Nokia C30 Review: Can Big Battery, Massive Display Save The Day?

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Nokia C30 Review: Can Big Battery, Massive Display Save The Day?

Nokia C30 Design- Big, Bulky & Super Sturdy

Nokia C30 Design- Big, Bulky & Super Sturdy

If you prefer handy devices with good ergonomics, steer away from the Nokia C30. It is one giant of a phone with size and proportions that sometimes feel laughable or simply unwanted. The phablet measures 177.70 x 79.10 x 9.90 mm and weighs 237 grams.

It’s big, bulky and is not quite suitable for one-hand use. One thing that’s still intact is the build quality. Like most Nokia handsets, the C30 also feels very sturdy and durable, thanks to its hard polycarbonate shell. The build quality is impressive for a phone priced at Rs. 11,000.

Replacement Promise For Hardware Failure

Replacement Promise For Hardware Failure

HMD is also offering a one-year replacement guarantee on the handset; however, physical damages are not covered under the replacement guarantee promise. Since the display lacks the required screen protection glass and isn’t covered under the replacement promise, you must apply a tampered glass to avoid any damages. The replacement scheme is only applicable in case of any hardware failure and manufacturing defects.

Ports & Buttons

Ports & Buttons

The Nokia C30 is still stuck with a microUSB 2.0 charging port. It won’t be an issue if you were still using a handset with the old charging tech but can be a letdown if you have made the transition to the USB Type-C ports even for budget handsets.

Besides, the handset has a rear-mounted physical fingerprint scanner, 3.5mm audio jack, and a removable back cover that houses the gigantic 6,000 mAh battery cell, two nano-SIM card slots a dedicated microSD card slot.

Removable Back Panel With Fixed Battery

Removable Back Panel With Fixed Battery

Since the battery is fixed inside a steel plate, a non-removable back panel makes little or no sense. It’s a bit of a hassle to remove it for SIM cards and expandable storage. The C30 is a big handset and Nokia could have utilized the space efficiently to organize the essentials.

Nokia C30 Display- Low On Resolution, Big On Real-Estate

Nokia C30 Display- Low On Resolution, Big On Real-Estate

The Nokia C30 probably packs the biggest display on a budget phone. The massive 6.82-inch display is one USP of the handset as it makes the C30 a good budget smartphone for binge-watching, reading and various other day-today tasks

Good For Binge-Watching & Reading

Good For Binge-Watching & Reading

The IPS LCD panel allows for ample real-estate to watch videos, read news, and browse the internet; however, the low pixel resolution (720x1600p) and average color reproduction is a bit of a letdown if your previous phone had a 1080p display. Black areas appear grey and the poor viewing angles further spoil the fun.

Decent Brightness Levels

Decent Brightness Levels

The viewing experience could have been a lot better if HMD had offered a Full HD+ panel. Video playback aside, the display works just fine for day-to-day phone tasks. The touch response is good and brightness levels are decent enough to read text, dial phone numbers, and check your Facebook/Instagram timelines outdoors. I wish Nokia could have reduced the size to 6.60″ and have bumped the resolution to 1080p for a more enjoyable user experience.

Nokia C30 Camera- Average Performer

Nokia C30 Camera- Average Performer

Similar to the display, the camera is also a below-average performer. The 13MP primary sensor captures images that lack clarity and color vividness. Some daylight shots turn out to be usable but the overall photography experience, even in outdoor lighting, fails to impress, let alone the low-light images. The 2MP depth-sensor struggles to create the background blur effect. You get a 5MP selfie camera but its performance is equally disappointing.

Overall, if you have the slightest interest in photography, the Nokia C30 shouldn’t be on your watchlist. You can go for a Realme or a Xiaomi/Poco handset in the sub-15K price-point.

Nokia C30 Performance- As Entry-Level As It Can Get

Nokia C30 Performance- As Entry-Level As It Can Get

Despite being touted as the most powerful handset in the C-series line-up, Nokia has opted for entry-level hardware. The C30 uses the Unisoc SC9863A SoC and 3GB/4GB RAM options to handle processing and multitasking jobs respectively. Based on the dated 28nm architecture, the SC9863A is mostly good for basic smartphone tasks such as YouTube, web browsing, social media, calling, and camera usage. You can only play casual games such as Angry Birds, Hill Climb Racing, etc.

We tried running some demanding tasks on the handset and started experiencing stutters, and mind you; we are testing the 4GB RAM variant. The handset showed signs of lags even while recording videos and taking portrait shots, which comes as a bit of surprise because the Stock Android UI and 4GB RAM generally ensure good overall performance on entry-level Nokia handsets. Perhaps Nokia could better optimize the C30’s software to rectify these issues.

In general, the stock Android software keeps things clutter-free and makes the Nokia C30 an excellent budget phone for elderly users and anyone who prefer a no-nonsense software experience. For instance, a Stock Android smartphone is slightly easier to understand and use than a Redmi/Poco or a Vivo budget handset. If you are buying a phone for a non-techy user in the house, the C30 is a good option.

Moving on, the audio is best experienced via headphones as the rear-mounted single speaker unit isn’t quite good at producing good sound.

Nokia C30 Software Upgrades

Nokia C30 Software Upgrades

The Nokia C30 will receive two years of security upgrades; however, unlike most Android smartphones that receive monthly security patches, the C30 will receive quarterly security updates. Also, there’s no clear word on the major software upgrade. The handset is currently running Android 11 and we expect it to receive Android 12 in the coming months.

Nokia C30 Battery Life & Connectivity

Nokia C30 Battery Life & Connectivity

While the 6,000 mAh battery is a strong performer, its slow charging speed is a big pain. The battery cell easily lasts for two days even with heavy usage but also tests your patience for a refuel. It takes almost 3.5 hours to recharge the battery from flat to 100%, which is a bummer.

The 10W charging speed in 2022 feels just outdated. The same goes for the connectivity standards. The handset skips on dual-band Wi-Fi (No support for 5GHz), has a microUSB charging port and Bluetooth 4.2.

Verdict

Verdict

You must have made up your mind by now after reading the review; however, I would like to reiterate it just to make it easy for you. Buy the Nokia C30 if you want a sturdy phone with a massive display and a long-lasting battery. The display is a pretty average one but the big real estate is a plus point. The smooth stock Android software experience is another key selling point of the handset.

Do not consider buying the Nokia C30 if a good camera, crisp 1080p display, and a handy design are your priority. Some options you can consider in the sub-12K price-point are as follows:-

  • Samsung Galaxy M12 (90Hz refresh rate display, 48MP Camera & 6,000mAh battery)
  • Realme Narzo 50A (50MP Triple Camera, MTK Helio G85 SoC, 6,000mAh Battery)
  • Tecno Pova 2 (FHD+ Display, 7,000mAh Battery)
  • Infinix Hot 10S (90Hz Display, MTK Helio G85 SoC, 6,000mAh Battery)

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