Nokia G42 Press
Source: HMD Global

Following up the Nokia G22 from earlier this year, Nokia is out with another easily-repaired phone with the new G42. It's not a barn-burner of a smartphone, with fairly basic specs that are a step up from the G22‚ though this time it adds in 5G support. And at £199 for its UK launch this week (and €229 later in other parts of Europe) this Android phone is aiming for affordable. For that you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 Plus processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage space — all running Android 13.

But all of that isn't really the big deal here. The fact that HMD focused on making another easy-to-repair Nokia phone is what matters. They again partnered with longtime repair tools provider iFixit to make spare parts available, and are focusing on four key components that were made to be easy enough to swap out (and the most likely to be damaged): the screen, back cover, battery, and USB-C port. iFixit will have parts available for the next five years. Nokia's not making big promises with software, though, only pledging to deliver the next two major Android OS updates and three years of security updates.

It's not quite the Fairphone and you'll need some tools to get into the phone and swap out these parts (which iFixit will supply).

Nokia Ifixit Repairing Press
Source: HMD Global

This designed-in repairability is a trend I hope catches on, especially with how easy HMD has made it with these two Nokia phones. It only takes a few basic tools to get the phone open and start replacing parts, and in doing so can dramatically and cheaply extend the life of the phone without having to resort to more expensive repair shops. There are compromises, of course. Designing for ease of repair means components can't be as tightly packed and waterproofing is significantly harder to pull off thanks to adhesive seals and gaskets.

That aside, it's great that HMD has demonstrated that this level of repairability is functionally viable and hopefully even commercially viable for even a company of their size and not just a gimmick. And by bringing it first to their more affordable offerings they're providing a path to technological longevity for price-conscious customers that may have grown accustomed to their cheaper phones crapping out not long after purchase. The world needs more of this.

Read more