The Nokia C31 came out in December 2022. It is the newest model in the company’s C Series. Locally, the high-end X30 was introduced alongside the new Nokia C31. Being a low-cost phone, it only has a UNISOC SC9863A processor, yet the one we’re getting has 4GB of RAM and a sizable 128GB of expandable storage.
The entry-level smartphone market is served by Nokia’s C Series, which is intended for users who may be upgrading from feature phones. It has a sizable 6.7″ HD+ display, better triple cameras, and an Android experience in its entirety.
How does the Nokia C31 compare to the competition, then? Find out by reading our review.
Nokia C31 Specs
- Android 12
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.74-inch HD+ IPS display, 1600 x 720 pixel resolution, 260ppi
- 2.5D toughened glass, 20:9 aspect ratio
- 1.6GHz UNISOC SC9863A octa-core procesor
- 4GB RAM
- IMG 8322 GPU
- 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 5-megapixel front camera
- 13-megapixel + 2-megapixel (macro) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
- IP52 water resistant
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
- HSPA+, 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, GALILEO
- FM radio
- Micro USB
- Dimensions: 169.2 x 77.98 x 8.55mm
- Weight: 200g
- Colors: Charcoal, Cyan, Mint
- 5,050mAh non-removable battery, 10W charger
Unboxing the Nokia C31
Let’s first look at what the Nokia C31 comes with out of the box. The box’s contents are about what you would anticipate for a phone in this price range.
- Nokia C31 Smartphone
- SIM Ejection Pin
- 10 Watt Charger
- Micro USB Cable
- User Manual
Build & Design
Nokia was renowned for creating durable smartphones, which is seen in the Nokia C31. Even though the sides and the back of the phone are entirely made of plastic, it feels strong and well-built.
The fact that it weighs 200 g makes it seem a little bulky, but the good news is that nothing is hollow, and the smartphone’s textured rear gives it personality.
The 3.5mm headphone socket is located at the top of the phone, along with one dedicated microphone. It is frustrating to see a micro USB port in a product that was produced in 2023. Yet, you won’t need to use the port frequently because, according to Nokia, the phone lasts for three days.
The power and volume buttons are conveniently located on the right. The SIM card tray is located on the left side and allows for the use of two SIM cards as well as a memory card.
The speaker, as well as the camera array, fingerprint sensor, and other parts, are at the bottom of the back.
The Nokia C31 features IP52 ingress protection against a limited amount of dust penetration, extending the legendary durability of Nokia phones. Moreover, it protects the C31 from water sprays that are less than 15 degrees off-vertical.
Overall, this phone’s build quality made it a pleasure to hold and use. I have to admit that I have to give Nokia credit for choosing a textured rear panel over a glossy one, which would have made the phone appear cheap.
The Nokia C31’s front sports a huge 6.74-inch LCD panel, which makes it the perfect option if you watch a lot of movies and online streaming. Still, the phone looks pretty old because it has a “dewdrop” notch and a big “chin” at the bottom of the screen. Nonetheless, given that the C31 is intended for the low-end market, it is forgiven.
The resolution of videos on the display is limited to 720p because it is an HD+ display screen. Because the phone lacks Widevine L1 certification, Netflix and Amazon Prime will only support 480p streaming.
The brightness of the screen is good for indoor use, but it might be hard to use it outside in direct sunlight. The auto-brightness sensor, however, does a decent job of adjusting the brightness based on the surroundings, so let’s end on a positive note.
Goodbye Android Go
The Nokia C31 is run on the Android 12 OS and is powered by the Unisoc SC9863A. It’s intriguing to note that Nokia rejected the “Android Go” operating system, which is intended for low-cost or budget handsets. While not blazingly fast, the overall speed is acceptable for a smartphone in this class. The phone performed the necessary tasks pretty well, and there were no lags during video playback. It took a little longer to switch between the apps, but ultimately we grew accustomed to the phone’s pace. The speed of the face unlock and fingerprint sensor, however, really pleased us.
For casual gamers
You may play casual games like Asphalt Nitro, Hill Climb Racing, and Subway Surfers if you don’t mind a few frame drops.
Reliable and robust
The strength of Nokia is that its devices feature a pure, nearly stock Android interface, and that is also true here. Out of the box, Android 12 is free of bloatware and adware. This sets the product apart from others in its category, which typically load their phones with bloatware apps and advertisements in order to keep costs down.
I had hoped that the clean experience would help the phone, but it doesn’t appear to be well-optimized. Although Nokia cannot guarantee any more updates to the next Android version, you will continue to get security patches for the next two years, which isn’t bad at all. It guarantees that your phone will receive the latest security protection.
You can use any 4G SIM card with the Nokia C31 since it is a 4G phone that supports VoLTE. You can use two 4G SIM cards simultaneously because the phone has a full-size SIM tray. For the time I used the C31, the connectivity was excellent because I had no issues with the network. On WiFi, you will have to use only 2.4 GHz; 5 GHz WiFi isn’t supported. Again, though, at this price point, it makes sense.
Given that it has a 5050 mAh battery and Nokia claims it should last up to three days on a single charge, the Nokia C31’s battery life really amazed me. I can attest to this because I didn’t need to plug in the charger for the device for two full days of use.
You can also extend the battery life if you are not near a charger by using the Super Battery Saving option. In terms of the charger, you receive a 10-watt charger that fills the large battery in just under 3 hours.
The C31 is the first phone in the C series to have three cameras. It has a 13 MP main camera, a 2 MP macro camera, and a 2 MP depth sensor. The new camera configuration is an improvement over the old one.
Moreover, a 5-megapixel selfie camera is included. For photo and software processing, the device makes use of the popular Google Camera app.
In well-lit environments, the primary 13-MP shooter performs admirably. The photographs we took outside in the daylight were well-composed and contained a respectable level of information. The photographs could have used a little more sharpening, which may be a better processor would have been used. The camera does a fantastic job of harmonizing the colors, though, without fading them from the final image.
The HDR also performs its duties admirably. The portrait mode impressed us because it created a good variety of colors for various subjects and did a respectable job of identifying edges. The Nokia C31 lacks a panorama function, in contrast to the C21 Plus.
The camera had trouble taking good pictures in low light. The photos appeared blurry and had a significant amount of noise. Although having a flash and the night mode on hand made for marginally better pictures, they still fell short of expectations. It is reasonable to anticipate this from every entry-level smartphone.
But with a stable hand and a good angle when taking shots, you can still achieve decent photos with the C31. Here are some of our shots.
As we mentioned, the Nokia C31 has a dedicated 2 MP macro lens, which is hit or miss.
While zooming, the C31’s larger 13MP sensor serves a decent purpose.
Should you buy the Nokia C31?
The Nokia C31, which costs PHP 8,490, is a decent choice that may have attracted more buyers had Nokia chosen a more powerful processor with Type C charging. The C31 would still be a standout in its class if you were mainly searching for a smartphone to view content on, thanks to its vast 6.7″ HD+ display.
Also, the smartphone’s camera performance is really good for its price. The C31’s build is another plus because the textured plastic back makes it pleasant to handle and is unquestionably superior to that of the C21 Plus. In addition, your C31 will receive security upgrades for two years to keep it safe and secure.