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Nokia smartphone with DIY features launches

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The Nokia G22 smartphone comes with components you can easily dismantle and offers a repair manual from iFixit.

Image: Nokia

At the Mobile World Congress 2023 event in Barcelona, HMD Global, a Finnish company that manufactures and distributes Nokia phones, announced the release of its first Nokia phone with repairability features. The new smartphone, Nokia G22, comes with a removable plastic back and other features that will allow its components to be dismantled easily.

HMD Global said it is partnering with iFixit, a U.S. e-commerce and how-to website, to provide guides and tools on how Nokia G22 users can do things like replace damaged displays, dead batteries and bad charging ports. There is now a Nokia G22 repair portal on the iFixit site, which gives potential buyers a way to look up how they could fix the device.

According to HMD, the Nokia G22 and the two Nokia C series, Nokia C32 and Nokia C22, are built for long-lasting purposes, ensuring the devices can meet green technology goals.

“People value long-lasting, quality devices, and they shouldn’t have to compromise on price to get it. The new Nokia G22 is purposefully built with a repairable design, so you can keep it even longer, and with advanced imaging on Nokia C32 and improved durability on Nokia C22, we are bringing even more value to the C-series,” said Adam Ferguson, head of product marketing at HMD Global, in a press release.

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Nokia G22: Specs and drawbacks

Specs

  • Operating system: Android 12
  • Display: 6.52 in 720 x 1200 display
  • Weight: 195g–196g approximately
  • Colors: meteor gray and lagoon blue
  • RAM support: 4GB
  • Virtual RAM: 2GB
  • Internal storage: 64GB or 128GB
  • MicroSD cards: 2TB
  • Battery: A 5,050mAH battery, 20W fast-charging support and an estimated three-day battery life.

Buyers get two years of OS upgrades and three years of monthly security updates.

Two major drawbacks

The Nokia G22 is not protected against water damage, which means it only meets the IP52 benchmark on resistance against damaging substances.

In addition, the Nokia G22 lacks 5G network support, which may be a concern for many smartphone users who are poised to take advantage of the enhanced features of 5G connectivity to run their daily businesses. The lack of 5G support is surprising, especially when considering Statista is projecting a steady growth in 5G adoption in the foreseeable future and an estimated 5 billion subscriptions by 2026, including an astronomical growth of 700 million adoptions from 2022 to 2023.

According to a report by the European Parliament, about 77% of EU citizens would rather fix a device than buy new one. This development has informed the “right to repair” regulations mandating phone manufacturers in Europe to build devices that are not only durable and sustainable but also allow users to fix them easily. Hence, HMD’s Nokia G22 is a way of fulfilling this new regulatory demand.

“As consumers increasingly demand more sustainable and longer-lasting devices, the ability to repair smartphones easily and affordably will become a key differentiator in the market,” said Ben Wood, lead analyst at CCS Insight, a London-based IT analyst firm. “CCS Insight’s end-user research reflects this, with approximately half of the mobile phone users in western Europe saying they would like to have their device repaired at a reasonable cost if they break outside of the warranty period.”

With these regulations, HMD hopes to follow the steps of other phone manufacturers who have keyed into the “right to repair” movement.

Fairphone

The Dutch phone manufacturer Fairphone released its Fairphone 4 device in September 2021 with repairability and sustainability at its core.

Apple

Apple has followed the “right to repair” trend by launching its self-service repair programs in Europe. The Apple self-service repair store provides consumers with over 200 tools, parts and repair manuals. The Apple self-service initiative is currently available in eight European countries including the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Italy.

When and where will the Nokia G22 be available?

The Nokia G22 will be available for the U.K. market on March 8 at £149.99 ($179.19 USD); many would understand why the device lacks 5G support and water protection features. Other components of the Nokia G22 can be purchased from Nokia Phones Repair Hub hosted on the iFixit website. To change the battery will cost £22.99 ($27.70 USD), while changing the charging port and display will cost £18.99 ($22.88 USD) and £44.99 ($54.20 USD), respectively.

Read next: Right to Repair movement inspires businesses to revisit their own hardware policies (TechRepublic Premium)

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