Nokia 2.1 review

The Nokia 2.1 combines attractive design with the simplicity of Android Oreo Go and the end result is spectacular value.

When HMD Global gave new life to Nokia in 2017 and attacked the budget smartphone market with a range of Android-based handsets, by and large they didn’t thrill us. However, during 2018 HMD has released a number of new handsets at similar price points to last year’s models that are just that bit more refined. The Nokia 6.1 was a great update to the Nokia 6, and the Nokia 3.1 improved on the Nokia 3 in mostly pleasing ways.

With the Nokia 2.1, HMD Global has taken that sharp refinement to the real budget end of its range and the results are excellent for the price.

Quick verdict

The Nokia 2.1 has its limitations in processing power and camera quality, but its exceptional battery life and attractive design make it an easy recommendation for customers who only need light use from a mobile.

The good

  • Attractive design
  • Good battery life
  • Optimised Android Go apps

The bad

  • Generally poor app performance
  • Camera is slow

Design

  • Removable back
  • 5.5-inch display
  • Aluminium frame gives a premium feel

Camera

  • Camera is a notable weak point

Performance

  • Android Go makes the most from a budget processor
  • A good match for basic smartphone users

Battery life

  • Great battery performance

Verdict

  • A surprisingly stylish phone for very little money
  • Exceptional battery life makes it stand out
  • Not powerful, but good for those who just want basic functions

Nokia 2.1 specs

Nokia 2.1
OSAndroid Go
Display size (inches)5.5
Display resolution (pixels)720×1,280
Pixels per inch (PPI)267
ProcessorSnapdragon 425
Height (mm)153.6
Width (mm)77.6
Depth (mm)9.7
Weight (g)174
Battery size (mAh)4,000
Wireless chargingNo
Internal storage8GB
MicroSD expansion128GB
Fingerprint scannerNo
RAM1
Water resistanceN/A
Nokia 2.1
Rear camera (1) resolution8
Front camera (1) resolution5
Nokia 2.1
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n
Network category speedN/A
NFC supportNo

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