Nokia 2720 Flip review: proof you can’t opt out of the smartphone generation

If you ’ re badly considering buying a feature call like the Nokia 2720 Flip in 2019 then I think you ’ re likely to be one of three kinds of people. Either you live or work in the develop world, where smartphones sometimes aren ’ thymine a practical option, you ’ re the kind of person who thrives on nostalgia for a simple prison term, or else you ’ re trying to do a “ digital detox, ” and decrease the sum of prison term you seem to waste staring at screens every day .
It ’ s these latter two groups that HMD has been pitching its retro-styled feature of speech phones at for a couple of years now. Two years ago it produced an update translation of the iconic 3310, and last year it remade the 8110, the “ banana earphone ” similar to the model used in the original Matrix movie .
The dispute with this year ’ second £89.99 Nokia 2720 Flip is that, for the first time, it actually has most of the apps and services you need in a telephone in 2019. Yes, you ’ ll be accessing them on an absolutely bantam 2.8-inch display and typing into them with a basic T9 keyboard, but basically you won ’ triiodothyronine be cut out of your WhatsApp conversations, you won ’ t have to be without e-mail, and you won ’ thyroxine even have to go without Google Maps. They ’ re all technically here .
But the thing is, you ’ d have to have the solitaire of a canonize to actually use these services on a device arsenic limited as this. Maps and emails take everlastingly to load, and WhatsApp messages take an age to manually type out. You might not be fully cut off from the modern universe, but the limited hardware these apps are running on means that, for all intents and purposes, you basically are.

Our review of
Nokia 2720 Flip

Verge Score


out of 10

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Good Stuff

  • Neat design
  • Compatible with WhatsApp and many Google apps
  • Multiday battery life

Bad Stuff

  • Typing on a T9 keyboard is worse than you remember
  • Struggles to multitask
  • It really is a feature phone

It ’ s a little hard to review a feature telephone like the Nokia 2720 Flip, because it ’ s so obviously not trying to compete with any smartphone on the grocery store. It ’ second got a bantam screen with a resolution of just 240 adam 320, a 2-megapixel camera ( there ’ s no selfie television camera ), a dual-core 1.1GHz CPU, and merely 512MB of inner storage. It can connect to both 4G LTE networks and Wi-Fi, and it ’ sulfur got Bluetooth for connecting to your wireless headphones .
Since HMD is pitching the Nokia 2720 Flip as the kind of call you ’ vitamin d use for a “ digital detox, ” it seems merely fairly to evaluate it on these terms. In other words, can this phone do the basic things you need a communication device to do, without constantly distracting you like a smartphone ?
You ’ ll find many popular apps preinstalled on the Nokia 2720 Flip. There are Google apps like YouTube, Maps, and Assistant, and you ’ ll besides find Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp ( but no Instagram, Messenger, or Spotify ). On composition, its apps binding most of the functionality you ’ five hundred need from an everyday phone. however, fair because a earphone has these apps, this doesn ’ thyroxine mean that they work the way you ’ re used to .

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Take WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned messaging app international relations and security network ’ thymine impossible to use on the Nokia 2720 Flip. All the WhatsApp group chats that I ’ m a member of seemed to work just fine, and barring one occasion where person tried to send me their live localization, the app seemed to support most of the service ’ s main functionality .
But trust me, trying to type out WhatsApp messages on a T9 keyboard is infinitely frustrating, and it affected my ability to communicate with people in ways I hadn ’ thyroxine anticipated. Unless you ’ rhenium will to spend a lot of time typing, you ’ ll find that your messages will start to get fabulously shortstop and blunt. Group chats with more than a couple of participants will become about impossible to respond to once messages start coming in more cursorily .
Using WhatsApp with a T9 keyboard feels like running in a rush where you ’ re the only person wearing star boots. Everyone else is firing off messages cursorily on their touch screen keyboards, but you ’ rhenium struggling to get your first message station. It was fine back in the ‘ 90s when everyone was in the same position, but in 2019 you risk coming off as uncommunicative, blunt, or a short natural, when your messages are angstrom short circuit as they ’ ll be when typed out on this telephone .
You can mitigate this issue slightly by relying on your voice rather than the T9 keyboard to send messages. Either you can send WhatsApp part memos as you would on a regular smartphone, or else you can hold the choice button, wait for the Google Assistant to activate, and then dictate a written message. This moment work can take a good few seconds to complete ( meaning it ’ s not great at sending a message quickly ), but the command accuracy was about angstrom good as you ’ five hundred expect from Google Assistant. Neither are big options if you ’ re in public and don ’ thymine want to talk out loud to your earphone .

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It ’ s a alike floor when it comes to the telephone ’ s Twitter node, or web browser, or e-mail app, or calendar, or Google Maps app. Yes, it has these things, but these are all apps that are basically optimized for touchscreens and for processors that are an order of magnitude faster than the 2720 ’ s. You have to have a huge sum of solitaire to browse the web with the T9 keyboard or watch YouTube on this telephone ’ second basic dual-core central processing unit. Using Google Maps works in a pilfer, but you have to be prepared for it to take a good hour or so to go through the laboriously slow process of getting some directions.

Agree to Continue: Nokia 2720 Flip

Every chic device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It ’ s impossible for us to read and analyze every individual one of these agreements. But we started counting precisely how many times you have to hit “ agree ” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don ’ t read and decidedly can ’ thymine negotiate .
For the Nokia 2720, you ’ re going to need to agree to terms and conditions for the manufacturer of the phone and the call ’ second operating arrangement .

  • HMD’s global privacy policy
  • The KaiOS EULA

In addition, there ’ south one jell of terms from Google you ’ ll have to agree to .

  • Google Assistant’s terms of use

Final count : three mandate agreements .
If you ’ re prepared to put in the attempt, then you can make the telephone do the things you need it to do. One time I managed to use the telephone to listen to an episode of a podcast, but it was alone because I had the foresight to download the MP3 file onto my personal computer and then transfer it into the phone ’ s internal memory. even then, however, I lost my locate in the podcast when I hopped out of the media player to respond to a WhatsApp message .
Some of these limitations can be overcome by carrying more gorge around with you, like we used to. When I went away for the weekend with the Nokia 2720 Flip as my only telephone, I took a Kindle, a standalone camera, and a Nintendo Switch with me. There was something nice about this. I played better games, I took courteous photograph, and I didn ’ triiodothyronine receive distracted as a lot while I did some take .
But the telephone easily over-emphasizes how many apps you use on a casual basis without realizing it. This was my biggest takeaway from using the Nokia 2720 Flip. It doesn ’ t have any appraiser apps, for example, so I had to use my smartphone to get the six-digit 2FA code to log into my Google account as I was setting up the phone. My bank doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate produce a KaiOS version of its app, so I had to use my old telephone to generate a security code to log into my on-line bank account. There ’ second no password management app, and you can forget about using this telephone to hail an Uber .
so a batch of the time I merely had to carry my smartphone with me, or hazard not having access to full of life information throughout the course of a work day. I had my SIM card installed in the Nokia, meaning my smartphone didn ’ t have internet unless I was on Wi-Fi, but I even had it with me as a backing, and honestly it was a lifeguard. One time, I was struggling to get into a company ’ s build for a meet because its intercommunication system system wasn ’ thyroxine working, and I didn ’ t have their contact information saved in my contacts list. Without my smartphone it would have been a nightmare to find their call count in my emails .

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As you ’ five hundred expect for a feature call, the Nokia 2720 Flip has longer barrage life than most smartphones, although I ’ d be lying if I said I hadn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate expected slightly more from it. I found I had to charge the phone once every couple of days. That ’ s a lot better than the single day you ’ ll get out of the modal smartphone, and you could credibly tease more out of it if you don ’ triiodothyronine set your emails to automatically sync every five minutes as I did .
Using a feature phone in 2019 ends up being a very isolate experience
If you ’ re truly looking to do a digital detox, then the Nokia 2720 Flip technically delivers on its promises. You can get by. You can spend ages painstakingly typing out your WhatsApp messages, you can slowly keep path of your emails as they come in, and you can download your favored podcast as an MP3 file on your calculator and then manually move it to the Nokia ’ s internal memory .
You can technically do all these things, but I want to stress that the bangle of doing them on a feature call wears thin truly quickly. No sum of pleasure at being able to snap your earphone closed at the end of a call call will make up for the odd sense of isolation at not being able to participate in a group WhatsApp conversation like you used to.

You think you can put up with these limitations because the last time you were forced to do so was when everyone else was limited by precisely the like engineering. But in 2019 that ’ s no longer the case, and a much as I hate to say it, I fair don ’ thyroxine think it ’ s possible to opt out of the smartphone earned run average anymore once you ’ ve embraced it, and that makes relying on a have telephone like the Nokia 2720 Flip a pretty isolating experience .
photography by Jon Porter / The verge
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