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Nokia unveils an affordable new Android smartphone that customers can fix themselves

The Nokia stand at Mobile World Congress 2023
The Nokia stand at Mobile World Congress 2023 Copyright Reuters Connect
Copyright Reuters Connect
By Euronews & AP
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It's one of three models the company has unveiled at this year's Mobile World Congress tech fair in Barcelona.

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Nokia unveiled its "self-fix phone'" - one of the first budget Android smartphones designed to be repaired at home - at Mobile World Congress on Monday.

The technology - which is designed in in partnership with iFixit - will enable customers to carry out simple fixes themselves, such as replacing depleted batteries or cracked display screens.

Nokia's parent company HMD Global thinks it will encourage people to hang onto their devices for a bit longer.

"It’s important because people are saying they want to keep their phones longer than ever before. We’re seeing data that shows people are keeping their phones three, four, four and a half years these days," explained Adam Ferguson, head of product marketing, HMD Global.

"And in order to be able to do that, sometimes you need to replace parts that go wrong, for example, a cracked screen, maybe you want an updated battery if the performance has slightly begun to fall off. That is why we’re doing it and we’re making it as easy as possible for regular users".

The self-fixing G22 model is one of three new, affordable smartphones Nokia has unveiled at MWC at the start of the four-day event: the C22, C32, and G22.

Nokia
Nokia's 'self-repair' G22 modelNokia

Self-repair and long lifespan

Industry experts say the new models will appeal to budget-conscious consumers.

"You look at a lot of the markets where these are particular big sellers and there’s a fairly even male/female split for example, does tend towards a bit of a younger audience. Remember, this is often people who might be moving from feature phones into smartphones or having their second smartphone for the first time," Ferguson added.

The G22 is designed to have a long lifespan thanks to its self-repair feature.

Nokia is hoping that people who delayed buying a new phone in 2022 will be ready to part with some cash now.

"2022 was a challenging year for the entire industry. It was also a challenging year for other industries as well," said Lars Silberbauer, CMO at HMD Global. 

"We are definitely very hopeful for 2023 to be a more positive year for the markets. We of course know that many people have postponed the purchase of a new phone, and we hope that that’s going to be a Nokia a phone and we hope that’s going to happen in 2023".

Nokia claims all three of the new models have a three-day battery life.

'Very much budget phones'

The C22 is billed as a robust model with toughened display glass, splash and dust protection, and a rigid metal chassis inside, making it less likely to be damaged when it’s dropped, and features a 13MP camera.

The C33 has a glass back, a feature not normally seen at this price point, and a 50MP camera.

The G22 hits ticks some sustainability boxes with a 100 percent recycled plastic back. Nokia claims it will also have better audio quality, thanks to OZO Playback technology, plus a 50MP camera.

"So they’re very much budget phones. So the sort of competitors you might be looking at are from the likes of RealMe, Xiaomi, Motorola, those sorts of phones," says Hannah Cowton, a senior staff writer at Tech Advisor.

"People who are in the budget market I think are looking for the basics. So I think battery life is very important and all these phones do have big batteries within them which yield good longevity," Cowton added.

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"The only thing I would say to keep in mind, especially with the G22, is that I’ve noticed it runs on Android 12 and not Android 13.

"So obviously making sure that you know you’re not going to have the latest software exactly, but it might not be super important to someone who is in the budget market".

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