Nokia 2.3: HMD flings out €109 budget 'droid with a 2-day battery

But get ready to flip your cables cos it's microUSB

HMD Global, the licencee of the once-ubiquitous Nokia mobile phone brand, today unveiled its latest budget blower, the Nokia 2.3.

This handset resembles a heavily upgraded version of the Nokia 2.2. It carries the same MediaTek Helio A22 chipset, but has improvements in other areas. The rear-facing camera, for instance, is now a dual-shooter affair, with a 13MP main lens and a 2MP depth sensor.

It also packs a 6.2-inch HD+ in-cell display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a discrete waterdrop notch. The latter contains a 5MP selfie camera, which lets users unlock their phones with facial recognition.

The biggest change is arguably the 4,000mAh battery, which Nokia reckons will offer two days of battery life. That's believable, given it ships with a power-sipping entry-level MediaTek chipset. However, the absence of fast or wireless charging is a bit of a bummer (but hardly surprising given the Nokia 2.3 is priced at €109). So too is the inclusion of MicroUSB, which feels increasingly archaic as we enter 2020.

On the plus side, there's a dedicated Google Assistant button, allowing you to easily probe Google with your voice, if such things tickle your fancy

The Nokia 2.3 runs the Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, and HMD Global promises it'll eventually receive an update to Android 10. Like the rest of HMD's stable, it comes with Android One, which promises no bloatware and two years of security and OS updates.

HMD will release the Nokia 2.3 in select markets halfway through December. As mentioned, the phone costs €109 — or about £100 — and comes in three colours: cyan green, sand, and charcoal.

HMD Global bought the rights to the Nokia marque in 2016, following the disastrous acquisition of the Finnish tech giant's handset division by Microsoft in 2014. Since then, the reborn Nokia lineup has won some new fans, thanks to a diverse lineup of solid budget devices and quirky high-enders.

It has also revived several of Nokia's iconic feature phones, like the nearly indestructible Nokia 3310 and the Nokia 8110 slider, which run Java and KaiOS respectively. The former was a hit with nostalgic techies and quickly sold out upon release, according to HMD.

But away from those headline-grabbing handsets, a staple of HMD's lineup is devices like the Nokia 2.3. It isn't flash — not by any estimation — but it's more than adequate for casual users, and the promise of regular security updates gives it an edge in a deeply competitive market. ®

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