HMD Global has revealed three new entry-level Nokia smartphones at MWC 2022 in Barcelona, set for release in the UK and Europe, and when we say ‘entry-level’, we mean it.
The three new Nokia C series phones are said to act as a bridge between feature phones and smartphones for those yet to make the jump, with light smart features and a particular focus on durability and battery life.
It’s a niche appeal on the surface but with feature phones still popular among the older population – a 2018 survey found that 40% of US residents over 65 still use them – it’s a market rife with opportunity.
Nokia C2 Second Edition
The new range starts with the rather oddly named Nokia C2 Second Edition.
It’s the most basic of the range, with features including a 5.7in FWVGA display (854 x 480), an unnamed 1.5GHz quad-core processor, either 1GB or 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and Android 11 Go, but the durable build and removable 2400mAh battery – a particularly unique feature in 2022 – should appeal to those coming from feature phones.
There’s also a 5Mp camera on the rear and a 2Mp front camera – both with flash – alongside GPS, a 3.5mm headphone jack and 4G connectivity, and though you won’t get full Android Go OS updates, owners can look forward to two years of security updates.
As you might’ve guessed from the spec, the Nokia C2 Second Edition is affordable at just £74.99/€79 (around $89), and it’ll be available in two colours at release in May.
If the feature phone convert wants something a little fancier for their first smartphone, the €99 (around £82/$112) Nokia C21 may appeal, and at only €20 more than the C2 Second Edition, there’s plenty of bang for your buck.
The Nokia C21 sports a larger 6.5in display that, at 1600 x 900, is much higher resolution than its entry-level sibling. That’s coupled with a boosted 8Mp rear camera and 5Mp front-facing camera, complete with camera effects including HDR (high dynamic range), panorama and beautification for basic snaps.
It should also perform marginally better, utilising the Unisoc SC9863A chipset, alongside 2GB of RAM, while the boosted removable 3000mAh battery should keep you going a little longer too.
You’ll also find key features, including 4G connectivity, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, GPS, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and it runs Android 11 Go with two years of security updates too.
Specs aside, the matte plastic finish, silver and blue colour options and Nokia’s signature circular camera cut-out all look great and help elevate the overall look of this budget smartphone.
UK pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed for the Nokia C21.
Nokia C21 Plus
The Nokia C21 Plus sits at the top of Nokia’s new collection, but starting at £99, it’s still comfortably at the budget end of the market.
You might not immediately spot the differences between the C21 and the C21 Plus, both are fairly similar in some regards, sporting the same 6.5in HD+ display, Unisoc SC9863A chipset with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 4G connectivity, fingerprint reader, GPS and 3.5mm headphone jack, but key specs – including battery life and camera – have all been boosted.
The standard C21 Plus packs a larger non-removable 4000mAh battery that matches many modern mid-range smartphones, and when combined with an HD+ display, Nokia claims it can last two days on a single charge.
If that’s not quite enough for your needs, you can opt for a model with a boosted 5050mAh battery, that also comes bolstered with an increased 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, for good measure.
The top-spec model should provide better battery life and slightly better performance, especially when switching between apps, while the extra storage allows you to download more Android Go apps from the Android Go Play Store too. It all hinges on just how much more expensive the 5050mAh model is, as pricing is yet to be confirmed.
Regardless of the model you opt for, you’ll find a competitive 13Mp camera, plus a supporting 2Mp depth camera on the rear, complete with Portrait mode photography that’ll automatically blur the background of shots, while keeping the main subject in sharp focus. What’s more, there are also HDR, panorama and beautification effects to play with. That’s paired with a 5Mp front-facing camera for video calls and selfies.
It’s also the most durable of the range, offering basic – but officially certified – IP52 water and dust resistance.
Nokia has confirmed that the Nokia C21 Plus will be available in the UK from late April, with specific dates yet to be confirmed.
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