The market today is flooded with several budget phones. This segment has seen a boost in the past few years. Consumers looking for budget phones are spoilt for choices. However, there is still a gap between price and performance in this segment.
But, Nokia C21 Plus impresses from the word go in terms of basic functions. The phone has a 6.52-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 720x1600 pixels and a 60Hz refresh rate. It is powered by an octa-core Unisoc SC9863A processor. Out of the box, it runs on Android 11 (Go edition), which is an OS for budget smartphones that have basic specifications. The brand promises two years of core OS updates.
The Nokia C21 Plus comes in two RAM and storage options: 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB. You can expand the storage up to 256GB with a microSD card. The has a few preloaded apps, thus providing you with more storage.
Ages ago, in the Symbian era, Nokia was one of the few phones that had fabulous battery life. Staying true to its promise of delivering performance with longer battery life, Nokia in the Android era isn’t disappointing either. The C21 Plus’ 4,000mAh battery can last up to three days on a single charge. Even with continuous YouTube and Netflix streaming, along with a few hours of calling, the batter lasted for almost two days. On standby, it’ll last you probably a few more days. The drawback here, however, is the charging time. The phone has a micro-USB charging port and takes around 2.5 hours to power up to 100% from nothing. Nokia provides a charging cable but not a dock. If you are into heavy gaming, the phone battery will not last long. But then again, this is an entry-level phone and not really a heavy-duty, high-performance phone.
The phone has a 3.5mm audio jack at the top with power and sound buttons located on the right side. The charging point is at the bottom. The phone has a mono speaker. The speaker and earpiece sound are good. You don’t need to struggle to hear the other person if you are in crowded public spaces.
Another plus is the touch response. You don’t have to press too hard on the screen while scrolling or firing up apps. Even a slight press gets the work done. The Unisoc SC9863A is a basic chipset but the phone did slow down or lag. Even with a few apps running in the background, it doesn’t affect the performance. The phone also has a fingerprint sensor on the back and face unlock, along with the regular pattern and number password security. All of them worked just fine. The phone has a dual SIM option.
The phone has a dual rear camera — a 13 MP primary camera plus a 2 MP camera. It also has a 5 MP selfie camera. There’s also an HRD option. The photos did come out fine, but they weren’t that impressive, especially the ones we clicked in the night with minimum lighting in the room. This is one of the few drawbacks of the phone.
The phone is quite slick and is encased in a plastic body. It is dust-resistant and can withstand a little drizzle — don’t try to dunk it in a bucket of water or heavy rainfall, the company doesn’t provide a warranty on that.
What works most in the phone’s favour is the battery, touch response, and sturdy design. If you are looking for a budget phone, at Rs 11,999 the phone ticks all the right boxes.