The Aspera Nitro 2 provides yet another handset that outshines its price tag

The Australian-owned mobile brand Aspera has prided itself on providing exceptional value to customers, amid the rising cost of living. We’ve reviewed some of their previous models in the past like the AS5 and AS8, and have come away rather surprised at the amount of features they’ve managed to pack into handsets that will cost you under A$200. The Nitro 2 strikes yet again, providing another value-packed handset at the low price of A$179.

The Aspera Nitro 2 isn’t going to blow anyone away. It’s far from one of the most powerful phones on the market, and its camera quality is nothing to write home about. But for those looking for an everyday option to tick those basic boxes, the Aspera Nitro 2 might just be the handset for you.

Design & Screen

The Aspera Nitro 2 stands as one of the larger phones in their lineup, with a 6.6-inch HD+ display. It’s available in both Black and Pearl colourways, the latter of which we got to test out for this review. The plastic finish around the back isn’t necessarily detrimental to the overall design, and I like the reflective finish, which reminds me a little of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Aura Glow colour.

The larger size might feel a little too big for some used to a smaller phone, as this stands in line with some of the larger phones out there in general. But for the sake of browsing and streaming, I find it comes in handy. Around the left-hand side of the phone, you’ll only find the sim tray, complete with dual-sim and SD card compatibility, with everything else pretty much reserved for the right side. Over there, you’ll find a standard lock button, along with a volume rocker. Down below, you’ll find the USB-C port, along with a single speaker and headphone jack, the latter of which is always nice to see.

The screen itself is decent, providing a 6.6-inch HD+, IPS, 60Hz display. It’s certainly fine for browsing, streaming and scrolling, but its overall peak brightness falters in brighter outdoor environments. It’s not a dealbreaker though, as I’ve personally tested a few way more expensive phones with displays as bright as this. The bezels feel sleek enough around the edges, but I would be lying if the chin of the phone was a little larger by today’s standards. I understand these feel like nitpicks more than crucial criticisms, but they’re worth mentioning nonetheless.

Around the back, both the dedicated fingerprint sensor and camera module are tucked away in the left-hand corner. While the camera module is quite large, I still felt as though the placement of the fingerprint sensor was a little too close to the camera lenses, as I found myself reaching around and putting fingerprints all over the lenses, before I found the sensor. This obviously subsided over time as I got used to the phone, but it happened more than I’d like to admit at first.

Performance & Functionality

The Nitro 2’s general performance is fine, but not great. The 1.6GHz octa-core processor comes with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The storage feels acceptable for this price, but I feel as though the 3GB of RAM doesn’t help with multitasking, as the device chugs a little when multiple background apps are open. The Nitro 2 is much cheaper than other entry-level devices, but it’s worth noting here that those devices are even moving away from 4GB of RAM, so this feels like it’s a little behind in that department.

Scrolling and browsing feel fine for the most part, and the screen is also fairly responsive. That being said, the phone itself is pretty much made for everyday use and not much more, mainly due to that 1.6GHz octa-core processor. You might find that games work here, but they won’t work particularly well. Please, don’t even try to get something like Call of Duty: Mobile running on here. But I must also stress, that the device isn’t really flaunting its specs in that way, and packs in more important features that are suited to everyday use, which we’ll get into now.

Right out of the box, you’ll find features like facial recognition and fingerprint unlocking for an added layer of security. The fingerprint method works relatively well, but facial recognition can take a second or two to get rolling and doesn’t really work well in low-light environments. The Nitro 2 also comes equipped with NFC, making it feel incredibly relevant in a world where most people’s cards and payment methods now reside on their mobile devices. Given you used to have to slip into the mid-range and premium markets for such features, it’s nice to know that Aspera are willing to go the extra mile and even provide these features in a device this cheap in the first place.

The 5000mAh battery and USB-C charging are also a huge advantage. You’re pretty much going to get a full day’s use out of the Nitro 2, and then some into the next day. While it’s always nice when phones come with charging adapters and cases, the Nitro 2 comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable, which admittedly feels a little dated.

The only real downside to the whole experience is the speaker. The Nitro 2 unfortunately lacks stereo speakers, instead relying on the single speaker located at the bottom of the phone. It’s not great. It’s not that loud, and most media sounds tinny, lacking any real depth and bass. I understand that we’re dealing with an entry-level phone, but if you’re buying this primarily for streaming, this might present itself as a real issue.

Call quality is generally fine, and while the phone only supports 4G, it’s safe to say it will remain relevant for years to come. It’s also running the Go Edition of Android 13, meaning it’s been stripped down for more basic smartphones, but does come with less bloatware out of the box.

Overall, the Nitro 2 is a decent everyday driver, that’s let down only really by its sound quality. You could say it doesn’t run particularly well in certain situations, but I stress once again, that the Aspera Nitro 2 only really benefits the everyday user.


Much like the Aspera AS8, the camera is fine, but not great. You’ll find a rear 13MP lens and a front 8MP lens, which get the job done if you’re only taking the occasional photo. The rear camera also allows for up to 4X zoom, and while an admirable attempt, does leave images looking quite grainy. The autofocus feature does a decent job at zoning in on your intended target, but you’re better off shooting in the right light or avoiding night shots altogether, as opposed to relying on these features. The additional 14 scene modes do little to improve the quality either.

The front 8MP lens fares a little better but still leaves images feeling washed and grainy, which is highlighted by the fact that no real AI processing is going into the finished product once you’ve taken your shot.

Overall, it’s a fine option for snapping shots at random, but I wouldn’t really be relying on this to produce anything dramatic. If you could spare the extra cash, you would be better off looking at a Samsung A05s, if camera quality is your priority on a lower budget.

Verdict & Value

Overall, the Aspera Nitro 2 does a fine job of providing everyday users with basic smartphone needs when out on the go. The facial and fingerprint recognition are a nice touch, while NFC and dual-sim compatibility really drive home the value.

While the speaker and camera quality falters in places, I can’t deny the incredible value the Nitro 2 packs in for just A$179. Sure, you could stretch the budget slightly to Samsung and OPPO, for slightly better performance and camera quality, but I was continuously and pleasantly surprised with the Nitro 2.


Highlights: Packed with features; Solid design and display; Fingerprint and facial recognition works well enough; NFC and dual-sim compatibility; Solid battery life
Lowlights: Camera is average at best; Single speaker doesn’t sound great
Price: A$179

Review based on unit supplied by Aspera and available now via their official website.

Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @sirchunkee, or at the Dagobah System, chilling with Luke and Yoda.