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Nokia goes low-cost crazy with 3 new cheap phones at MWC


HMD Global, which owns the license to produce Nokia smartphones, has added another three new models to its rapidly growing portfolio. Announced at Mobile World Congress, which is taking place in Barcelona, Spain, this week, are the Nokia C2 2nd Edition, the Nokia C21, and Nokia C21 Plus. These are all entry-level models, designed to entice people into the world of smartphone ownership and potentially upgrade from a feature phone for the first time.

Nokia C21 Plus

The C21 Plus is the top model in the new lineup, but it’s still very modestly priced at 119 euros, or about $132. It launches in April in the U.K. for 100 British pounds. For this, you get a 4,000mAh battery with two days of life, but there will also be a more expensive version with a larger 5,050mAh battery if you want three days of battery life. Battery capacity aside, the two versions are otherwise the same. The C21 Plus has a 6.5-inch screen with an HD+ resolution and a teardrop notch at the top. Android 11 Go Edition comes installed.

It has a UNISOC processor inside with the choice of 32GB or 64GB storage space, plus a MicroSD card slot for expansion. There’s 4G LTE connectivity, Bluetooth 4.2, and a simple 13-megapixel camera and 2MP depth camera on the back. Selfies are shot using a 5MP camera, plus there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the phone’s body. The battery is charged using a MicroUSB cable and not a more modern USB Type-C cable. You have the choice of a Dark Cyan or Warm Gray color scheme, and the C21 Plus has an IP52 splash-resistance rating.

The Nokia C21 color choices.
Nokia C21

The Nokia C21, without the Plus in its name, also has a UNISOC processor and a 6.5-inch screen, but downgrades the cameras to a single 8MP and a 5MP selfie camera. The battery has a smaller 3,000mAh capacity, but the software remains the same and there’s 4G LTE connectivity, a fingerprint sensor, and a 3.5mm headphone socket. It’s cheaper than the Plus at 99 euros, or about $110, but isn’t expected to launch in the U.K..

Finally, there’s the Nokia C2 2nd Edition. This is the cheapest new phone from HMD Global at 79 euros, or around $88, and it will cost 75 British pounds when it’s released in May. Like the first Nokia C2, it has a 5.7-inch screen, along with a single camera on the back and a selfie camera set at the top of the screen on the front. The phone will deliver a full day’s use from its battery, and it even has a metal chassis to give it additional toughness.

The Nokia C2 2nd Edition color choices.
Nokia C2 2nd Edition

Android 11 Go Edition is installed on all three new phones, and two years of security updates are promised. HMD Global says the software won’t come pre-installed with many apps, freeing up storage space and helping performance. HMD Global doesn’t plan to release these phones in the U.S., and is instead concentrating on a different strategy for its North American efforts, beginning with the five devices launched during CES 2022.

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