The pandemic provided an opportunity for OEMs to revive the Android tablet segment. As a result, all the major smartphone OEMs entered or moved into the category to grab a slice of the market, which has seen decent growth. Nokia is no exception, launching the Nokia T20 tablet in late 2021. The successor to the Nokia T20 – the Nokia T21 – was recently launched on the Indian market.

nokia t21 review

With the Nokia T21, the company is not only targeting students and casual users but also users who are looking for a productivity-oriented portable device. Nokia’s latest mid-range tablet – the Nokia T21 – therefore features pen support. We have been using the Nokia T21 (4GB + 64GB variant with WiFi connectivity) for the past 4-5 weeks, and here’s our in-depth review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Nokia T21 Review: Design and Build

nokia t21 dual tone design

The Nokia T21 is made of plastic, which feels like a downgrade compared to its predecessor, which is made of metal. The back of the device features a two-tone surface, which apparently does not get scratched easily. We used the device without a cover for over four weeks and did not notice any major scratches on the back. However, the back of the device is very sensitive to dirt, so you have to clean it frequently, especially if you have sweaty palms.

The Nokia T21 weighs about 471 grams, and the weight is evenly distributed. We did not have any problems in this regard, and the tablet feels good in the hand even during longer use. It has an ergonomic design with rounded edges, which makes it comfortable to hold.

The Nokia T21 is available in a single color option – Charcoal Gray. Personally, I did not find the color particularly attractive. In fact, I liked the Nokia T20 in Ocean Blue better than this new color. In terms of design, the Nokia T21 has nothing new to offer and ends up looking just like other Android tablets.

Nokia T21 Review: Display

The Nokia T21 features a 10.36-inch display (LCD) with a 2K resolution (1200 × 2000 pixels), 360nits peak brightness, and a 5:3 aspect ratio. The display is made of toughened glass and is Widevine L1 certified.

As for the real-life experience, the display is one of the things I liked about the Nokia T21. The display is large and bright enough for consuming content indoors. I watched the series – Class (season 1), available on Netflix on the Nokia T21, and the experience was better than I expected. Note, however, the reflective nature of the panel, which means it’s not a good idea to use the tablet outdoors in direct sunlight. The panel’s color reproduction seemed fine for an LCD panel.

Nokia T21 Review: Speakers and Audio

The Nokia T21 is equipped with stereo speakers that allow an audio output of up to 96 dB. It also supports OZO spatial audio playback. We found the Nokia T21’s speakers to be decently loud, and I mostly used the tablet at a volume of 60-70%. However, there were situations (such as when following a cooking recipe on YouTube while preparing a dish) where I wished the tablet offered louder audio output, so I ended up switching to my iPhone to watch the same video.

Nokia should have equipped the Nokia T21 with four speakers instead of two. If you use the tablet indoors in a quiet environment, the sound output will not disappoint you. However, if you use it in a room with ambient noise, the sound output may prove to be inadequate. The Nokia T21 also has a 3.5 mm jack.

Nokia T21 Review: Performance

The Nokia T21 is very well suited for everyday tasks. Nokia has used the UniSoC T612 for the Nokia T21, which features an octa-core CPU and a Mali G52 GPU. However, occasional stutters and image dropouts aren’t uncommon on Nokia’s latest tablet. The decision for an entry-level UniSoC processor at this price is somewhat questionable, especially when the competition in this price segment offers devices with Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 and Snapdragon 695 processors.

The Nokia T21 is equipped with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. We performed the Geekbench 5 benchmark test with the Nokia T21. Take a look at the benchmark results.

nokia t21 geekbench 5 score

During the test, we also played games like Call of Duty and Hill Climb 2. Call of Duty ran at low graphics and medium frame rate by default, and gameplay was very good with these settings. However, when I switched the graphics to medium quality and high frame rate, we noticed frequent stuttering and frame drops.

nokia t21 call of duty default setting

If you’re buying a tablet to consume content or just occasional browsing, the Nokia T21 is a good choice. But however, if you plan to play games on it occasionally, especially with titles like Call of Duty, we’d advise you to look for alternative options on the market.

Nokia T21 Review: Software

nokia t21 preinstalled apps notifications panel

The Nokia T21 boots with the stock version of Android 12. There is no bloatware installed, and the handling is clean, as you would expect from a standard Android. Nokia has also promised two Android OS version upgrades and three years of Android security patch updates for its latest tablet. However, we did not receive a single update for the device during our more than four weeks of use, so the Nokia T21 is still stuck on the December 2022 Android security patch.

nokia t21 about tablet page screenshot

Furthermore, despite launching the tablet in January, Nokia has decided to ship its latest tablet with an older Android version, Android 12. Although the tablet is eligible for Android 13 and Android 14 updates, the company has not promised a schedule for these updates.

As mentioned earlier, the Nokia T21 ships with stock Android. Google seems to be taking the Android tablet software experience seriously, given the growing market share, and has developed several tablet-exclusive features like Entertainment Space and Kids Space.

nokia t21 entertainment space home screen

Google Entertainment Space recommends content from all streaming apps installed on the tablet, such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sony LIV, and others. Entertainment Space is convenient for users who use tablets mainly for entertainment and streaming. Users can access the entertainment area simply by swiping right on the home screen.

nokia t21 windows second screen feature

With the Nokia T21, the company is also focusing on features that increase productivity. For example, Nokia’s latest tablet offers a second-screen feature that turns the Nokia T21 into an additional display with Windows computers. The Nokia T21 is also compatible with the Wacom Active ES 2.0 pen. Nokia has also preloaded the Bamboo Paper and Wacom Notes apps on its latest tablet to help users get the most out of the device.

Nokia T21 Review: Face Unlock

nokia t21 face unlock

The Nokia T21 does not have a fingerprint scanner, but Nokia relies on a software-based face unlock function. The face unlock of the Nokia T21 worked quite well during our test and works regardless of the orientation in which you hold the tablet. However, a fingerprint scanner would have been better since this software-based face unlocks can sometimes be bypassed with pictures.

Nokia T21 Review: Battery and Charging

The Nokia T21 is backed by an 8200 mAh battery and has an 18-Watt fast charging feature. Nokia bundles an 18-W USB Type-C charging adapter and a Type-C to Type-C cable in the retail box.

nokia t21 charger

The Nokia T21 delivered around 7 hours of screen runtime on a single charge during our use. This included about 5 hours of YouTube video playback (at 55-60% volume), an hour of gaming (Hill Clims 2), and about an hour of browsing. I also watched Class season 1 (available on Netflix) at full brightness and volume, and after 5 hours and 30 minutes, there was about 9% battery left. So you can definitely watch a series without having to charge the device.

During the test, the Nokia T21 needed about 3 hours to charge from 0 to 90%. It supports charging via USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) and charges quickly with up to 18 W so that it can be charged with any compatible charging adapter.

Nokia T21 Review: Cameras

nokia t21 camera

The Nokia T21 offers an 8 MP rear camera accompanied by a LED flash. An 8 MP front shooter is available for video calls and selfies. Take a look at some of the camera samples.

Nokia T21 Review: Verdict

The Nokia T21 has nothing to set it apart from the competition, like Realme Pad, Redmi Pad, and Oppo Pad Air. A 2K resolution display and quad-speaker setup have become the norm at this price point, and the Nokia T21 with a dual speaker setup falls short of the competition. However, if you are looking for a tablet primarily for media consumption, it is certainly worth considering.

nokia t21 review verdict

We hope Nokia releases an update to fix the occasional lag and judder. We also hope that the company will roll out the Android 13 update for the tablet in the coming weeks or at least announce the schedule for it.

Buy Nokia T21

  • Good Display
  • Good Battery Life
  • Decent Performance
  • Clean Stock Android
  • Productivity Features (Second Screen and Pen Support)
  • Older Android version
  • Sound Output could have been louder
  • Single color variant
Review Overview
Build & Design

Nokia T21 Review: This is Nokia's latest Android tablet with a 10.36" LCD display, UniSoC T612 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. At Rs 16,499, it faces stiff competition from the likes of Realme, Redmi, and Oppo.

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