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Nokia 210 hands-on review: Nokia’s best ever feature phone?

It might not have the features of its flashier siblings, but the Nokia 210 costs a mere $35

If you were expecting another Nokia nostalgia phone at this year’s MWC, then I’m afraid you’re going to be sorely disappointed. There is no re-imagined Nokia N-Gage, N95 or Nokia 8800. Instead, we’re having to make do with four new Nokia smartphones. Oh, what a travesty.

The Nokia 9 PureView, Nokia 4.2, Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 1 Plus are all nice offerings, but I’m here to talk about the company’s latest feature phone, the Nokia 320. It doesn’t have the same smart capabilities, but its super-cheap price is worth considering.

Nokia 210 review: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 2.4in QVGA display
  • Quad-core 1.1GHz MediaTek MT6737M processor
  • 4MB RAM
  • 16MB storage
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 120.8 x 53.49 x 13.81mm
  • 82g
  • Removable 1,020mAh battery
  • $35 (UK price TBC)
  • March 2018

Nokia 210 review: Design, key features and first impressions

Let’s start by saying this doesn’t represent the same level of experience as Nokia’s flashy flagship lineup. There’s no swish sandwich of aluminium and glass. You won’t be able to download apps and games from the usual sources, and the Nokia 210’s camera capabilities are, to put it bluntly, basic.

But that’s not what the Nokia 210 is all about. For your money (and that’s very little, by the way) you get a dinky phone that fits nicely in your pocket, weighing a mere 82g. In fact, it’s so small and light that you might just forget you’ve held it up to your ear in the first place.

It also looks as lovely as the rest of Nokia’s fleet of feature phones. The entire handset, aside from the screen, is surrounded by a rather durable polycarbonate shell, which can be picked up in a choice of three colours; red, grey or black. Under the screen is an old-school numpad-style keypad, which includes navigation keys along with call accept and reject buttons.

The Nokia 210 is fitted with a 2.4in, QVGA (320×240) resolution screen. Of course, this is nothing like those 4K, HDR-equipped beauties we’ve recently seen with the latest flagships, but this is a decent-looking screen nonetheless. It’s nice and bright, and text and images look reasonably sharp.

Nokia remains a little tight-lipped on what’s powering the Nokia 210, although we do know that there’s a small 4MB of RAM onboard along with 16MB of storage, which sadly can’t be expanded with a microSD card. A removable 1,020mAh battery is expected to last up to 20 days on a single charge.

The Nokia 210 is also equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera, with a single LED flash. It’s obviously not the best, but it should do the job for the occasional snap. Sadly, there is no front-facing selfie camera.

Lastly, let’s talk about the Nokia 210’s software and internet capabilities. Nokia says this is its most affordable internet device yet, and you can access web content via the pre-installed Opera mini web browser. The phone itself is running Nokia’s own Series 30+ software platform and includes pre-installed apps such as an FM radio and torch. You can also download games, ringtones and wallpapers using Nokia’s own mobile app store, although the measly 16MB of internal storage will soon run out fast.

Nokia 210 review: Early verdict

There’s not a lot to talk about with the Nokia 210. It’s a feature phone after all, and it lacks the smart capabilities of its pricier siblings, but I really don’t think that should work to its disadvantage.

Let’s take a look at the Nokia 210’s merits. It’s exceptionally cheap at a mere $35 (UK price TBC) – putting that figure into perspective, you can buy a total of 285 Nokia 210’s for the price of a single iPhone Xs. Sure, the experience is far from comparable, but if you need a cheap phone for the summer festival or holiday getaway, then this might well be it.

Feature phones still represent a significant chunk of the phone market and, while you might initially turn your nose up at the Nokia 210, there are many others who might agree that the Nokia 210 represents the best low-cost phone experience you can get.

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