Nokia 2.4 review: Steep price spoils it for this good 'budget' smartphone

Nokia 2.4

The Nokia 2.4 is a budget smartphone from the stable of Finnish start-up HMD Global, the official licensee for Nokia brand of mobile phones. Like other Nokia smartphones, the Nokia 2.4 boots the stock Android operating system. That said, it is among the few smartphones across price segments that offer vanilla Android user experience, free from bloatware and ads. Also, the Nokia 2.4 seems to be a regular big-screen smartphone. But does it justify its Rs 10,399 price tag? Let’s find out:

Design

Adding novelty to the Nokia 2.4’s design is its textured polycarbonate back cover with Nordic-themed colour options that look intriguing. For a phone of the size of a phablet, the Nokia 2.4 is lightweight (189g) and comfortable to hold. It, however, is both bulky and tall, so not easy to operate using just one hand. Thankfully, there is no unnecessary bulk here and everything sits well within the frame. Thanks to a uniform built, the phone sits stable on flat surfaces and does not wobble. Overall, the Nokia 2.4’s textured polycarbonate unibody adds some flair to its otherwise boring design, and the lightweight build compensates for convenience hampered by its tall and bulky stature.

Display

Justifying the Nokia 2.4’s phablet size is its 6.5-inch LCD screen of an HD+ resolution, stretched in a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen is big, and so are the bezels around it. The screen bezels, especially the bottom one, look prominent and add to unwarranted waste of space.

 

Coming back to the display, it is bright and vivid but lacks the sharpness due to a limited pixel count. The HD+ resolution also hampers the screen’s capability with regard to multimedia and readability. Multimedia content appears pixelated and videos streamed through over-the-top (OTT) apps like Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar are capped at 480p resolution. Similarly, the text appears jarred and the artwork does not best represent itself on such a screen. Thankfully, there is a system-wide dark mode, which somewhat improves the UI’s look and feel but does not make any significant improvements otherwise.

Camera

The Nokia 2.4 sports a dual-camera set-up on the back, featuring a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the phone has a 5MP sensor for the face-unlock mechanism, selfies, videos and video calls.

The rear camera’s performance is abysmal and nothing really to write home about. The primary rear sensor takes time to refresh the frame and auto focus is slow and inaccurate. Though it captures decent images in good light conditions, the sensor struggles in lowlight environments. The secondary depth sensor does not have an independent utility but it aids the primary sensor with depth information for portrait shots. The portraits are best captured with stable hands. The depth effect is prominent but not smooth enough to look natural. Thankfully, there are some built-in background blur effects that add a creative touch to otherwise dull-looking portraits.

Unlike the rear cameras, the front camera seems good. It is tuned to capture natural shots with no artificial beauty filter. Therefore, the selfies look better and not superficial. It is quick and usually returns satisfactory results. However, the colours seem washed out even in good light conditions. In low light, the selfie camera is as good a performer as the rear ones.

Performance

The Nokia 2.4 is powered by MediaTek Helio P22 system-on-chip, paired with 3GB RAM and up to 64GB on-board storage. The performance is not smooth, but it is not flawed, either, especially if your usage is limited to basic operations. Anything beyond basic tasks makes the phone struggle, resulting in random app closures, lags, and system restarts at times.

The Nokia 2.4 boots stock Android 10 operating system, which is not the latest and does not instil confidence in Google’s much-touted Android One programme that promises timely OS and security updates. It also does not look good on Nokia’s part as the Android 11 update timeline is still not around for the Nokia 2.4, despite it being touted as Android 11-ready at the launch. Moreover, the Android 10 OS running on the Nokia 2.4 is on September security patch, which again is not the most recent. Besides running the dated OS, the Nokia 2.4’s UI seems not optimised (see image below).

Battery

The smartphone is powered by a 4,500 mAh battery, which keeps it running for two days on a single charge. This is primarily because the phone is incapable of handling processor- and graphic-intensive tasks, restricting its usage to basic operations. Nonetheless, two days of on-battery time is good, but charging the phone’s battery through the supplied 5W charger takes ages (around four hours).

Verdict

The Nokia 2.4 is an overpriced entry-level smartphone good only for fundamental tasks. Except its design, there is nothing good enough in the smartphone to justify its Rs 10,399 price tag. For the same price, there are smartphones like Xiaomi’s Redmi 9 Prime (review) and Realme’s Narzo 20 that offer better features, performance and cameras. Though the Nokia 2.4 is hard to recommend, it might make a good choice if you are averse to Chinese products and need a big screen phablet with uncluttered UI.



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