Updated: October 21, 2021 11:25:40 am
Although it may seem so, now everyone uses a smartphone. India is still the largest market for feature phones as a large chunk of the population still hasn’t upgraded to a smartphone as they can’t afford even the cheapest of these. This gives companies like HMD Global enough room for growth in the entry-level smartphone segment, and the Nokia C01 Plus is exactly what it promises. It’s far from a jam-packed smartphone but should be good enough for WhatsApp, watching YouTube videos, or browsing the web. You are probably wondering what features you will be missing out on if you go with a Nokia C01 Plus and how well the camera stands up. Don’t worry — our Nokia C01 Plus review will cover all that and more.
Nokia C01 Plus price in India: Rs 6199
Nokia C01 Plus review: Design and display
Though the Nokia C01 doesn’t win awards for being the best-looking smartphone, it still manages to look good. HMD Global does a good job at still ensuring that the phone looks modern enough, and it shows. I am fine with the big bezels on top and bottom of the screen, and I am also okay with the build quality of the phone. It is made of plastic but feels sturdy. The Nokia C01 is a perfect size and weight for a smartphone. It is easy to use one-handed and the most comfortable to handle. The backside of the phone can be removed, revealing a swappable battery. The finish on the rear is soft to the touch and it doesn’t pick up any visible finger smudges or prints which are such a common blight on glass smartphones.
You’ll find the power button on the right edge with the volume rocker above. The buttons are responsive, thankfully. Apart from that, there’s just a micro-USB port on the top edge with the headphone jack next to it. The speaker is on the backside and is loud enough for watching videos or listening to casual music. On the back of the device, you’ll get a single rear-facing camera with a flash. A SIM/microSD slot is also there, but for that, you need to remove the back cover.
Nokia C01 Plus review: Display and performance
The Nokia C01 Plus has a 5.45-inch 720p HD display, and it does the job. I won’t say the display will wow you, and that’s expected from a budget phone. The display is fine for video streaming, reading news articles, or scrolling through your Facebook feed. For most people, this isn’t a deal-breaker, because this phone targets first-time smartphone buyers. Keep in mind that the display is a bit reflective and reading messages could be annoying in direct sunlight or brighter environments.
The Nokia C01 Plus is fast enough to browse the web, send messages, and play simple casual games. For someone who is coming from a feature phone, Nokia C01 Plus will feel like a capable phone and it is. It’s powered by a Unisoc SC9863A processor paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage. Don’t expect lightning-fast performance – and it better not to try playing Call of Duty: Mobile on it. If you mostly use your phone to check WhatsApp, streaming a movie/web show, or checking emails, this phone will perform fine in day-to-day use. There’s a slight lag when opening apps or swiping between screens, but that doesn’t impact the experience.
The Finnish company claims its phones run the clear version of Android. In this case, Android 11 (Go edition). You will find standard Google apps for basic functionality preloaded on the phone. But what surprised me is a plethora of apps preloaded on the phone. I never expected Josh, MX TakaTak, ShareChat, Netflix, and Snapchat to come preloaded on a Nokia phone. Maybe this signals a change in the business strategy but the company should stick to its words.
Nokia C01 Plus review: Battery and camera
The device comes with a 3000mAh battery, and I said at the beginning, it’s removable. Thanks to the lower resolution display, it’s able to last two days of heavy use. If you are someone who uses your phone occasionally just to check WhatsApp or attend calls, you will never need to worry about battery life with this phone. But I must say the supplied 5W charger takes forever to refill the phone from zero to 100 per cent. The Nokia C01 has several features you don’t get on a traditional feature phone including 4G connectivity and Wi-Fi. This phone also comes with Bluetooth but doesn’t support NFC for contactless payments.
Options for getting a good camera are limited on entry-level Android phones, and that also applies here. The 5MP front and back cameras are average, to say the least. The images from the primary camera are mediocre in most lighting conditions. Low-light photos are either overblown or super blurry. The front camera, however, isn’t bad for video chats and that’s a relief. A flash is included on both front and back cameras.
Nokia C01 Plus review: Should you buy it?
Nokia C01 Plus isn’t perfect, but then no one is expecting it to be in this price range. My biggest concern with any budget smartphone is that performance starts to slow down drastically as time passes on, and that’s exactly what happened to my dad’s phone. He is not tech-savvy but uses a phone all day for either WhatsApp or watching YouTube videos. The Nokia C01 Plus isn’t a bad device, but there are better alternatives available from rival brands. Buy this phone for your parents, or if you need a secondary smartphone. Even if you have a limited budget, always look for a phone that lasts longer, performs better, and takes respectable photos. It’s a tough choice but that’s how shopping for a phone has become.
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