Nokia G21 Review 2022 You’re Looking For

The newly announced G series, specifically the G21, looks eerily similar to the Motorola E40 to the keen observer. Aside from the minor changes to the fingerprint reader, the Moto E40 features a faster clock speed Unisoc processor. It’s difficult to tell them apart at first glance. After the awe-inspiring symmetrical theme designs that we fell in love with on the Nokia 7.2, it appears that HMD Global has decided to reboot once more. As a result, the G series is a phase 3 device in terms of design. The first phase was the original 6 series, followed by the Nokia 7.2 and 6.2.

So it’s safe to assume that HMD Global is cutting costs even further by using a third-party team to design their devices, which explains the similarities seen here. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get into the Nokia G21.

The first thing that drew my attention was the packaging, which differed from their previous design and reminded me of Symbian and early Lumia packaging. For some unknown reason, the device image on the box shows 20:22, which may indicate the year 2022, rather than the device series that had previously been the norm with Nokia. On the back, the new HMD slogan Love It, Trust It, Keep It is located in the upper right corner. In the camera section, some basic information is stated, and it is highlighted as Advanced camera with AI imaging. I’m curious what it means and how deep the AI integration goes. The device will receive two years of OS upgrades and three years of monthly security updates, according to the information provided. The device ships with Android 11 out of the box, which is disappointing given that Android 12 has been available for quite some time.

Nokia G21 Review

When the box is opened, the Nokia G21 is revealed, wrapped in plastic for protection. The sim ejector tool is hidden beneath it. After removing the top compartment, you will reach the intermediate compartment, which houses a claar case. Thank you so much, HMD Global! The truth is that I’ve been looking for a G21 case for a while now, ever since pre-ordering the device, and I haven’t found one that fits me. As a result, this is a welcome addition. There are two separate smaller compartments beneath the intermediate compartment. One includes a 3.5mm earphone and a USB-C cable, while the other includes a 10W charger. Don’t worry, the Nokia G21 supports 18W charging with the proper charger.

Nokia G21 Desing

The Nordic Blue color unit I have here is both beautiful and comfortable. The frame is matte, and the back has texture that provides good tactile feedback. The camera performance is the highlight of all of my reviews. I’ll go over it in more detail later. For the time being, the camera is in the top left corner, and the island is raised a couple of millimeters above the rest of the body. The camera department’s glass-like housing is reportedly prone to scratches, so be cautious! Three camera sensors are located on top, separated by a ridge from the LED flash at the bottom. The 50 MP AI camera is mentioned here, so I’m hoping it doesn’t disappoint. The top has a 3.5mm headphone jack port and a single microphone, while the bottom has a USB C charging port, a second microphone, and a bottom firing speaker. The SIM card slot and a dedicated Google Assistant button are on the right, the volume rockers and a power button with a fingerprint scanner are on the right, and an 8 MP selfie camera completes the device’s exterior.

The Hardware

This is the first device made by HMD Global that supports a fast display rate of up to 90Hz. So, how does it feel? The transition from 60Hz to 90Hz is something you will undoubtedly notice and enjoy. This isn’t a gimmick, but rather a noticeable improvement. Congratulations, HMD Global! Aside from that, the display is very similar to the Nokia 5.3 and Nokia 5.4, with the exception that the blacks are slightly deeper and the tone warmer. Colors are vibrant, and you won’t notice the pixels unless you look for them. Unfortunately, unlike the Nokia 5.3, which has Gorilla Glass 3 protection, the G21 does not mention any such protection. The bottom firing speaker is adequate, loud and clear, and can fill a small room. At high volumes, there is no distortion or break. The buttons are well-made, and the fingerprint scanner works properly. Unlike the 5.3, there is no notification light here. Unlike the Nokia 5.4, the device supports dual band WiFi.

The Hardware of Nokia G21

The competition

Essentially, the Nokia G21 is what you would get if you combined the best of the Nokia 5.3 and Nokia 5.4, the devices it is meant to replace. It has similar dimensions to the Nokia 5.3, which is slightly taller than the Nokia 5.4, and it borrows the textured back from the Nokia 5.4 while keeping the matte finish from the 5.3. The display is sharper than that of the Nokia 5.3 and is very similar to that of the Nokia 5.4. The dual band WiFi found here is also found on the Nokia 5.3 but not on the Nokia 5.4. Because the Android One experience is essentially the same across all of these devices, there isn’t much to compare. However, in terms of raw processing power, the device is neck and neck with the Nokia 5.3, which includes SD 665, and ahead of the Nokia 5.4, which includes SD 662.

In terms of cameras, the Nokia G21 has a 50MP primary camera flanked by a 2MP macro and 2MP depth camera, instead of the below-average ultrawide camera that is usually included in this price range. The Nokia G21 lacks cinema mode, but it is unlikely to be missed by many users. True, having the option to use it is preferable to not having it at all, but cinema mode necessitates more tweaking, which most buyers in this category avoid. Both the 5.4 and G21 have a 1080p video recording limit, but the 5.3 has a 2160p recording option if you need it. However, none of the three devices have any form of stabilization. It’s a good thing that HMD Global has included OZO audio recoding in the Nokia G21. There is no scene detection, so I’m not sure what AI camera means unless it’s baked right into the software. This could be a two-edged sword, as in my experience with Nokia 8.1, scene detection produces a more artificial-looking image with cooler temperatures and vibrant colors, and Nightscape, which was working temporarily, reverted to a non-functional state after the recent update.

In conclusion

In comparison to its predecessor, the Nokia G21 is undoubtedly a better-packaged device. It hits the right note by providing a significant upgrade in the display segment as well as a good battery life. In the coming days, I will be focusing more on camera performance, as that is my area of interest. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section, and please share your thoughts on HMD Global’s new approach.

This is my first unboxing and brief comparison of the Nokia G21 to the Nokia 5.3 and 5.4, and keep an eye out for the benchmark scores!

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