Top News
Next Story

Nokia T21 review: Keeping it simple

Send Push
When tablets were diminishing from our lives came the pandemic, giving these obsolete-sized, wanna-be hybrids of a phone and a computer a second lifeline. And everyone out there jumped ship, including Nokia, or you can also say HMD Global, which in 2021 brought its first-ever tablet, the Nokia T20.

Cut to two years later, Nokia thought of taking the lineup forward, bringing in the Nokia T21. Well, the naming could have been better. But, keeping that aside, the Nokia T21 is a budget offering that tries to pack in what you need and nothing you do not. What you get is a big 10-inch tablet with a huge battery and a camera at the back. But is all that worth the asking price of Rs 19,999? We used the Nokia T21 for a few weeks, and here is what we think about it.

Design and display
Nokia T21 is like any other tablet, a big piece of aluminium slab, and 60 per cent of it is recycled. Surprisingly, the tablet still feels good to hold but is a little heavy at 471 grams. The tablet comes in a single charcoal grey colour, but it has a dual-tone finish, though the antenna bands are made of plastic. Do you know what the best thing about Nokia T21 is? It is IP52 rated, meaning it is dust protected and somewhat waterproof, but do not take it into the shower.

At the bottom, there is a USB-C port that can be used for charging, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. There's the power button on top, and the right-hand side houses the volume controls and a removable tray that can accommodate both a SIM card (on LTE models) and a microSD card.

Sadly, the T21 tablet does not have its own stylus or keyboard, and neither does Nokia make one. Nevertheless, you can still use third-party Bluetooth keyboards and styluses, if you need to.

With a 10.36-inch display having a 5:3 aspect ratio, the Nokia T21 differentiates itself from most competitors that typically feature a 4:3 screen. It is an IPS panel with a 2K resolution and a 60Hz of refresh rate.

Indeed it is a large display, and also has enough resolution, offering sharp pictures. But it is the colours that disappointed us. Out of the box, the colours on the T21 tablet display tend to be cooler. But you can be adjusted through the settings, among natural, boosted or adaptive. The tablet is fine for indoor settings. But, when used outdoors in bright sunlight, legibility can be an issue.

There are two speakers on either end, complemented by the advanced OZO Spatial Audio software. While the playback quality is punchy and loud, it may not be as remarkable as that of more high-end tablets. Regardless, it is more than adequate for streaming Netflix, listening to podcasts, and even enjoying some music now and then.


Powered by the Unisoc T612 chipset, the tablet has 4GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, the Nokia T21 is not a powerhouse. It can handle basic tasks such as web browsing and email, but more demanding apps or websites take a long time to load, and gaming is only possible at low settings.

Nevertheless, the T21 should be sufficient for light office work and content consumption. But, the tablet's slow speed can become frustrating over time.

One advantage of the T21 is its near-stock version of Android 12, which does not include unnecessary features, and this helps keep the tablet's performance issues to a minimum. Also, Nokia promises two years of software updates.

An interesting feature of the Nokia T21 is the second screen option for Windows devices, provided they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. While it is not the smoothest of experiences, it gets the job done if you need a second display at your work

Battery Life

With an underwhelming processor comes an overwhelming battery life. Backed by an 8200mAh battery, the Nokia T21 could theoretically last you for 3 days. Even though it does not match its 3 days claim, the tablet can easily last you for 2 days, with browsing, a lot of content consumption and a little bit of gaming.

As for charging it up, it supports 18W charging, but there is no charger inside the box. We tried a third-party charger, and the tablet took around 2 hours to go from 0 to 100 per cent.


While tablet cameras typically are not as crucial as those on smartphones, Nokia has made some improvements to the T21's camera setup compared to its predecessor.

The front-facing selfie camera has been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP, resulting in slightly better colour accuracy. However, textures appear soft, and indoor shots tend to look washed out, particularly compared to those taken outdoors in ample lighting. Nevertheless, the front camera is perfectly suitable for video calls, which is likely what most users will use it for.


The rear 8MP camera remains the same as that on the T20, and although you can obtain good enough snaps in good lighting with the T21, again, colours appear dull, and the textures lack sharpness.

Both cameras have auto-focus and offer basic editing features such as portrait mode and filters.


The Nokia T21 is an affordable and impressive tablet with a good screen, loud speakers, great battery life, and added features such as a SIM slot, active pen stylus support, and second-screen functionality. However, its slow performance makes it unsuitable for some, especially those wanting a tablet for gaming. Having said that, it is a viable option for those who want a big display for content consumption, studies or office.

  • 2K display
  • Long battery life
  • Near-stock Android
  • Sluggish performance
  • Charger not included in the box
Explore more on Newspoint
Loving Newspoint? Download the app now