It's a called a smartphone because it has an OS, the os is android and android has a playstore with plenty of apps, sure there should be an audio recording one. Also, it uses android stock, whatever feature it doesn't have, complain to Google.
Nokia does not modify android in any way other than adding their own camera app and the support app. The rest is pure stock android as Google intended it to be. A lot of other phone manufacturers do heavily modify android adding their own apps and customisations, I've had phones like this and some of the features were good, others were what I would consider bloat ware. What I found with some of these phones is you would end up with multiple gallery apps, multiple browsers and a whole load of useless apps all pre installed. For example the whole of the Microsoft office suite along with every social media app, none of which could be uninstalled either to free up space as they were part of the firmware. So what happens is as soon as you log into your Google account, they all update to the latest version, so effectively they are installed twice, once in the firmware and then an updated version in the user space. They eat up nearly all the devices storage leaving your device crippled with no space available for you to use for photos, music or any other apps. So to actually purchase a phone that didn't do this was an absolute godsend. If you look in the playstore you will find you can install alternative contact and phone apps, alternative launchers and customise your phone to get it just how you like it. Their is really no need for the phone manufacturer to do all of this customisation for you, you just install the ones you need to get it how you like it.