The entry-level price segment i.e the price bracket under Rs. 10k has not seen much action in the last few months. With limited options, this segment feels abandoned by most smartphone brands. Nokia has recently launched the Nokia C01 Plus marking its latest entry into the budget price segment. With Stock Android GO 11, its compact design, and a bunch of different add-ons make it an interesting entry into this price segment.

We recently started experiencing the Nokia C01 Plus and here is our comprehensive review of the Nokia C01 Plus.

Nokia C01 Specifications Recap: 

  • 5.45-inch (1440 × 720 pixels) HD+ Display, 18:9 Aspect Ratio
  • 1.6GHz Octa-Core Unisoc SC9863A processor with IMG8322 GPU
  • 2GB RAM, 16GB / 32GB (eMMC 5.1) storage, expandable memory up to 128GB with microSD
  • Android 11 Go Edition, Dual SIM (nano + nano + microSD)
  • 5MP rear camera with LED Flash
  • 5MP front-facing camera with LED Flash
  • 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio
  • 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + GLONASS, micro USB port
  • 3000mAh removable battery

Design and Display

Nokia smartphones are known to be built like a tank and the Nokia C01 Plus totally does the justice the this. The first thing that you notice when you hold the Nokia C01 Plus is that the device is lightweight, compact and feels good to hold in hand. In a world where smartphones are getting bigger and heavier, the Nokia C01 Plus feels like a welcome change. The device is built well and has a sturdy design with a textured back which grips well. You also have a single camera module at the top and a speaker cutout at the bottom left.

At the top of the device, you get a micro-USB port for charging and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right side, you get volume rocker buttons and a power button. Now since the back panel is removable you get a removable 3000mAh battery and underneath the back panel, you get two SIM card slots and a micro-SD card slot.

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Talking about the display, the device features a 5.45-inch HD+ display having a resolution of 1440 × 720 pixels and an 18:9 aspect ratio. Surprisingly the display is bright and vivid and I was not expecting this from an HD+ display panel. The content looks absolutely good on the display and is visible quite well in bright sunlight. The only thing that looks a bit odd is the thick bezels around the display and in 2022 it looks a bit outdated, but considering the price of the device and how vivid the display is, we can totally accept this.

Software

The Nokia C01 Plus runs on stock Android Go 11 which is a trimmed-down version of Android 11 and this is the only budget smartphone running on stock Android. Being a stock Android fanboy I totally admire the stock android experience and totally respect Nokia for bringing a stock Android smartphone under the 10k price segment in India.

The overall experience of Stock Android on Nokia C01 Plus was totally enjoyable, the animations are totally smooth and the UI is snappy to use. You get Go versions of Google apps which work well on entry-level smartphones, so you get Google Go, Google Assistant Go, and Gallery Go on the phone instead of the regular versions of these apps.

The software experience is totally barebones and this is a good thing, unlike other OEMs that fill the smartphone with useless themes and features. The unit we received had no bloatware installed and the only extra app installed was Netflix and My Jio which can easily be uninstalled. And with the goodness of Google’s ecosystem, this is the closed you can get to experiencing Google Pixel like experience at a budget price.

Performance

The Nokia C01 Plus is powered by Unisoc SC9863A processor which is an octa-core processor clocked at 1.6Ghz and an IMG8322 GPU. With 2GB RAM, and 16/32GB internal storage variants, the device also comes with a micro-sd card slot. In our experience, the device is a perfect budget device for day-to-day tasks such as calling, news apps, youtube, Whatsapp and occasional gaming. The Unisoc SC9863A processor is an entry-level processor and can handle basic tasks well, and with 2GB RAM which in our opinion is not enough, the device can struggle in multitasking. Otherwise, the device performs well all thanks to the stock Android Go.

We even tried gaming and titles like Angry Birds, Subway Surfers, Clash of Clans run smooth and anything beyond this is being too optimistic. In our experience, the device stayed cool through the gaming sessions we did with each one lasting for about 30-45 minutes. We also ran some benchmarking apps on the Nokia C01 Plus and here are the results for the same.

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Camera

In terms of camera, we get a 5MP camera at the rear accompanied by an LED flash. The rear camera is a decent camera and gets the job done in bright daylight conditions. The samples we shot came out pretty good and had accurate colour reproduction and visible dynamic range. The shots a good enough to be shared on social media and nothing special. The night shots are not worth taking as they are too grainy but this is what you can’t expect at this price. The daytime shots are great and this gets the job done nothing more.

Talking about the front-facing 5MP camera has the same experience as the rear camera and gets the job done and is nothing special. Occasional selfies can be taken in bright daylight and video calls are totally acceptable and gets the job done.

The camera app on the Nokia C01 Plus is the same stock Android camera app that we see on other stock Android smartphones. We can normal photo mode, Portrait mode, Panorama, Video and Timelapse Mode. The app is quite snappy and there is no shutter lag, the overall camera experience is quite fine.

Connectivity and Battery

The Nokia C01 is powered by a 3000mAh battery which is removable. The 3000mAh battery might look small but considering the display size and the processor, the battery lasts through the day without any issues. In our testing, the device lasted through the day with media consumption for about 1 hour, a few sessions of gaming and phone calls, the device was a 10% at the end of the day which is quite good. The device comes bundled with a 5W adapter which takes slightly more than 2 hours to charge the device.

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In terms of connectivity options, the device supports 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS + GLONASS.

Nokia C01 Plus Review: Should you buy it?

The Nokia C01 is a decent budget device that is quite compact, built well and runs on Stock Android. The overall experience on the device is quite positive as the device feels good to hold in hand, and the overall performance is quite snappy. If you are a fan of stock Android then this is the device to go and this is the only budget device that features stock Android.

The Nokia C01 is currently priced at 6,799 for the 32GB variant and the 16GB variant is priced at 6,299. The device is available in two colour variants i.e Black and Blue and is available both online and offline.

Pros:

  • Compact Form Factor and Impressive Built Quality
  • Stock Android Go Experience
  • Decent Performance
  • Impressive Battery Life
  • Pricing

Cons:

  • The camera setup is fine gets the job done nothing special