Going a digit behind the times, the Nokia G21 arrives in early 2022, attempting to deliver an affordable all-round package with an emphasis on battery life. Taking on the likes of Xiaomi and Realme at their own game is never easy, and Samsung has been putting out aggressive entry-level offerings too, for those that still raise an eyebrow at the usual Chinese brands. So we’re here to find out just how competitive Nokia can be at around €170.
Endurance is the G21’s main goal, with Nokia advertising a three-day battery life in their ‘real-world’ simulation of 5 hours a day of active general use. That’s not inconceivable, given the 5,050mAh capacity, unassuming Unisoc SoC, and modest screen resolution and refresh rate, but we’ll get to battery testing soon enough.
Speaking of the display, the 6.5-inch 720p LCD with a 90Hz refresh rate isn’t out of place on a phone in this price range, though OLEDs can be found, too, which puts it at a disadvantage.
Similarly, the 50MP main camera, in this specific incarnation that’s found on the G21, makes sense for the money even if, again, slightly better hardware can be found elsewhere. More surprising is the omission of an ultrawide camera, any ultrawide camera, which has been a staple even of budget phones in recent years.
The Nokia comes with basic comforts like a dedicated microSD slot and a headphone jack and also has an FM radio receiver built-in – it’s hardly better than a flagship for including all of these, but will make for a smooth transition for someone coming from simpler times.
Nokia G21 specs at a glance:
- Body: 164.6×75.9×8.5mm, 190g; Glass front, plastic frame, plastic back.
- Display: 6.50″ IPS LCD, 90Hz, 400 nits (typ), 720x1600px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 270ppi.
- Chipset: Unisoc T606 (12 nm): Octa-core (2×1.6 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.6 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MP1.
- Memory: 64GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM; eMMC 5.1; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- OS/Software: Android 11.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 28mm, 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, PDAF; Macro: 2 MP; Depth: 2 MP.
- Front camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, (wide).
- Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5050mAh; Fast battery charging 18W, USB Power Delivery 3.0.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); FM radio, RDS; 3.5mm jack.
Nokia G21 unboxing
Unboxing the G21 is not a time-consuming effort – the cardboard box doesn’t contain a lot of stuff. Other than the phone, you’re getting a charger and USB cable, and that’s about it.
The adapter is a basic 10W one, too, so it’s way below the phone’s supported 18W charging capability. Virtually all competitors ship with more powerful chargers and some even out-spec the phones they’re bundled with (the Redmi 10 and its 22.5W adapter vs. 18W charging support).