Nokia 2.3 Review: Great Battery Life and Decent Performance

I am always excited to try out new devices and experience the unique features available on different devices. In the last couple of weeks, I got to use the Nokia 2.3, a mid-range budget phone.

Straight out of the box, the phone looks like an ordinary smart phone with a water drop notch precisely placed at the center of the screen. The phone seems to be made of good quality material and the hardware is pretty solid. The device is, however, a bit too thick and chunky considering most people love a slim and light phone.

The device has some notable improvements from its predecessor, the Nokia 2.2. The Nokia 2.3 has an improved battery life, performance and display fonts. The Key features on the Nokia 2.3 are the 4, 000mAh battery, a dual-camera at the back, the google assistant button and being part of the android one program.

The phone is available in three color options Sand, Charcoal, and Cyan Green. I am using a charcoal unit. This device is powered by the Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 (12 nm), paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Nokia 2.3 is available starting from Ksh 11,000.

The Nokia 2.3 has its ear piece located right above the water drop notch. The speaker is located on the bottom left of the screen which produces good quality sound but isn’t loud enough. The top right holds the earphone jack which was more convenient to use compared to it being located at the bottom of the screen. At the center bottom of the screen is a USB charging port. The power and volume button are located on the right hand of the screen, they offer a click sound and can be easily accessed. On the left side of the screen, there is a 3-in-1 (dual Nano-SIM + microSD) tray and a google assistant button that is very handy and responsive.

Google Assistant Button

The Nokia 2.3 packs a 6.2” HD+ display with an 80.7 percent screen-to-body ratio. The phone produces decent colors and doesn’t over saturate. Watching YouTube videos and Netflix series on the device was a decent experience as the phone allows full-screen display. However, there is a big issue with using the phone under direct sunlight, as the brightness on the phone isn’t enough. I often couldn’t read and respond to texts when under direct sunlight even with the brightness being at 100%. The Nokia 2.3 has the eye care option available in the device but you will most probably enjoy using the phone without that option as the phone isn’t too bright and the eye care option is not quite “eye-friendly”.  

One thing I loved about the Nokia 2.3 was its 4,000mAh battery. True to Nokia’s word, the phone actually lasts an actual two days, if you casually use it to browse the internet, play at least two levels of candy crush and watch a couple of videos, per day. If you are a heavy phone user, the Nokia 2.3 will serve you up to 8 hours. I was however disappointed with the amount of time the Nokia 2.3 takes to charge to 100%. The phone takes 3 hours to charge and doesn’t support fast-charging option. Nokia should definitely plan to improve on that.

The Nokia 2.3 has a dual-camera at the rear which surprisingly doesn’t stick out like on many devices, and sits inside a metal ring which could help protect the lenses from scratches. The dual camera has a 13Mp main camera and a 2Mp for depth. The water drop notch holds a 5MP selfie sensor camera. Pictures taken on this device often come out rainy, blunt and have a not so good dynamic range. The phone also tends to snug when switching between different camera modes.

Back Camera – At Night
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Back Camera – During the Day

There’s no fingerprint sensor on the Nokia 2.3, but to make up for it, they have incorporated face recognition. Unfortunately on using the device, face recognition hardly ever worked. It not only took way too long to recognize your face but also seemed never to recognize a user’s face. After a couple of failed attempts, I decided to use the phone without the face recognition security feature.

On using the Nokia 2.3, I mostly found myself using both hands. Considering that the phone is quite chunky, it was quite hard using one hand to type as I could not comfortably reach the extreme ends of the phone.

Nokia 2.3 is powered by the MediaTek Helio A22 processor, which is the same as the Nokia 2.2. Browsing through the phone’s User Interface I hardly ever experienced lags, except for the time I had too many applications running on the background. One great thing I have learned to appreciate about Nokia phones is the lack of bloatware and ads. And the Nokia 2.3 is no exception, courtesy of it being part of the Android One programme, and runs on stock Android Pie.

At the moment, Android 9.0 Pie still runs on the Nokia 2.3, but within the framework of Android One, Android 10 has already been confirmed without an exact date for the smartphone. On using the phone, I have received both January and February software updates, but I am still yet to receive the android 10 update. And Android 11 should also still be rolled out if the hardware allows this.

Overall, this phone has managed to tick some of the boxes on a good phone to buy on a budget. Its great battery life, its processor and lack of bloatware and ads are some of the phone’s pros. While some of the Nokia 2.3 cons are poor picture quality, chunky device and its non-functional face recognition. 



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