HMD Global has unveiled a new category to its budget portfolio which is the C series. With the introduction of this series, they dropped a new contender to the budget segment in India i.e, Nokia C20 Plus. This smartphone bundles a dual rear camera setup with a long-lasting battery that runs on Android 11 Go Edition. But the question arises that can this device go squarely against its competitors. After using Nokia C20 Plus as my primary device for over a month. Here’s my review of the Nokia C20 Plus. Before heading towards review, Here’s a look at the specifications of the Nokia C20 Plus

Nokia C20 Plus Full Specifications

General
Brand Nokia
Model C20 Plus
Price in India ₹8,999
Release date 11th June 2021
Launched in India Yes
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 165.40 x 75.85 x 0.00
Weight (g) 204.70
Battery capacity (mAh) 4950
Colours Blue, Grey
Display
Screen size (inches) 6.50
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 720×1600 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9
Hardware
Processor octa-core
Processor make Unisoc SC9863A
RAM 2GB
Internal storage 32GB
Expandable storage Yes
Expandable storage type microSD
Expandable storage up to (GB) 256
Camera
Rear camera 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel
No. of Rear Cameras 2
Rear autofocus Yes
Rear flash Yes
Front camera 5-megapixel
No. of Front Cameras 1
Software
Operating system Android 11 (Go edition)
Connectivity
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 b/g/n
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes, v 4.20
Micro-USB Yes
Headphones 3.5mm
Number of SIMs 2
SIM 1
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
SIM 2
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
Sensors
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes

BOX CONTENTS:

  • Nokia C20 Plus Handset
  • Nokia 10W Charger
  • Micro-USB Data cable
  • Protective Case
  • User Manual
  • Screen Protector

DESIGN & DISPLAY

Nokia C20 Plus is a successor of the Nokia C20 that was announced globally. The back of the device is made of polycarbonate which is pretty solid and durable. It features the same textured Nordic design which is often known as the brand’s signature that comes with two colourways:- Ocean Blue and Graphite Back. This textured finish doesn’t attain fingerprints and smudges onto the back. For conducting this review, We’re using the Ocean Blue Colour of this device.

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The circular camera module houses two camera sensors placed vertically into it and a flashlight on the left of the circular module. Meanwhile, the fingerprint scanner is placed below it. There is a single firing speaker on the bottom right on the back. Moving towards the sides, that’s where you’ll start appreciating the material quality implied here. It flanks a power button and volume rockers on the right, SIM tray slot on the left, Headphone Jack on the top. However, Nokia chose to ditch the USB Type-C Port and flank a Micro-USB Port for charging. The tactile feedback of the power button and volume rockers is decent.

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Over at the front, the Nokia C20 Plus places its 6.5-inch HD+ display flanked by not-too-large bezels on the sides. This LCD panel has a familiar V-notch with a large chin at the bottom alongside the ‘NOKIA’ branding. The bezels on the other sides are minimal but the bottom chin grabs the attention. I’d appreciate a smaller chin here. Overall, the rear of the device looks rather basic with a waterdrop notch. The display looks pretty big and perfectly lovely compared to the competitors in this sub-category. The colours look punchy and there’s a visible color shift while looking from sharp angles which are on point at such a price point. 

PERFORMANCE & SOFTWARE

The software optimization plays a major role before tossing any chipset into a smartphone and Nokia chose to onboard Unisoc SC9863A chipset in Nokia C20 Plus. The Unisoc SC9863A is based on a 28nm architecture which delivers an entry-level performance cluster where the clock speed can toss up to 1.6Ghz. It isn’t the best option in this segment. In fact, there are devices like Redmi 9 Prime and Realme Narzo 30A which hold better performance capable chipset on a similar price range which definitely outpaces the Nokia C20 Plus in sheer power. 

Performance is average but it doesn’t feel quite as snappy as the other budget devices are. Its iffy performance is quite evident while opening apps, running games, and spending some time navigating into the UI. With such an entry-level processor, they chalked up the software experience with the implementation of the Android 11 Go edition. It runs a clean, near-stock build of Android with barely any preloaded apps. But, this device is not bloat-free. Hear me out! While configuring the Google account in this device, it automatically downloaded various applications and games i.e, Brain Test, Color Hop 3D, DailyHunt, Ludo Empire, Josh, Moj, Moj Lite, MX Takatak, MX Takatak Lite, Roposo, ShareChat, Simple Soulful and Solitaire without my consent. However, these bloat wares can be uninstalled easily.

As far as software is concerned, it doesn’t feel polished where you’ll feel that the app opening speed takes a good 3-5 seconds to run them, the app opening animations don’t appear when there are 2-3 applications running onto the background. It shook up the notification shade with some advertisements from ‘Mobile Service Manager’ to download applications. To turn off these notifications, visiting the app info and disabling ‘Mobile Service Manager’ is the only solution for it.

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CAMERA & BATTERY

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Nokia C20 Plus houses two camera sensors: 8MP Primary Camera Sensor and 2MP depth sensor for portraits. Daylight shots with the Primary sensor reproduce desaturated photos with a slight sharpening onto the pictures. The camera tends to overblown the dynamic range in the harsh sunlight. As soon as the lights fade away, the camera starts struggling in low light with a lot of grain and poor details in the pictures. Also, there’s no night mode present in this camera app which can be a bummer for some users. The Portrait Mode doesn’t make a vast difference in the picture. On the front, it has a 5MP selfie shooter which captures adequate details to satisfy the user but inherits inaccurate colour science which is not close to reality. Talking about video capabilities, Nokia C20 Plus can only shoot videos up to 720p resolution at 30fps from both rear and front cameras. That’s it! There are contenders available which can easily shoot better resolution than this. 

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The Nokia C20 Plus ships with a 5000mAh battery. With such a massive battery, it can easily withstand up to 1-1.5 days with ease. We can thank this battery life based on software optimization and an entry-level chipset. The charging speed is capped at 10W which isn’t the fastest around and topes off in 2 hours 24 minutes.

THE UNBIASED VERDICT

The Nokia C20 Plus is available in two storage configurations:- 2GB+32GB for Rs 8,999 and 3GB+32GB for Rs. 9,999 in two colour variants: Ocean Blue and Graphite Black.

If you’re looking for a robust and sturdy device that holds those Nokia vibes for you, with a good battery backup and perks of stock android for a much clean software experience. This smartphone can be a good companion for you or even for your elder grandparents who don’t care about a powerhouse performance, thick bezels on the chin, or a prolific camera. They just care about a good and huge display, a massive battery, and a clean experience without those flashy adults advertisements. This could be a good option for them. However, we can’t commit anything about the longevity of the Android Go Edition smartphone but overall we haven’t encountered the Android Go for our review period.

If you’re looking for a smartphone that holds a powerful SOC in the budget category, shouldn’t have thick bezels and a good set of cameras, this smartphone is not at all for you. You can look onto other devices by the competitors; Redmi 9 Prime, which bundles MediaTek Helio G80 SOC, a quad-camera setup, and a heavy 5020mAh battery. There is one more offering i.e, Realme Narzo 30A which bundles a 6000mAh battery, Mediatek Helio G85 SOC, a dual-camera setup.

Disclaimer: We tested the Nokia C20 Plus for a month before writing this review. All our reviews are unbiased and are published without the brand getting to read it before you guys. We don’t change our reviews on pressure from brands and that’s the reason we are not sent review units from companies like Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and a few more.

By Anmol Bhatia

20 | Capture Eye Candy Shots while writing about gadgets | Keen interest in TECH since childhood.

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