMD Global.

We like the Nokia 2 for its extremely long battery life, its solid construction, that it runs practically stock Android, the promise of frequent updates, and the degree of flexibility that having dual nano-SIM and microSD card slots bring. For only €40 (~$49) more you could get the Nokia 3 though, which has 16 GB of internal storage and 2 GB of RAM, albeit with a much smaller battery.

The Nokia 2 scores highly for its battery life, flexibility and its workmanship. Overall, potential buyers should consider whether to spend slightly more money on the better-equipped Nokia 3 instead.

Unfortunately, the Nokia 2 offers the same low-end display, cameras, and sound quality that is common for entry-level devices. The biggest downfall of the Nokia is undoubtedly its slow Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor though.

Nokia 2 - 04/03/2018 v6(old)
Thomas Meyer

Chassis
76%
Keyboard
56 / 75 → 74%
Pointing Device
67%
Connectivity
33 / 60 → 55%
Weight
91%
Battery
97%
Display
82%
Games Performance
4 / 63 → 6%
Application Performance
19 / 70 → 27%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Audio
55 / 91 → 60%
Camera
44%
Average
63%
73%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nokia 2 Smartphone Review
Thomas Meyer, 2018-04- 9 (Update: 2019-03-20)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.