Nokia G10 Evaluation | PCMag


When HMD revived Nokia in 2018, its debut lineup impressed us. Since then, Nokia’s lower-end choices have been strong decisions for consumers with tight budgets. Sadly, the Nokia G10 ($149.99) fails to elicit the identical degree of enthusiasm as final yr’s equally priced Nokia C5 Endi ($169.95). Although the G10 has unimaginable battery life, a beneficiant software program improve coverage, and a stunning show for its worth, it is introduced down by its torpid processor, meager storage, and a physique that feels cheaply made and breakable. If you happen to completely can not pay greater than $150, the G10 will get you thru the day, however should you can scrape collectively one other $20, the 2021 version of the Motorola Moto G Play ($169.99) is a much better budget-phone purchase.

Questionable Sturdiness

The Nokia G10 is out there in blue or purple, and there is not a lot distinction between the 2; our take a look at unit was purple, however we discovered that in lots of lights it seemed blue. At 6.5 by 3.0 by 0.4 inches (HWD) and 6.4 ounces, it’s the right dimension to carry in a single hand for an prolonged commute.

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The cellphone’s backplate and chassis are plastic. The again has a textured, matte end that resists fingerprints and offers the cellphone a pleasant grippy texture. The plastic itself feels skinny. Centered on the high of the backplate, you’ll discover a round digicam module. A outstanding Nokia brand is etched within the heart of the again panel. 

Phone standing on a counter

The purple mannequin of the Nokia G10 takes on a blue hue in vivid mild. (Photograph: Steven Winkelman)

A headphone jack is on the highest edge; a USB-C charging port and the speaker grille are on the underside. On the left aspect, there is a Google Assistant button and a twin SIM/microSD slot. An influence button with an built-in fingerprint sensor makes its residence on the suitable aspect, together with a quantity rocker. The hybrid fingerprint sensor is sluggish however correct. 

Comparable Merchandise

editors choice horizontal



Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

Motorola Moto G Play (2021)

A 6.5-inch LCD with a teardrop notch for the digicam dominates the entrance of the cellphone. Bezels are minimal, save for the underside edge, the place you’ll discover a small Nokia brand. Regardless of the low 1,600-by-720-pixel (269ppi pixel density) decision, the show is crisp. As with all of the Nokia telephones we’ve reviewed, the displayed colours skew cool, and the display screen isn’t vivid sufficient to make use of in direct daylight. 

A consultant for Nokia advised us the cellphone is splash resistant and has a strengthened-glass show. There’s a display screen protector on the cellphone, and a jelly case within the field, however neither will do a lot to maintain the display screen from cracking should you drop the cellphone face-down on the pavement. Nevertheless, the plastic physique ought to stand up to minor drops with out a lot harm.

Verizon Clients Want Not Apply

The Nokia G10 works on AT&T and T-Cellular’s 4G (LTE) networks, however not Verizon’s. Total band help is nice, however band 71, which is essential for rural clients on T-Cellular’s community, is lacking. 

We examined the cellphone on AT&T’s LTE community in Chicago, utilizing a Cricket SIM, and recorded common speeds of 6.4Mbps down and 4.1Mbps up. If you happen to’re on a postpaid provider, you’ll doubtless discover higher speeds, since Cricket caps its clients’ speeds and prioritizes visitors for AT&T clients. 

Name high quality is nice. Earpiece quantity peaks at 84dB and is loud sufficient to sufficient to listen to on a crowded practice. Noise cancellation labored nicely on all our take a look at calls.

Audio high quality with the bottom-firing speaker is disappointing. The sound is brassy, with mids pushed to the entrance, and there’s noticeable distortion within the highs. With a peak quantity of 88dB, the speaker is loud sufficient to fill a room.

Twin-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 are supported. NFC is lacking, however it’s uncommon to see a $150 cellphone with that characteristic. 

The G10 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G25 cell platform together with 3GB of RAM. There’s 32GB of storage, with about 23GB accessible out of the field. You may add as much as 512GB of exterior storage with a microSD card.

Even easy duties are a wrestle for the G10. There’s noticeable lag when opening an app or scrolling via Twitter. The digicam app is exceptionally sluggish, taking a number of seconds to change between the entrance and rear cameras. Though 3GB of RAM is absolutely the minimal we’d suggest in 2021, a scarcity of RAM cannot take all of the blame for these points; the Moto G Play performs a lot better with the identical storage and RAM configuration. 

Gaming was a whole loss. Genshin Influence crashed each time we tried to open it. Alto’s Odyssey labored, however skipped frames and even a couple of app crashes punctuated our gameplay. 

See How We Take a look at Telephones

On Geekbench 5, an artificial benchmark that measures uncooked efficiency, the G10 scored 143 single-core (SC) and 803 multi-core (MC). The Moto G Play scored a way more spectacular 255 (SC) and 1,269 (MC) on the identical benchmark. 

phone lying on counter with right edge in focus

The facility button has an built-in fingerprint sensor that is sluggish however correct. (Photograph: Steven Winkelman)

One vivid spot is the G10’s 5,050mAh battery. Nokia claims it’s going to get you thru three days between prices; should you do not use your cellphone a lot, that could be true. The G10 eked out 16 hours, 8 minutes on our battery drain take a look at, by which we stream video over Wi-Fi at most brightness. That doesn’t fairly dwell as much as the Moto G Energy’s 18 hours and 42 minutes, however it’s sufficient to allow you to skip a day between prices. 

Selfies That Will Make You Shudder

Digicam efficiency is one other weak level for the G10. The rear stack packs a 13MP major sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. 

In good mild, the G10’s major sensor does a tolerable job. In our take a look at photographs within the default digicam mode, coloration accuracy and readability have been spot on. Depth of area was barely shallow. After we switched to Vast-Angle mode, we seen some lack of readability across the edges, however the photographs have been high-quality for social media sharing. 

Phone on counter with round camera module in focus.

The Nokia G10’s cameras wrestle in low mild. (Photograph: Steven Winkelman)

In low mild, issues collapse. Take a look at photographs have been flat and muddy with excessive blooming. Foreground topics have been blurry, and noise speckled out photographs. 

The macro lens is unsurprisingly poor. Our take a look at photographs have been flat, with important fringing and blurring. 

Selfie cameras sometimes do job with sufficient mild, however the G10’s 8MP sensor falls quick. Our photographs have been crisp with glorious depth of area, however there was noise across the edges. Our topic additionally appeared to have blemishes on their pores and skin, regardless that their complexion was clean. Low-light take a look at photographs have been a muddy mess, with unnatural blurring within the foreground that may doubtless be attributed to over-aggressive noise cancellation.

A Easy OS, Upgraded Usually

A inventory model of Android 11 ships on the G10. There’s no bloatware on the unlocked model, and HMD does not even preinstall productiveness apps. It’s uncommon and refreshing expertise to make use of a funds cellphone with out fixed notifications popping up. 

Phone lying on counter with bottom edge in focus

The underside-firing speaker is loud however brassy. (Photograph:Steven Winkelman)

The G10 is without doubt one of the few Android One telephones offered within the US. Meaning you’ll get two years of immediate OS upgrades and an added yr of safety patches. 

Lacking the Mark

A yr in the past, the Nokia G10’s crisp show, glorious battery life, and multi-year OS upgrades would have been sufficient to excuse its sluggish processor, paltry storage, and mediocre construct high quality. However the funds cellphone market has modified lots over the previous 12 months, and the G10 can’t hold tempo with its competitors. The Moto G Play is available in at simply $20 greater than the G10 and much surpasses it, with superior construct high quality, longer battery life, and a extra sturdy cell chipset. 

If you happen to can spend a bit of extra, take a look at our Editors’ Alternative winner for low-cost telephones, the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G ($279.99). It appears to be like nice, it is extra sturdy, and it has a way more highly effective chipset, with good cameras and even 5G connectivity. With telephones just like the A32 5G in the marketplace, there’s simply no room for one which cuts as many corners because the G10.


  • Lengthy battery life

  • Multi-year OS upgrades

The Backside Line

The Nokia G10 serves a cellphone’s primary features, however laggy efficiency and flimsy construct high quality make it a poor worth.

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