Nokia C21 Plus is another new entrant in the smartphone market in the budget segment, tagging along some big claims. At a starting price of Rs 10,299, Nokia is offering a big battery and stock Android user interface. But is it worth spending money on? Read on to dive into my full review of the Nokia C21 Plus with pros and cons to help you with the buying decision.
Nokia C21 Plus Review
The Nokia C21 Plus starts at Rs. 10,299 for the base model with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. We got our hands on the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage model which costs Rs 1,000 more than the base model. And here’s our experience with the smartphone based on thorough testing in daily use.
Before starting with the review, let’s have a quick look at Nokia C21 Plus specifications:
- Display: 6.5 inches LCD HD+
- Build: Polycarbonate
- Thickness and weight: 8.5mm, 191 grams
- OS: Android 11 Go Edition
- Processor: UNISOC SC9863 (28nm)
- RAM and Storage: 3/4 GB RAM and 32/64 GB eMMC 5.1 storage
- Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP, FHD video recording support
- Front camera: 5MP
- Battery and Charging: 5050 mAh, 10W Charging
- Price: Rs. 10,299
You get the following things inside the package of the Nokia C21 Plus:
- Nokia C21 Plus
- Quick start guide
- 10W charger
- Micro USB cable
Nokia C21 Plus: Design and Build
Nokia C21 Plus comes with a polycarbonate unibody design with a textured back for a nice grip. The smartphone is quite slim with 8.55mm thickness and weighs about 189 grams as tested. The textured back not only feels good but also provides a good grip when using the smartphone.
Apart from the texture, the smartphone also got a dual camera setup at the back paired with a single LED flash and a loudspeaker. Then there’s a capacitive fingerprint sensor as well as the Nokia branding at the center. The Power button and volume rockers are provided on the right side of the smartphone and the SIM card tray slot is on the left.
And for the good, Nokia has provided dual SIM slots with a dedicated microSD card slot. If you want more storage, you can expand the same up to 256GB using an external SD card.
The top edge got the 3.5m audio jack which is placed perfectly in my opinion. The bottom edge has the dated micro-USB port for charging and data transfer. The microphone sits at the bottom edge; no secondary mic is provided on the smartphone elsewhLCDl the design and build quality of the Nokia C21 Plus is decent and feels solid, even though made of plastic.
Nokia C21 Plus: Display
Nokia C21 Plus comes with a 6.5 inches LCD display with HD+ (1600×720) resolution and 280PPI pixel density. The display comes with a small notch on the top side for the selfie camera which does look quite outdated. Then we have thick bezels around the display and to top that, there is a significant amount of chin carrying the Nokia branding.
The display gets bright enough at peak brightness and the content is perfectly visible even when using it outdoors. Furthermore, the screen has decent colors and viewing angles leaving not much to complain about here. The smartphone got the Widevine L3 certification which means you can stream Netflix and Amazon Prime at 540p.
The display on the Nokia C21 Plus is decent when it comes to quality but the dewdrop notch makes it look outdated. You can easily get a punch-hole display design these days on smartphones at about a similar price.
Nokia C21 Plus: Performance
The current budget smartphones are doing well, thanks to powerful yet affordable SoCs. However, that’s not the case with the C21 Plus. Here, Nokia is using a 3-year-old processor which comes with 8 cores built on 28nm architecture, while the industry has already advanced to 7nm and 5nm chips.
Paired with it, we got 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC 5.1 internal storage which is a good combination for this price range.
If you believe in numbers then we got that covered too. The phone scores 100,950 in the AnTuTu benchmark. When it comes to gaming, the Call of Duty Mobile runs without any hiccups at Low quality and High frame rate. Whereas Free Fire Max runs smoothly at Max graphics and High frame rates.
The RAM is sufficient to multitask a few apps but the phone starts to struggle when you try multitasking heavy apps with lots of data like social media apps and browsing. The top-end variant gets 64GB storage out of which you get about 55 GB storage free which is sufficient for most use cases.
The dedicated microSD card slot lets you expand the storage up to 256GB. And the fingerprint sensor on the rear works smoothly and unlocks the phone every time without a single miss.
Nokia C21 Plus: Software Experience
Nokia C21 Plus comes with Android 11 Go edition pre-installed with the stock Android user interface which is a plus for a budget smartphone. But at the same time, the OS comes with a lot of bloatware apps that automatically install when you first set up the device. It includes a few games, social media apps, and news apps.
We also experienced app crashing issues when using Twitter which, provided not a performance-related issue, can be fixed easily using a software update. Overall, the software experience is pretty decent if you uninstall these apps from the settings menu.
Nokia C21 Plus: Camera Review
The cameras on the Nokia C21 Plus feel quite weak in this age of multiple-camera smartphones. We get a dual camera setup at the back which includes a 13MP mains sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. It comes with a 5MP selfie camera with features like Portrait, Panorama, and HDR.
The rear and front cameras both can capture 1080p videos at 30 fps but there is no type of stabilization provided on this smartphone.
The camera performance is quite average, as expected. The images lack sharpness and detail, especially in artificial and low light scenarios. The phone also struggles to focus on the subject. The outdoor pictures, on the other hand, provide decent quality and the colors look nice too.
The selfie camera is a 5MP sensor and the results are disappointing here too. The pictures come out to be sub-par and the colors are all over the place. It struggles to capture the natural skin tone and right contrast when there is too much light in the viewfinder.
Overall, the phone has an average set of cameras and is not the right fit for social media freaks. Having said that, people who click very rarely won’t find much to complain about.
Nokia C21 Plus: Battery and Charging
Nokia C21 Plus comes with a 5050 mAh battery which explains the smartphone’s large form factor and weight. It comes with a 10w charger inside the box to top up the battery via the micro USB port.
The smartphone easily provided 8 to 9 hours of screen time which is great. That said, charging takes about 2 hours to top up the smartphone completely from 0 to 100%. Except for the slow charging times, I’m content with the phone’s overall battery backup in daily usage.
Nokia C21 Plus Review: Final Verdict, Pros, and Cons
The Nokia C21 Plus is not built for everyone, especially those who care about gaming and camera quality. But then again, it offers a solid build, easy-to-use software interface, and a long-lasting battery life alongside Nokia’s brand value. This makes it an ideal smartphone for elders or someone who wants a secondary device with a big battery.
- Sturdy build
- Good display
- Big battery
- Dedicated microSD Card Slot
- Outdated design
- Disappointing camera performance
- Dated processor
So that’s our review of the Nokia C21 Plus. Do let us know what you think about it. Check out other reviews linked below, and stay tuned for more such reviews, tech tips and tricks, and guides.
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