Color me a little bi-curious. No, not that way. As much as I love my iPhone X and Mac and iPad Pro and Watch and Apple’s ecosystem, there are times when I want to try an Android device for more than an hour or two.
What prevents me from going over to the other side for an extended visit? Well, they kick me out of Best Buy if I hog their Samsung Galaxy-whatever, and I’m not going to plunk down $900 just to try out some of Apple’s competition. $100? Maybe. That’s the Nokia 2.
Nokia– not the Nokia we once knew and loved; instead the new Chinese Nokia– introduced a new smartphone running Android OS (last year’s version, though) for $100. My iPhone X was priced at $1,149 without Apple Care. How can Nokia– underpaid Chinese high school laborers notwithstanding– get all this packed into a $100 price tag?
At first glance, all smartphones might appear to be much the same thing. Slab of glass. Camera. Battery. Bunch of applications. A phone. In that sense, the iPhone hasn’t changed since 2007, and $100 is a bargain compared to iPhone X. Generally speaking. The devil is in the details so let me look closer as this $100 iPhone killer.
Nokia pushes the battery as capable of lasting for two days. I can get two days on my iPhone X, too, and Low Power Mode adds another day or two. The screen is a 5-inch LTPS LCD screen so it won’t compare too favorably to the slightly larger iPhone X’s OLED display, but at $100 you shouldn’t expect similar quality at every level.
Nokia 2 comes with Android Nougat which is last year’s OS and while the company says updates are available it does not specifically mention this year’s Android OS. The device uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 Quad-core CPU which might be adequate but does not compare favorably to the A11 Bionic chip in iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus. If you’re heavily invested in Google applications, then Nokia 2 is a bargain. It handles Google Photos and Google Assistant and others.
The back camera is 8MP with auto scene detection and auto focus. The selfie cam is 5MP. The display is made of Corning Gorilla Glass and the case frame is machine aluminum in two colors. What about storage? A new iPhone comes with 64GB or 256GB of very fast storage. Nokia 2 comes with 8GB but it has a MicroSD card slot so you could stuff in an additional 128GB for about $20. The phone comes with a few other standard goodies including an ambient light sensor, a compass, and accelerometer but none of the iPhone X array of sensors like the three-axis gyro, barometer, or Face ID facial recognition, not to mention the long list of items for the camera systems. It does have 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and MicroUSB, not USB-C.
The most compelling item is the price. $99. What would get me to buy one just for grins would be the ability to run the latest Android OS versions and more than 8GB of basic storage. That would make it worth trying out. $100 is compelling but not likely to get me to part with anything iPhone.