Nokia C2 Unboxing and Initial Hands-on Review

nokia c2 unboxing

Following the release of Nokia C1 earlier this year, HMD Global Philippines has just recently launched a successor to this device simply called the Nokia C2 with a bigger and upgraded display resolution, and bigger battery pack. Additionally, this brand new Nokia C2 now supports 4G LTE compared to its predecessor and still running on the power and data efficient Android 9 Pie Go Edition. All this upgrades and improvements for an asking price that still sits below Php4K mark. The phone is now available in the local market though, if you wonder. 

Just a couple of days ago, HMD Global Philippines sent me a review unit of this device in Charcoal colorway, the other one being Cyan, and here is my first post about it, unboxing the Nokia C2 Android 9 Pie Go Edition smartphone. 

What's in the box

nokia c2 unboxing and hands-on review

nokia c2 unboxing and hands-on review

The C2 comes in a typical Nokia smartphone box with the Nokia branding on it together with the photo of the device and the model name. On the back are the key specs of the smartphone such as the display, RAM, battery, and camera sizes and of course the Google Assistant logo which the phone comes with. 

As you can see in the images above, HMD Global is still pretty generous when it comes to its smartphone packaging even for the super budget-friendly ones like this Nokia C2. I mean, it's a complete package including a free pair of earphones and protective jelly case right out of the box. Together with the smartphone itself, the package comes with the microUSB charging cable, charging brick, the earphones, TPU jelly case, and some paper documentation. What I even more like about the packaging is that everything is in black, not white color as we typically see from other smartphone makers. I actually prefer back cables and chargers than white ones because they tend to look yellowish over time as opposed to black ones. 

nokia c2 unboxing and hands-on review

You may have also noticed that there is no SIM ejecting tool in the package, that's because the SIM and microSD card slots are embedded right in the chassis under the removable back cover, just like the Nokia phones of the olden days. And the battery is also removable too, in fact, you will have to install it yourself upon unboxing, again, typical of a Nokia smartphone that we rarely see or don't experience anymore from other brands nowadays. 

Now let's meet the Nokia C2

nokia c2 unboxing and hands-on review

The Nokia C2 is available in two different color options, Charcoal and Cyan. As you can see I got the former, which is actually black and I really like it. From 5.45-inch FWVGA IPS display on the Nokia C1, the C2 now packs 5.7-inch HD+ IPS screen display with 18:9 aspect ratio and 1440 x 720 resolution which makes way better in terms of viewing experience. Bezels are relatively thicker than what we are accustomed to these days and the front design is more of a traditional one sporting no notch or any sort of cutouts for the front camera. 

At the top of the screen are the 5MP selfie camera, earpiece, proximity sensor, the Nokia branding, and an LED flash. Yes, that's correct there are two LED flashes on this smartphone, for the back and front cameras. And then at the chin bezel, while it is so thick, the Back, Home, and Multitask buttons are found on-screen. 

nokia c2 unboxing and hands-on review

The Nokia C2's overall design is almost identical to the C1, even the ports and buttons are located at exactly the same places. The edges on the back cover also sport slight curvature for better grip. So, if you have seen the C1 or own one, the experience will be pretty much the same, at least in terms of physical design of the Nokia C2. 

At the bottom, there we can only see the microUSB port together with the microphone. The loudspeaker or speaker grille is not found here, instead, it's on the lower left corner of the phone's back panel. Now being on the back, I don't expect this one to produce loud enough audio when not using earphones. I will soon find that out and will share with you in my full review post in the coming weeks. 

The 3.5mm audiojack port is also not located at the bottom, it's at the top of the phone, all alone. Then on the right side of the Nokia C2 are the power/lock key together with the volume rocker. On the left side is the dedicated Google Assistant button. It cannot be remapped or reconfigured though, at least that's what I know at the moment. If it can be reprogrammed with other features, I will let you know again in my full review. 

And then on the back is nothing but the 5MP rear-facing camera and the Nokia logo right below it. Unfortunately, there is no fingerprint reader on the phone, and that's understandable knowing that this device is only priced at Php3,790. The good news is, users can still take advantage of the Face Unlock feature or the traditional 4-digit PIN for unlocking the device. 

Other specs and features of the Nokia C2

nokia c2 unboxing and hands-on review

Powering the Nokia C2 phone is a Unisoc quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz. This processor is paired with 1GB of RAM and a default 16GB of internal storage which, as mentioned earlier, can still be expanded via microSD card, through its dedicated slot, up to additional 64GB. 

The phone's removable battery is rated at 2800mAh, an upgrade from the C1's 2500mAh. It still comes with a standard 5V1A charger. HMD says it can last up to 19 days on standby mode, or 19 hours of 4G talktime, audio playback up to 21 hours and video playback of up to 8 hours. 

As for the cameras, the C2 is pretty basic at 5MP both on front and rear with LED flash each. As what you can expect from an entry level smartphone such as this one, the quality of photos it produces is just decent, the more light there is the better the quality will be.  But it should be enough to document your daily life and share them on social media for your friends to see. I will provide sample photos in my full review. So stay tuned for that. 

On the software side of things, the Nokia C2 is running on a special version of Android 9 Pie - the Go Edition. 

What's in the Android 9 Pie Go Edition

Android 9 Pie Go Edition Apps

In case you wonder or not aware of it yet, the Android 9 Pie Go Edition is a specially designed and built OS specifically for low-end and ultra-budget smartphones with 2GB of RAM or less. The software is heavily tweaked down to smoothly run on these type of smartphones yet still providing the same Android experience. Alongside this customization are the creation of Go Edition of Google apps like YouTube, GMail, Maps, Gallery, Photos, and more. These apps provide almost the same experience but consume less data in the process.  Android Go Edition of smartphones do not only help consumers buy devices at a very affordable price, but also provide them with the features that will help them save more money on data consumption through these Go version of mobile apps. 

Android 9 Pie Go Edition Apps

For example with YouTube Go app, before playing a video, users are given control over their data use upfront, as you can see in the image above. The higher the MB consumption the better the video quality as expected, plus they are also given an option to play or download the video for offline playback later on. This is just perfect for those users who are on a tight budget or simply who want to save more as they browse the internet. 

Initial thoughts

HMD Global is very successful in the feature phone segment selling millions of units each year. Go Edition-powered smartphones of theirs are also a success among budget conscious users around the globe. Good thing the company also offers these Android Go devices in the Philippines at a very affordable pricing. 

The Nokia C2 is just a good phone for its sticker price and what it offers. Its overall quality and build and its software are among its advantages over other budget-centric smartphones around today. It's perfect for kids or for our parents and grandparents who don't want a smartphone with all the bells and whistles of a high-end smartphone has but still not losing the core experiences offered by a typical Android smartphone. 

For its price tag of just Php3,790, it's a steal. 

Nokia C2 specs:

  • 5.7-inch HD IPS display
  • 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 1440 x 720 resolution
  • 1.4GHz quad-core Unisoc processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card up to 64GB (dedicated)
  • 5MP rear camera with Autofocus and LED flash
  • 5MP front camera with LED flash
  • Android 9 Pie (Go Edition)
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G LTE
  • 3.5mm Audiojack
  • Face Unlock
  • FM Radio
  • Google Assistant (dedicated button)
  • Cyan, Charcoal
  • 2800mAh battery
  • Php3,790
The Nokia C2 is now available in the Philippines for just Php3,790. You can purchase one from Lazada, Shopee, Nokia concept stores and authorized retailers nationwide. 

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