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

As the launch of the following Jio Phone (actually known as ‘Next’) attracts nearer, the entry-level price range smartphone section is ready for a serious shakeup. It is speculated that the Jio Phone Next 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. While 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 value. 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 worth in India

The Nokia C20 Plus is priced ranging from Rs. 8,999 in India. The base variant has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage at that worth. The second variant has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 9,999. Both 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 superb 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’s additionally 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 will be mentioned concerning the show glass, which remained smudge-free in common use.

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

 

There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the high and a Micro-USB port on the backside. The round digital camera module protrudes a bit from the already thick physique, and the LED flash is positioned subsequent to it. The speaker is below 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.

Unlike different current Nokia smartphones, there is not any devoted Google Assistant key on the left facet, solely the amount and energy buttons on the correct. 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 sluggish 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 velocity 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 accessible at this worth. 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 Type-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 below a slit on the again panel.

 

The Nokia C20 Plus runs Android Go, primarily based on Android 11. It’s 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 at this time, and that requirement has now been set at 2GB or under.

Apart from the watered-down expertise, you additionally get Google’s Go-branded apps, that are a lot smaller in measurement than their common counterparts. In concept, this could not solely make them launch faster, but in addition go away extra room for pictures, movies, and third-party apps. The measurement of those default Go apps is essential 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

 

However, issues weren’t as I had anticipated after I first booted up the smartphone. Unlike the Nokia G20 (Review) which had simply two extra preinstalled apps (Netflix and My Nokia), the C20 Plus got here loaded with third-party apps and video games corresponding to Moj, MyJio, MXTakaTak, and Simple Soulful to call just a few. There have been lite variations of in style apps as effectively, together with Moj Lite and Facebook Lite. That’s along with the Go apps from Google in addition to a number of common apps like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and Files. 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 outdoor, however is not shiny sufficient to deal with direct daylight. Viewing angles aren’t nice both, with the show showing noticeably dim when mendacity on a desk or seen at an angle. Text and pictures didn’t look sharp, and I seen quite a lot 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

 

Despite having 3GB of RAM on my assessment unit, Android Go didn’t run easily. I seen quite a lot of stuttering in animations and transitions in each day use. Google’s Go apps do save fairly a little bit of area however are closely trimmed down by way of options, and largely run off the Chrome browser which makes the person expertise clunky at finest.

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

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

As anticipated, the cellphone didn’t carry out effectively in benchmarks. The Nokia C20 Plus scored 77,335 factors in AnTuTu, and 126 and 473 in Geekbench’s single and multi-core assessments respectively. This is sort of 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 worth.

Nokia C20 Plus back camera ndtv NokiaC20Plus Nokia

The Nokia C20 Plus has two rear-facing cameras

 

As for gaming, this cellphone is nice sufficient to play informal titles like Subway Surfers, however as anticipated it didn’t do effectively with graphics-intensive titles corresponding to Call of Duty: Mobile. Even on the default Low graphics and Medium body price 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 just a few hours. The cellphone lasted simply 11 hours and 19 minutes in our HD video loop battery check, which is sort of unhealthy for a price range smartphone. Charging the Nokia C20 Plus’s 4,950mAh battery utilizing the bundled 10W charger took Three hours and 30 minutes, which is sort of sluggish.

Nokia C20 Plus cameras

The Nokia C20 Plus has two rear cameras; an 8-megapixel major digital camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Selfie duties are dealt with by a 5-megapixel digital camera. The app interface is often Nokia, with a lot of the essential controls laid out entrance and centre. I seen quite a lot of lag when switching between digital camera modes, to the extent that the cellphone felt frozen at occasions, making for a irritating taking pictures expertise.

Nokia C20 Plus daylight digital camera samples (faucet to see full measurement)

 

Photos captured in daylight confirmed below-average element and most have been overexposed. Even with HDR accessible, 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 digital camera was sluggish to focus even in daylight, which meant that I needed to be affected person when taking close-up pictures.

Nokia C20 Plus low-light digital camera samples. (faucet to see full measurement)

 

The Portrait mode is just accessible when utilizing the rear digital camera, however pictures 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. Image high quality took a nosedive put up sundown, and this cellphone produced largely unusable pictures and movies.

Verdict

The Nokia C20 Plus doesn’t provide something particular by way of {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 (Review) gives a vastly superior software program expertise, with near-stock Android and nearly no bloat or third-party apps. It’s additionally potential to play video games on the In 2b, and digital camera high quality is not unhealthy both, given its worth. Realme’s C21Y is a brand new contender which gives the identical Unisoc T610 SoC because the In 2b. Both these telephones additionally provide creature comforts corresponding to a USB Type-C port.

There’s additionally Realme’s Narzo 30A (Review), which appears to supply much better worth at this worth level with a much 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 could be very exhausting to suggest the Nokia C20 Plus, even to a Nokia fan.


This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we focus on iPhone 13, new iPad and iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 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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