back to article HMD offers Nokia phone with novel concept: Designed to be repaired by its owner

HMD Global, which took over the Nokia brand for phones, has launched a smartphone designed to be fixed by the owner, with repair site iFixit providing guides and replacement parts. The Nokia G22 is one of three handsets launched by HMD at this week's MWC in Barcelona. It is claimed to be the first Nokia smartphone to come with …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lacks 5G support

    This would have concerned me until a few weeks ago when we lost our wired internet and had to cobble together a mobile backbone. Seems 3 and EE 4G can deliver 300MB/s+

    It was this way our CEO discovered he had been paying for 5G he hadn't been getting for a year. But that's another story for EE to explain.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be nice if the "spirit' of this could be extended to the OS so we could remove all the Google apps we don't want.....

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      I suspect LineageOS will be available for this very quickly

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Nokia don't have a great record of making the bootloader unlockable, but maybe that will change with the new owners.

        1. Kernel

          "but maybe that will change with the new owners."

          New owners? - all Nokia branded phones since Microsoft stopped making Nokia branded phones have been made by HMD - it says so on the back of my old Nokia 8, one of the earliest re-launched Nokia phones.

          1. Lars Silver badge


            The Wikipedia has this about HMD:

            "HMD Global Oy, branded as HMD and Nokia Mobile, is a Finnish mobile phone manufacturer. The company is made up of the mobile phone business that Nokia sold to Microsoft in 2014, then bought back in 2016. HMD began marketing Nokia-branded smartphones and feature phones on 1 December 2016. The company has exclusive rights to the Nokia brand for mobile phones through a licensing agreement.[5] The HMD brand is only used for corporate purposes and does not appear in advertising, whereas the name "Nokia Mobile" is used on social media.".


            My next phone will be one of them should my Samsung ever give up.

            1. Kernel



              The Wikipedia has this about HMD:"

              Yes - I was working for Nokia at the time and I was (still am) sufficiently impressed by the lack of baked in crap on the HMD/Nokia phones that all 3 of our phones at home are of this brand.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        The supported device list doesn't include many Nokia devices, and the two models listed are both older generations (2018) and higher-end models (the cheaper devices appear to get less attention from ports). I wouldn't count on getting support unless you're good at building it yourself, in which case please post it when you're done because I would like it but don't plan to buy the device in the hopes that I can get it working.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I heartily agree, but i don't think we'll see that happen any time soon.

      Megacorps are not interested in "the spirit" of money.

    3. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I wonder what flavor of Android it has... The killer feature in the first generation of HMD Nokias (at least for me) was that they included the most vanilla Android imaginable, with very little bloatware.Google gaggle was inevitable (Chrome, Youtube, Google Play whatever) but for the most part it had no third party apps, such as social media, preinstalled and almost no first party cr*p.

      Outside of a rather crippled battery after 5 years of use, my Nokia 6 is still doing ok... I may consider this new one when it kicks the bucket.

  3. Flak

    the perfect phone for my son

    whose phone has a cracked front screen, a shattered (and superglued) glass back, bent in the middle!

    Seriously good idea and I hope more devices will be built like this going forward.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: the perfect phone for my son

      Blackview and Ulefone, among others, make reasonable Androids that are pretty much indestructable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the perfect phone for my son

        Had an Ulefone armor X10 when it was released and thought it was great, until I realised that it was *never* going to get a single software security update. Then, just over a year after I bought it, the touch screen stopped working one day without the phone being dropped or abused. The complete lack of repairablity of the Ulefone, and previous experience of broken phones meant I bought a far more expensive Fairphone as a replacement, which gets regular software updates and easy to replace spare parts.

    2. John 104

      Re: the perfect phone for my son

      Don't buy your son an overpriced glas house phone and this might not be such an issue...

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: the perfect phone for my son

        I think that's his point.

  4. imanidiot Silver badge

    "As far as specifications go, the G22 is an Android 12 smartphone with a 6.52in 720 x 1200 display that weighs in at about 195g. It runs a 1.6GHz Unisoc T606 processor with 4GB of memory and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, plus support for up to 2TB MicroSD cards.

    However, the G22 lacks 5G network support, which may or may not matter to buyers, especially as the device has a starting price of just £149.99 ($180)."

    So rather knobbled specs for a modern phone. I for one am not interested in a phone this size anyway (why can't we have sub 6 inch phones anymore?) and I can't really see this do too well. Unfortunately that also likely leads to them pointing to it and saying: "See, nobody cares about repairability" in future when people complain. When the truth is that people might be willing to compromise to a point to gain repairability, but won't buy a phone just because it's repairable.

  5. John 104

    Wireless Charge

    Make one with wireless charging and I'm all in. I don't need 5G, but I do require wireless. USB ports get dirty and clogged and eventually stop working. Yes, I could repair it under this model, but not having to use it in the first place would be good.

  6. Tony W

    Lasts 3 years

    3 years before it has to be binned because it no longer gets security updates? And that's probably from the date of release, not from when you buy it. Quite a few phones do that.

    I recently had a battery replaced in a phone that supposedly has a non-replaceable battery. My local corner phone shop did it in 40 minutes, the total cost was about the same as a replacement battery will be for this phone, and the replacement runs for least a long before needing a rercharge as the original one did when the phone was new. The phone is over 4 years old and I can't get enthusiastic about buying a new one that will have the same short intended life, however convenient it is to replace the hardware. There has to be a better way, and indeed there is: Apple. Only problem is, I hate their phone OS more than I do even Android.

    1. Chris Gray 1

      Re: Lasts 3 years

      A phone is not dead just because it no longer gets security updates. Don't put evil apps on it and you'll be just fine. Mine is about 8 years old now, and hasn't had an update in years. But, since I don't have any social media nonsense or fancy games on it, it should be just fine. The only thing I have to worry about is the Play Store - Google updates that separately. Might also do the GMail app that way. I've had the phone go a year or more without needing a reboot - and then it is usually because something has decided to start sucking battery.

      1. alain williams Silver badge

        Re: Lasts 3 years

        A phone is not dead just because it no longer gets security updates.

        It is more than security updates that are needed. My ancient phone still works as a 'phone (+SMS & wifi hotspot) and the battery lasts most of the week but the SSL certificates expired a couple of years ago so I can no longer browse the web - which I only did occasionally.

      2. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Lasts 3 years

        "it should be just fine"

        ... if you don't care about your phone being potentially Owned by someone else, without you even knowing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lasts 3 years

          looking at my Samsung S2, over 10 years old, I rather doubt anyone would even bother to hack it. Not that there's anything to steal, no modern banking app will run off android 4. It's a phone, it's a music and radio player, and a shopping list comes in handy at times. I guess I could use it as gps nav with some lighter apps. Camera? Can't be really bothered to look at pics, so...

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Lasts 3 years

            Who says someone would decide to attack your phone in particular? Any decent attacker, aside from those going after particular high-value targets, just has a botnet scanning for vulnerable devices. Break in first, look for value later. If a device has Internet connectivity, it's at least useful as a new botnet member / relay device.

        2. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Lasts 3 years

          > Owned by someone else,

          How prevalent is that in reality - what is the analysis you find most compelling? URL?

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: Lasts 3 years

            In reality it's probably not that prevalent. I'm not a particularly interesting target, but it would be deeply unpleasant if someone was to empty my bank account and my pension. Also all my email messages for 15+ years, my WhatsApp/Signal messages (although it's probably not going to be serialised in The Telegraph in my case, unlike Matt Hancock). My photos? Other personal things I probably have not even thought about.

            I'm just a little bit paranoid. I think there *might* come a time when there's a 0day in Android which will be widely exploited on older versions. So, for the sake of a few hundred ££ I always keep my handsets updated. It's a bit like insurance, you hope you'll never need it, but if you do you'll be glad you did.

            I just don't want to be the low hanging fruit.

            So, for me this handset would be very tempting, if they offered 5 years of updates, as the main reason I replace my handset (apart from the security updates) is the battery life. I guess I'll be able to use LineageOS after the 3 years, but that seems like work I don't need.

            1. nijam Silver badge

              Re: Lasts 3 years

              > ...if someone was to empty my bank account and my pension

              Maybe that stuff shouldn't be on your phone anyway.

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Lasts 3 years

            How many homes ever catch fire? You probably don't really need insurance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lasts 3 years

      The "official" battery replacement seems to be €29.95 - about half (or less) what a reputable chain 'round here advertises relatively modern Samsungs' battery replacements.

      (link I found was ). YMMV, but this is a big selling point for me. You are not going to need to buy the tool kit more than once, I assume.

      As for security updates, my old Galaxy S9 certainly doesn't get any any more either, which is why I am looking for something relatively inexpensive to switch to, and then play with updated custom firmwares on the old phone to keep as backup / pretty decent camera.

    3. ICam

      Re: Lasts 3 years

      Yes, the software support period seems really disappointing. I wonder who thought making a repairable phone with only 3 years of support was a good idea? It seems strange.

      I agree with you regarding iOS. Something really needs to be done to improve the support situation across the Android ecosystem. As to how easy that is realistically, given all the different SoCs in the various phones, I do not know, but as things are it all seems like a bit of a mess.

    4. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Lasts 3 years

      Three years is better than most. HMD have gone from being just another reference design mill to having some pretty decent offerings, with no bloat outside the stock google spywareapps. Can't currently get a replacement ROM for the X20 (my current phone), but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: Lasts 3 years

        Nokia only seem to unlock the boot loaders of their Snapdragon based phones, so I don't know if this will every see a custom ROM. Which is a shame as I had a Nokia 5.1 which had a Mediatek SOC, up until about 9 months ago and would have happily kept using it, if the bootloader could be unlocked and I could have installed a custom ROM such as Lineage.

        I really don't understand why phone manufactures are reluctant to unlock the boot loader of devices that are outside of support? Other than as a reason to sell more new phones. But in the case of HMD they do if for some, so it could be agreements with certain SOC manufacturers not to unlock the boot loaders i guess.

  7. alain williams Silver badge

    Web site access denied ??

    If I follow the link in the article I get 'Access Denied', if I search for the 'phone the links that I get show much the same. What is going on ?

    Also: Nokia seems to wants to rent it at £10/30 days - so I would pay the £150 purchase every 15 months. Not a good deal.

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Web site access denied ??

      Works fine here...

      1. alain williams Silver badge

        Re: Web site access denied ??

        Hmmm: it works fine now, must have been a glitch. I tried it from 2 different locations over 15 minutes:

        $ curl


        <TITLE>Access Denied</TITLE>


        <H1>Access Denied</H1>

        You don't have permission to access "http&#58;&#47;&#47;www&#46;nokia&#46;com&#47;phones&#47;en&#95;gb&#47;subscription" on this server.<P>




    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Web site access denied ??

      I cannot reproduce that. Is your network unusual in some way that could set them off?

  8. secondtimeuser

    3.5mm headphone jack AND MicroSD slot? This has suddenly shot up my list of candidate phones for if my current one suddenly expires.

  9. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge


    You can already replace the battery on any smartphone with the aforementioned tools shown in the picture. I also use a heater tool to soften the glue often used in securing the back.

    If they'd really wanted to make a difference they would've simply made the back-cover removable by hand, just like they were in the not-so-long-ago past, and a user-replaceable battery.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Weird

      They can't do that as there are not currently any manufactures making large phone batteries in hard cases, they all make them in those foil bags which. And the cost of this phone would sky rocket if they had to set up a custom manufacturing line for the batteries.

      If phone are going to regain their back cover then it would have to start with expensive top end phones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Weird

        Sorry, but I don't believe that's correct. The Fairphone 4 has a decent sized battery that isn't a foil bag, and has a back you can remove without any tools.

        The Fairphone might be expensive for the specs you get, but at some point we really should start choosing longevity, repairabilty (and ethics) over price. I'm hoping that other manufacturers (such as HMD) follow in Faiphone's steps so that the only tool you'll need for repairs is a single screwdriver.

      2. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Weird

        > And the cost of this phone would sky rocket if they had to set up a custom manufacturing line for the batteries.

        There are still plenty of packaged batteries being offered for sale in sorts of shapes and sizes, HMD could find an affordable supplier if they wanted to (changing dies etc for forming cases isn't *that* expensive).

        Heck, doing the casing must be quite cheap, compared to the foil packaged battery inside, as there are plenty of fakes around - nice case, decent printing, filled with air and a piddly battery glued inside.

      3. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Weird

        All the replacement batteries I order come in a hard plastic case (not foil). So there must still be plenty of manufacturers that make these things (including the original manufacturer).

        Besides, manufacturers have little choice since the EU has mandated that batteries need to be user replaceable in the near future.

  10. Norman Nescio Silver badge


    Would be nice if Jolla could/would support Sailfish OS on it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    could become a key differentiator in the market

    differantiator, yes, selling point, no.

  12. Dwarfkilla

    infinite software updates would make this worth.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whilst better than nothing

    it's not THAT repairable anyway.

  14. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Well of course

    hundreds of thousands of smartphones are said to be discarded each day in the US alone

    Sure. It runs out of ammo, then you throw it at someone.

    No, wait, I'm thinking of guns.

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