HMD offers Nokia phone with novel concept: Designed to be repaired by its owner
With spares and tools coming from iFixit, no less
HMD Global, which took over the Nokia brand for phones, has launched a smartphone designed to be fixed by the owner, with repair site iFixit providing guides and replacement parts.
The Nokia G22 is one of three handsets launched by HMD at this week's MWC in Barcelona. It is claimed to be the first Nokia smartphone to come with repairability at its core, enabling owners to replace a damaged display, bent charging port or dead battery.
HMD's link up with iFixit means that some online guides are already available to help with repairing parts of the G22, while replacement parts for the same are also available from the site, with the G22 getting a dedicated Repair Hub area on iFixit.com.
As far as specifications go, the G22 is an Android 12 smartphone with a 6.52in 720 x 1200 display that weighs in at about 195g. It runs a 1.6GHz Unisoc T606 processor with 4GB of memory and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, plus support for up to 2TB MicroSD cards.
However, the G22 lacks 5G network support, which may or may not matter to buyers, especially as the device has a starting price of just £149.99 ($180).
The handset features a 5,050mAh battery with an estimated three-day battery life and 20W fast charging support. Buyers can expect two years of OS upgrades and three years of monthly security updates.
It comes with a 50MP main camera plus 2MP Depth + 2MP Macro at the rear of the device, with an 8MP front camera. Punting its sustainability credentials, HMD confirmed the back cover of the new phone, which is actually fused with the frame, is made from 100 percent recycled plastic.
HMD said the G22 will also be available from Circular, its smartphone subscription service, for £9/month plus a one-time £30 setup fee.
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According to CCS Insight chief analyst Ben Wood, the ability to repair a smartphone without too much difficulty could become a key differentiator in the market.
"CCS Insight's end user research reflects this with approximately half of mobile phone users in Western Europe saying they would like to be able to have their device repaired at a reasonable cost if they break outside of the warranty period," he said.
The other two HMD handsets announced at MWC are the Nokia C22 and Nokia C32, both of which run Android 13.
The C22 is described as a "durability champion" due to a rigid metal chassis inside its polycarbonate unibody design. It will be available in the UK "from Spring" with 2GB or 3GB memory and 64 GB storage, and prices starting at £109.99.
Meanwhile, the C32 is claimed to "bring advanced imaging to an even more affordable price point" and will likewise be available in the UK "from Spring" with 2GB or 3GB memory and 64 GB storage from £129.99.
HMD also said it is taking steps to bring 5G Nokia device production to Europe in 2023 as a "continuation of its commitment to conducting secure and transparent operations" in the region."
The British Computer Society reckons right-to-repair leigslation in Europe should make it easier for consumers and businesses to fix old devices, with around a third of its members worried about cutting electronic waste.
There is a problem Stateside too: hundreds of thousands of smartphones are said to be discarded each day in the US alone, according to Public Internet Research Group. ®