The Nokia 2 very much looks like a shrunken down version of Nokia's entire 2017 smartphone portfolio. It's interesting because even though the phones don't exactly have any one particular standout feature but still, the overall design has become familiar, and you see the same design DNA flowing through all the models in the range, Nokia 2 included.
On the front, the phone has sizable bezels surrounding the 5.0-inch display. The bottom bezel is especially striking since there aren't even any controls there.
Around the sides, the phone has an aluminum frame that gives the phone some premium feel in hand.
The back of the phone, however, is made out of polycarbonate. It has a matte rubbery finish that gives some grip but shows off fingerprints and smudges very easily and is hard to keep clean.
The back cover also comes off, giving access to the two separate SIM slots and a microSD card slot. The battery is non-removable.
The Nokia 2 comes in three colors, Pewter/Black, Pewter/White, and Pewter/Copper.
Regarding overall design and build, the Nokia 2 is unremarkable. The metal frame around the sides is a nice touch but the fingerprint magnet back and the massive bezels on the front are somewhat of an eyesore.
The Nokia 2 has a 5.0-inch IPS LCD with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Nokia specifically mentions that it is an LTPS TFT and not one of the cheaper variants such as a-Si, so you are getting a nice piece of kit.
Regarding image quality, the Nokia 2 display is indeed quite good, with vibrant colors that weren't oversaturated and good viewing angles. Unfortunately, the resolution is a bit low for 2017 but was likely necessary to keep costs down and improve batter life and performance.
The Nokia 2 comes with Nokia's version of Android, which is very close to stock Android. Nokia bundles only the absolute bare minimum of applications. From those, only a handful are proprietary - such as the Camera and FM radio.
On the upside, this means Nokia also promises fast updates and announced that the phone would be getting Oreo shortly.
In our brief usage, we did find the fact that the phone used stock Android appealing. It's by far one of the best ways to experience Android and Nokia has chosen wisely not to mess too much with it.
However, the performance is dragged down due to the poor CPU choice. The Snapdragon 212 doesn't seem like much of a powerhouse on paper and even in usage caused a bit of sluggishness despite the lean software and low-resolution display. The fact that it only has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage doesn't help either. And because our demo devices were brand new without any third-party apps installed, the performance would probably be affected further when the average user loads up this phone with a bunch of apps and other files.