Update Gsmarena Top 10 Review – The Nokia G21 arrives just under a year after the G20 hit the scene. Like other manufacturers, the G series has a middle class that focuses on affordable prices and a reliable product, rather than chasing gimmicks.
G21 heralds a new design language for the company. Previous models had a circular camera in the center, once affectionately known as Oreo. This pattern turns into a rounded rectangle edge tucked into a corner.
Update Gsmarena Top 10 Review
It’s not exactly a groundbreaking design, but with the Oreo look, it looks like new after a few years. Unfortunately, the let’s-try-something-new attitude doesn’t quite reflect the rest of the phone.
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Before we get to that, we need to give the phone the praise it deserves. HMD chose the chipset very conservatively. Even the Nokia X100 and G300, which are as famous as Nokia these days, use the Snapdragon 480 chipset. G21 prefers Unisoc T606. While the Unisoc chips don’t get the Dimensionality hype, it’s pretty proficient.
Without a doubt, one of the things that makes it stand out is that the Nokia G20 has a Helio G35 chipset with eight Cortex-A53 cores. For context, the A53 was published in 2012. and was replaced by the A55 in 2017. The two Cortex-A75 cores in the T606 are also 2017, but “big” cores that offer much higher performance. Even the six A55 cores paired with the A75 are faster and more efficient than their predecessors.
Another positive is that the 6.5-inch LCD has been upgraded to a 90Hz refresh rate. This makes the user interface smoother; This is important given how fast the smartphone is, regardless of what the benchmarks say. In addition, the phone has the necessary Widevine level to stream Netflix videos in HD, so you should see a noticeable improvement in picture quality when watching the new show.
We also appreciate that the HMD uses three card slots, enough for two phone lines and memory expansion. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, so high-quality, low-latency audio is available.
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This is where compliments start to run out. The 6.5-inch screen has the same 720p+ resolution as the G20. A 1080p+ display would be a good reason to recommend this phone – displays like this are very common in this price range, but there are a few options.
In terms of price, the Nokia G21 starts at €170, which is €10 more than the G20. This is a dangerous point, because you can buy a more powerful phone for only 10-30 € more expensive. The Redmi, for example, costs €10 10 more and runs at 90Hz at 1080p+. Both the Moto G31 and Galaxy M21 2021 are in the same price bracket and have 1080p+ AMOLED panels. You can even buy a 5G phone for 200 euros or a little less, which exceeds the capabilities of the Unisoc T606.
You may note that Nokia, unlike Galaxy and Redmi (unlike Motorola), has pure Android. Sure, but HMD decided to pre-load ExpressVPN and Spotify, which isn’t a great look if you’re looking for purity.
The bigger concern is that the phone comes with Android 11. HMD promises 2 years of OS updates, so Android 13 should be on the way. For example, the Nokia X10 and X20 were released with Android 11 in 2021. in June and in December upgrade to 12. . If HMD keeps up this pace, the G21 will be running Android 12 by the end of the year. And Android 13 next year, and then probably this. Okay, most phones in this price range don’t run Android 12 yet, but it doesn’t feel like HMD has an advantage here either.
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While the new 50MP camera is the highlight of the phone, there is surprisingly little information about the sensor and lens. Instead, HMD focused on Super Resolution and Night Mode features. We’ll try it ourselves to see how it works, but it might not distract us enough to notice what’s missing.
The Nokia G20 had an ultra-wide camera, with a 5MP sensor it wasn’t great, but it was there. The Nokia G21 camera only has a macro camera and a depth sensor next to the main module. We’d cover one (or both) super wide any day of the week.
Another not-so-improved battery is the battery. Its 5050mAh capacity is plenty enough and HMD promises 3 days of battery life. Sounds great – yes, but the G20 had the same capacity and the same promise of 3 days between charges.
The real update is that the phone now supports 18W fast charging (USB Power Delivery 3.0). However, it only ships with a 10W charger, so you’ll need to supply your own. You may already have an 18W charger, but a 10W charger will just sit in a drawer. And if you don’t have an 18W charger, this isn’t the upgrade for you (it’s not free anyway).
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Depending on where you live, the Nokia G21 might seem understaffed in terms of price, or it might be one of the few sub-€200 phones with a solid battery and a real commitment to software support from the manufacturer. If so, come back in a moment to find out how well it did in our tests.
Depending on how much it can be found in your area, it could be a budget smartphone or a smartphone with really good software but a bit lacking in hardware, but a Nokia smartphone doesn’t overheat or overheat, so…
All pre-installed apps can be uninstalled if they are on Nokia devices, so it’s not complete bloatware. Bloatware would be Samsung blocking you from removing 500 pre-installed crappy apps. MIUI 12 was released a long time ago and most of the Xiaomi devices announced since 2019. until now, running the mentioned custom OS version. The Chinese manufacturer has a good track record of updating even its old, low-end devices to the latest version of MIUI. But that doesn’t mean they’re all running Android 11. The good thing about MIUI 12 is that Xiaomi usually tries to offer the latest features regardless of the Android version.
However, the Redmi Note 10 has the latest UI on both sides, running Android 11 and MIUI 12. Of course, MIUI 12.5 is expected to arrive this spring, but we’re already off to a great start considering most of the mid-range. Devices released in the last few months are still running Android 10.
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In any case, the biggest update in MIUI 12 will be the control center. It was not enabled by default when we turned on the phone. This option separates quick toggles and notifications with two colors, iOS-style. Swiping down from the left side of the front-facing camera will reveal notifications, while the right side will reveal quick toggles and a brightness slider. Some toggles are not customizable, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cellular, and Flashlight. The rest can be rearranged. Although it takes some getting used to, we recommend you try this configuration.
It is also possible to adjust the way message cards are displayed. You can use more MIUI-style cards or keep the standard Android look for each notification (see the first two screenshots). And when it comes to notifications, we have to say that Xiaomi got Android 11 notification bubbles called Floating Windows. Not all messaging apps support message bubbles, but it looks like MIUI can force floating windows in all messaging apps. At least in the ones we tried. The screen shows the message you will receive, and if you drag it down, the chat window will be minimized and become interactive. It’s also possible to open a separate chat bubble (such as Messenger chat threads) by tapping the small icon in the lower right corner of the message card.
Moving from a purely classic look to a fully customizable app drawer. This is an evolution of app management inside MIUI. The app drawer is also not enabled by default. It offers many options like customizable app categories, two scrollbar options. The best part is that the search bar is at the bottom, so you can only reach it with one hand with your thumb.
Display-related features are also plentiful. One of the most useful is the sunlight mode. For those who prefer manual brightness control, Sunlight gives you the best of both worlds. The ambient sensor activates when it detects strong ambient light and increases the brightness.
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The feature is always on because the phone has an OLED panel
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