August has been interesting because we have had the chance to play with three of Nokia’s newest phones in the Kenyan market.

So far, we have assessed the midrange G20, which is a good phone as a whole, and even a very choice for those who want clean software.

We also looked into the C20, an entry-level device that costs KES 11500. It is a budget device, meaning it is functional, but don’t expect it to be faster or churn out good images. And to be honest, there aren’t any budget smartphones that are good at either. If you need more than the C20 can offer, then you simply need to get your money up and buy a better device.

Today’s star is the Nokia G10. It is the cheapest member of the G series, and here are some of its specs:

4G: Yes

Weight: 194g

SIMs, Protection: Dual, splash protection

Screen: 6.52 inch, IPS LCD at 720 by 1600 pixels

Software: Android 11

Chips: MTK Helio G25, PowerVR GE8320 GPU

MicroSD card slot: Yes

Memory: 4/64 GB (as reviewed)

Main cam: 13 MP main, 2 MP macro, 2 MP depth

Selfie: 8 MP in a notch

Battery: 5050 mAh, 10W charging, USB Type-C

Price: KES 14900

Looking at the specs, it becomes clear they are more than enough for a sub-15K phone. RAM is ample at 4 GB, and purchasers should know that the retail unit has 128GB of internal storage, unlike ours that ships with half that.

I am also going to make a number of comparisons with its older sibling the G20 because for the most part, the phones are the same save for slightly better cameras in the G20 and a faster chipset. Day-to-day usage feels the same, though. In fact, I can’t tell you which one is faster because they feel the same to me.

Heck, even their backs feel the same. They are somewhat frosted and feel genuinely grippy. You can use the G10 naked, but it is always a good idea to use the included case for extra protection.

The screen is large at 6.5”. We do not understand why Nokia is still using notches because they are old now. Anything implementation is better than a screen cutout, but we hope Nokia will eliminate them in their future phones.

While it could be brighter, outdoor usage is okay, to say the least. I did not experience any legibility issues as I did with the C20. Of course, the G10 could use more pixels, but at its price, the HD+ panel is more than enough.

To note, there is an included screen protector, which you should keep if you want to keep your display pristine.

Buttons and controls are here and in plenty. Just like the G20, the G10’s power key is o the right side and houses a quick fingerprint reader. Capacitive fingerprint sensors have always been our favourite because of their reliability, and they are even better when embedded in power keys.

Just about the power button is a volume rocker.

The other side of the phone has a Google Assistant button, which I kept hitting accidentally. And while use cases may vary, I do not use Google Assistant that much, but for those who do, then there is a button there to make everything easier.

The SIM tray about the button can house two SIM cards and a memory card for groups that like to store a lot of media in removable media.

On the whole, the whole G10 package feels good in the hand, and other than the aforementioned issues such as a not so pixel-packed display, I like its presentation.

The cameras, which I am sure you want to know about, are good for the price. There are three of them and are held in a circular camera bump that also houses a tiny LED flash. As noted in the specs listing, the G10 lacks an ultrawide sensor that is common for devices costing the same. In fact, it has low-res sensors for macro and depth sensing, but should we ask for more?

Perhaps not. All in all, I like its image output, for the price. The quality of the pictures is way much better than what we captured with the C20.

You can judge the quality by yourself in the gallery below (the selfie cam is more than capable as well):

The software case is the same as other Nokia phones, which is great. The interface is clean, and Nokia hasn’t done anything to it like other manufacturers do. This means that you will be getting updates in a timely manner: you will receive major updates in the next three years, and security patches for another extra year. What is not to love with this arrangement?

Finally, the 5050 mAh cell is huge by sheer numbers. While I do not use the phone a lot, it still lasts and lasts. I have only charged it once this week. However, the 10W charger does not do it justice because it is slow. It takes more than 2 hours to fill up, but expecting faster charging for this price is asking for too much, right?

Before we leave, let’s briefly talk about the pricing details. The G10 costs KES 14990, whereas the G20 costs KES 18900. For 4K, the G20 is well packaged and has nicer cameras. However, there isn’t much else you would miss if you picked the G10, which, as said, feels as quick.

The C20 is even cheaper at KES 11490, but is kind of sluggish and has worse snappers.

We haven’t been able to use the X10 and X20, both of which have 5G radios are can be purchased locally. Whenever we do, we will give you more details but for now, the X lineup is perfect for those who have a big budget (KES 35K for the X10, and KES 40K for the X20).

This should give you more insights about which phone is perfect for you depending on what you want, and we are certain that you will be happy with any purchase.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]