HMD Global, the brand that brought Nokia phones to Vietnam many years ago, does not seem confident to introduce high-end product lines to consumers here. This time, the company has launched a number of low-end entry-level products, including the Nokia C21 Plus.
From the outside, it can be said that the design of previous product lines such as Nokia G20 and Nokia 5.4 no longer has the characteristics. The camera configuration is also just average for its price. What makes the Nokia C21 Plus look like “Nokia” is just the logo on the front and back.
Among the phones that approach and compete with each other, what could make the Nokia C21 Plus the best choice? To help you decide to buy, we will analyze each part of this phone.
Review of Nokia C21 Plus
Design of Nokia C21 Plus
In the first part of this review, we will talk about the part that Nokia C21 Plus can boast. While its design is not too special, the design of the Nokia C21 Plus can still be considered atraktif. The material has not used glass and the like but is still sturdy and durable, just like regular Nokia phones.
Its size is quite large, 8.6mm thickness and 180 grams weight. Some people may find the Nokia C21 Plus to be better able to hold the grip with two hands. Even though it’s made of polycarbonate, the back screen is non-fatiguing, has a landscape pattern that makes it non-smooth and doesn’t cause fingerprints.
On the back, the Nokia C21 Plus has a beautifully designed camera module, fingerprint sensor, and speaker hole – unfortunately the volume is a bit lower, just a small note so it’s not completely covered. Dark blue is, in our opinion, the best color choice, being more visible in specific angles and lighting.
In terms of durability, one phone we reviewed was dropped from a height of 1.5 meters. As a result, there are only a few small scratches on the two corners of the back that are not too prominent, and the color of the bumps is also the same. While the front glass is completely safe without any protection information available and without a screen protector.
If you want to keep the body intact, you can use the soft case included in the Nokia C21 Plus package. But so, the body will become bigger. Oh, also, this phone is IP52 certified, which means dust and water resistant.
Nokia C21 Plus Screen
Switching to the front, the Nokia C21 Plus screen has a rather large size of 6.5 inches. The border around the screen is still wide, especially the lower part that has the Nokia logo. But the screen has a slight curve around the 4 edges, making it easier to grip and use the gest on the screen. At the top, there is a small curve to make space for the front camera.
The screen used on Nokia C21 Plus is IPS type with HD + resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. In the overall look, the colors are slightly fuzzy and the contrast slightly changed when viewed from different viewing angles. Outdoor use is also quite difficult, meaning the screen is not the best in smartphones with the same value of 1.5 million.
Touch accessibility is also not good for those who want to play FPS games, switching between the previous screen and the menu is also not smooth. With the need to watch online videos, HD is not supported. But the main strength is the size and has been tested by us for durability.
HMD Global has designed a total of three cameras for the Nokia C21 Plus, two at the back and one at the front. On the back there is a 13MP f/2.2 main sensor and a depth sensor for portrait effect. Image quality is quite smooth, colors are neutral and can look a bit blurry compared to smartphones of the same value. No night mode, pro mode or watermark.
So, the Nokia C21 Plus camera still cannot meet the needs of taking pictures in low light conditions. Meanwhile, at the front there is a 5MP sensor with a standard viewing angle, enough for video calling on modern platforms. Full photo results from the Nokia C21 Plus camera can be viewed in the album below.
Like other smartphones in comparable value, the video recording quality of Nokia C21 Plus only reaches 1080p 30fps for the rear and 720p 30fps for the front. The result is similar to the image quality, smooth. Plus, there’s no EIS function so the footage will shake. Since there is only one microphone, the area under the camera should be avoided when recording video.
Nokia C21 Plus Features
One of the differences that HMD Global makes when releasing Nokia smartphones is that the operating system does not have many redundant platforms, and supports long-term updates. So how about the Nokia C21 Plus? Unfortunately, it still runs on Android 11 (Go edition) today. While other product lines only support periodic security updates.
There is confirmation if it will be upgraded to Android 12 or Android 13 in the future. The user interface is very simple, similar to the Google Pixel, with minimal background excess. Therefore, it does not take up too much storage space. The smartphone also has a 3.5mm audio jack, but is placed on the top. And as mentioned earlier, the Nokia C21 Plus has support for a fingerprint sensor, which stands out the most from competitors in the same value.
Battery: Nokia C21 Plus uses a 4,000mAh battery. According to the company, this battery can allow the program to work continuously for about 16 hours, and fully charge in about 2 hours. However, in practice, will depend on the usage of the user. In some cases, additional charging may be required during the day.
This is the part we are most interested in. The reason is, to support the performance of the Nokia C21 Plus, this chip is used exactly like the Nokia C3 launched 2 years ago, that is, Unisoc SC9863A still uses the 28nm process. As other Rp 1.5 million smartphones started using more modern chips, or Unisoc Tiger series.
This chip is paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Since it’s running the Android Go version, it can make the menus and browsing apps smoother. Of course, you will often experience a few seconds delay when switching apps or requesting a reload. Not too many apps running though.
When it comes to game play, at best it’s a really casual title. Considering that the graphics performance is not outstanding and the screen response is not the best. In general, Nokia C21 Plus is only suitable for running really essential applications. And it will need a little more patience when using it.
If in some foreign countries, the device comes with a 5050 mAh battery, the Nokia C21 Plus variant in Vietnam comes with a smaller 4000 mAh battery. Considering that the hardware specifications are relatively simple, it is still safe to use all day, even up to two days of use. Not wasteful, but not too frugal.
The small battery capacity of the Nokia C21 Plus “helps” the charging process happen faster. Since it still doesn’t support fast charging, it takes more than two hours. The port used is still micro-USB, and indeed there are still many people who don’t use USB-C in its price range.
Conclusion about Nokia C21 Plus phone
Perhaps Gizmo’s friends can conclude for themselves that in general, the offers that HMD Global offers through the Nokia C21 Plus are still not attractive enough. Considering that in the same price segment, there are many offers from other vendors who are also starting to offer more powerful specifications. With an equally eye-catching design.
What might be the most out of the box is security features like a fingerprint sensor, a proven durable design, and a bloatware-free operating system (though it’s not the latest operating system). Or other little things like the sales package complete with a soft carrying case and even wired headphones. For the rest, the Nokia C21 Plus has a decent price compared to its competitors.
Nokia C21 Plus Specifications
|Chipset||Unisoc SC9863A (28nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A55 & 4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A55)|
|External storage||microSD card support (up to 128GB)|
|Operating system||Android 11 (Go Edition)|
|User interface||Original Android|