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Nokia G21 Smartphone Review: Slim 4G phone convinces with bright screen

3 years of security. With an extra-long update promise, the Nokia G21 aims to stand out from the crowd of low-priced 4G phones. Compared to its predecessor, the Nokia G21 finally gets faster Wi-Fi and a stylish casing. We take a closer look at this under-200 Euro mid-range smartphone in this review.
Nokia G21
Nokia G21 (G Series)
Processor
UNISOC T606 8 x 1.6 GHz, Cortex-A75 / A55
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
6.50 inch 20:9, 1600 x 720 pixel 270 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, 180 Hz sampling rate, glossy: yes, 90 Hz
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 49 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm audio jack, Card Reader: microSD up to 512 MB, dedicated, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0, 2G (850/​900/​1800/​1900), 3G (B1/​B5/​B8), 4G (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20/​B28/​B38/​B40/​B41) , Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 164.6 x 75.9 ( = 0.33 x 6.48 x 2.99 in)
Battery
5050 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 18 Watt charging
Charging
fast charging / Quickcharge
Operating System
Android 11
Camera
Primary Camera: 50 MPix f/​1.8, phase comparison-AF, LED-flash, Videos @1080p/​30fps (Camera 1); 2.0MP, macro lens (Camera 2); 2.0MP, depth of field (Camera 3)
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix Videos @1080p/​30fps
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, SIM tool, 24 Months Warranty, LTE Cat 4 (150Mbps/​50Mbps) ; FM radio; SAR 0.339 W/kg (head), 1.048 W/kg (body), fanless
Weight
190 g ( = 6.7 oz / 0.42 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
169 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible competitors in comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Drive
Size
Resolution
Best Price
78.5 %
03/2022
Nokia G21
T606, Mali-G57 MP1
190 g64 GB eMMC Flash6.50"1600x720
73.8 %
01/2022
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320
196 g128 GB eMMC Flash6.53"1600x720
78.6 %
01/2022
Motorola Moto G31
Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2
181 g64 GB eMMC Flash6.40"2400x1080
74.9 %
12/2021
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1
205 g64 GB eMMC Flash6.50"1600x720
76.4 %
07/2021
Nokia G20
Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320
197 g64 GB eMMC Flash6.50"1600x720

Case and features: Stylish polycarbonate

With the Nokia G21, the manufacturer has a cheap mid-range cell phone on offer. Nokia particularly advertises the long update period and a slimmer casing as the phone's strengths. 

The G21 actually seems thinner than the predecessor, the Nokia G20, but the camera module protrudes clearly from the casing. The design has become a bit more angular compared to the G20, but the polycarbonate chassis still sports a stylish design. A light line pattern runs across the back, which is available in dark Nordic Blue or Dusk, a brown color variant. The smartphone is sturdily built and cleanly manufactured.

64 GB or 128 GB of mass storage is available, and the price difference between the two is approximately 20 Euros. Two SIM slots and a dedicated microSD reader are on board. The latter reads memory cards very quickly and also proves to be at least on class level in the copy test. It is also pleasing that Nokia did not skimp on the NFC chip, so you can use mobile payment services or other apps that support near field communication.

Nokia G21
Nokia G21
Nokia G21
Nokia G21
Nokia G21

Size comparison

164.9 mm / 6.49 inch 76 mm / 2.99 inch 9.2 mm / 0.3622 inch 197 g0.4343 lbs164.9 mm / 6.49 inch 77 mm / 3.03 inch 9 mm / 0.3543 inch 196 g0.4321 lbs164.6 mm / 6.48 inch 75.9 mm / 2.99 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 190 g0.4189 lbs164 mm / 6.46 inch 75.8 mm / 2.98 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 205 g0.4519 lbs161.9 mm / 6.37 inch 73.9 mm / 2.91 inch 8.6 mm / 0.3386 inch 181 g0.399 lbs
SD Card Reader - average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
  (Angelbird V60)
47.8 MB/s ∼100% +132%
Average of class Smartphone
  (10.9 - 59.2, n=84, last 2 years)
26.4 MB/s ∼55% +28%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
  (Angelbird V60)
21.15 MB/s ∼44% +3%
Nokia G21
  (Angelbird V60)
20.6 MB/s ∼43%
Motorola Moto G31
  (Angelbird V60)
17.7 MB/s ∼37% -14%
Nokia G20
  (Angelbird V60)
12.5 MB/s ∼26% -39%

Cross Platform Disk Test (CPDT)

05101520253035404550556065707580Tooltip
Nokia G21 Mali-G57 MP1, T606, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Write; Angelbird V60: Ø30.5 (12.9-38.6)
Xiaomi Redmi 9C PowerVR GE8320, Helio G35, 128 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Write; Angelbird V60: Ø37 (26-47.6)
Motorola Moto G31 Mali-G52 MP2, Helio G85, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Write; Angelbird V60: Ø35 (24.2-45.6)
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F Mali-G52 MP1, Exynos 850, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Write; Angelbird V60: Ø32.3 (23.2-38.8)
Nokia G20 PowerVR GE8320, Helio G35, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Write: Ø31.1 (21-41.1)
Nokia G21 Mali-G57 MP1, T606, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Read; Angelbird V60: Ø75.5 (39.6-81.6)
Xiaomi Redmi 9C PowerVR GE8320, Helio G35, 128 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Read; Angelbird V60: Ø73.4 (15.2-76.3)
Motorola Moto G31 Mali-G52 MP2, Helio G85, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Read; Angelbird V60: Ø76.7 (37.3-82.8)
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F Mali-G52 MP1, Exynos 850, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Read; Angelbird V60: Ø50.2 (31.6-54.4)
Nokia G20 PowerVR GE8320, Helio G35, 64 GB eMMC Flash; SDCard Sequential Read: Ø58.2 (14.6-62.3)

Communication, software and, operation: Nokia with Android 11

The Nokia G21 is only a 4G phone. That being said, there are only a handful of 5G smartphones that can be found for under 200 Euros. The frequency diversity is limited to the bare essentials, so you might have difficulties accessing the mobile Internet when traveling to more distant countries. The reception is mediocre in our sample and does not come close to high-end smartphones indoors or outdoors, but it is sufficient for everyday use.

Having said that, the Nokia G21 is up-to-date and comes with Wi-Fi 5. Thus, our test device receives and transmits significantly faster than most comparison devices in our test when tested with our reference Asus GT-AXE11000 router — only the Motorola Moto G31 can keep up here.

Nokia relies on a pure, stock Android 11 UI. The manufacturer promises Android 12 and another year of operating system updates as well as three years of security updates from market launch, probably until February 2025. Motorola's Moto G31 offers an equally long support period with security patches. It is often difficult to get a concrete update promise for inexpensive smartphones, so the Nokia G21 can be rewarded here.

The touchscreen with a sampling rate of up to 180 Hz and a refresh rate of up to 90 Hz makes daily operation pleasantly smooth. A fingerprint sensor, which is installed in the standby button, is found on the casing's right. Fingerprint recognition is quite reliable and the smartphone is unlocked after a short delay. Face recognition can also be used.

Networking
iperf3 transmit AX12
Motorola Moto G31
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
346 (334min - 352max) MBit/s ∼100%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
802.11 b/g/n
47.7 (14min - 69max) MBit/s ∼14%
Nokia G20
802.11 b/g/n
47 (24min - 73max) MBit/s ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
802.11 b/g/n
42.9 (21min - 65max) MBit/s ∼12%
iperf3 receive AX12
Motorola Moto G31
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
353 (261min - 359max) MBit/s ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
802.11 b/g/n
50.4 (41min - 57max) MBit/s ∼14%
Nokia G20
802.11 b/g/n
46.9 (27min - 66max) MBit/s ∼13%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
802.11 b/g/n
35.8 (19min - 52max) MBit/s ∼10%
iperf3 receive AXE11000
Nokia G21
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
299 (224min - 315max) MBit/s ∼100%
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
Nokia G21
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
339 (328min - 362max) MBit/s ∼100%
020406080100120140160180200220240260280300320340360Tooltip
; iperf3 receive AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø299 (224-315)
; iperf3 transmit AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø339 (328-362)

Cameras: Decent picture quality

Recording front camera
Recording front camera

Thanks to the 50 MP sensor, the smartphone comes with a high-resolution main camera. However, it usually only takes photos with a resolution of 12 MP and uses pixel binning to create larger pixels with more light sensitivity although the camera can also be used at full resolution if desired. There is no wide-angle lens, but there is a 2 MP macro camera and another camera with the same resolution that supports bokeh effects.

Pictures from the main camera start becoming blurry when you enlarge them even slightly, but the 50-megapixel camera does a decent job overall for the price. The brightening in dark scenes is particularly convincing, and the software obviously tries to achieve warm colors.

Videos can be recorded in Full HD quality with a maximum of 30 frames per second. The exposure reacts with a slight delay to changing light conditions, and the sharpness is average. If you look at the comparison devices, you can record passable videos with the Nokia G21.

The front-facing camera has a resolution of 8 MP. A slight blur is also visible here, but the dynamic range is quite decent so very bright as well as dark areas are displayed well.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Hauptkamera PflanzeHauptkamera UmgebungHauptkamera Low Light
click to load images
ColorChecker
13.9 ∆E
9.9 ∆E
14.6 ∆E
13.4 ∆E
13.4 ∆E
8.1 ∆E
10.4 ∆E
15.9 ∆E
11.3 ∆E
7.7 ∆E
7.6 ∆E
7.7 ∆E
9.1 ∆E
9.6 ∆E
9.1 ∆E
4.2 ∆E
10.2 ∆E
12.6 ∆E
4.9 ∆E
3.6 ∆E
6.9 ∆E
8.1 ∆E
7.4 ∆E
2.9 ∆E
ColorChecker Nokia G21: 9.26 ∆E min: 2.94 - max: 15.9 ∆E
ColorChecker
28.6 ∆E
53.5 ∆E
39.1 ∆E
35.9 ∆E
44.7 ∆E
62.9 ∆E
52.5 ∆E
35.3 ∆E
41.1 ∆E
27 ∆E
64.9 ∆E
64.1 ∆E
30.7 ∆E
48.3 ∆E
36.1 ∆E
75.3 ∆E
42.7 ∆E
43.6 ∆E
87.1 ∆E
69.9 ∆E
51 ∆E
36.4 ∆E
23.3 ∆E
12.9 ∆E
ColorChecker Nokia G21: 46.11 ∆E min: 12.89 - max: 87.05 ∆E

Display: 90 Hz screen for little money

An IPS screen with extended 720p resolution is class standard — only the slightly more expensive Motorola Moto G31 stands out with its Full HD AMOLED screen. However, this IPS screen in the Nokia G21 has great brightness levels achieving 484 cd/m² on average. The black value is mediocre; dark tones on the screen look more gray than black when the screen is very bright. Another special feature of the screen in the Nokia G21 is the refresh rate, which can be up to 90 Hz. Thus, scrolling feels smoother and operation is faster.

The accuracy of the color representation is mediocre and is probably too inaccurate for professional applications. We determine this in our test with the spectrophotometer and CalMAN software.

We did not notice any PWM, but the response times are quite long so demanding gamers should look elsewhere.

506
cd/m²
486
cd/m²
445
cd/m²
516
cd/m²
492
cd/m²
463
cd/m²
506
cd/m²
487
cd/m²
459
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 516 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 484.4 cd/m² Minimum: 1.54 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 492 cd/m²
Contrast: 1070:1 (Black: 0.46 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.02 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.4
ΔE Greyscale 7.1 | 0.64-98 Ø5.6
94.9% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.345
Nokia G21
IPS, 1600x720, 6.50
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
IPS, 1600x720, 6.53
Motorola Moto G31
OLED, 2400x1080, 6.40
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
IPS LCD, 1600x720, 6.50
Nokia G20
IPS, 1600x720, 6.50
Response Times
3%
87%
5%
23%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
64 ?(31, 33)
60 ?(27, 33)
6%
6 ?(3, 3)
91%
58 ?(31, 27)
9%
44 ?(25, 19)
31%
Response Time Black / White *
34 ?(17, 17)
34 ?(17, 17)
-0%
6 ?(3, 3)
82%
34 ?(17, 17)
-0%
29 ?(16, 13)
15%
PWM Frequency
17120
223.2
178.6 ?(7)
2500000
Screen
-0%
28%
14%
1%
Brightness middle
492
467
-5%
423
-14%
446
-9%
485
-1%
Brightness
484
417
-14%
425
-12%
423
-13%
447
-8%
Brightness Distribution
86
83
-3%
94
9%
88
2%
88
2%
Black Level *
0.46
0.53
-15%
0.29
37%
0.44
4%
Contrast
1070
881
-18%
1538
44%
1102
3%
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
6.02
4.14
31%
1.58
74%
4.94
18%
5.75
4%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
9.13
8.49
7%
4.68
49%
8.81
4%
10.53
-15%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
7.1
6
15%
2.7
62%
5.1
28%
5.7
20%
Gamma
2.345 94%
2.291 96%
2.219 99%
2.145 103%
2.095 105%
CCT
8918 73%
7536 86%
6674 97%
7890 82%
8070 81%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
2% / 0%
58% / 43%
10% / 12%
12% / 6%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
34 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 88 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (23.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
64 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 31 ms rise
↘ 33 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.692 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 97 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (36.8 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 21792 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN color space sRGB
CalMAN color space sRGB
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation

Performance, emissions, and battery runtime: Fast SoC, but high temperatures

The Unisoc Tiger T606 is no longer the latest SoC, but it can still keep up very well with the competition. Nokia's entry-level smartphone is much faster than comparison devices in almost all benchmarks — only the more expensive Moto G31 can keep up. Thus, you get a lot of performance for your money. The system can be used without stutters in everyday use. Only more complex apps cause waiting times or stutters. The Nokia G21 is in the midfield of comparison devices in terms of graphics performance.

The high performance in the slim case takes its toll, though. We measured up to 45.9 °C as the maximum temperature at the back. Since this is a measurement at room temperature, these temperatures can rise even further on hot summer days and become unpleasant.

The small speaker on the bottom edge can get quite loud, does not distort, and the trebles are not overemphasized too much. Thus, you get a decent sound for the price. External audio devices can be connected via the 3.5 mm port and Bluetooth.

The battery life in our WLAN test is a bit shorter than Nokia G20 but is still on a very high level at 18:07 hours. The smartphone can be charged with up to an 18 W charger. It takes about two hours until the empty battery is fully charged again with the included charger.

Geekbench 5.3
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
312 Points ∼46%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
149 Points ∼22% -52%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
353 Points ∼53% +13%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
178 Points ∼26% -43%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
170 Points ∼25% -46%
Average UNISOC T606
  (273 - 313, n=5)
302 Points ∼45% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (58 - 1755, n=254, last 2 years)
672 Points ∼100% +115%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
1185 Points ∼54%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
538 Points ∼24% -55%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1295 Points ∼59% +9%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
1087 Points ∼49% -8%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
607 Points ∼28% -49%
Average UNISOC T606
  (708 - 1185, n=5)
1066 Points ∼48% -10%
Average of class Smartphone
  (248 - 4914, n=254, last 2 years)
2198 Points ∼100% +85%
PCMark for Android - Work 3.0 (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
7805 Points ∼77%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
5208 Points ∼51% -33%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
6596 Points ∼65% -15%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
5739 Points ∼56% -26%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
5297 Points ∼52% -32%
Average UNISOC T606
  (6721 - 7912, n=4)
7398 Points ∼73% -5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4436 - 18567, n=147, last 2 years)
10202 Points ∼100% +31%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
1414 Points ∼28%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
843 Points ∼17% -40%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1785 Points ∼36% +26%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
1273 Points ∼26% -10%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
599 Points ∼12% -58%
Average UNISOC T606
  (1414 - 1440, n=3)
1429 Points ∼29% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (149 - 13121, n=224, last 2 years)
4963 Points ∼100% +251%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
1255 Points ∼18%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
799 Points ∼12% -36%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1633 Points ∼24% +30%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
1142 Points ∼16% -9%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
541 Points ∼8% -57%
Average UNISOC T606
  (1255 - 1285, n=3)
1269 Points ∼18% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (122 - 31940, n=224, last 2 years)
6941 Points ∼100% +453%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
2546 Points ∼78%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
1043 Points ∼32% -59%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
2644 Points ∼81% +4%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
2032 Points ∼63% -20%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
954 Points ∼29% -63%
Average UNISOC T606
  (2489 - 2673, n=3)
2569 Points ∼79% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (651 - 6394, n=222, last 2 years)
3249 Points ∼100% +28%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
945 Points ∼37%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
445 Points ∼18% -53%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1408 Points ∼55% +49%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
863 Points ∼34% -9%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
341 Points ∼13% -64%
Average UNISOC T606
  (945 - 963, n=4)
956 Points ∼38% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (78 - 9138, n=179, last 2 years)
2537 Points ∼100% +168%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
806 Points ∼31%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
377 Points ∼14% -53%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1246 Points ∼47% +55%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
738 Points ∼28% -8%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
289 Points ∼11% -64%
Average UNISOC T606
  (806 - 823, n=4)
815 Points ∼31% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (62 - 11573, n=179, last 2 years)
2637 Points ∼100% +227%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
2379 Points ∼83%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
1194 Points ∼42% -50%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
2578 Points ∼90% +8%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
2031 Points ∼71% -15%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
933 Points ∼33% -61%
Average UNISOC T606
  (2379 - 2535, n=4)
2435 Points ∼85% +2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (688 - 5318, n=179, last 2 years)
2860 Points ∼100% +20%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
959 Points ∼24%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
491 Points ∼12% -49%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1430 Points ∼35% +49%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
867 Points ∼22% -10%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
373 Points ∼9% -61%
Average UNISOC T606
  (959 - 969, n=4)
965 Points ∼24% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (91 - 11528, n=232, last 2 years)
4030 Points ∼100% +320%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
814 Points ∼16%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
425 Points ∼8% -48%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
1267 Points ∼25% +56%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
736 Points ∼15% -10%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
318 Points ∼6% -61%
Average UNISOC T606
  (814 - 825, n=4)
819 Points ∼16% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (73 - 19364, n=232, last 2 years)
5023 Points ∼100% +517%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
2559 Points ∼79%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
1073 Points ∼33% -58%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
2603 Points ∼80% +2%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
2109 Points ∼65% -18%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
949 Points ∼29% -63%
Average UNISOC T606
  (2484 - 2667, n=4)
2556 Points ∼79% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (635 - 5793, n=232, last 2 years)
3244 Points ∼100% +27%
Wild Life Score (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
397 Points ∼12%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
719 Points ∼22% +81%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
428 Points ∼13% +8%
Average UNISOC T606
  (394 - 402, n=3)
398 Points ∼12% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (216 - 10062, n=183, last 2 years)
3197 Points ∼100% +705%
Wild Life Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
393 Points ∼12%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
717 Points ∼21% +82%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
426 Points ∼13% +8%
Average UNISOC T606
  (392 - 406, n=3)
397 Points ∼12% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (205 - 11700, n=184, last 2 years)
3392 Points ∼100% +763%
Wild Life Extreme (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
111 Points ∼11%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
181 Points ∼18% +63%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
116 Points ∼12% +5%
Average UNISOC T606
  (111 - 114, n=3)
112.3 Points ∼11% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (22 - 3080, n=139, last 2 years)
991 Points ∼100% +793%
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
110 Points ∼11%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
180 Points ∼18% +64%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
117 Points ∼12% +6%
Average UNISOC T606
  (109 - 110, n=3)
109.3 Points ∼11% -1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (101 - 2864, n=135, last 2 years)
977 Points ∼100% +788%
GFXBench
on screen Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
9.5 fps ∼33%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
7.5 fps ∼26% -21%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
8.4 fps ∼29% -12%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
11 fps ∼38% +16%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
7.6 fps ∼26% -20%
Average UNISOC T606
  (9.5 - 9.9, n=4)
9.65 fps ∼34% +2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.5 - 98, n=250, last 2 years)
28.8 fps ∼100% +203%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
5.2 fps ∼15%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
4.1 fps ∼12% -21%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
9.6 fps ∼28% +85%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
6.2 fps ∼18% +19%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
4.2 fps ∼12% -19%
Average UNISOC T606
  (1.9 - 5.3, n=4)
4.4 fps ∼13% -15%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.9 - 123, n=251, last 2 years)
34.1 fps ∼100% +556%
on screen Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
6 fps ∼30%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
4.8 fps ∼24% -20%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
5.4 fps ∼27% -10%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
7 fps ∼35% +17%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
4.8 fps ∼24% -20%
Average UNISOC T606
  (6 - 6.2, n=4)
6.08 fps ∼31% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (2.1 - 69, n=251, last 2 years)
19.9 fps ∼100% +232%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Nokia G21
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 4096
2 fps ∼15%
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
1.5 fps ∼12% -25%
Motorola Moto G31
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 4096
3.5 fps ∼27% +75%
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Samsung Exynos 850, Mali-G52 MP1, 4096
2.2 fps ∼17% +10%
Nokia G20
Mediatek Helio G35, PowerVR GE8320, 4096
1.5 fps ∼12% -25%
Average UNISOC T606
  (0.85 - 2, n=4)
1.663 fps ∼13% -17%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.7 - 47, n=251, last 2 years)
13 fps ∼100% +550%
Nokia G21Xiaomi Redmi 9CMotorola Moto G31Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127FNokia G20Average 64 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-11%
35%
-15%
-23%
-16%
179%
Sequential Read 256KB
257.6
263.1
2%
309.8
20%
302.3
17%
256.1
-1%
273 ?(95.6 - 704, n=188)
6%
932 ?(45.6 - 2037, n=247, last 2 years)
262%
Sequential Write 256KB
180.6
208.4
15%
221.5
23%
74.5
-59%
139.3
-23%
176.7 ?(40 - 274, n=188)
-2%
473 ?(11.9 - 1485, n=247, last 2 years)
162%
Random Read 4KB
74
54.5
-26%
84
14%
77.8
5%
63.5
-14%
58.9 ?(9.58 - 148.5, n=188)
-20%
166.9 ?(13.5 - 345, n=247, last 2 years)
126%
Random Write 4KB
60.2
39.7
-34%
109.8
82%
47.21
-22%
27.4
-54%
30.8 ?(2.34 - 146.9, n=188)
-49%
160 ?(56.5 - 458, n=248, last 2 years)
166%

Temperature

Max. Load
 44 °C
111 F
36.9 °C
98 F
35.5 °C
96 F
 
 43.1 °C
110 F
37.3 °C
99 F
35.7 °C
96 F
 
 41.3 °C
106 F
37 °C
99 F
35.3 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 44 °C = 111 F
Average: 38.5 °C = 101 F
34.4 °C
94 F
37.8 °C
100 F
45.9 °C
115 F
36 °C
97 F
37 °C
99 F
44.6 °C
112 F
35.2 °C
95 F
37.3 °C
99 F
41.9 °C
107 F
Maximum: 45.9 °C = 115 F
Average: 38.9 °C = 102 F
Power Supply (max.)  42.3 °C = 108 F | Room Temperature 20.2 °C = 68 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.5 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 32.8 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 44 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 35.1 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22 to 52.9 °C for the class Smartphone.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 45.9 °C / 115 F, compared to the average of 33.8 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.9 °C / 86 F, compared to the device average of 32.8 °C / 91 F.


Heatmap Front
Heatmap Front
Heatmap back side
Heatmap back side

Loudspeaker

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2049.350.82543.943.83137.135.14037.940.75043.8456331.833.9802829.910027.933.112523.535.416023.838.820019.640.62501943.131517.549.240015.252.750016.8606302168.280022.376.5100018.781.4125017.376.1160015.870.4200015.868.1250017.470.4315018.472.2400020.270.4500020.369.4630020.173.1800021.471.71000021.871.51250021.365.81600021.855.6SPL31.685.6N1.661.2median 20.1median 68.2Delta1.810.738.945.344.745.33436.736.836.742.640.637.333.826.225.928.327.622.422.218.933.41640.514.546.313.253.81359.116.565.119.566.219.66617.468.515.374.415.378.515.778.416.576.317.977.520.870.32267.220.974.121.772.722.870.32263.122.558.531.586.41.462.6median 18.9median 66.2311.7hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseNokia G21Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Nokia G21 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.2% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.9% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 52% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 36% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 23%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 71% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 22% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.4% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 64% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 26% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 23%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 78% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 17% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Battery life

Nokia G21
5050 mAh
Xiaomi Redmi 9C
5000 mAh
Motorola Moto G31
5000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy A12 Exynos SM-A127F
5000 mAh
Nokia G20
5050 mAh
Average of class Smartphone
 
Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing
1087
905
-17%
1032
-5%
879
-19%
1186
9%
906 ?(438 - 1953, n=255, last 2 years)
-17%
Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing
18h 07min

Pros

+ bright screen with 90 Hz
+ good runtimes
+ a lot of power for the money
+ slim case

Cons

- strong heating under load
- few 4G frequencies
- slow screen response times

Conclusion: The Nokia G21's price-performance ratio is convincing

In test: Nokia G21. Test device provided by Nokia Germany.
In test: Nokia G21. Test device provided by Nokia Germany.

The Nokia G21 is a slim, pretty, and powerful phone that is also quite affordable. There is no 5G for less than 200 Euros, but you get a fast 90 Hz screen and fast Wi-Fi 5. The manufacturer also promises long software updates and a decent camera.

The high temperatures under load are a nuisance, as is the low number of 4G frequencies. This should be sufficient for home use but can quickly become an obstacle for surfing while travelling abroad.

With the G21, Nokia has put together a good overall package thanks to a bright screen and fast SoC, which is available at a low price.

Those who prefer an AMOLED screen and higher performance are better served by the Motorola Moto G31. If you want a smartphone with less heat, you can consider the Xiaomi Redmi 9C. However, it cannot keep up with our test device in terms of performance.

Price and availability

The Nokia G21 with 128 GB storage is currently only available directly from the manufacturer https://www.nokia.com/phones/de_de/nokia-g-21?sku=719901183921for about 190 Euros. The 64 GB version is available from various online retailers for 170 Euros. Our partners amazon.de, notebooksbilliger.de and Cyberport also list the Nokia G21.

Nokia G21 - 03/06/2022 v7
Florian Schmitt

Chassis
82%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
45 / 70 → 65%
Weight
89%
Battery
92%
Display
83%
Games Performance
11 / 64 → 18%
Application Performance
66 / 86 → 77%
Temperature
85%
Noise
100%
Audio
72 / 90 → 80%
Camera
60%
Average
73%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nokia G21 Smartphone Review: Slim 4G phone convinces with bright screen
Florian Schmitt, 2022-03- 9 (Update: 2022-03- 9)