Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
Can the Nokia G22 really be repaired in five minutes? We tested to find out
HMD Global announced three new Nokia phones at MWC 2023, including two entry-level C-Series devices and, more interestingly, the Nokia G22. This budget phone promises to be easier to repair than almost anything else currently on the market.
According to HMD, changing the Nokia G22’s battery should take just five minutes, while the more complicated task of replacing the display may take as long as 20 minutes. We went hands-on and put its “QuickFix” repairability claims to the test — is it really as trivial as the company suggests?
We already expect Nokia phones to last a good long while thanks to their software support, though HMD’s update policies aren’t anywhere near as impressive as they once were. These latest models offer three years of monthly security updates and two full OS upgrades guaranteed, which lags behind industry leaders like Samsung. However, HMD is taking a different approach to its “made to last longer” promise. The Nokia G22 not only features robust, sustainable materials, it’s also been designed to make DIY repairs easy for everyone.
DIY repairs are naturally a little cheaper since you only need to buy the replacement parts and the required tools, but you also save on the time it takes to send your phone away or take it to a shop. Instead, HMD has teamed up with iFixit to ensure the tools, parts, and guides are readily available wherever Nokia phones are sold. Displays and batteries are the parts that most often need to be replaced, and so the two companies have reduced the steps you need to follow for these repairs by around 50%. Unlike most modern smartphones, the Nokia G22 doesn’t need to be heated up to remove the back cover, and alcohol isn’t required to remove the battery.
Replacing the battery
Armed with only the iFixit Essential Toolkit and a guide that will be available on the iFixit site, I set about changing the battery in the Nokia G22. All I needed was a blue opening pick, Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, and the amusingly-named spudger.
Before starting any phone repair, there are two important steps you must follow:
- Discharge the battery to below 25% (this reduces the risk of fire in the event that you accidentally damage the battery)
- Turn off the phone
Once you’ve done those, you can safely proceed. Remove the SIM tray to reveal a small notch between the display and the frame — this is where you need to insert the pick. Push it in and you can slide it down the side of the frame to release the plastic clips that attach the rear cover to the body. Do the same for all four sides and you’re ready to take the rear cover off. This requires some caution as the fingerprint scanner in the power button is connected to the motherboard by a cable; you need to gently open it like a book. Before you can disconnect this, there’s a single screw you need to take out. You can then use the tweezers to lift off the small metal bracket before using the smudger to pop out the cable connector.
Next up is the most laborious step, removing 11 tiny screws so you can lift off the motherboard cover. Now you need the smudger again to disconnect the battery cable. Finally, it’s time to loosen the clear tabs around the battery and then use the green tab to pull it out. This step does take considerable force due to the amount of adhesive, but you also need to be careful not to damage the battery — this can take a little time as you slowly loosen the battery before it eventually comes out. Your replacement battery should come with its own adhesive tabs attached to it, so you can fully remove what’s left over in the phone. If not, you can use some double-sided tape (iFixit’s guide has more details on that).
Once you’ve inserted the new battery, it’s simply a case of carefully following the same steps in reverse. All in all, it took me a couple of minutes longer than the five minutes HMD claims, but probably only due to an abundance of caution. I would say that most would be able to do this by themselves, although some older people might need a little help from a friend or relative. While it’s a relatively simple process, there are still obvious potential pitfalls that need to be avoided (such as breaking the fingerprint reader cable).
After reassembling the Nokia G22, then came the moment of truth. Thankfully, it turned on and now works just like new (including the fingerprint reader). I can’t speak for replacing the screen or charging port, but it’s clear that changing the battery takes significantly less effort here than it would do on most modern smartphones, so kudos to HMD for that. It’s certainly not as easy as phones of old with their clip on backs and swappable batteries, but it’s another step forward for the growing right to repair movement.
Nokia G22 specs, price, and availability
Repairability and sustainability aside, the G22 isn’t much different to the G21. It features the same Unisoc T606 chipset, a 6.52-inch HD+ screen, a 50MP main camera, 4GB of RAM, and either 64 or 128GB of storage — memory extension can also borrow 2GB of VRAM as required. It also ships with Android 12, disappointingly, but will be updated to 13 and 14 in time. In another effort to make the G22 last longer, the battery is capable of maintaining over 80% capacity after 800 cycles (the industry standard is 500). And since HMD promises three-day battery life (5,050mAh) at full capacity, you may never even need to replace the battery anyway.
The Nokia G22 is another step forward for the growing right to repair movement.
The Nokia G22 starts at £149.99/€179 (~$189) and will be available from March in Meteor Grey or Lagoon Blue color options. When it comes time to make a repair, iFixit will be selling a Fit Kit for just £5, as well as batteries for £22.99, displays for £44.99, and charging ports for £18.99. The last person I know to have their phone screen replaced paid £120 to take it into a shop for a same-day repair, so it’s clear you’ll be able to save a decent amount by doing this yourself.
Unfortunately, the Nokia G22 won’t be available in the US, though iFixit does sell its fix kits in North America if you’re tempted to go the DIY route. The company also partners with Samsung for a Self-Repair service for selected Galaxy products.