The Nokia G21 arrives rather less than a 12 months after the G20 got here on the scene. As with different makers, the G-series is dwelling to mid-rangers that concentrate on inexpensive pricing and providing a dependable product quite than going after gimmicks.
The G21 is a herald for a brand new design language for the corporate. Earlier fashions featured a centered round digital camera bump, what was as soon as affectionately referred to as “Oreo”. This mannequin shifts to a rounded rectangle bump that’s tucked into the nook.
It’s not a completely revolutionary design, nevertheless it does really feel like a recent take after a few years with the Oreo look. Sadly, the “let’s attempt one thing new” perspective doesn’t fairly carry over to the remainder of the telephone.
Earlier than stepping into that, we must always give the telephone kudos the place it deserves. HMD has been fairly conservative with its chipset choice. Even the Nokia X100 and G300, that are as excessive as Nokias go lately, use a Snapdragon 480 chipset. The G21 opts for a Unisoc T606. Whereas Unisoc chips don’t benefit from the hype of, say, a Dimensity, this one is kind of competent.
Admittedly, a part of what makes it stand out is that the Nokia G20 had a Helio G35 chipset with eight Cortex-A53 cores. For context, the A53 was introduced in 2012 and was changed by the A55 in 2017. The 2 Cortex-A75 cores within the T606 are additionally from 2017, however they’re “large” cores, providing a lot increased efficiency. Even the six A55 cores which are paired with the A75s are quicker and extra energy environment friendly than their predecessors.
One other constructive is that the 6.5” LCD was upgraded to 90 Hz refresh charge. It does make the UI smoother, which is vital for how briskly a smartphone feels, no matter what benchmarks say. Additionally, the telephone comes with the mandatory Widevine degree to stream Netflix movies in HD, so it is best to see a noticeable enchancment in picture high quality whereas binge watching a brand new present.
We additionally commend HMD for utilizing a triple card slot – that’s sufficient for 2 telephone strains and a reminiscence extension. Plus, there’s a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which makes high-quality, low-latency sound inexpensive on a budget.
That is the place we begin to run out of compliments. The 6.5” show has 720p+ decision, identical as on the G20. A 1080p+ show would have been a very good purpose to advocate this telephone – such shows are all that frequent on this value vary, however there are a number of choices.
Talking of value, the Nokia G21 begins €170, €10 greater than the G20. It is a precarious spot as solely €10-30 extra might purchase you a extra succesful telephone. For instance, a Redmi 10 is €10 extra and it does 90 Hz at 1080p+. A Moto G31 and a Galaxy M21 2021 are in the identical value class they usually have 1080p+ AMOLED panels. You’ll be able to even purchase a 5G telephone for €200 or a bit much less and that’s past the capabilities of the Unisoc T606.
Chances are you’ll level out that the Nokia comes with a clear Android, not like the Galaxy and Redmi (however not not like the Motorola). Certain, however HMD determined to pre-install ExpressVPN and Spotify, which isn’t an amazing look if you happen to’re after purity.
A much bigger concern is that the telephone arrives with Android 11. HMD does promise 2 years of OS upgrades, so this could see Android 13. For instance, the Nokia X10 and X20 launched in June 2021 with Android 11 and had been up to date to 12 in December. If HMD retains up that tempo, the G21 shall be working Android 12 by the top of the 12 months. After which Android 13 subsequent 12 months after which that’s in all probability that. Okay, most telephones on this value vary aren’t working Android 12 but both, nevertheless it doesn’t really feel like HMD has a bonus right here both.
The brand new 50MP digital camera is a spotlight function of the telephone, but there are surprisingly few particulars concerning the sensor and lens. As an alternative, HMD targeted on the Tremendous Decision and Night time Mode options. We’ll take a look at for ourselves how effectively these work, however that may’t distract us sufficient to note what’s lacking.
The Nokia G20 had an ultrawide digital camera – with a 5MP sensor, it wasn’t nice or something, nevertheless it was there. The Nokia G21’s digital camera solely incorporates a macro cam and a depth sensor subsequent to the primary module. We’d take an ultrawide over both (or each) of them any day of the week.
One other not-quite-upgrade is the battery. The 5,050 mAh capability is plentiful and HMD guarantees 3-day battery life. That sounds nice – and it’s, however the G20 had the identical capability and identical promise of lasting 3 days between fees.
The precise improve is that the telephone helps 18W quick charging now (USB Energy Supply 3.0). Nevertheless, it solely ships with a 10W charger, so that you’ll have to produce your individual. It’s fairly probably that you have already got an 18W charger, however then the 10W one will simply sit within the drawer. And if you happen to don’t have an 18W charger, then this isn’t an improve for you (not a free one, anyway).
Relying on the place you reside, the Nokia G21 could look underspecced for its value or it may be one of many few sub-€200 telephones with a strong battery and precise dedication to software program help from the producer. If that’s the case, come again in a bit to see how effectively it carried out in our assessments.