Nokia's latest slider phone keeps its ambitions low to provide tolerable performance and connectivity on a slender budget. Lacking key features, such as Bluetooth data transfer, MicroSD card support and 3G connectivity, the Nokia 2220 boasts a camera, decent construction and MP3 ringtones.
The 2220 is available for as little as £5 a month on a 24-month contract, but the handset will set you back £50. Pay as you go customers can expect to shell out approximately £30 for this modest mobile.
Happy to let it slide
The budget battlefield is getting very messy of late, with pocket-money phones like the Nokia 1616 and Samsung E1170 vying for the attention of novice mobile users. When you've barely got two pennies to rub together, such mobile minnows are undeniably attractive. Sometimes it's worth setting your sights that little bit higher, though. A device like the Nokia 2220 offers increased functionality with only a marginally more expensive price tag.
As its title suggests, the 2220 is a slider-format phone. The mechanism is robust and solid, accompanied by an encouraging click. The build quality is generally good, showcasing a fetching fusion of plastic and metal. Like the Sony Ericsson Spiro, the 2220 features a two-tone aesthetic, with a glossy front and lustreless back. To be honest, the battery cover feels a little cheap and flexes worryingly under moderate pressure.
The all-in-one numerical key mat presents problems, too. The buttons don't have enough travel and it's frustratingly easy to accidently press the wrong key. Thankfully, this is mitigated somewhat by the excellent direction pad, which offers responsive control over the phone's blissfully undemanding menu system.
Unfortunately, the 2220's minuscule 45.7mm (1.8 inch), 128x160-pixel TFT display is something of a sticking point. The low resolution makes everything look blocky, although the brightness and colour depth are actually quite impressive for a product of this class.
At this juncture, you may well be wondering what advantages the 2220 offers over other bargain-basement phones. The answer is quite simple -- it has a camera. The vast majority of sub-£30 phones we've looked at recently have come without image-capturing capabilities, and, while the 2220 is only packing a modest VGA snapper, it's nevertheless a welcome addition.
That said, don't expect to do much with said photos aside from sending them to friends via MMS. The 2220 lacks Wi-Fi -- hardly a shock, considering the humble nature of the phone -- but it also comes minus Bluetooth, and there isn't even a USB cable in the box to facilitate the transfer of content between phone and personal computer. Basically, if you want to move your images around, you'll need to rely almost entirely on multimedia messaging, and that, of course, means additional charges.
Another let-down is the lack of expandable memory. The 2220 comes with a meek 10MB of internal memory. With no way of bulking up this measly amount, it's unlikely you'll be using the device as a replacement for your iPod. It's a shame because, unlike some more expensive mobiles out there right now (Sony Ericsson Zylo, we're looking at you), the 2220 boasts a handy 3.5mm headphone socket. Thankfully, the inclusion of an FM radio (complete with recording capability for around 8 minutes of audio) means the standard jack isn't completely obsolete.
Although you might not use it as an audio entertainment device, the 2220's MP3 playback powers have another welcome feature -- you can use your music tracks as ringtones. This is quite a bonus when you consider that most cheap mobiles force you to endure the ignominy of outdated polyphonic sounds. Nothing says "My phone cost less than a tenner" than archaic, beeping poly-tones.
Thanks to the absence of 3G connectivity, data-related activities on the 2220 are predictably awkward. The Opera Mini Web browser does an admirable job of rendering pages for your consumption, but you won't want to use the 2220 for more than casual surfing. The tiny display just isn't suitable for such pursuits.
Despite the generally slow nature of the GPRS data connection, it's perfectly possible to browse Nokia's Ovi Store using the 2220. From here, you can download games, tones and other items, all of which help personalise your device.
Hovering around the £30 mark, the Nokia 2220 Slide's nearest competitor is the Sony Ericsson Spiro. To be honest, the Nokia is beaten pretty fairly in almost every department by its rival, but if you're a fan of the Finnish phones and can't afford to sell a kidney for your next mobile purchase, this is definitely an option worth entertaining -- provided you can live without creature comforts such as 3G, Bluetooth and expandable memory.
Edited by Emma Bayly