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Nokia G21 reviews: A dependable but unexciting phone with great battery life

Nokia G21 is a mid-range smartphone from HMD Global. Its features include a 6.5-inch, 90Hz IPS LCD display, a Unisoc T606 processor, up to 6 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of internal storage. There is a microSD card slot, should you need extra storage. The battery is a hefty 5050mAh, coupled with 18W fast charging, an 8-megapixel selfie camera, and a 50-megapixel triple camera at the back.

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The specs already give us an idea of what to expect: it launched with Android 11 at a time that Android 12 had been available for about half a year, the 720p display won’t wow anyone, the Unisoc T606 chipset is not particularly impressive in any way, and the big capacity battery suggested it would deliver solid battery life. Let’s see what reviewers have to say about these.

Nokia G21 review

TechAdvisor’s Nokia G21 review

TechAdvisor’s Nokia G21 review describes the phone as “a dependable phone that sadly won’t excite. Its big display is restricted to 720p, and its camera’s large sensor feels lacking”. Which isn’t a surprise; in my experience with them, Nokia smartphones have not been exciting for a few years now, functional as they are. They handle the basics well, and that is mostly it. And this makes them a hard sell, when you compare them to more exciting propositions from competitors.

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Their Nokia G21 review’s final verdict reads:

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With three-day battery life, a balanced processor, and a big screen, the Nokia G21 feels like a solid smartphone on the budget end – but it won’t excite.

A restrictive 720p resolution and a camera that’s got plenty of megapixels but not a lot to show for it, however, render it a competent work phone that you won’t readily be reaching for after the day is done.

GSMArena’s Nokia G21 review

The guys at GSMArena are not quite excited about the G21, either. Hear them: “We’re not exactly fans of the primary camera, and the missing ultrawide is rubbing us the wrong way too. The basic video recording capabilities aren’t helping either. The chipset is ill-suited to gaming, and other small missteps like the low-ish max brightness, slow charging and easy-to-scratch camera bump add up in the end.”

Both Nokia G21 reviews I am looking at complain about the rear camera, which is a surprise. I was expecting it to perform well. Both also take issues with the display. The 18W charging is also marked down. Both Nokia G21 reviews also praise the phone’s 3-day battery life, a real bonus in today’s world.

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Nokia G21 reviews: Conclusions

At the end of the day, it feels like HMD Global was playing too safe with the Nokia G21, as they have done generally in recent times. Personally, I am of the opinion that it should come with at least 33W fast charging, a 1080p display, and a slightly more powerful processor. And yes; as this is a Nokia, better camera performance would be great to have, too.

One of the benefits of using a Nokia Android phone, though, is that you get to enjoy a near stock experience. Outside of Google Pixel phones, Nokia phones provide the closest experience to stock Android. Owners can also expect two years of Android updates. It is sad, though that the phone was released with Android 11 instead of 12.

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For the same amount of money, or similar, you will likely get better value from competing brands like Xiaomi/Redmi, Realme, Motorola, and even Samsung. The Nokia G21 is available and on sale in the US, UK, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Pakistan, and many other countries. See the Nokia G21 specs for pricing in various countries.

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References

  • Nokia G21 review by TechAdvisor: source.
  • Nokia G21 review by GSMArena: source.
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