Nokia’s latest smartphone, the Nokia G22, is set to offer something different from the rest. Developed by Finnish firm HMD Global, the device comes with a 6.5-inch screen and a 50-megapixel main camera, but it’s the phone’s build quality that sets it apart. With a plastic back that’s easily removable, users can replace the phone’s damaged components with ease, cutting repair costs by as much as 30% when compared to buying a new device.
The move is part of a wider push by the tech industry to create more sustainable devices. With lawmakers in Europe calling for legislation to give users the “right to repair”, smartphone companies are increasingly looking for ways to make their devices last longer. In particular, consumers are looking for more eco-friendly alternatives to replacing a phone entirely when a single component fails.
Apple has also recently launched its own self-service repair program, allowing customers in eight European countries to purchase parts to fix their own devices. And Nokia isn’t alone in the push for climate-conscious smartphones; Dutch firm Fairphone sells a range of devices that use repairable and replaceable parts.
According to research by CCS Insight, around half of mobile phone owners in Europe would have their device repaired if it broke outside of warranty. That means there’s a clear demand for more easily repairable devices.
One drawback of the Nokia G22 is that it only meets the IP52 benchmark for resistance against damaging substances, meaning it’s not immune to water damage. However, the company has suggested this feature would have been too expensive at the phone’s current price point.
Despite once being a titan in the mobile phone industry, Nokia has since fallen behind giants like Samsung and Apple. It now focuses mainly on telecoms infrastructure sold to carriers. Nokia sold its mobile business to Microsoft for €5.4 billion ($5.8 billion) in 2014, with HMD later acquiring the unit for $350 million. Nokia earns a royalty fee for each phone sold by HMD.
The Nokia G22 is due to be released in the UK on March 8, with replaceable parts available from iFixit. For the battery, it’ll cost £22.99; for the display, £44.99, and for the charging port, £18.99. HMD has also indicated plans to source more of its phone manufacturing in Europe, although it hasn’t specified where.