There’s good news and bad news for fans of smartphones with old school features like removable batteries, microSD card readers, and headphone jacks.
The good news is that HMD’s got a new line of budget phones that cover those bases. The bad news is that the new Nokia C2 (2nd-edition), Nokia C21, and Nokia C21 Plus are very much budget phones, with both the prices and the specs to match.
All three phones are Android 11 Go Edition devices, which means they ship with a lightweight version of Android featuring apps optimized to run on entry-level hardware. And not only do these phones have entry-level hardware, but they also have some hardware that almost feels obsolete in 2022.
All three phones, for example, have micro USB ports rather than USB-C, for example. And they top out at WiFi 4 (also known as 802.11n) rather than the newer WiFi 5 or 6 standards.
HMD promises two years of security updates for the phones, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll ever receive a major OS update.
The Nokia C2 (2nd Edition) is the cheapest phone of the bunch. It’s expected to ship in April for €79 and up and features a 5.7 inch, 960 x 480 pixel LCD display, 1 to 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 5MP rear and 2MP front-facing cameras, and a 2,400 mAh battery.
On the bright side, that battery is removable, making the Nokia C2 one of the few smartphones released in recent years that will let you swap out batteries. There’s also a microSD card reader with support for cards up to 256GB for additional storage, support for 4G LTE Cat 4 and Bluetooth 5 and an FM radio feature that works with or without headphones plugged into the 3.5mm audio jack.
HMD’s Nokia C21 and Nokia C21 Plus include slightly better specs (for the most part), but lack that removable battery. Both phones have 6.5 inch, 1600 x 720 pixel LCD displays and Unisoc SC9863a octa-core ARM Cortex-a55 processors.
The Nokia C21 is coming in March for €99 and up and features a 3,000 mAh battery, 2GB or 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (plus a microSD card reader), 8MP rear and 5MP front cameras, and a fingerprint sensor.
Like the C2, this model supports WiFi 4 and 4G LTE Cat 4, but it tops out at Bluetooth 4.2.
The C21 Plus will be available in April for €119 and up and has a bigger battery, dual cameras (13MP + 2MP depth), an IP52 water resistance rating, and support for 10-watt charging (the other phones only charge at 5-watts).
The Nokia C21 Plus will available in three versions:
- 2GB/32GB/4,000 mAh battery
- 3GB/32GB/4,000 mAh battery
- 4GB/64GB/5,050 mAh battery
HMD says models with the 4,000 mAh battery should run for up to 2 days on a charge, while the 5,050 mAh version should get up to 3 days of battery life.
has a 5.7 inch, 960 x 480 pixel display, just 1 or 2GB of RAM, depending on the configuration, and just 32GB of storage (although there is support for microSD cards up to 256GB.
The phone also has just a 2,400 mAh battery. But