Nokia used to be one of the world’s biggest phone manufacturers before it fell behind new devices from Android smartphones. Now Nokia has been back in the market for a couple of years thanks to HMD Global. The latest offering from the brand is the entry-level Nokia 2.1.
This smartphone was launched in select regions in May this year, and has recently been released in South Africa. This phone is available in three colour options with blue/copper, blue/silver and grey/silver all available. We were given the blue/copper phone to review for a couple of weeks and this is how it has performed.
Big bright screen
The Nokia 2.1 comes with a large 5.5″ screen which serves up a good deal of display for watching videos clearly thanks to its resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels . It’s also got a dual front facing speaker setup which boast a stereo sound which makes the 2.1 particularly good at enjoying content on.
Although the onboard speakers can be turned up quite loudly, it does cause quite a bit of vibration.
This phone comes with a polycarbonate back which is removable, and is plain and clean, to keep with the design of other entry-level Nokia devices. The back cover is also slightly textured, making it sit comfortably in your hand.
Moving back to the screen it has an IPS LCD capacitive design with Gorilla Glass, which does not scratch easily, an important thing to consider when looking for a good value for money phone.
What we admire the most about this phone is the battery life. The Nokia 2.1 has a non- removable Li-ion 4 000mAh battery that fully charges in five hours.
If you are a person who is always on your phone, this certainly is the one great feature on the Nokia 2.1 that you’ll get the most out of.
Having used it for just shy of a month, we were able to record videos, take pictures, download and use apps for more than the two days that Nokia has been advertising with the 2.1.
Shifting to the camera performance, this phone has two of them. The front camera is 5MP and allows you to take clear selfies in the daylight, but the pictures become blurry at night and the colour doesn’t pop out, because it doesn’t have a flash in front.
The rear camera comes in at 8MP and has LED flash for when it is dark, although the picture quality is not that great compared to other smartphone brands. That said it is forgivable given the price tag of the Nokia 2.1.
The video recording capability tops out at 720p at 30fps and due to this cannot take HD videos.
The phone is lightweight and can be easily carried around at 174g, with it remaining relatively slim at 9.7 mm. The micro USB port is at the bottom of the phone and the headphone jack at the top, the volume locker as well as the lock button are at the right side of the phone, the buttons are easily reached when using one hand, as the phone fit perfectly around your hand.
The OS running on the Nokia 2.1 is Android 8.1 Oreo (GO edition). The CPU is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, which is paired with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage.
The 1GB RAM and onboard processor are relatively slow in loading apps, but considering the price of this phone this is to be expected. As for the memory it’s quite small amount if you’re planning on downloading lots of apps, and it’s therefore a good idea at looking for a microSD card. To that end the Nokia 2.1 features a microSD slot good for an extra 128GB.
If you are looking for a smartphone that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, this phone can get the job done. The Nokia 2.1 retails for a recommended of R1 749 depending on the retailer you purchase it from. Considering the price of this phone plus the fact that it is stylish, and has great battery life, the Nokia 2.1 is a solid entry-level phone.