Everyone knows that the 2.1 is super affordable. However, is it pocket dynamite? We’ve taken a good look at it.
The phone isn’t built that well. You have to remember that it’s a budget device from 2 years ago. It has a plastic back that’s not very glossy. Around it is an aluminum frame, which is the only good thing about it. The frame is a major fingerprint magnet, though.
The device is two-toned. Its back-panel is a solid colour, while the accents on it are a contrasting shade. This makes it eye-catching.
You’re not looking at a slim handset. The 2.1 is pretty thick – its dimensions are 153.6 x 77.6 x 9.7 mm. It’s not only thick, but it’s small. It stretches 5.5 inches across.
Our favourite variant is the blue one. Its accents are copper. There are also blue/silver and grey/silver versions.
No surprise, there is a MicroSD slot on it. There is also a 3.5 mm headphone jack. We find its buttons easy to reach. There is, unfortunately, no fingerprint sensor in place.
The device weighs 174 grams. The heavier a phone is, the more premium it’ll feel. It has some heft to it.
When the 2.1 was released, it was considered huge. Its 5.5-inch screen is nothing today. Its display is an IPS LCD. If you know anything about displays, it’s that LCDs aren’t that vibrant.
The handset doesn’t have the best screen-to-body ratio. Its ratio is a measly 70%. This explains the large top and bottom bezels. Its screen is as far away from pin-sharp as possible; it’s 720 x 1280 pixels. Although it’s not very noteworthy, it’s normal for phones its price to come with such screen resolutions.
We noticed something about its display – it has an odd blue tint to it. We tried correcting it through its temperature settings and sorted it out a bit.
Its front is strong. It’s made out of Gorilla Glass 3. Many devices in its price range have a regular strengthened glass instead.
The device has a 4000 mAh unit. It’s not too shabby. As it’s on the lower end of the price spectrum and its rear is plastic, you might be thinking that you can remove its battery. This is not the case.
We found it to last for around 2 days. Unfortunately, you don’t get the best charging options. There is only a 10 W charger. It takes the 2.1 over 2 hours to fully charge.
The phone doesn’t have the best chipset. It’s the Snapdragon 425 which just about lets you handle everyday tasks. It gets especially slow after the device has been used for a while. What makes the phone not-the-best to use is its RAM. You can only pick the device with 1 GB. You’ll regularly find active apps being closed.
Along with 1 gig of RAM, you get 8 GB of space, which would be used up quickly. Thankfully, you can expand its storage.
Out of the box, you’re getting Android 8.1. Since it’s a budget phone released 2 years ago, you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s not getting the Android 10 update.
We love that Nokia uses Stock Android on their handsets. This allows for a very customizable experience. It also results in phones not coming with any bloatware.
There is an 8 MP single sensor on its rear. It takes shots that are as far from detailed and colour accurate as possible. They’re especially bad in low-light. Its front shooter is a 5 MP sensor. It doesn’t do that well either.
The dynamic range is something the 2.1 especially struggles with – it’s a mix of colour ratios in a picture. When you enable HDR mode, its issue with dynamic range is softened a bit.
To wrap up our review, we thought of comparing the handset with alternatives.
The Redmi 6A is a bit smaller than its Nokia counterpart. It’s much lighter, though. You’re looking at a 145-gram device. It’s made of plastic, so it feels cheap. If it had more weight, it’d feel more premium.
The phone has an IPS LCD screen – you already know how we feel about it. Its screen-to-body ratio is better than the 2.1’s. Its ratio is 72.7%. You’re still getting large bezels on the top and bottom, though. Not only does it have a better screen-to-body ratio, but it has a sharper display – its screen resolution is 720 x 1440 pixels.
Out of the box, you’re getting Android 8.1. You can upgrade it to Android 9, not 10 – for obvious reasons. The UI on it is MIUI 11. If you should know anything about it, it’s that it has a lot of bloatware. If it’s any consolation, it comes with many themes.
It carries a Mediatek chip. It’s the Helio A22. It’s snappier than the Snapdragon 425. The device comes with better memory variants. You’re getting 16 and 32 gigs of space along with 2 and 3 gigs of RAM. Yes, you can expand its storage.
Its battery is quite small. It’s only 3000 mAh. It lasts about a day. It doesn’t charge through fast charging – you’ll have to use a regular 10 W charger. It’ll take over 2 hours to go from 0-100%.
There is a single camera on its rear. It’s a 13 MP shooter. The shooter on its front is 5 MP.
The phone has a plastic body. It’s shiny, so it looks premium. The handset weighs as much as its Nokia counterpart. It’s 0.5 inches smaller than the 2.1.
In terms of its display, it’s an IPS LCD panel. Its screen-to-body ratio isn’t that good. It’s 64.4%. Its display isn’t that sharp either - its screen resolution is only 480 x 854 pixels. The final nail in the coffin is that its front isn’t very strong. There is only a regular strengthened glass in place.
Out of the box, you’re getting Android 8. There are rumours about the phone getting the Android 10 update.
The chipset inside is the Mediatek MT6737M. It’s faster than the Snapdragon 425. Storage-wise, you don’t get very impressive options. You only get 8 gigs of space along with 1 GB of RAM. Just like the 2.1, apps are cleared because of the lack of RAM. Thankfully, you can expand its storage.
We’re not fans of its battery. It’s only 2280 mAh. The Y3 (2018) lasts less than a day. Regular 10 W charging works on the device. As you can imagine, it takes a very long time to charge.
Camera-wise – there is a single set-up on its rear. It’s an 8 MP sensor. The lens on its front is 2 MP.
The C2 is 5.7 inches. Considering that we’re fans of large devices, we appreciate this. The handset was released in 2020 – this explains its bump in size. Not only is it bigger, but it’s heavier too. There is also plastic on its back – it’s soft to the touch.
When it comes to the display, you’re met with an IPS LCD screen. You’re probably aware of how the panel works. The phone’s screen resolution is better than the 2.1’s – it is 720 x 1440 pixels. What about its screen-to-body ratio? Well, it’s not the best, but it’s better than its counterpart.
You’ll have to be careful with it – the device has a front that’s regular strengthened glass.
The Android version it runs is Android 9. This isn’t too bad – it is not getting Android 10, though. In terms of the chipset it runs, it is a Unisoc (28nm) chip which is not very good.
When it comes to its memory variants, you’re getting options you’ve seen time and time again. There is 16 GB of space along with 1 GB of RAM which might not be enough. Luckily, you can expand its storage.
It comes with a battery that’s 2800 mAh. The phone will last around a day. Its battery life is not as good as the 2.1, so we’re disappointed. When it comes to its charging capabilities, regularly 10 W charging will be utilized.
Camera-wise, its options are similar to its brother – there is a 5 MP sensor on its rear. In the front, there is a 5 MP shooter.
Like the C2, the J2 Core is a newer handset. It’s the newer version of the J2 Core released in 2018. The device looks better than the 2.1 – it has a shinier plastic body. From a distance, it is very metallic-like. If you’re looking for a phone that has some heft, it is unfortunately not for you. It is only 154 grams.
Although it’s a bit lighter, it’s much smaller than its brother. It is only 5 inches. Samsung’s a fan of Super AMOLED panels, even in their budget devices. However, the Core (2020) does not come with the display. There is a PLS TFT one instead. The panel is an IPS LCD but better. When it comes to its screen-to-body ratio, you’re not looking at very impressive bezel action. Its ratio is only 66.7%.
What about its screen resolution? It’s not impressive either. The 2.1 eats it up as it’s only 540 x 960 pixels.
Just like the other alternatives, the glass on its front is the regular strengthened type – don’t get too rough with it.
The Android it runs is Android 8.1. Yes, the phone runs the Go version (like its alternative and the other contenders). The processor inside it is the Exynos 7570 chipset. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a budget processor, but it outdoes the Snapdragon 425 in the Nokia 2.1.
You’re getting 16 GB of space along with 1 GB of RAM. Thankfully, there is a MicroSD slot in place. Nokia is known to use Stock Android on their phones. This limits bloatware, so their budget units won’t be impossible to use. Unfortunately, the UI Samsung especially in cheaper units, has a bloatware problem.
The battery it has is 2600 mAh and it won’t last even a day. To charge it, you’ll be utilizing regular 10 W charging. The handset takes well over 2 hours to go from 0-100%.
The device performs the way you would expect from a phone its price. Nokia is known to produce budget handsets that deliver. Considering the year and price the 2.1 was released in, we think they did a fair job.
However is it good? No – the phone’s variants did better than it in certain aspects, but they’re nothing to write home about.
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