Nokia G21 review

Added by on 02.14.22 | Last update 02.07.23
Nokia G21 review

The budget smartphone market has improved recently, with some great options available for under £200 that don't compromise too much. However, the competition is fierce, with companies like Motorola and Nokia constantly releasing new devices to compete for supremacy in this budget.

The Nokia G21 is one of Nokia's latest offerings, aiming to outdo Motorola's budget options, bringing flagship features like a high refresh rate display.

Nokia G21 Specifications

  • Release date: 2022, February 14
  • Colors: Nordic Blue, Dusk
  • Dimensions: 164.6 x 75.9 x 8.5 mm.
  • Weight: 190 g.
  • Screen: 6.5" in, 720 x 1600, IPS LCD
  • Camera : Triple, 50MP
  • Chipset: Unisoc T606 (12 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2x1.6 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6x1.6 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Memory: 64GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
  • Battery: 5050, Li-Po, non-removable
  • Network: GSM / HSPA / LTE
  • Operating system: Android 11
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity

If you are curious to find out all the details before reading the full review, visit the page for Nokia G21 Specs, where you will find even the smallest detail about the phone.

Nokia G21 what you should Know

Nokia manages to keep the price low by cutting costs in other areas. The Nokia G21's 6.5-inch display has a 90Hz refresh rate, but it's only a basic IPS panel with a 720p resolution and poor quality. However, the phone offers good value for its price with a clean install of Android, dual SIM capability, 50MP main camera, Unisoc T606 chipset, 4GB RAM and expandable 64GB storage.

Nokia G21 Price and competition

You can get all these features and a free case for just £150, which is a lot compared to the much more expensive latest iPhone. However, the Nokia G21 faces strong competition from other budget smartphones such as the £160 Nokia 5.4 with its impressive quad cameras and design, the £170 Moto G31 with its great display and battery life and the upcoming £179 Galaxy A13.

For those willing to spend an extra £50, the newly launched Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 offers better performance, longer battery life, improved cameras and a high-quality FHD+ display for £200.

Nokia G21 Design and main features

The design of the Nokia G21 is nothing extraordinary, but it is not in a negative way either. Like many cheap Nokia phones, you get a device that looks similar to phones that cost twice as much.

The phone is made of plastic but has a sturdy build with a textured back panel and flat sides, making it comfortable to hold in one hand. It's also durable and won't bend under significant force, but the lack of an IP rating and Gorilla Glass protection may be a problem for those prone to accidents.

On the plus side, the Nokia G21 has user-friendly features like a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top, as well as slots for two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card. The phone charges using a USB-C port at the bottom and supports a maximum of 18W of power to power its large 5050mAh battery.

The main drawback is the large bezel below the screen, which also contains a U-shaped notch with a hole at the top, and the lack of weather protection.

Nokia G21 Display

The Nokia G21 is the most affordable phone with a 90Hz display. Recently, high refresh rate screens are gradually becoming more common in high-end phones, but you won't find one with a refresh rate higher than 60Hz at a lower price.

It has a 720p resolution on a 6.5-inch screen, resulting in a low pixel density of 270ppi, which makes text and images appear less sharp and with noticeable jagged edges.

The screen quality is very poor. With an average Delta E of 3.59, it is far from color accurate and has inconsistencies. The 306:1 contrast ratio is one of the worst, resulting in a dull and lifeless viewing experience.

Brightness is average at 393cd/m², but poor contrast makes it difficult to read in bright sunlight. Viewing angles are also poor. The surprise is that Nokia approved such a poor quality screen, which is a major drawback and should have been the highlight of the phone. Also, the display is not easy to use as it has a slow response time and scrolling is not smooth.

Nokia G21 Performance and battery life

Is the performance better than the display? The Nokia G21 features an octa-core Unisoc T606 chipset running at 1.6 GHz and built on a 12nm process. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which is limited but expandable with a microSD card.

In terms of processing speed, this is a budget phone that can handle basic actions and apps on Android 11, but don't expect smooth operation.

In Geekbench 5's single-core and multi-core tests, the Nokia G21 scored 311 and 1190, comparable to the Moto G31 but slightly behind the Nokia 5.4. Of course, none of these phones can compete with the more expensive Xiaomi Redmi Note 11.

Gaming performance is slightly better, with the G21 achieving an average frame rate of 25fps in the GFXBench Manhattan 3 screen test. Both the Moto G31 and Redmi Note 11 score lower in this benchmark, despite it's worth mentioning that the Redmi Note 11 runs at a higher resolution than 1080p.

Battery life is a disappointment, averaging just 17 hours with normal use. While that's an improvement over last year's Nokia 5.4, it's a far cry from the Moto G31's 24-hour score.

Nokia G21 Cameras

The Nokia G21's main camera is 50MP (f/1.8), supported by two 2MP sensors for depth and macro, which in most cases are unnecessary. While these secondary lenses may not be very useful, the primary camera is surprisingly good for a budget phone.

The resulting images aren't exceptional, but for the price they offer a decent amount of detail, well-balanced automatic exposure, and accurate color representation. Low-light shots can be a little grainy, but overall the camera is still pretty impressive.

The Nokia G21 also offers a good selection of shooting modes, including slow-motion and timelapse videos and panoramic images. Video quality is good and limited to 1080p at 30fps.

Nokia G21 Conclusion

Despite its attractive design and clean Android installation, the Nokia G21's long list of negatives, including its lackluster performance and poor battery life, make it hard to recommend it over other options.

Also, the display quality of the Nokia G21 is a major drawback. It is recommended to go for the Moto G31 instead, although it does not have a 90Hz display like the Nokia, its OLED display is much better for the eyes and the overall experience.

Nokia G21 video review

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the Nokia G21 and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by Nokia.

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor

Hello, I am Richard Taylor, a technology expert and journalist from the UK. I have a degree in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham. My passion is the latest technology, especially smartphones. That's why I chose to test, analyze, and write expert reviews about them. My technical expertise, combined with a deep passion for technology and years of experience, has made me a trusted source of information. Over the years, I have written reviews for various sites, but for quite some time now, I have been writing exclusively for PhonesData. You can see more about me here or read all my smartphone reviews here.

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