NOKIA G10 Review – What should be the Selling Point?

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Nokia’s latest budget smartphone–the Nokia G10–is one of their entry-level device which is priced at P6,990 only. Most of us are eyeing an affordable smartphone that provides us a good gaming experience. G10 offers a gaming chipset but the least in Helio G series in Mediatek processors. Despite the acceptable gaming chipset for the price, can it offer other strengths to make this smartphone a worthy buy? Find out in our review.

Pros

  • Monthly update
  • Guaranteed 2 years of major Android updates
  • large display
  • gaming chipset
  • large battery

Cons

  • lower resolution
  • slow 10W charging
  • minor UI hiccups

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Design

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The device has a plastic build which all budget smartphones are made of. It may look like a hefty device but it is pretty sturdy when you hold it. The Nokia G10 has a thickness of 9.2mm and weighs 194 grams and compared to other entry-level devices, it has a solid built. It also has a nice grip thanks to the diagonal parallel lines on the back. Also, when you look closer, the back has a glitter accent design on the Night color we have which is new to me. It is also available in Dusk and it has a gradient purple.

The camera module is still in a circular shape houses a triple camera and an led flash. The bump is almost flat with little to no wobble on a flat surface. It is located in the middle as well as the Nokia logo below. It has the aesthetic and a balance feel on the back as all are in the middle including the manufacturer texts.

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Around the frame, located on the right are the power button that also acts as a fingerprint scanner and volume rocker above. On the left side is the simtray with dual nano sim slot and sd card slot that can expand up to 512GB. It also has a dedicated Google Assistant button which is a great addition for comfortability. Up top, it has a secondary microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack. At the bottom are the speaker grille, USB Type-C, and microphone.

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Display

The display of the Nokia G10 is only at 720P resolution due to chipset limitation but it offers a large 6.52-inch IPS LCD. We are not surprised with the display’s specs as most entry-level phones have similar characteristics to the G10. Besides, these specs, for the price, are the only workable solution as the chipset isn’t powerful enough to handle triple-A games at 1080P. The 720p resolution makes it possible to handle an acceptable performance.

The display quality of the Nokia G10 is acceptable for the price, you’ll get an average sharpness, average brightness outdoors, and the contrast is just fine. When viewed at narrow-angle, it is quite ahead versus other entry-level smartphones as it doesn’t introduce a drastic color shift but with lowered brightness output. Colors are near to life and even it doesn’t offer a higher refresh rate the overall look is much better as it has a higher STB ratio even with an outdated dewdrop notch and chunky bezel on its chin.

Camera

Moving on to the camera quality, the circular module that Nokia is known for, consists of a triple camera. You may at first see a quad-camera setup but the fourth circle is just an LED flash. Despite this, it adds aesthetic when looking at the back of the phone. The triple camera is a 13MP main camera and 2MP for both macro and depth.

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The quality on the main cam is detailed and sharp while the colors are good. It also has a nice contrast and blacks are not a total black. It still introduces tiny details on shadowy parts. It has a below-average dynamic range as well and I expected that HDR processing will fix it however, the output using HDR looks less compared to the normal mode. Contrast is drastically reduced and it has a pale looking color. It can be improved after a software update.

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Nokia G10 is quite impressive shooting at night. When Night mode is activated it adds more exposure and removes some grains and noise. For its price it’s quite better and not bad.

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The depth sensor is great. It outputs a natural-looking bokeh and the colors are similar to the main camera however it has a low accuracy on the edges which occurs sometimes.

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Moving on to the macro cam, using a bright light source will add quality to the photo but don’t expect too much on the quality of the 2MP sensor macro it’s just enough for the price.

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Switching to selfies, the 8MP front cam outputs a pinkish to natural skin tone depending on the scenery. Blacks are just fine and it still preserved details. Using the portrait mode will introduce a shallow depth of field however the accuracy on the edges is still low. This should be fixed by a software patch.

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Nokia G10 record videos up to 1080P resolution with 30fps max. It doesn’t have UIS stability but still, it is the acceptable video recording for social media posts. There’s nothing too fancy on the camera features, it has timelapse, panorama, and night mode. It also has a built-in google lens but it doesn’t have a pro mode feature.

Overall, the camera quality is just acceptable for social media posting. The only downside for me is lacking an Ultrawide sensor as last year’s phone with the same price segment already has an ultrawide camera.

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Performance

The Nokia G10 is equipped with the least version of the Helio processors–the Mediatek Helio G25. It has the same 12nm architecture as the G35 but with lower clock speeds. The CPU is 2.0GHz while the GPU is only at 650 MHz. It is also a rebranded Helio P22 with powerful gaming enhancement–Hyperengine Technology. I only have one competitor in mind which is the Redmi 9A that is also equipped with the Helio G25. But Nokia G10 is newer and offers a triple camera setup. On its counterpart, its direct competitor is the Snapdragon 625 but I think most of the budget phones today are packed with the Helio G series so it’s a direct win if you’re opting for a budgeted Helio G phone.

Gaming Capability

We should expect a great gaming performance to the Nokia G10 since it is equipped with a gaming chipset but it turns out that some Tripe-A games showed difficulty running on Helio G25. Mobile Legends and League of Legends Wildrift is very playable with up to 60fps with little to no hiccups. While the PUBG mobile and Call of duty mobile is acceptable with just 25-30fps max, then high graphic titles such as Honkai Impact and Genshin Impact only have 80-90% stability means it has plenty of stutters. All games run on recommended settings of medium graphics.

So the power of the Helio G25 on the Nokia G10 is like the Helio P22 processor but with a better and vibrant visual gaming experience on such MOBA games and other FPS games.

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Software and Security

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For its software, the Nokia G10 runs on the latest stock Android 11 out of the box. It is a fresh and clean Stock Android means that compatibility is always present. The UI is clean however I experienced small hiccups when navigating on preinstalled Google Apps. The UI is quite heavy as it’s not on the Android Go version but browsing Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, is enough. Some apps also have a longer launching time but if the ram is preloaded with running apps, launch time will reduce by 50%.

Speaking of RAM, the device is also backed with 4GB of ram and 64GB of internal storage. Ram capacity is still acceptable in 2021, while 64GB storage is below average. Most updates like Call of Duty Mobile can eat GBs of storage, but still, if you only have the famous esports title and a couple of productivity apps, it is more than enough. If you will watch our Gaming Review, you will see that we managed to install three esports titles and three triple-A games. However you don’t have to install every Triple-A game on this phone as the Chipset isn’t that powerful enough to handle those, so you will not immediately fill up the 64GB of storage.

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For its security, Nokia G10 has a fast unlocking experience using the fingerprint scanner. it also has face unlock with good accuracy and reliability in low light scenarios. There’s also a guaranteed 2 years of major Android updates in the device and monthly security upgrades. The Android security update as of this writing is last July 5, 2021, which is last month only. This is one of the reasons why you don’t have to expect too much on the gaming side of the phone as it offers a better user experience.

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Battery

We also tested its 5050mAh battery after conducting some game tests, it drains 23% out of 100% of its juice in 2 hours and 52 minutes of gaming. The battery performance is better compared to other entry-level smartphones that I have reviewed with the same large battery. Usually, after more than 2 hours of gaming, I tend to encounter battery life reaching 66 to 70 percent, but this time we are impressed by the Nokia G10.

As for its charging, since it is only paired with a small 10W charger, juicing up the device will surely take a lot of time. Charging the G10 from 0 to 100% took us around 2 hours and 40 minutes which is a long time.

Overall

The Nokia G10 can give you an acceptable gaming experience when it comes to MOBA games and average on FPS games. However, it has a hard time maintaining consistent performance in triple-A games, but for browsing and a day-to-day companion, the Nokia G10 is a worthy device.

It is priced at P6,990 for 4GB plus 64GB. Albeit, last year, this price range offered a higher Helio G70 or G80 processor from other competitors, however, if I will going to use a phone that will still give me security in 2 years, Nokia is one of the trusted brands that can offer a 2 years Android Upgrade. This means the main selling point of this device is compatibility and optimization that is still present after a year or so. Buying this phone will give you peace of mind, long battery life, and a solid build.

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Nokia G10 specs, price, availability in the Philippines

  • Display: 6.52 inches, IPS LCD, 720 x 1600p
  • Design: Splash protection
  • Dimension and Weight: 164.9 x 76 x 9.2mm, 194g
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G25 (12nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • RAM: 3/4 GB
  • Storage: 32/64 GB, dedicated microSD slot expandable up to 512GB
  • Main Camera: 13MP Wide AF, 2MP Macro, 2MP Depth
    LED flash, HDR, panorama, video up to [email protected]
  • Selfie Camera: 8MP Selfie | video up to [email protected]
  • Connectivity & Ports: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, FM Radio, USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Security: Fingerprint sensor (side-mounted)
  • Features: Accelerometer, proximity
  • Battery: Li-Po 5050 mAh, non-removable, 10W Charging
  • Audio: loudspeaker
  • OS: Android 11
  • Colors: Dusk, Night
  • Price: ₱6,990
  • Release date: June 14, 2021 (Philippines)
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