Monday, March 27, 2023

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The Nokia G21 is a smartphone with a number of huge weaknesses and solely actually its good endurance in its favour. The show has a excessive refresh charge however poor brightness and low decision, its processor struggles to maintain up, and its digicam produces poor outcomes.


  • Nice battery life
  • Lengthy software program updates
  • Sturdy construct high quality


  • Mono speaker
  • Digicam produces poor outcomes
  • Underwhelming show


  • UKRRP: £149.99
  • USARRP: $319
  • EuropeRRP: €184.99

  • Big batteryThe 5050mAh cell delivers robust endurance, particularly when paired with the low-end processor. There’s additionally 18w charging, in the event you present a charger

  • Clear software programNokia does little or no with Google’s model of Android, so don’t count on a number of bloatware right here


The Nokia of 2022 is a unique beast than that emerged from the ashes of its predecessor in 2017. The place as soon as the agency was in search of to reclaim previous glories with flashy flagship gadgets, within the current the main focus is squarely on worth choices, smartphones that don’t problem the pockets, or perceptions, in any method.

Inside this context, the G21 may be very a lot a Nokia cellphone of 2022 – which is to say that it boasts a well-known design, the promise of lengthy updates, a seemingly weak processor, and a comparatively low price ticket.

It arrives amid ever tighter competitors from the competing best cheap phones and best mid-range phones, which all provide extra impressively kitted out choices for related or lower cost factors.

Is Nokia’s formulation a profitable one?  Does the G21 do sufficient to interrupt out and set up itself as worthy of a spot in your pocket? Learn on for our full assessment.

Design and Display screen

  • Thick plastic design
  • Flat display screen with a notch
  • Sturdy construct high quality

If there’s just one factor to remove from the design of recent Nokia smartphones, it’s the emphasis that the agency locations on utilitarian sturdiness. None of its current releases will win any awards for his or her appears to be like, however every appears to be like like a fall would dent the pavement moderately than trigger any harm to the gadget itself.

The Default home screen on the Nokia G21
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In comparison with the competitors, the Nokia G21 is a bit of thicker and a bit of grippier courtesy of a textured sample on its rear. It won’t really feel significantly premium within the hand, however that is definitely one of many few smartphones accessible at current that doesn’t really feel as if it requires a case.

It definitely doesn’t stand out towards the competitors, or certainly its brethren, nonetheless. Obtainable in solely two moderately boring color choices, it misses out on the chance to point out any sort of character. In contrast to the likes of Realme with its GT 2, which is experimenting with new designs and textures, Nokia’s strategy is totally conservative.

The image sours considerably when trying on the show. Because the competitors has raced in the direction of ever increased refresh charges, till lately Nokia has doggedly caught to 60Hz panels; the G21 being the cellphone to interrupt its self-imposed mould. Its panel refreshes at 90Hz and feels clean consequently, however that is the place the optimistic components finish.

Brightness is especially poor, with the G21 struggling to stay usable even in reasonable sunshine, and at 720p the decision is a bit of too low for the dimensions of the panel at 6.5 inches. Colors are washed out and distinction is poor – this is among the lowest-quality shows I’ve seen in a smartphone panel in a while.

That is an space the place the competitors has solely upped its sport, and as a consequence the G21 seems like an vintage, an anachronous entry from 5 years in the past, moderately than a contemporary price range smartphone.

Close up of the Nokia G21's display
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  • 4 foremost digicam modules
  • Essential sensor has 50 megapixels
  • Scene optimisation lively by default

If there’s one space the place Nokias of yore have been really identified to excel, it was in digicam efficiency. The likes of the Lumia line blazed the way in which with bigger sensors, optical picture stabilisation and extra in smartphones – and it’s unlucky to have seen the Nokia of the current day burn up that legacy.

The G21 affords 4 digicam modules, to go for the all-important “Quad-cam” designation. Sadly, all of them produce poor outcomes. 

Back shot of the Nokia G21, showing its cameras and solid casing

The first sensor on the rear is a 50-megapixel effort, with an aperture of f/1.8. It’s flanked by a 2-megapixel macro sensor, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a selfie snapper with fastened focus and eight megapixels to its title. 

As alluded to above, efficiency, on the entire, is awful. Pictures from the principle sensor exhibit poor distinction, washed-out colors, egregious over-sharpening, ghosting from transferring topics, processing aberrations and a preponderance of noise. Once more, whereas the competitors solely improves, the G21 seems like a smartphone from years previous with its picture processing.

Zoomed in shot of some flowers from the Nokia G21
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Notably regarding is the shortage of dynamic vary; highlights are blown with worrying regularity in even reasonable situations. Understandably, this solely worsens at night time, with even the included Evening mode failing to assist fight grain and blurriness. 

As is ever the case, the included fixed-focus 2-megapixel macro module produces outcomes match solely to be discarded instantly, whereas the selfie digicam suffers from lots of the identical points as the principle sensor, with its fixed-focus solely compounding its issues. When you worth digicam efficiency you’ll need to pay a bit extra and go for the Pixel 4a.

Low light shot from the Nokia G21
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Wide shot from the Nokia G21
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Standard shot from the Nokia G21
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  • Runs a Unisoc T606
  • Comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage by default
  • Runs slowly

An attention-grabbing, clearly cost-saving, technique employed by Nokia throughout the previous 12 months has been to standardise the processors included in its smartphones. Many launched in 2021 employed the Snapdragon 490, which was a barely much less highly effective possibility than the norm, however which saved up for probably the most half whereas remaining pretty power-efficient.

Inside this context, the Unisoc chip within the G21 is an unknown entity as regards to efficiency. An eight-core processor made utilizing 12nm fabrication, it’s definitely comparatively fashionable in its design, and paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage by default, it has the identical assets at its disposal because the likes of entries from MediaTek and Snapdragon.

Regardless of the good thing about the doubt, the Unisoc proved to be a poor performer. Whereas it managed to energy by the sunshine Nokia interface with little discernible concern, the second something even remotely was demanded of it, issues started to chug. That is borne out in benchmarking. In Geekbench 5, the gadget achieved a single-core rating of 312 and a multi-core rating of 1168, which locations it beneath the 2018 concern Snapdragon 660 when it comes to energy – not an inspiring efficiency.

This was extra noticeable in gaming, the place even much less intensive titles would recurrently see skipped frames and stutters. Regardless of the concern is with the chip, there are clear issues of software program optimisation at play, too, so the issues could clear up with time.

That the interface doesn’t chug overly is partially as a result of Nokia’s chosen model of Android, which is gentle to say the least. However for the inclusion of some assist apps and the digicam app, there’s nothing else to bathroom down the gadget. That is at the least a bit of assist with the promise of years of software program updates; nonetheless, it does depart the gadget missing character considerably.

As ever, you must solely purchase a cellphone for what it’s moderately than what it may be, and for the second the Nokia G21 feels sluggish and anaemic normally use. It’s superb for checking emails and taking calls, however not far more.

The front camera on the Nokia G21
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Battery Life

  • 5050mAh battery
  • Able to 18W quick charging
  • No charger included

Thus far, the story of the G21 has completely been certainly one of disappointment, so it’s nice then to report a specific success: battery life. A results of the 5050mAh unit included, a power-sipping processor and a low-resolution display screen, I recurrently discovered that with gentle use, the G21 may make it into a 3rd day with out an excessive amount of concern.

The Nokia G21 has a standard USB-C charging port
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That is with the continent-sized caveat that gentle use is all that may be achieved, given the shortage of energy accessible. Regardless, in the event you solely use your smartphone irregularly, it is a gadget that may be capable of hold going and going, and may be of explicit significance to those that journey recurrently consequently.

As for charging, the gadget can cost at as much as 18W however will recurrently keep at 10W, not matching the likes of Realme with 30W+ charging as normal. Notice, too, that there’s no charger included within the field, which is changing into more and more frequent throughout the sector.

Newest offers

Must you purchase it?

You want a multi-day battery life: One of many greatest causes to plump for this cellphone is the robust battery life.

You want good digicam high quality: As you’ll be able to see in our pattern photographs above, the talents of the digicam listed below are poor.

Last Ideas

It’s been stated time and again, however solely turns into extra true with each passing month: the price range smartphone market is enormously aggressive. In 2022, it takes greater than ever earlier than to stay related and stand out – and on stability the Nokia G21 achieves neither.

Pairing a weak digicam, poor efficiency and an underwhelming show for the asking value of £149.99 leaves the G21 feeling like a time-traveller from years previous. Apart from its sturdy construct high quality, promise of lengthy software program updates and nice battery life, it has few qualities to its title.

How we check

We check each cell phone we assessment totally. We use business normal checks to match options correctly and we use the cellphone as our foremost gadget over the assessment interval. We’ll at all times let you know what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to assessment a product.

Examined as foremost cellphone for an prolonged interval

All digicam modes examined in quite a lot of conditions

Examined with artificial benchmarks and actual world use


Does the Nokia include a charger?

Whereas the cellphone can cost at 18w, you’ll want to offer that plug your self as there’s not one included within the field.

Is that this a 5G cellphone?

It is a 4G cellphone, so it received’t help 5G networks or speeds.

Trusted Opinions check knowledge

Geekbench 5 single core

Geekbench 5 multi core





Display screen Dimension

Storage Capability

Rear Digicam

Entrance Digicam

Video Recording

IP score


Quick Charging

Dimension (Dimensions)



Working System

Launch Date


Refresh Price





Acknowledged Energy

Jargon buster


An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a method to specific the capability of batteries, particularly smaller ones in telephones. Typically the upper the mAh, the longer the battery will final however this isn’t at all times the case.

Refresh Price

The variety of occasions the display screen refreshes itself per second.


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