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Nokia G21 announced: Two steps forward, one step back

Faster charging, a beefier SoC, and a high refresh rate come at the expense of an ultrawide camera.
By
February 14, 2022
TL;DR
  • HMD has revealed the Nokia G21 budget phone.
  • The phone packs a more powerful SoC, faster charging, and a high refresh rate.
  • The company has ditched the ultrawide camera seen on its predecessor though.

HMD launched the Nokia G20 in June last year, coming in at $199. It wasn’t the most impressive budget phone of 2021 but it certainly ticked plenty of boxes for the price. Now, the company has launched the Nokia G21 (h/t: GSMArena), picking up where the G20 left off.

The new phone is equipped with a major chipset upgrade, going from the Helio G35 (lacking big CPU cores) to the Unisoc T606. This 4G Unisoc chipset features an octa-core CPU (two Cortex-A75 and six Cortex-A55) and a Mali-G57 MP1 GPU.

The Nokia G21 also maintains the older phone’s 6.5-inch HD+ LCD panel but sees the refresh rate go from 60Hz to 90Hz. Furthermore, the phone has seen a boost in charging speed, now topping up at 18W instead of 10W. Unfortunately, GSMArena reports that you’re still stuck with a 10W in-box charger.

Say goodbye to the ultrawide camera

Switching to the camera category, the Nokia G21 swaps out its predecessor’s 48MP main camera for a 50MP sensor here. We’re not sure if this is actually an upgrade as budget 50MP sensors tend to be smaller than mainstream 48MP sensors. But one definite downgrade is that Nokia has dropped the G20’s 5MP ultrawide camera completely, meaning you’re left with the main camera and a pair of 2MP sensors. 

Otherwise, the new phone has a 5,050mAh battery, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Android 11, and a 3.5mm port. We’re disappointed to see Android 11 here given that Android 12 has been available for months now and the first Android 13 developer preview is now in the wild. Still, HMD claims that the phone will be “ready for Android 12.”

The phone will reportedly launch at €170 (~$193) in Europe and will be available in Dusk and Nordic Blue colorways.