Our Opinion

The Nokia 2.1 is a slightly better phone than the Xiaomi Redmi 6A 16GB, and is also significantly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Nokia 2.1!

Nokia 2.1  Xiaomi Redmi 6A 16GB 
Nokia 2.1 Xiaomi Redmi 6A
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
20.0
19.0
Value for Money Score
80.7
69.0
Price ₹ 4,549 onwards ₹ 5,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Aug, 2018 Sep, 2018
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.1 Oreo, Upgradeable to 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android versionAndroid Go Edition Android 8.1 Oreo, Upgradeable to 9.0 PieExpected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 5.5 inches 5.45 inches
Screen Resolution 720x1280 pixels (~ 267 pixels per inch) 720x1440 pixels (~ 295 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass
Display Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Display Features IPS LCD, Anti-fingerprint coating IPS LCD, 2.5D Curved Glass, Sunlight display, Night display, Reading mode, Automatic contrast, Color temperature adjustment
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 1.4 GHz 2 GHz
Processor Type Quad Core Quad Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 425Ranked #90 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Mediatek Helio A22Ranked #75 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 308 PowerVR GE-class
RAM 1 GB 2 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB USB
Primary Camera 8.0MP 13.0MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes Yes (Full HD)
Other Camera Features N/A F/2.2 Aperture, 1.25um Pixel Size, PDAF, HDR, Burst mode, Camera timer, Scene selection, Panorama
Secondary Camera 5.0MP 5.0MP
Secondary Camera Features N/A F/2.2 Aperture, Beautify, Portrait mode, HDR, Age detection, Selfie timer
Internal Memory 8 GB 16 GB
Expandable Memory Slot up to 128 GB up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 9.7 mm 8.3 mm
Weight 174 gm 145 gm
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 4000 mAh 3000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor
Other Features Stereo Speakers Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Nice, clean, attractive polycarbonate based design - both looks and feels great - and a lot batter than what you might expect for its bottom-of-the-barrel pricing
  • There is a copper strip running around the periphery of the smartphone that combos well with the rest of the phone
  • Unlike glass-backed phones, the phone also retains its looks without becoming a mess of fingerprint smudges after a day of use
  • Good build quality too - will survive a few drops without trouble - the durability of the Nokia phones of yesteryear is on full display here
  • The phone's screen is a 5.5" IPS display with a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1280 x 720 - it's not exceptional - but it's functional and gets the job done
  • Software is where the Nokia 2.1 truly shines, and has a leg over its competition in this price bracket - it features a clean, stock version of Android Oreo (Go edition) and will be updated to Android Pie as well
  • Android Go edition also means that you have lighter version of apps like Google Maps, which helps on such a low specced phone
  • The camera is fairly quick at taking shots, which is worth appreciating in this price segment - the camera app is also relatively well-done, with the HDR, Panorama, flash, manual mode, and delayed shot options easily accessible (those are also all the options you'll get with the camera - no-frills is the theme of the day)
  • The two full-size stereo speaker grilles on the front are great to see - and it's something that even a lot of flagship phones can't claim - the speakers get relatively loud as a result (though of course the sound quality is just about ok, which is all you can expect at this price range)
  • Excellent battery life - the low specs of the phone, simple software, and the large battery pack (4000mAh) result in some pretty great battery life - you should comfortably get 2 days of use
  • Nice, simple, understated design - feels quite solid
  • Comfortably compact with a tall 5.45-inch display
  • The curved edges render a good grip, and combined with the compact dimensions, make it easy to use one handed
  • Decent, tall 18:9 display with good brightness levels which make the panel sufficiently legible while indoors
  • MIUI is one of the better Android UIs - the new MIUI 9.6 comes with new features like picture-in-picture and improved notifications
  • The Helio A22 is good enough for basic use, and arguably a bit better than the Snapdragon 425 used in the Redmi 5A, but still this is a phone only meant for basic messaging, browsing, and social media - push it more, or run too many apps, and you will find the phone struggling with the limited 2GB of RAM
  • Decent rear camera for the price - the quality of photos is good enough when there’s ample light - it’s low on dynamic range and colours get lost in the shadows, but it shoots well exposed photos otherwise - indoors too, the camera algorithms work to enhance the saturation and contrast and that results in decent shots
  • Decent front camera too - capable of taking good selfies in favourable lighting conditions
  • Good battery life, with a 3000mAh capacity, and helped by an efficient chipset - with moderate use, the phone should give you around one and a half days of usage
  • Dual 4G, Dual VoLTE support
  • On the whole, the Redmi 6A is another good ultra-budget option from the Xiaomi camp, that does the basics quite well - it’s reasonably good for keeping in touch with your friends and family, surfing the web and even the occasional casual games - but of course, if you are looking for a more powerful phone, you will need to look at higher budgets
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • Average performance - performance is not a strong suit of the Nokia 2.1 being backed by a low power Snapdragon 425 and a measly 1GB of RAM - there are frequent lags during daily use, multi-tasking is a pain, and the phone will not meet the needs of anyone except very basic users (messaging, calling, light browsing, simple games)
  • When it comes to actual quality though, the camera is strictly average - this is a cheap phone and the camera was simply not a priority in its design - colours are dull and bland, details are low, dynamic range is abysmal, low-light performance is ordinary
  • Probably the most critical flaw of the device is the 8GB of internal storage - it's simply not enough for 2018, and you will very quickly need to resort to using the expandable memory slot even with bare minimum apps - which will result in a further degradation of performance (accessing stuff on a microSD card is almost never as quick as accessing it on internal memory)
  • Overall, while the Nokia 2.1 might make sense if you are a very basic user and are really after stock Android, but for most, phones like the Redmi 6A will be a much better value proposition with better performance and better storage
  • No fingerprint sensor (instead the Redmi 6A relies on face unlock and traditional PIN-based unlock)
  • The camera app is a bit sluggish though - it takes some time to focus and there’s a noticeable lag after you’ve shot the photo
  • The speakers are placed at the back and sound gets muffled if you’re watching something holding the phone in the landscape format
  • No support for fast charging (though charging speed is still decent - about 2 hours from 0 to 100%)
  • 16GB of storage will quickly get limiting too, once you start storing any big apps/games/videos on your phone (and with time as app data accumulates) - so you will need to use the microSD storage, which will further hamper performance
Expert Reviews
  1. As keen as we are on affordable phones, the Nokia 2.1's performance tests your patience too much
    trustedreviews.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. An easy recommendation for light phone users
    finder.com.au in-depth Read Review »
  3. A tale of misplaced priorities
    neowin.net in-depth Read Review »
  4. gsmarena.com hands-on Read Review »
  5. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  6. androidauthority.com hands-on Read Review »
  7. androidpolice.com hands-on Read Review »
  1. It seems like Xiaomi's endeavor to make the phone even more affordable has now pushed them to include a non-optimized chipset with ad-ridden UI to the users, and that's not the best strategy
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. A fairly good update to the Redmi 5A
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Meant for those who are upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone for the first time
    digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  4. Definitely among our top recommendations for a phone priced at under Rs 7,000
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
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