Nokia is a well-known company with a following that spans generations. With the introduction of the Nokia T21, a company that once dominated the smartphone market is now attempting to break into the tablet market. After the T20 was unveiled in late 2021, this is their second tablet. The Nokia T21 has many improvements over the T20 while maintaining a similar design. The Oppo Pad Air, Redmi Pad, and Realme Pad X are just a few of the tablets that the T20 competes against in a market that is steadily expanding for tablets. So, how does the Nokia T21 stack up against the competition? Let’s find out in our comprehensive review.
Nokia T21 Specifications
Before starting with the Nokia T21 review, let’s have a look at the phone’s specifications.
- Display: 10.3-inch LCD panel, 2K resolution
- CPU: Octa-core Unisoc T612 Processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 512GB
- Software: Android 12
- Main Camera: 8MP, LED flash
- Selfie Camera: 8MP (f/2.0)
- Connectivity: USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0
- Cellular: Yes
- Battery: 8,200mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
Design & Display
The Nokia T21 upholds the design standard established by its predecessor with a slim profile and an aluminum body that feels luxurious. Nokia replaced the blue hue with a subtler charcoal grey tone. The tablet is 7.5mm thick, weighs 471g, and feels light in the hand, making it ideal for slipping inside a bag. Even though the company states that the tablet’s front is made of toughened glass, most buyers will be concerned about the absence of a case from the package. However, the tablet does have an IP52 rating, which means it is shielded from light dust and water mist.
The Nokia T21 has a single camera with an LED flash on the back. A 3.5mm audio jack s located in the bottom right corner, along with a USB-C port for charging. Along with a removable tray that can accommodate a SIM card (on LTE models) and a microSD card, the volume controls and power button are all located on the right-hand side of the device.
The 10.36-inch IPS LCD screen on the Nokia T21 has a 2K resolution and a 5:3 aspect ratio. As a low-cost device, it has a 60Hz screen, which means that there is no high or fluctuating refresh rate. The peak brightness is 360 nits, a downgrade from the previous model. Despite performing well across the board, the display cannot be deemed the best in its market. The colors are good, and you can choose between natural, enhanced, or adaptive colors based on your preferences. Widevine L1 certification allows the tab to stream HD videos from both Netflix and YouTube, which is a major improvement over the previous model.
The Nokia T21 includes OZO Spatial Audio software and two speakers on either end. Although loud and punchy, the audio playback falls short of the quality of other, more expensive tablets. Nonetheless, it’s fine for Netflix, podcasts, and the odd bit of music.
Software and Performance
One of the biggest advantages of going for a Nokia device is that its software is largely pure Android, so customers get to enjoy a largely fluid experience with no bloatware or unnecessary features. The Android 12 operating system that comes preinstalled on the Nokia T21 is not the most recent version released by Google, but Nokia promises to provide two years of OS upgrades and three years of monthly security updates.
The tablet is a content consumption device that first comes with some third-party apps, such as Prime Video, Netflix, Spotify, and Express VPN. In addition, the T21 includes pre-installed versions of the common Google apps as well as Google Kids Space and Entertainment Space. The former suggests videos from services you subscribe to, whereas the latter tailors the Android experience for younger users by suggesting educational apps and offering customizable content filters.
The Nokia T21 comes powered by the Unisoc T612 SoC with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage that can be upgraded up to 512 GB via a microSD card. This Unisoc chip has previously been seen in use on a number of realme budget devices. Although the overall performance isn’t as sluggish as the T20, it is still very much in line with what you’d expect from a basic tablet. The app switching times are a little high though, which can be annoying at times otherwise the tablet handles streaming, taking notes, reading e-books, and browsing the web without issue.
Camera and Battery
Tablet cameras aren’t usually given as much attention as smartphones receive, that said Nokia has improved the T21’s set up over the previous model. This time, the Nokia T21 comes with an 8MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera.
For video calls or Zoom meetings, the front camera is adequate. When there is sufficient light, the rear camera performs admirably for still images. Both cameras support video recording at 30 fps, have auto-focus, and include portrait mode and filters for basic image/video editing.
The tablet supports 18W charging, and while Nokia has pulled the charging brick from the retail packaging in most regions, the Indian model does come with a brick within the package. The battery needed a little more than three hours to fully charge using the included charger.
Verdict- Should you buy it?
The Nokia T21 builds upon the T20’s positive qualities while also making some necessary improvements. The tablet is worth consideration because of its impressive internal like a 2K display, 4G connectivity, stock Android experience, long battery life, and stylus support.
However, there are some drawbacks, such as slow charging and a less brilliant display than in previous models. However, if Nokia follows through with the stated software cycle, we can move past them.