The Nokia G21 is an excellent device with a familiar design, high refresh rate, average camera performance, and durable battery life at a relatively low price. It’s a great budget phone with long Android updates guaranteed but will face tighter competition from the best Tecno phones 2022 which all offer similar specs at almost the same price range.
At first glance, the G21 looks like a compelling option with a stock Android experience and 50MP camera which puts it in an awkward spot, alongside the Xiaomi Redmi 10. However, why you’ll be getting a lot of advantages, be ready to sacrifice a lot of flagship hardware features that aren’t available in this smartphone.
Why this might sound like a drawback to you, the Nokia G21 still offers a lot of intriguing features that make it one of the best in the affordable segment. With all the numerous advantages and a few downsides, does the Nokia G21 has what it takes to make it into your gadgets arsenal? Read on for our full review.
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Table of Contents
Nokia G21 Key Specifications
- Display: 6.5-inches IPS LCD, 90Hz
- Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels
- Processor: Unisoc T606
- Front Camera: 8-megapixel
- Rear Camera: 50-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel
- RAM: 3GB /4GB /6GB
- Storage: 64GB /128GB
- Battery Capacity: 5050mAh
- OS: Android 11
Nokia phones are known for having non-flashy looks but are strongly built to withstand any fall. They’ve thick plastic design courtesy of a textured pattern on its rear. Meanwhile, the Nokia G21 is a little grippier but doesn’t feel premium in the hand because of its sturdy look.
On the left side is a Google assistant button with the fingerprint reader and power button directly on its opposite side. Meanwhile, the SIM tray and volume rocker are opposite each other just above. Moving down to the bottom is a USB-C port with a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. Furthermore, the Nokia G21 has Nordic Blue and Dusk colour options which gave it a modernized look.
As the competition raced towards higher refresh rates, Nokia is no longer stuck at 60Hz but moved to a higher 90Hz which feels smooth and more responsive. Unfortunately, the brightness level continues to be poor and struggles to remain usable under sunshine.
The Nokia G21 has a 6.5-inch display that’s large enough for social media, web browsing, and reading. However, it has a low 720 × 1600 pixels resolution that’s a little too low for the screen which makes it looks as if you’re looking through an additional panel of glass. Also, the poor contrast, lack of HDR, and watched-out colours made the G21 look like an entry-level old phone.
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One area where Nokia never fail to impress us is the camera department. Nokia smartphones tend to have OIS with larger sensors, especially their Lumia models. However, present-day Nokia phones have frittered away that legacy.
The Nokia G21 offers a total of four camera sensors with one upfront and three at the back. The rear is headed by a 50MP primary shooter, flanked by a 2MP macro lens, and another 2MP depth sensor. Upfront is a 2MP selfie camera that works well enough on video calls but lacks details when it matters most.
Performance is lousy with watched-out colors and poor contrast images. Also, the lack of dynamic range and poor focus makes the camera ghost away from moving subjects. Night mode shots are particularly poor with lots of grain. It’s quite unfortunate that Nokia fails to make a better camera smartphone despite having been in the industry for years. However, if you want a similarly priced phone with better camera performance, consider going for the Xiaomi Redmi 10 2022.
Performance, Storage, and Software
As disappointing as this might sound, we prefer having a MediaTek chipset instead of an unknown Unisoc T606 entity that’s on the Nokia G21. This is an eight-core processor made using 12nm technology that’s paired with 4GB RAM by default. Unfortunately, the processor is a poor performer which you’ll expect a solid result if you’re only using it for web browsing, reading, scrolling social media feeds, etc.
Similar to most mid-range phones, playing high-end games is totally out of context, but the likes of PUGB and Asphalt 9 can play at dropped frame rate. While the added 64GB and 128GB built-in storage might seem enough, you can add 512GB of storage memory via an SDcard.
The Nokia G21 runs on a stock version of Android 11 out of the box and should be able to run the latest Android 12. Fortunately, Nokia phones are guaranteed up to 3 years of major Android software updates which makes them unique. The Android 11 software offers a clean bloatware-free experience and comes with a lot of customization options.
Nokia G21 Review: Battery Capacity and Charging
The Nokia G21 is powered by a 5050mAh battery that easily lasts for 48-hour on moderate use. However, on heavy use like streaming videos online, checking emails, gaming, and a couple of calls, we end up having a 30% battery life after a day. If you’re a type that constantly uses your phone or travels a lot, you’ll find the Nokia G21 helpful.
When it comes to charging, you’re getting an 18W fast charging support that regularly stays at 10W. Unfortunately, there’s no charger included in the box which we’re disappointed at even when most mid-range phones have it.
Nokia G21 Review: Price in Nigeria and Availability
The Nokia G21 starts selling at ₦88,000 (roughly $145) for the 4GB of RAM with a 128GB storage variant. Meanwhile, you can get the 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage variant for a retail price of ₦98,000 (about $161). At this price, the G21 is at the same price segment as the Xiaomi Redmi 10C (₦87,000), but below the selling price of the Poco C40 (₦107,000), and above that of the Redmi 10A (₦55,000).
As for availability, the Nokia G21 was officially released on February 15, 2022, and has since been available for purchase at any reputable online and offline stores in Nigeria and beyond.
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Nokia G21 Full Specifications
- Brand: Nokia
- Model: G21
- Release Date: February 15 2022
- Weight: 190g
- Colours: Nordic Blue, Dusk
- Touchscreen: YES
- Type: IPS LCD, 90Hz
- Display Size: 6.5-inch
- Screen Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels
- Facelock Support: YES
- In-display fingerprint scanner: No
- Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted)
- Dimensions: 164.6 x 75.9 x 8.5 mm (6.48 x 2.99 x 0.33 in)
- Operating System: Android 11
- Chipset: Unisoc T606 (12 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2×1.6 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.6 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Mali-G57 MP1
- RAM: 3GB/4GB /6GB
- Inbuilt Storage: 64GB /128GB
- SD Card slot: Yes (dedicated slot)
- Rear Flash: LED Flash
- Rear Camera: 50-MP f/1.8 (wide), 2-MP (depth), 2-MP (macro)
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Front Camera: 8-MP f/2.0 (wide)
- Front Flash: –
- Wi-Fi: YES
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- USB: MicroUSB Type-C 2.0, USB On-the-go
- GPS: YES
- WLAN: Yes
- SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Technology: GSM / HSPA / LTE
- 3G Support: Yes
- 4G/ LTE Support: Yes
- 5G Support: No
- Speed: HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps
- Capacity: Li-Po 5050mAh, non-removable
- Fast Charge: 18W
- Price in Nigeria: ₦88,000
- Price in the US: $145