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Nokia C20 Plus Review: This Pricey Android Go Smartphone is a No Go

Because the launch of the following Jio Telephone (actually known as ‘Subsequent’) attracts nearer, the entry-level finances smartphone phase is about for a serious shakeup. It’s speculated that the Jio Telephone Subsequent may very well be launched with Android Go, the watered-down model of Android, which has solely been seen on only a few smartphones launched over the previous few years. Whereas Android Go was launched with the intent of bringing Android to sub-Rs. 5,000 units with 1GB of RAM or much less in 2018, it didn’t actually take off in India. Now, in 2021, it makes little sense particularly on a smartphone that is priced nearer to Rs. 10,000.

The Nokia C20 Plus runs Android Go and was launched fairly just lately. Priced ranging from Rs. 8,999 for the 2GB RAM variant, it is underpowered and does not actually justify its price. The positioning is questionable, since it will likely be going up in opposition to Micromax’s just lately launched In 2b, the Redmi 9i, and Realme’s C21Y.

Nokia C20 Plus value in India

The Nokia C20 Plus is priced ranging from Rs. 8,999 in India. The bottom variant has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage at that value. The second variant has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 9,999. Each choices can be found in two finishes, gray and blue, and help expandable storage of as much as 256GB with a devoted microSD card slot.

Nokia C20 Plus design

The Nokia C20 Plus includes a easy and sensible design. The textured again has effective ridges, which make for an honest grip. With a 6.5-inch show, it has a big footprint and isn’t a tool that may simply be operated with one hand. It is also fairly thick at 9.35mm and heavy at 204g. The plastic unibody felt sturdy and was good at rejecting fingerprints with its matte end. The identical could be mentioned concerning the show glass, which remained smudge-free in common use.

Nokia C20 Plus back design panel ndtv NokiaC20Plus  Nokia

The Nokia C20 Plus includes a plastic unibody which doesn’t appeal to fingerprints

 

There is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the prime and a Micro-USB port on the backside. The round digicam module protrudes a bit from the already thick physique, and the LED flash is positioned subsequent to it. The speaker is underneath a slit positioned on the backside proper nook and there is a tiny dimple to assist forestall sound from getting muffled when this cellphone is positioned on a flat floor.

Not like different latest Nokia smartphones, there isn’t any devoted Google Assistant key on the left facet, solely the quantity and energy buttons on the suitable. With no fingerprint reader, the one methods to unlock this cellphone are to punch in a PIN or passcode, or use face recognition. The latter was too gradual to react, and was usually unreliable.

Nokia C20 Plus specs and software program

The Nokia C20 Plus makes use of the Unisoc SC9863a processor which has a most clock pace of 1.6GHz. This cellphone has as much as 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which is lower than you’d get with many different smartphones out there at this value. Communications choices embrace Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (solely 2.4GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS and AGPS for navigation. With most producers now utilizing Sort-C ports even on entry-level smartphones, the Micro-USB port on the Nokia C20 Plus appears a bit dated.

Nokia C20 Plus back speaker ndtv NokiaC20Plus  Nokia

The speaker is positioned underneath a slit on the again panel.

 

The Nokia C20 Plus runs Android Go, based mostly on Android 11. It is a stripped-down model of the common Android expertise, and was initially designed to work on units with simply 512MB to 1GB of RAM. A fast go to to the Android Go web site immediately, and that requirement has now been set at 2GB or beneath.

Aside from the watered-down expertise, you additionally get Google’s Go-branded apps, that are a lot smaller in dimension than their common counterparts. In idea, this could not solely make them launch faster, but in addition depart extra room for photographs, movies, and third-party apps. The scale of those default Go apps is necessary as most Android GO smartphones have very restricted space for storing.

Nokia C20 Plus front software ndtv NokiaC20Plus  Nokia

The Nokia C20 Plus runs Google’s Android Go

 

Nonetheless, issues weren’t as I had anticipated after I first booted up the smartphone. Not like the Nokia G20 (Overview) which had simply two extra preinstalled apps (Netflix and My Nokia), the C20 Plus got here loaded with third-party apps and video games equivalent to Moj, MyJio, MXTakaTak, and Easy Soulful to call a couple of. There have been lite variations of widespread apps as nicely, together with Moj Lite and Fb Lite. That is along with the Go apps from Google in addition to a number of common apps like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and Information. Having so many apps preinstalled defeats the aim of a lean Android expertise, which Android Go was meant to ship.

Nokia C20 Plus efficiency and battery life

The 6.5-inch HD+ show is legible open air, however is not brilliant sufficient to sort out direct daylight. Viewing angles aren’t nice both, with the show showing noticeably dim when mendacity on a desk or seen at an angle. Textual content and pictures didn’t look sharp, and I observed lots of jagged edges round icons and widgets. The cellphone helps Widevine L3 for SD decision playback in Netflix and different streaming apps, which signifies that streamed video content material didn’t look sharp. Making issues worse is the rear-firing speaker, which was not loud sufficient and sounded muffled, forcing me to plug in a pair of earphones.

Nokia C20 Plus front display ndtv NokiaC20Plus  Nokia

The Nokia C20 Plus has a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD show

 

Regardless of having 3GB of RAM on my overview unit, Android Go didn’t run easily. I observed lots of stuttering in animations and transitions in day by day use. Google’s Go apps do save fairly a little bit of house however are closely trimmed down when it comes to options, and largely run off the Chrome browser which makes the person expertise clunky at greatest.

I additionally tried a Lite model of the Instagram app, which took a few seconds to launch and felt a bit gradual whereas scrolling by way of feeds. The common Android app ran higher and provided much more options. App launches have been fairly gradual, with most taking a couple of seconds to start out up. Slack took about 4 seconds to start out up, which is kind of gradual for a smartphone that prices Rs. 9,999 in 2021.

Android Go itself is proscribed when it comes to options. The notifications tray for instance solely lets you’ve got three seen toggles (you should swipe to the left for 3 extra). There are not any badges or dot indicators on icons to warn you about notifications. Total, Android Go on the C20 Plus wasn’t a superb expertise for a long-time smartphone person.

As anticipated, the cellphone didn’t carry out nicely in benchmarks. The Nokia C20 Plus scored 77,335 factors in AnTuTu, and 126 and 473 in Geekbench’s single and multi-core checks respectively. That is fairly unhealthy, not only for an entry-level machine, but in addition when you think about that the C20 Plus competes with extra succesful telephones at its value.

Nokia C20 Plus back camera ndtv NokiaC20Plus  Nokia

The Nokia C20 Plus has two rear-facing cameras

 

As for gaming, this cellphone is sweet sufficient to play informal titles like Subway Surfers, however as anticipated it didn’t do nicely with graphics-intensive titles equivalent to Name of Obligation: Cellular. Even on the default Low graphics and Medium body charge settings, this sport was largely unplayable with far an excessive amount of lag and too many skipped frames.

The Nokia C20 Plus lasted a day and a half with informal use. Add some informal gaming to the combination and that determine comes down by a couple of hours. The cellphone lasted simply 11 hours and 19 minutes in our HD video loop battery take a look at, which is kind of unhealthy for a finances smartphone. Charging the Nokia C20 Plus’s 4,950mAh battery utilizing the bundled 10W charger took 3 hours and half-hour, which is kind of gradual.

Nokia C20 Plus cameras

The Nokia C20 Plus has two rear cameras; an 8-megapixel main digicam and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Selfie duties are dealt with by a 5-megapixel digicam. The app interface is usually Nokia, with many of the necessary controls laid out entrance and centre. I observed lots of lag when switching between digicam modes, to the extent that the cellphone felt frozen at occasions, making for a irritating taking pictures expertise.

Nokia C20 Plus daylight digicam samples (faucet to see full dimension)

 

Pictures captured in daylight confirmed below-average element and most have been overexposed. Even with HDR out there, dynamic vary was a bit too restricted, which resulted in black patches close to the shadows with little to no element in these areas. The digicam was gradual to focus even in daylight, which meant that I needed to be affected person when taking close-up photographs.

Nokia C20 Plus low-light digicam samples. (faucet to see full dimension)

 

The Portrait mode is just out there when utilizing the rear digicam, however photographs exhibited below-average edge detection and blown-out highlights on each the topic and the background in daylight. Selfies regarded a bit too uninteresting, with some irregular color and a dreamy haze. Video recorded in daylight was very shaky and low on element, with abnormally excessive distinction. Picture high quality took a nosedive put up sundown, and this cellphone produced largely unusable photographs and movies.

Verdict

The Nokia C20 Plus doesn’t supply something particular when it comes to {hardware}, and the software program expertise doesn’t redeem it, particularly when you think about its Rs. 8,999 beginning price ticket. Priced at Rs. 8,499, Micromax’s In 2b (Overview) presents a vastly superior software program expertise, with near-stock Android and nearly no bloat or third-party apps. It is also doable to play video games on the In 2b, and digicam high quality is not unhealthy both, given its value. Realme’s C21Y is a brand new contender which presents the identical Unisoc T610 SoC because the In 2b. Each these telephones additionally supply creature comforts equivalent to a USB Sort-C port.

There’s additionally Realme’s Narzo 30A (Overview), which appears to supply much better worth at this value level with an even bigger 6,000mAh battery and 18W quick charging. With so many different, extra succesful smartphones priced at round Rs. 8,999 and even much less, it will be very arduous to advocate the Nokia C20 Plus, even to a Nokia fan.


This week on Orbital, the Devices 360 podcast, we focus on iPhone 13, new iPad and iPad mini, and Apple Watch Collection 7 — and what they imply to the Indian market. Orbital is out there on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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