REVIEW: Nokia 2.3 - Entry level handset with outstanding battery
Right before 2019 came to a close, HMD Global introduced a new entry-level Android One phone with the Nokia 2.3. As a successor—or more like a “plus” version—of the Nokia 2.2, the Nokia 2.3 gets a bigger display, beefier (but non-removable) battery, dual rear camera setup, and a more durable ribbed back panel.
Having a sub €130 price, the Nokia 2.3 is going up against strong competition from budget-centric brands but is this entry-level Android One phone another hit for HMD Global?
Unlike the Nokia 2.2, the Nokia 2.3 has a less curvy body that is reminiscent of the Nokia 2.1. It has roughly the same dimensions as the Nokia 3.2 with its 6.2-inch HD+ display, sizable bottom chin with Nokia branding, and a waterdrop notch that is home to a 5-megapixel selfie snapper.
Like its predecessor, you get the usual button layout, with the Google Assistant button on the left and power and volume controls on the right. Since it does not have a removable battery like the Nokia 2.2, the Nokia 2.3 has a NanoSIM tray on the left and the loudspeaker at the bottom.
On the back, the Nokia 2.3 has a polycarbonate panel with a ribbed texture. Our review unit is Cyan Green, and has a nice transition effect from dark to light. I also like the ribbed texture on the back of the Nokia 2.3 as it’s practically immune to smudges and feels like it could withstand the usual wear and tear that comes with daily use. In fact, the finish is durable enough that you can choose not to put it in a case.
And even though the Nokia 2.3 sports a polycarbonate build, the phone feels hefty and solid to the core. In fact, its build quality feels better than its predecessor, and even the more expensive Nokia 3.2.
Aside from having less RAM at 2GB, the Nokia 2.3 has the same 32GB internal storage and the same Helio A22 processor found on the Nokia 2.2. Like with our experience on the Nokia 2.2, the Nokia 2.3’s Helio A22 processor performs well despite being only a quad-core processor, being able to properly run Call of Duty and Asphalt 9: Legends at the lowest graphics settings. The only difference is with multi-tasking, as the Nokia 2.3 has less RAM to deal with for multiple apps running in the background.
When it comes to battery life, the Nokia 2.3 reigns supreme, as its 4000mAh cell keeps the device’s screen powered for over 5 hours before shutting down. That was obviously quite an intense day but, on more casual use, we managed to use the phone for two days before it needs to be topped up.
The compromise with the Nokia 2.3’s impressive battery life is its slow charging speeds, as it is limited only to 10w charging. It takes around three hours to juice up the battery via MicroUSB, which is a shame.
On the hardware side, you get the same camera setup found on the Nokia 2.2 save for the additional depth sensor. Aside from the additional rear camera, the Nokia 2.3 has impressive dynamic range and improved exposure accuracy, along with a slightly faster autofocus speed. The 5MP selfie camera also offers some respectable HDR captures but video could definitely do with improvement.
Speaking of which, HMD Global also addressed the video issue many had with the Nokia 2.2 and now you’re able to record videos in a more familiar .mp4 format. If there’s room for improvement for the Nokia 2.3’s camera app, we hope HMD Global adds a night mode feature to improve its performance in capturing photos in low light.
Below are some shots we captured with the rear facing camera:
The Nokia 2.3 is a great offering from HMD Global but the competition’s getting tight.
At around €120, HMD Global’s latest entry-level Android One phone offers great value for money with its incredible battery life, improved overall camera performance, and more durable back panel finish. You can pick the new entry level handset from Argos here.