When HMD Global spun off from Nokia to make Android-powered phones in 2017, one of the ways it grabbed headlines was by reintroducing the Nokia 3310, leaning heavily on nostalgia to sell feature phones.
It is a strategy that HMD Global has continued to lean on, releasing a handful of devices designed to conjure up feelings from past phones, while also being highly affordable.
So where does the Nokia 2720 Flip fit in the greater scheme of things?
While Nokia specialised in candy bar-shaped phones that featured sliding mechanisms back in the day, it did dabble in flip phones, but the 2720 Flip does not harken back to any device in particular.
It also sits between feature phone and smartphone, with it running KaiOS and supporting an App Store, as well as platforms like Google Assistant, YouTube and WhatsApp. That said, it does not come close to the smartphone experience when gets from even the cheapest of Nokia Mobile devices.
Designed for elderly consumers in particular, the Nokia 2720 Flip seems to tick the necessary boxes for those in need of a device that takes care of the basics while tapping into a little nostalgia, but the recommended price tag of R1 399 is a bit of a red flag.
Having spent two weeks with the device, here are our thoughts on whether the Nokia 2720 Flip is worth picking up.
We must admit that unboxing the 2720 Flip was fairly exciting. It was not on the level of say a flagship phone, but does pique your interest as to what HMD Global has chosen to package within the device.
There is also something to be said of the clamshell design and flipping the phone open and closed that is oddly satisfying.
The design of the phone is also quite eye catching, thanks to how simple it is. Swathed in black, with reflective and matte plastic elements throughout, there is a touch of futurism in it, but once you power the phone on, all the pain points of feature phones of yesteryear come flooding back.
The KaiOS operating system running things here is serviceable, but won’t impress those who are more familiar with smartphones.
The button layout is also a little vexing, with the trio of buttons used for navigation and calling located either side of the central pad being group a little too close to together for out pork sausage-like digits. As such, we pressed the incorrect button on more than one occasion.
If this is indeed designed for the elderly, they too might find it vexing.
Despite looking great and being simple enough to operate, the charm during the unboxing phase will likely were off quickly for most, as the shortcomings of the device weighed against the backdrop of its price will begin to show.
Examples of this are the 2.8″ display, which simply does not seem large enough. You can adjust the size of text depending on the quality of your vision, but much like a smartwatch, there is only so much screen real estate you can sacrifice before things get frustrating.
Added to this is the screen simply not being big enough for apps like YouTube. Yes, the addition of 4G support means videos play with little buffering, but the thick black borders on top and below the video makes content difficult to discern and ruins the viewing experience.
The same goes for the rear camera, which is expectedly small at 2MP and yields unimpressive images. We understand that a feature phone can also deliver so much, but given the quality of the images we captured, it may not even be worth the effort snapping.
Where the 2720 Flip does shine, however, is battery life. A removable 1 500mAh unit is present, which delivers up to 14 days standby time when running on 4G.
We fully charged the phone upon receiving it for review and have not had to recharge in the two week review period, which backs up HMD Global’s claims.
The addition of the aforementioned 4G support, as well as dual SIM functionality are worth shouting out too, especially for savvy consumers who want to mix and match with networks over voice and data contracts.
Despite its sleek design and nostalgic feel, the shortcomings of the Nokia 2720 Flip are difficult to stomach given the phone costs R1 399.
The device may be intended for consumers who do not need bells and whistles, but easy to setup smartphones are also available at that price point. There are even Nokia options available for less, such as the C1 2nd Edition, so the cost of the 2720 Flip becomes even more difficult to justify.
The nostalgia of the phone was nice for a short while, but as a daily driver, the Nokia 2720 Flip is too expensive to recommend.
Nokia 2720 Flip
For a feature phone with some smart elements, the Nokia 2720 Flip ensures that all the boxes are ticked, while also leaning on a sleek design that evokes some nostalgia too. Is that worth R1 399? The simple answer is no, with less expensive smartphones available, some of which are made by HMD Global too.
Cost vs. Utility