The Nokia 2.1 is an entry-level device which comes with Android GO. It is not the best looking and premium device but it does pack a big screen, bigger battery, and stereo speakers. Overall, the device seems pretty good for the price and to know more, check out the complete Nokia 2.1 review.

Design and Build

The Nokia 2.1 is an extremely affordable smartphone and to achieve the word “affordable” some compromise are done. For starters, the device is made out of plastic with an aluminum frame and the back of the device is removable. It’s been long since I’ve seen a device with a removable back. Removing it gives you the access to two SIM slots, microSD card slot, and battery which isn’t removable.

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Talking about portability, the device is significantly large. It has a bigger footprint with a thickness of 9.7mm and the weight of the device is 174 gram. Undoubtedly, the Nokia 2.1 is a handful device which feels decent in hand and doesn’t have any premium traits like Glass Back or Metal unibody design.   

Upfront, there is an old 16:9 screen and above it is a Front camera, proximity sensor, and an earpiece which also works as a Speaker. There is also a speaker in the chin which is surprising for an entry-level smartphone. The Volume Rocker and the Power key are on the right and there is nothing on the left. At the bottom, you will find a MicroUSB (to keep the cost down) charging port while the 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top. On the back, there is a single rear camera along with flash. There is no Fingerprint scanner, IP certification for Water resistance, and Wireless charging but that’s whole heartedly acceptable for an entry-level device.  


One thing to brag about the Nokia 2.1 is the big screen. It's not particularly big screen but for the price and its competition, the screen is really big. Although, Nokia is still using a 16:9 panel to keep the cost down. It sports a 5.5 inch IPS LCD screen which has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and a pixel density of 267 pixels-per-inch. There is some kind of screen protection on the screen but it’s not Gorilla Glass as we know.

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Talking about screen quality, the colors aren’t saturated enough and the blacks aren’t inky as an OLED panel. Also, the screen resolution isn’t the highest but it’s pretty good for the price. The screen is big enough to enjoy movies, TV shows, Netflix etc on the go. Yeah, the bezels aren’t super slim and there is not notch but it’s one of the best screens you can get at the price point. The viewing angles are good and the screen is covered by an oleophobic coating protecting which helps in avoiding fingerprint smudges.

Performance and Software

The Nokia 2.1 packs Qualcomm MSM8917 Snapdragon 425 which is a Quad-Core chipset clocked at a frequency of 1.4GHz. It not the most powerful processor but it’s understandable. Also, it packs Adreno 308 which is an entry-level GPU as well. The device is only available is a single variant which comes with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage.

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Well, the performance of the Nokia 2.1 isn’t great. It loads the apps pretty slowly and sometimes struggles even with the simple tasks when the memory runs out. To make the device run smoothly, you have to often clean up the memory often. Only then you can browse the web, use social media and play casual games smoothly. It is obvious by now that Nokia 2.1 isn’t capable heavy games like PUBG or Asphalt 9 but you can play games like Temple Run, Subway Surfer etc. Multitasking is a weak point of this device since 1GB RAM is simply not enough for the modern apps. Also, the internal storage is quite low but you can expand the storage through the microSD card up to 128Gb, so that’s not an issue.

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The Nokia 2.1 runs on Android Oreo Go edition. It is nothing but a trimmed down version of the vanilla Android designed to use less RAM and Storage. It also comes with Go version of Google apps pre-installed, however, you can also download and run the original version from PlayStore. The Android Go does pack all the sleek style and animations of the full-fledged Android Oreo. It works smooth and fine but there are a high number of chances of getting updates for the future Android versions.

Camera and Battery Life 

There is nothing special about the Cameras on the Nokia 2.1. It packs a single rear camera and a single primary camera and that’s it. The rear camera is an 8 Megapixel sensor while the front camera is a 5 Megapixel sensor. One nice addition is the Auto-HDR and there are other basic features as well like Panorama, Video recording etc.

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In good light, the camera captures some decent images with good details. Also, the HDR models help to capture better color and details but it takes a while in HDR images. In low light, the images are grainy and lack dynamic range but turning ON the HDR make the images usable. The device can’t capture portrait shots due to lack of a sensor camera. On the selfie side, the 5MP sensor does a respectable job in capturing images but in good light only. In low light, the images become unusable due to lots of noise and blurriness. The rear camera is capable of recording 720p videos @ 30fps and the quality is average with no stabilization.

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Moving on to the battery life, the Nokia 2.1 packs a 4000 mAh battery which is really good for the price. Even with heavy usage, the battery can last 2 days which is impressive.  This means that it gives an average Screen-on-Time of 7-8 hours. The back of the device is removable but you can replace the battery on your own as it is not removable. Also, there is no Wireless or fast charging which is Okay for the price but the battery does take a long time to charge.

More Features

The Nokia 2.1 supports Dual SIM and Dual Standby. You can find the SIM slots under the back panel. Other than that, there is a dedicated microSD card as well which can be used to expand the storage up to 128GB. Other connectivity features include WIFI, Bluetooth, and GPS. There are a few sensors on the device including Accelerometer and Proximity. Sadly, there is no Fingerprint scanner so you have to stick with the traditional methods to unlock the device.

Apart from that, the device comes with Stereo speakers which are placed on the front. The audio quality is surprisingly good but it lacks bass. Since the speakers are on the front, the audio comes toward your face which makes it enjoyable to watch movies. There is also a headphone jack which can be used to connect external speakers or wired headphones.


The Nokia 2.1 is a decent device at best. It comes with a low-end chip which isn’t capable of heavy gaming but it runs on Android GO which provides smooth UI experience. The screen is quite large to enjoy movies and the stereo speakers do a great job as well in proving a pleasant audio experience. Also, there is a headphone jack which should be considered as a feature in 2019 and a big battery which is enough for heavy users as well. Overall, I can recommend Nokia 2.1 to anyone who is low on budget, looking for a decent phone.


    • GGGooodd!
      Apr 24
    • Battery very good
      Feb 28

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