Nokia C210 Review: Mid-range in just about every way

Featured image for Nokia C210 Review: Mid-range in just about every way

Does Nokia still have the ability to impress us with its cheaper phones?

Nokia C210
star star star star star_empty
  • Nice compact size
  • Can adjust screen white balance
  • Decent speakers
  • Good battery
  • Decent camera
  • Performance is poor
  • Sluggish gaming performance
  • Bad sunlight visibility
  • Bad low-light camera performance

This device was used for two weeks before this review was written.

Not everyone needs a premium flagship phone. Sometimes, you, a friend, or a loved one just need a simple device to do simple tasks. phones like these make up the majority of the Android smartphone market, and Nokia is a contributor to this pool. We were given the opportunity to review the Nokia C210.

This is a budget smartphone through and through, and it’s meant for people who don’t need the hottest tech in their phones. Be that as it may, cheap handsets like these can still offer a nice experience for their price. We’re here to find out if the Nokia C210 is one of them.


There are cheaper phones that offer a ton of bang for their buck, but there are also those phones where you get what you pay for. Let’s dive into this review and find out which one of these categories the Nokia C210 falls into.

Before we get started, there’s also another Nokia phone that might pique your interest. I recently reviewed the Nokia G310 5G. This phone packs a little bit more punch under the hood, and it comes with more storage. If, after reading this review, you are not convinced by the Nokia C210, then you may want to give the Nokia G310 5G a look. You can read the review if you want some more information.

Nokia C210 Review: Design

Starting off with the design of this phone, Nokia is not winning any awards. The Nokia C210 is pretty mundane in most aspects. The back of the phone is made from plastic, and it has this weird and rather annoying pattern on the back. It sways up and down in waves all throughout the back panel. The grooves are deep enough so that you can feel them.

In my honest opinion, I do not like this design aesthetic. I don’t mind the appearance, but I do mind the feeling. I hate the feeling of my hand brushing up against the ridges. It makes it slightly uncomfortable to hold, and it’s irritating when my fingers rub across it. I’m not sure if this is something with me, or if it’s something that everyone else feels. However, it makes a phone annoying to hold.


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What I will say is that the back panel does play with light in an interesting way. While it is made of plastic, the way the light shimmers off the back almost gives it a metallic appearance. That’s neat, and it does give a little bit of a visual pop to the phone.

Other than that, the rounded rectangular camera package sits on the back. While the design isn’t quite noteworthy, I won’t say that it looks bad. It looks nice for a mid-ranger, and the metallic appearance does help in that respect. The design is pretty much what you expect from a mid-range device. The display has a notable chin bezel with a teardrop Notch up top. It’s rather slender with the volume and power button on the right side of the device.

The Nokia C210 itself is decently thick. It almost appears to have a militaristic design philosophy to it. It’s not amazing, but it’s not bad.

Nokia C210 Review: Build quality

The build quality is about the same as the design philosophy. It’s very much mid-range. When I picked this phone up, it didn’t feel like I was picking up any sort of premium device. So, this is not a cheaper phone that feels more premium. It sits very lightly in the hand, and the plastic components lend to the overall cheap feeling.

That’s not to say that the build quality is bad. While it doesn’t feel quite premium, it also doesn’t feel like Nokia did a poor job of building it. It still feels like a solid device. While it’s light, I didn’t hear any creeks or other sounds when any pressure was applied to it. It doesn’t feel like this phone will last through a ton of abuse, but it does feel like it can take a few hits and keep on going. Overall, I’d say that the build quality is very average.


The buttons themselves are moderately clicky. They have a nice little click to them when pressed. Also, the frame of the phone feels pretty solid. It’s not made from metal, but it does have a nice feel to it. I’d say that this is a mid-range phone through and through when it comes to the feeling. It’s not a bad thing, just don’t expect anything spectacular.

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Nokia C210 Review: Display

Sometimes, cheaper phones can surprise you with how nice their displays are. They can either come with incredible brightness, incredible colors, or an unusually high refresh rate. These phones can come from unexpected places. In the case of the Nokia C210, you’re not really getting much of an exceptional experience. When it comes to this display, it is what it is.


Starting off with the colors, I will say that they are decent. This is an LCD display on the mid-range phone. This means that the colors are not exactly going to pop out.

For the most part, the colors are all pretty average. Nothing really sticks out about them. However, I do feel that some of the cooler colors pop out a little bit more. The colors around the blue and purple spectrum seem to be a little bit juicier compared to other colors. This gives the display an overall cooler tone to it. Whether you like the cooler colors is subjective, but it’s not bad.

I put on some hypersaturated HDR videos to test out the capabilities of this phone’s display and everything looked just fine. In the videos, I wasn’t exactly blown away by any of the colors, to be honest. They just look like typical colors you would see on a typical LCD display. Overall, I would say that the colors of this display are decent. You can get some pretty visuals. However, you’re not going to be getting anything visually significant



When it comes to the contrast, this phone does not overachieve at all. In fact, I’d say that the contrast is notably poor. When it comes to displaying blacks, you get an exceptionally gray tone. It doesn’t go particularly dark. So, if you’re watching anything with a black screen, you’re going to notice it.

Points in the display that are supposed to be black will be pretty bright compared to what you will get with an OLED display. Honestly, I think they’ll be bright compared to decent LCD displays. So, if you want to have more contrast in your display, then you will want to pass this phone up.


Moving on to the brightness, this is another area that’s extremely average. This means that it’s not particularly bright in any scenario. When I’m at home, the brightness is very average. I have the brightness set to 100%, and it shows up just fine.

This means that when I walk outside, visibility takes a hard dip. The moment I step into the sun, this phone becomes a very expensive mirror. I can barely see the display, and I can only see myself. I have to cover the display with my body in order to see what’s on the screen.

Nokia C210 3

This is the kind of thing we dealt with with older devices. I’m talking about the time before phones came out with displays at over 1,000 nits. So, if you want to use this phone outside, you’ll have to deal with poor visibility.



If you want to change the appearance of your screen, you don’t have many options. In fact, you only have one. If you want to adjust the color temperature of the display, there’s a slider in the display options. You can adjust it to make the color temperature cooler or warmer. Other than that, you can’t do anything else to the display besides change the brightness.

Nokia C210 Review: Speaker

Just like with the display, it’s very possible that cheaper phones come out with exceptional speakers. They could come with exceptional bass, volume, or balance. However, there are some speakers that just get the job done. The Nokia C210 falls under the latter category.


In terms of loudness, I’d say that it’s pretty average. I think that it could definitely be a little bit louder at its peak volume. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re outside and you need to share something with a group of friends, you may have trouble doing so.

However, for casual listening, you will not have any issues. I’m able to listen to music with this phone sitting on my kitchen counter while cooking. It’s not exceptionally quiet. So, the loudness pretty much goes along with the theme of most of this phone: it’s not good, but it’s not bad.

Low-end performance

Now, let’s get on to some music. When listening to music, I found that there was a pleasing amount of low end to the sound. I wouldn’t say that it’s exceptionally bassy, but I think that it’s definitely good for the price. Listening to ’70s music, I was able to hear a fair amount of the low-end hum that characterizes a lot of that genre. The same thing goes for a lot of the music in the ’90s, as ’90s music tended to focus a lot on warmth.


Listening to classical music on a smartphone speaker sounds like a fate worse than death, but I was able to Brave it. I listened to some examples of classical music with this speaker, and I was fairly impressed. I could hear a fair amount of the lower instruments like double bases and bassoons. Overall, I felt that the sound sounded pretty wide with a fair amount of depth and space.

So, I’d say that the low-end performance of the speaker is better than most other phones in this price range. I would say that this is one standout aspect of the audio.

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High end

Moving on to the high end, I feel that this phone is a master class and restraint. With cheaper devices, it is so easy for them to produce a sound that’s overly high-pitched and shrill. This could negatively impact the music that you’re listening to, and it could tire out the ears rather quickly. In the case of the Nokia C210, I feel that Nokia added a nice balance for its high-end performance. The higher tones don’t sound over the top or shrill, they sound punchy. Higher instruments like violins and flutes sound crisp and detailed. Music that employs higher percussion or higher synth like 80s and 90s music sounds incredible. The high-end performance greatly accompanies the low-end performance.

Moving on to vocals, the speaker on this phone projects voices rather nicely. Singers’ voices are able to cut through the rest of the music and I can hear some good quality and texture in their voices.

All this is wrapped in a package that sounds pretty well-balanced. The highs are punchy but they’re not too loud. I wouldn’t say that the speaker quality in general is exceptional, but it’s definitely good for the price.

Nokia C210 Review: Performance

The performance of this phone is not something I would call smooth. There are certain phones that are smooth at points and choppy at others, but there’s a general slowness to the overall interface of the Nokia C210. It’s not terrible, but just about everything you do is a few steps behind what will be considered smooth. Opening folders a lot of the time, I saw drop frames. Opening apps takes two or three seconds while other phones would open them instantly. Also, loading those apps also takes a while.

When I opened the camera app, it took about five or six seconds for me to see anything in the viewfinder. Also, each picture I snapped took about a second to process. Obviously, that’s an issue. If there was a moment I needed to capture, well, I just missed it.

I wouldn’t say that the performance is terrible. It operates with a certain proficiency. However, it’s towing a very dangerous line. I understand if there is a little bit of lag or stutter throughout the software every now and then. It happens, especially with more affordable phones.

The issue is that it struggles a bit to run the basic software that comes with it. You’d expect a phone to be able to at least run the baseline software that comes loaded onto it; that’s a requirement. However, if a phone can’t process the software that comes loaded onto it, you can’t really expect it to run most other downloaded apps.

Nokia C210 5

However, the Nokia C210 does not quite cross that line. There are stutters and drop frames, definitely more than I would like to see. I feel like, if Nokia had put a processor just one step higher than the one in this phone, the performance would be pretty smooth.

It’s not horrible, but you’ll just need to prepare for an experience that’s generally sluggish.

Nokia C210 Review: gaming performance

When it comes to the gaming performance of this phone, you shouldn’t expect any surprises. This phone is not exactly an overachiever in any regard, and you should expect the gaming performance to reflect that. So, let’s go down the line.

2D games

Starting off with simple 2D titles, this phone is a decent performer. It handles most 2D titles with no trouble at all. However, some games will result in some stuttery performance. The stutters aren’t bad, but they are there. I’ve noticed several dropped frames while playing games as simple as Best Fiends. This is mostly when loading in levels. Other titles like Fishing Paradiso didn’t really present much of a challenge. So, if you plan on using this phone for any sort of gaming, 2D games will offer the best experience. Again, just like many aspects of this phone, the 2D gaming performance isn’t great, but it’s not bad.

Simple 3D games

If you plan on playing 3D games on this phone, you’d better be prepared for a subpar experience. Once you enter the third dimension, the phone enters lag mode with a dip in performance throughout. I played games like Asphalt 9, Sky: Children Of The Light, and Dragon Ball Legends. All of these games are good-looking in their own right, and they have the ability to slow down some weaker Hardware.

Well, the Nokia C210 qualifies as weaker hardware. When I loaded Sky: Children Of The Light, there were points when the game dipped to below one frame per second. Also, it crashed on me. Sky is a very pretty-looking game, but it’s not extremely graphically intense.

This means that this phone is definitely rocking some underpowered hardware. I got better performance with Asphalt 9, but it wasn’t by much. Throughout the entirety of my gameplay, I noticed consistent drop frames and lockups. This game gets pretty intense when the race gets going, but I would still see significant stuttering even before the race even begins.

Overall, I say that you are better off sticking with 2D games. Once you reach 3D gaming, the performance takes a hard dip. That seems about par for the course for a phone like this, I have to admit I did not have high hopes for this phone’s gaming performance out of the gate. As expected, this is not meant to be much of a gaming phone.

Nokia C210 Review: Camera

The camera is one of the most important parts of the smartphone experience. Some smartphones wind up having pretty good cameras for their price, and some leave a lot to be desired. In the case of the Nokia C210, the camera quality is exactly as you would expect. Let’s dive in.

Nokia C210 1


In terms of exposure, I found that many other pictures lean toward the bright side. In all honesty, it appeared that Nokia didn’t really invest much into making the pictures balanced with this camera. Many of the pictures wound up pretty bright. In fact, the worst ones were approaching overexposed territory. In my testing, none of the pictures came out overexposed. Just know that high-contrast shots will definitely have some Overexposed areas.

Nokia C210 Camera Sample (1)
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Nokia C210 Camera Sample (1)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (10)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (3)


In terms of the colors, I’d say that they are pretty neutral. At points, some of the colors did get a bit of punch. However, overall, I’d say that the pictures lean more towards being pretty dull. That was a little bit of a disappointment, as I found myself wanting just a bit more color from these pictures. All of the colors came out pretty icy cold. This, coupled with the pretty neutral display, means that the pictures you take on your phone won’t really look all that satisfying.

Nokia C210 Camera Sample (6)
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Nokia C210 Camera Sample (9)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (6)
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When it comes to the contrast, I’d say that it’s average. I didn’t really feel that any of the pictures had great contrast or dynamic range. Just like with most other aspects of this phone, it gets the job done without much fanfare.

Nokia C210 Camera Sample (2)

Low light

Low light is an area where I feel this camera suffers the most. For starters, the camera struggles to find Focus once the lights go down. I will take pictures, and tap to focus, only to find that the picture still comes out blurry. Another unfortunate thing about this phone is that, when the lights get low, there doesn’t seem to be a mode that automatically boosts the brightness of your picture. Darker images seem to turn out just as dark as the scene. Most other cameras would give the scene a bit of a brightness boost.

Nokia C210 Camera Sample (15)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (14)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (13)
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Nokia C210 Camera Sample (15)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (14)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (13)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (12)
Nokia C210 Camera Sample (11)

This camera does have a night sight mode which takes a longer exposure in order to boost the brightness. The results that it produces are pretty decent. They still come with a fair share of noise. However, it does its job and brightens up the scene.


Just like most other aspects of this phone, the camera just gets the job done. Nothing about it truly stands out as spectacular, and the low-light performance is pretty lackluster. It’s not meant to be a premium camera or anything like that. It’s just meant to get the job done.

Nokia C210 Review: Battery

The battery performance of this phone wasn’t bad. I’d say that it wasn’t great either. Using this phone with a moderate amount of use, which included casual social media use, a fair amount of video watching, some gameplay, and other general usage, I was able to get just over a day for the battery life. That’s closer to a moderate day for me.

However, if you’re planning on using this phone for a lot of gaming, a bunch of camera use, and a lot of video watching, then you might want to have a charger handy. You’ll definitely be reaching for a charger before bedtime. All in all, I’d say that I got about 8 and 1/2 hours of screen-on-time for moderate usage. When it comes to charging, this phone does not charge quickly at all. You’re looking at about 2 hours to charge it from 0% to 100%.

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Final verdict

The Nokia C210 is not a phone that’s meant to give you a bunch of bang for your buck, wow you, or turn you away from the latest Galaxy. In essence, it’s just a phone to do phone things. The camera performance is average, as is the screen and the build quality. The main standout feature will be the speaker which sounds pretty nice. However, even that isn’t quite exceptional.

If you’re in the market for just a phone, then I have no issue in recommending the Nokia C210. Nothing about it is over the top, but overall, it’s a reliable handset.