NOKIA 2021 – a new direction for budget users

Nokia 2021

The Nokia 2021 new direction is to stop using the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and .1, .2, .3, .4 yearly numbering and go to the more confusing, less meaningful C, G and X-series.

At least with numbers, you knew where you stood – 1 for entry-level, and it got better as you went up. Though we are not critical of the letter move – that is Nokia’s call – and I am sure that the best brains in Espoo, Finland dreamed that up during the long arctic winter.

Nokia 2021 New range

  • X-series: Nokia X20 and Nokia X10 – durable, refined quality and experiences
  • G-series: Nokia G20 and Nokia G10 – secure package, with long battery life
  • C-series: Nokia C10 and Nokia C20 – durable smartphone essentials
Nokia 2021

X-series (5G)

BuildForest and Snow
168.9 x 79.7 x 9.1 mm x 210g
Midnight Sun and Nordic Blue X 220g
Screen6.67”, 1600x720p, 20:9Same
ProcessorQualcomm 480 – 5G 8nmsame
RAM/Storage4/64GB plus options6/64GB plus options
CommsWi-Fi AC
BT 5
USB-C 2.0
Camera rear48 (bins to 12MP)+5+2+2
64 (bins to 16MP)+5+2+2 (main/wide/macro/depth)
Camera Front8MP32MP
9V/2A/18W charger

Nokia tends to use Qualcomm reference designs, so SD480 features should essentially apply. There is nothing outstanding here and we are starting to see other SD480 5G phones for well under $500.

G-series (4G)

BuildNight and Dusk
164.9 x 76 x 9.2 x 194g
Same x 197g
Screen6.67, 1600×720, 20:9Same
ProcessorMTK Helio G25MTK Helio G35
RAM/Storage3/32GB/micro-SD to 512GB4/64GB/micro-SD to 512GB
CommsWi-Fi N
BT 5
USB-C 2.0
Same plus NFC
Camera rear13+2+2
max 1080p@30fps
48 (bins to 12MP)+5+2+2 (main/wide/macro/depth)
Camera Front8MPSame
5V/2A charger
PriceA$199        (29 April)TBA but expect at least $100 more

These appear to be reasonably featured $199 devices but competition from Motorola’s e-series is quite fierce.

C-series (3G – being phased out in Australia I doubt we will see them here)

BuildPurple and GreySand and Dark Blue
Screen6.5”, 1600x720pSame
ProcessorUnisoc SC7331eUnisoc SC9863A
RAM/Storage1/16GB options for moreSame
CommsWi-Fi N
BT 4.2
USB-C 2.0
Same plus NFC
Camera rear5MPSame
Camera Front5MPSame
Battery3000mAH removableSame

GadgetGuy’s take

The Nokia 2021 problem is complex. Will the new direction fix these?

First, some history. After Microsoft stuffed the brand entirely, a company called HMD (former Nokia execs) bought the bones and, with a prominent contract manufacturer, bought the brand back to life in 2017. To its credit, it tried to cover all bases, from cute retro feature phones to flagships with Zeiss camera tech.

First, some phones were brilliant, but mostly they were average. In the 2021 review of the Nokia 5.4, we stated that “It was as if it sat in stasis for the past 12 months – old hardware!”

Second, there are few, if any, unique Nokia features or design cues that scream “I am Nokia, hear me roar”. Sorry but almost without fail, we get glass slabs with big chins and bezels and teardrop selfie screens. And Motorola and Google offer Pure Android as well.

Third, because it does not control its supply and production lines, building a phone is higher than the established companies. And Nokia does not have the deep marketing pockets to rise above the big guys.

And that is what happens when any phone company goes head-to-head with Samsung, OPPO, vivo, realme, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Motorola. Look what happened recently to LG – gone in 60 seconds after being a stalwart co-founder of the smartphone industry. They join Sony (withdrawn from Australia and many smaller markets), Ericsson, BenQ, HTC, Palm, Microsoft (Nokia), Blackberry, Sanyo, Siemens and more that could not compete in the red ocean (where the sharks feed).

Having said all of the above, I don’t think you will find a more Nokia friendly Aussie IT Journo that really wants to see this brand succeed. You can read other GadgetGuy Nokia news and review here