A recent low-cost smartphone from HMD Global is the Nokia G21. It guarantees a three-day battery life and two years of Android OS updates. Additionally, the G21 has a high refresh rate display, which is becoming standard in the sub-Rs. 15,000 price range. With companies like Redmi, Realme, and Samsung continuously vying to outdo one another, the rivalry in this market is intensifying. In order to appeal to purists, the Nokia G21 is heavily relying on its Android One origins and large battery capacity. So, if you’re on a limited budget, should you think about the Nokia G21? Here is my evaluation.
In India, the base model of the Nokia G21 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage costs Rs. 12,999. The cost of the other model, which has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, is Rs. 14,999. The Nokia G21 is available from HMD Global in two colours: Nordic Blue and Dusk, a brown.
The Nokia G21 feels a little dated in comparison to other inexpensive smartphones, which frequently have glossy back panels with gradient designs. Like the rest of the phone, it has a textured back panel made of plastic. This texture makes it easier to avoid fingerprints. A case is also included in the box from HMD Global. The Nokia G21’s rear conceals a rectangular camera module. at the barely noticeable upper left corner.
The SIM tray and a dedicated Google Assistant button are located on the Nokia G21’s opposite side. The USB Type-C connector and the 3.5mm audio jack are located at the bottom of the device. The Nokia G21 has a 6.5-inch screen with an HD+ resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. It sports the dewdrop notch, which is still typical of phones in this price category, at the top. The display has a substantial bottom chin as well.
The Nokia G21’s specs are basic. It is powered by an entry-level, octa-core 4G SoC called the Unisoc T606 SoC, which has six ARM Cortex-A55 efficiency cores and two ARM Cortex-A75 performance cores. These cores are all clocked at 1.6GHz. The HD+ display on the Nokia G21 boasts a refresh rate of 90Hz and a maximum brightness of 400 nits. An exclusive microSD card slot allows for storage expansion.
Three satellite navigation systems, NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi ac, and Bluetooth 5 are all supported. The device has a 5,050mAh battery that supports rapid charging at up to 18W, however HMD Global includes a 10W charger in the package.
The Android 11-powered Nokia G21 is a member of the Android One programme, thus it comes with pure Android and a two-year update guarantee. Being unable to immediately use Android 12, which is what the majority of manufacturers now provide, is still a little disheartening. The May 2022 Android security patch was installed on my device. Although the UI is mostly tidy, I did discover preloaded programmes like ExpressVPN, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Spotify. The ability to
Performance and Battery Life
For the price, the Nokia G21 delivers performance that is adequate. It worked flawlessly with both commonplace apps and casual gaming. However, it did take longer for some of the more complicated games and apps to load. The 6GB RAM model I had allowed for basic multitasking, but the 4GB variant lacked a RAM expansion function that would have been useful. For authentication, the side-mounted fingerprint scanner worked quickly. The HD+ resolution display’s quality was only mediocre. Given that full-HD+ screens are widespread in this market, for some people, this may be a deal breaker.
Benchmark results confirmed my usage. The Nokia G21 only received 198,068 points in AnTuTu, while in the single-core and multi-core tests of Geekbench 5, it earned 306 and 1221 points, respectively. The T-Rex and Car Chase test suites of the graphics benchmark GFXBench yielded 34 and 8.8 frames per second, respectively.
The Nokia G21 shines when it comes to battery life. At least with my average usage, it can easily surpass the two-day mark thanks to the economical SoC and the huge battery. The Nokia G21 performed admirably, lasting 20 hours and 4 minutes on our HD video loop test. Sadly, the phone only charged to 23 percent in a half-hour and up to 45 percent in an hour due to the sluggish charging capabilities of the included 10W charger. The battery took over two hours to completely charge.
The Nokia G21 has a triple camera arrangement on the back. Its cameras have a combined 50 megapixels, 2 megapixels for macro, and 2 megapixels for depth. It sports an 8-megapixel camera for selfies. There are several shooting modes available in the simple camera app. Photos taken with the 50-megapixel main camera are by default pixel-binned to 12.5 megapixels.
The performance of low-light cameras was only ordinary. Although the photographs included distinguishable objects, the darkest portions of the frame lacked definition. It took more than six seconds to snap a picture in night mode, during which I had to remain motionless to prevent any blur in the result. Night mode did, however, assist offer a brighter image with greater details.
Both in the sun and in low light, selfies were passable. Those taken in portrait orientation demonstrated accurate edge recognition and successfully blurred the backdrop. For the back camera, the Nokia G21’s maximum video resolution was 1080p. It was not stabilised, thus the video was jittery. An ultra-wide-angle camera may have given the G21’s camera performance a little more variety. Overall, the camera performance of the G21 was just ordinary.
|No of cores
|8 (octa core)
|Nordic Blue, Dusk
|720 x 1600 pixels
|Yes, Capacitive, Multi-Touch
|Rear camera setup
|50MP(Primary), 2MP(Secondary), 2(Tertiary)
|8 MP Resolution
|LED Rear flash
|1920×1080 @ 30 fps
|Auto FlashAuto FocusFace detectionTouch to focus
|Battery Type and capacity
|Li-Polymer, 5050 mAh
|Yes, 18 W
|Internal memory type
|64 GB, eMMC 5.1
|Yes with A-GPS
|Light SensorProximity SensorAccelerometerCompassGyroscope
The Nokia G21 is an Android One phone that offers a pure Android experience and comes with the assurance of yearly software upgrades. It has good build quality and long-lasting batteries for everyday use. Given its positive attributes, the Nokia G21 ought to be appealing to a casual user who favours a straightforward and uncluttered Android experience. Despite that, I must admit that I’m unhappy that the G21 comes with Android 11 rather than 12. The Nokia G21 may be a little weak for hardcore users. The cameras didn’t live up to my expectations either.
|1 Year Manufacturer Warranty
|2 years Extended Warranty from the GoWarranty for the Nokia G21 phones