Nokia strengthened its entry-level smartphone portfolio in India by launching the C22 earlier this month. At the price of Rs 7,999, Nokia C22 may be considered ‘entry-level’ but the smartphone manufacturer has more affordable options as well. Nokia C12 was launched back in March at a very affordable price of Rs 5,999. You can read our review here. While the C22 may still be an affordable smartphone, we expected it to put up a better performance than the C12. We got our hands on the smartphone earlier this month and used it as our primary driver for two weeks. Here is our Nokia C22 review.
Nokia C22 review: Design and Display
Inside the Nokia C22 retail box, you get the smartphone, a clear plastic case, a 10W charger, a USB Type-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, a quick start guide, and a product & safety info booklet. The clear plastic case is a nice addition, as the more affordable Nokia C12 did not come with one.
Nokia C22 does not bring any radical changes to the design. If you’re familiar with Nokia smartphones under Rs 10,000, you wouldn’t find anything new here. Nokia’s C series sticks to the tried and tested formula without trying anything flashy. The plastic back has a textured finish, similar to the C21. The rectangular camera island on the back panel has a two-step design. A fingerprint scanner is housed right below the camera unit, at the centre of the panel. The Nokia branding can be found right in the middle. What we like here is the quality of the materials used. While the back panel and frame are made entirely out of plastic, the smartphone itself has a decent in-hand feel.
The volume rocker keys and power button are placed on the right edge of the frame. The hybrid SIM card slot makes is positioned on the left edge. You can use this slot to fix a memory card as well. The top part of the frame houses the 3.5mm headphone jack. At the bottom, you will find the microphone, USB Type-C port, and the speaker. It’s nice to see Nokia finally make the switch to Type-C charging in this segment. The more affordable C12 still retains the Type-B charging port.
Moving on, the Nokia C22 has a massive 6.5-inch IPS LCD display. It is a good display for content consumption but does not make a mark in other aspects. The bezels around the display get thicker along the chin but this is the kind of layout you’re going to get in a Rs 15,000 smartphone as well. The selfie camera is housed in a waterdrop notch up top.
We played YouTube videos on this device and it performed really well. The images produced on the screen were bright and legible. We were also pleased with the level of detail this 720 x 1600p panel was able to relay. If your biggest priority on a smartphone is watching content across different platforms, you won’t be disappointed with this smartphone.
However, the touch response provided by Nokia C22 leaves a lot to be desired. We realise that there’s not a lot to expect at this price point, but the C22 feels like it’s always a step behind when you’re scrolling on it. The poor haptic feedback further accentuates this problem. There’s a constant lag when you’re switching between apps, but the processor is mostly to blame for that (more on that later).
Nokia C22 review: Performance and Cameras
Nokia C22 is available in two RAM variants. The base variant priced at Rs 7,999 gets 2GB RAM with 64GB storage while the 4GB RAM variant fetches Rs 8,499. The C22 is powered by the Unisoc SC9863A SoC, which is the same chipset found on last year’s C21. Handling the OS duties is Android 12 Go Edition.
The choice to put Unisoc SC9863A as the processor on this smartphone really surprises us. There are more affordable Nokia phones out there that use the exact same chipset. To put it simply, this processor does not stand up to the task. Especially for a smartphone that is priced at Rs 8,000. Even in general use, the performance was not up to par.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise but the apps take longer to load here than your average budget smartphone. But what we didn’t expect was that minimising and switching between apps would present lags and stutters as well. While it doesn’t struggle to manage the active tasks, a smoother browsing experience would have been nice.
We used the C22 to watch videos, send and receive messages on WhatsApp, and browse social media. The smartphone handled it pretty after taking some time to load the apps. We also played COD Mobile on this device, and while it wasn’t entirely unplayable, we did experience frequent frame drops. On Geekbench 6, Nokia C22 scored 193 points in the single-core test and 796 points in the multi-core test.
Nokia C22 comes with Android 13 Go Edition. For those that aren’t familiar, the ‘Go Edition’ is a lite version on Android and is meant for entry-level devices. The idea is to strip the OS down to its essential features to improve the speed of smartphones that don’t have powerful processors. Even though the OS is supposed to be minimal, there are a lot of bloatware apps to be found here.
There’s a massive 5,000 mAh battery unit on this smartphone. Nokia claims a 3-day battery life on the C22. While you can certainly extend the battery life to three days with minimal usage, the C22 lasted a day and a half for us. We used the smartphone primarily for watching video content, browsing social media, and communicating on WhatsApp. It takes over two hours to fully charge the battery using the 10W charger.
Nokia C22 features a dual camera unit consisting of a 13MP primary shooter and a 2MP macro lens. Up front, you get an 8MP selfie camera. The camera performance is pretty standard for an entry-level smartphone. The 13MP camera performs decently in outdoor conditions when there’s plenty of natural light. The colours are a little undersaturated and but the level of detail the sensor can capture is satisfactory. The 2MP macro camera fails to impress at all. We didn’t get the detailed close-ups we were looking for.
The camera app comes with a portrait mode as well. This is one of the highlights of this camera. Shots taken in portrait mode put a good amount of focus on the subject. The smartphone struggles a bit with edge separation, but you’re not gonna get any better portrait shots in this price range. The 8MP selfie camera performs decently as well. While it is not capable of capturing finer details like hair strands or skin texture, it does not mess with the skin tone.
Nokia C22 is a decent smartphone to watch video content on. The size and brightness of the display are impressive, and you don’t have to worry about reaching for the charger every couple of hours. However, the smartphone could have used a better chip to boost its performance. The C22 fails to load apps quickly and multitasking on this smartphone can prove to be an uphill battle at times. If you’re upgrading from a feature phone and want a device with a big display, the C22 is a decent purchase. But if you’re looking for a performance-oriented smartphone, you should explore other options.
Nokia C22 review: Pros
- Fingerprint scanner
- Type-C charging
- Battery life
- Good display
Nokia C22 review: Cons
- Slow performance
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