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The Nokia C21 and C21 Plus offer an Android smartphone experience for under £100

Cheap and cheerful, the Nokia C21 is the follow-up to the company’s most successful C-series phone

When it returned to the smartphone-making limelight, Nokia’s approach seemed to be to target every market and every price point around. 
In recent years, it seems to have become a touch more selective, with a plan to specifically dominate the budget end of the market, and that’s continuing with both the Nokia C21 and C21 Plus – two Android handsets set to come in at under £100 apiece.
The handsets are follow-ups to the Nokia C20, which the company claims is its most successful C-series handset so far. They both use the octa-core SC9863 SoC backed up by a modest 2GB or 3GB of RAM, depending on the version. There are two cameras on the C21: an 8MP rear camera with flash and a front-facing 5MP selfie cam on the front. The Plus model gains a second rear camera and an upgraded main sensor, consisting of a primary 13MP unit with a 2MP depth.

The handsets are both 6.5in devices featuring a V-shaped notch for said selfie camera. While both phones are near enough the same physical size, the two handsets also differ in terms of their battery capacity: 3,000mAh on the regular phone and 4,000mAh on the Plus model. Both batteries, unusually, are user-replaceable, which is a design decision that’s gone out of fashion over the course of the last decade and something we’ve certainly missed.

These are undeniably modest specifications that you’ll feel in day-to-day use, which means Nokia has chosen to use the Go edition of Android 11  a stripped-back version of Android predominantly aimed at low-cost handsets in emerging markets. Both phones, Nokia says, have minimal preloads to ensure they not only run as smoothly as possible but have a small footprint on the built-in 32GB of internal storage. 
They also have a fingerprint reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack and are guaranteed two years of security updates. All three plus points are extremely welcome given the low prices of €99 (around £83) and €119 (roughly £99) respectively. 
No doubt there’ll be an element of getting what you pay for here, but Android Go will hopefully make for a passable day-to-day experience. If it does, the Nokia C21 could be the bargain of 2022.

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