Nokia C2 Review
HMD Global recently brought its most affordable smartphone yet in the Philippines. Launched last month, the Nokia C2 is the latest addition to the brand’s lineup of Android Go devices. It now comes with a better 5.7-inch HD+ screen, 4G LTE connectivity, and slightly bigger battery capacity at 2,800mAh. Priced at sub PHP4K, is it worth buying, or should you save more to get another entry-level model within the range of PHP5K? Let’s find out.
Design and Construction
Coming in a plastic unibody with a metallic matte finish, the Nokia C2 is available in two stunning colorways: Black and Cyan. We got the latter color for our review unit. Compared to other phones within the same price range, the smartphone boasts a more premium look. It doesn’t attract fingerprints easily and is slightly heavier from its previous sibling, the Nokia C1, at 161 g. However, it feels light and has a comfortable grip even when held single-handedly.
Just like its predecessor, it has a removable battery, which is a rare thing for smartphones nowadays. You’ll need to pry and open the smartphone’s back panel through a groove, put the battery in, and turn the power button on to bring it to life.
Ports and button placements are pretty much the same from the Nokia C1. Opening the back panel reveals the microSD slot and the first nano-SIM slot on the right.
On the other side is the second nano-SIM slot, which is now placed sideways.
At the back lies the rear camera and the flash, as well as the engraved Nokia branding in silver. The single loudspeaker can also be found on the lower left side.
When flipped over, you’ll see the LED flash, an earpiece, a 5MP camera, and the iconic Nokia logo at the top of the display.
Located on the right are the volume rockers and the power button.
A dedicated Google Assistant button is on the left.
Below are the single microphone and the micro-USB port for transferring data and charging the device.
Its 3.5mm audio jack sits right at the top of the smartphone.
Display and Multimedia
The smartphone sports a 5.7-inch HD+ display with a resolution of 1440 x 720 and all-around large bezels. It is decent for streaming and playing digital content with good color reproduction. However, contrast is a bit darker than usual for some scenes with poor lighting.
Its single loudspeaker exceeded our expectations, delivering good high-frequency sounds for music and video streaming. It can be loud and fill a small room. However, as expected, it lacks bass. Users may also cover it while holding the smartphone. The little dot on the top keeps the speakers in producing muffled sounds
The Nokia C2 is equipped with a single 5MP sensor both on the front and the rear. Check out the sample shots from the smartphone’s cameras:
As expected from a 5MP camera, photos were a bit grainy and generally lacked in detail. Saturation of images on its rear camera depends on the lighting condition of the environment. It tends to capture over-exposed photos in automatic mode when outdoors, so the best option is to tweak its brightness manually. The sensor experienced occasional delays when focusing on the subject. However, it performs well outdoors with manageable photos.
The story goes the same for the front camera. Portrait taken outdoors was better than the ones that were captured indoors. Although brighter than the former, the latter had more noise and was less detailed.
OS, UI, and Apps
Out of the box, the Nokia C2 runs on stock Android 9. As a Go Edition device, it features a plethora of pre-installed and reimagined Google apps such as Google, YouTube Music, Duo, and Gmail to run on phones with lesser hardware. This saves data and makes the device lighter. Under the program, the smartphone also receives the latest security patches and updates from Google regularly.
For biometrics, it has a responsive facial unlock, which works well in the device. Users are also required to have an alternative PIN for security.
Performance and Benchmarks
Onboard is a Unisoc 1.4GHz quad-core. It is mated with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, which is expandable up to 64GB via microSD slot. Here are the benchmark results:
- AnTuTu AI (V1.0.2) – 48,204
- 3D Mark – 88 (Sling Shot), 78 (Sling Shot Extreme- OpenGL ES 3.1)
- PC Mark – 3,254 (Work 2.0)
- Geekbench 5 – 100 (single-core), 264 (multi-core)
- AndroBench – 68.68 MB/s (Sequential Read), 44.6 MB/s (Sequential Write)
As expected, we experienced some minimal playback latency while streaming from third-party apps. Slight delays while opening emails were also encountered. However, video playback through YouTube and browsing the web with Google Chrome is smooth. Users shouldn’t expect to play games with this phone.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Nokia C2 has a 2,800mAh battery that supports up to 5V/1A charging. It should last a whole day if you just use it for light tasks like using social media on WiFi. We ran a video loop test on the smartphone under the following conditions: 50% brightness, under airplane mode, and 50% volume. Close enough to its claim, the smartphone lasted up to 10 hours and 3 minutes, which can keep the users going for almost half a day.
Unlike its predecessor, the latest model under the C series has 4G LTE connectivity. This offers faster mobile data and better call quality compared to the Nokia C1, which previously offered 3G connectivity.
Running on a vanilla Android 9.0 and offering better display and connectivity compared to its previous version, the Nokia C2 still has a place in the market. It is capable of handling your basic needs, such as watching and listening to online content, surfing the web, and checking on emails. On top of that, you get regular security patches and updates from Google. The smartphone is ideal for those who look for a budget-friendly smartphone for daily communication.
Nokia C2 specs:
5.7-inch HD+ (1440 x 720) IPS display
Unisoc 1.4GHz quad-core CPU
16GB storage (expandable up to 64GB via microSD slot)
5MP F2.2 AF rear camera w/ LED flash
5MP front camera w/ LED flash
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
3.5mm audio jack
1 x microphone
Google Assistant button
Android 9 (Go Edition)
2,800mAh removable battery (supports 5V/1A charging)
154.8 x 75.59 x 8.85 mm