HMD has worked to make what it says are the most common smartphone repairs – replacing a broken screen, charging port, or flat battery – a simpler process on the new Nokia G22, and has partnered with repair specialists iFixit to provide customers with necessary replacements. parts, tools, and instructions. The Nokia G22 will be available on March 8 in the UK for £149.99 (€179 / around $180) and will be sold in select global markets such as Europe but not the US.
The company joins a growing list of smartphone manufacturers that are making replacement parts more easily available to end customers. In the past few years, we’ve seen Samsung and Google partner with iFixit to sell replacement parts, and Apple launched its own Self-Service Repair program. These companies are making spare parts easier to buy, but the actual ease with which you can repair their devices is more permanent and lost.
That’s why it’s significant that HMD is boasting how quickly you can replace the G22’s battery or screen. To emphasize the ease of repair, Adam Ferguson, head of product at HMD, successfully replaced the battery in the Nokia G22 during a press briefing about the phone. This wasn’t as easy as swapping out a removable battery—Ferguson had to open the phone with a piece of plastic guitar pick and disconnect a delicate cable to remove the battery—but the whole process took about five minutes. It claims that a similar battery swap on a previous-generation HMD phone or many competing handsets would take closer to 90 minutes.
To repair a screen “you’re probably looking at 20 minutes” for the Nokia G22, he says. Prices for Nokia G22 replacement parts from iFixit range from £18.99 (about $23) for a new charging port to £44.99 (about $54) for a replacement display.
It may be an improvement over its rivals, but HMD still has some work to do if it wants to catch up with Fairphone, which is currently in its fourth generation of replaceable sustainable phones. Although the Nokia G22’s battery is easier to remove from the phone, it still requires tools – the Fairphone 4’s battery can be completely removed by hand.
When I asked HMD why it didn’t equip the Nokia G22 with a removable battery, it said that (at least at this price point) it would either limit the overall capacity of the battery or its maximum charging speed or make it thicker top. phone. The Nokia G22 has a 5,050mAh battery that can be fast charged at up to 20W and is 8.48mm thick, whereas the Fairphone 4 is thicker at 10.5mm, it has a smaller 3,905mAh removable battery, but it can also fast charging at the same 20W.
While HMD hopes that user replaceability will extend the lifespan of the Nokia G22 with spare parts stocked for five years, it will nevertheless not stop offering software support ahead of the likes of Samsung and Google. The Nokia G22 will receive two years of Android updates and three years of security updates. And in another unfortunate twist, it will ship with Android 12 in 2021. Meanwhile, Google and Samsung offer up to five years of security updates (and three and four years of Android updates, respectively), and Fairphone will have supported its Fairphone 2015 2 for over seven years when the last software update was released in March 2023.
In a briefing, HMD’s Ferguson argues that this length of support is good considering the G22’s relatively affordable €179 price point. “I know there are more numbers flying around in the super premium class,” he said. “Yes, it would be great to be able to do that, but all these things come at a cost.”
Beyond its repair capabilities, the Nokia G22 is less impressive. It has a 6.52-inch 90Hz 720p display with a teardrop notch for its eight-megapixel selfie camera and three rear cameras, including a 50-megapixel main, a two-megapixel depth sensor, and a two-megapixel macro. Internally, it is powered by a Unisoc T606 processor and starts with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Unlocking is handled via a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and it has an IP52 rating for dust and water resistance.
HMD is announcing the Nokia G22 alongside a pair of even more affordable C-series phones: the €109 (about $115) Nokia C22 and the €129 (about $137) Nokia C32. The C22 ships with Android 13 Go edition, which is the version of Android optimized for low-power devices, while the C32 is regular Android 13. Both are equipped with 5,000mAh batteries, which HMD says should be good for three days of previous use. need to recharge. Again, don’t expect US releases for these phones.
HMD’s final announcement today, which comes on the eve of this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is that it is taking the “first steps” to begin manufacturing a selection of phones in Europe as a move it says which will help the security and sustainability of his devices. . However, the company was unwilling to share specific details of the initiative, including which specific models would be affected or which European countries manufacturing would take place. HMD’s Nokia devices have historically been made through a partnership with Taiwan-headquartered Foxconn.