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Nokia C30 Review: A sturdy entry-level device with a huge 6000mAh battery


Nokia C30 Review: HMD Global has been very aggressive when it comes to the Kenyan market. The company has unveiled a number of devices this year as it seeks to capture a share of the Kenyan smartphone market, one of these devices is the Nokia C30.

The Nokia C30 as I mentioned in the unboxing article I did a week ago was unveiled back in July alongside the Nokia XR20 5G, and a feature phone dubbed Nokia 6310 (2021). HMD made the device officially available in Kenya in September at a starting price of Ksh.14,490. 

This entry-level device comes with some pretty exciting features, similar to what we have seen with devices from the company at that price point.

At the launch, Gopher Ogembo, Senior Business Manager Kenya & East Africa HMD Global said, ‘’The Nokia C30 is an answer to what people have been asking for – more time between charges, more screen, our signature security and durability, and the same accessible price point.” 

The phone comes with a 6.82-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels and an aspect ratio of 20.5:9. It is powered by a 1.2GHz octa-core processor and comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via microSD card (up to 256GB). 

We will be talking about all these features in this review article and in case you missed our unboxing video you can check it below. Remember to also subscribe to the channel to ensure you don’t miss out on future Nokia phones unboxing videos. 

From the unboxing video you can see I had problems trying to power on the device. Well, looks like the review unit sent to me had a slight problem but the good people at HMD sent me a new review unit that I am gonna be talking about in this article. 

Design and Display – This phone is huge!

As mentioned above,  this is a huge phone. We are getting a 6.82-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels and an aspect ratio of 20.5:9 to make your viewing experiences more immersive. We are also getting some medium-sized bezels. There is also a teardrop-shaped notch that houses the selfie camera on the top central part of the display panel. 

At that price point, you’re actually getting what you’re paying for. Colour reproduction, contrast are all okay, same for the viewing angles. Nothing really to complain about here. I wish Nokia added a 90 Hz display though. 

The addition of a 90 Hz panel shows how smartphones, especially those in the budget and mid-range category are getting better and better. Phones like the TECNO Spark 7p which is retailing for Ksh.15,000 comes with a 90 hz. This is however a phone you should use when watching high graphics action or scenes. 

But again, the Nokia C30 looks pretty good. We are getting the same monotonous design we have seen on Nokia phones. The C30 has a well-built plastic back with a ribbed pattern that makes your fingerprints almost invisible on the easy. This gripped pattern also makes it so hard for the phone to drop from your hand. 

Unlike what we saw on the Nokia C20, the Nokia C30 comes with a fingerprint scanner located at the back located just below the dual cameras. There is also the Nokia logo splashed at the back. 

The phone is also quite heavy, weighing 237g. The sidebar is 9.9mm thick.

Nokia C30 performance – Worth the price

Nokia C30 Review
Nokia C30

So here is the thing, for an entry-level device, you’re basically getting what you’re paying for and Nokia has over the past few years been positioning itself so well here.  The Nokia C30 is an Android 11 Go edition device and what this means is you’re getting some pre-installed Go apps. They include Assistant Go, Google Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, Gallery Go, and Gmail Go that are all smaller in size and consume less data as well as space. 

Being an Android Go device, it means you’re still getting a smooth performance with the 2GB of RAM, 32GB of inbuilt storage and the 1.2GHz octa-core processor that HMD Global added to the Nokia C30. 

You can still surf the web, chat, or even play lite games, without too much struggle, just don’t give the phone some heavy tasks. 

Just like all the other Nokia phones, we are getting a clean UI meaning you’re getting zero bloatware. Pre-installed apps are almost all from Google (except for one – the Nokia app) including Messages, Phone, Camera, Chrome browser, Files app and more. The advantage of this is that you don’t need lots of RAM for your phone to run snappily.

The Nokia C30 also comes with a security update promise. Updated quarterly for two years, HMD Global says you can trust your best work will always be protected. 

As we have mentioned in a previous article, Nokia phones nail it when it comes to software and this is the same exact experience you’re getting on the Nokia C30.

Battery life – Probably the key selling point

The battery is one feature that HMD Global is proud of on the Nokia C30. We are getting a 6000mAh battery that should give you enough energy to work up to three days on single charge, well at least according to what the company says. 

The batter was able to last us for about a day and half which is quite impressive. There is no fast charging support but HMD has added a regular 10W charger in the box that is able to juice up the phone from 20% to 80% in about 3 hours. 

The battery performance is no doubt good, will give Nokia a plus here.

Cameras – Could have been better

Nokia C30 Cameras

The camera is always something to consider when buying a phone in this day and age. The main 13- and -megapixel cameras on the Nokia C30 are inferior to their competitors in many shooting scenarios. 

The ​​13MP camera is the highest resolution on a C-series device yet from Nokia. The added depth sensor will give your portraits the quality they deserve, for an entry-level device. 

The selfie camera on the other hand is 5-megapixel 

You can use the Nokia C30 to capture some home or outdoor activities but you will need to find some proper lighting unless you want your photos to just remain in your gallery. Camera modes include panorama, portrait, time-lapse among others.  

Check some sample shots we took below: 

Nokia C30 selfie

Should you buy the Nokia C30?

For Ksh.14,490, you’re basically getting what you’re paying for. Compared to its predecessor the Nokia C20, HMD Global has made some slight improvements to this device. For example, we are getting a massive battery which does a really good job, there’s also a fingerprint scanner.

The display and cameras might not be the best but again this is an entry level device and a good phone for anyone looking for a device for regular use. 

The Nokia C30 is now available in mobile retail stores in Green and White in 2/32GB, and 3/64GB configurations starting at KES14,490. The Nokia C30 comes with a screen protector and a back phone cover. You can grab one from any shop listed here. 

Nokia C30 Specs, price and availability in Kenya

Display Size 6.82 inches, 112.3 cm2 (~79.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Dimensions 177.7 x 79.1 x 9.9 mm (7.00 x 3.11 x 0.39 in)
Resolution 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~257 ppi density)
OS Android 11 (Go edition)
Chipset Unisoc SC9863A (28nm)
CPU Octa-core (4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A55 & 4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A55)
RAM 2GB/3GB 
Internal Storage 32GB/64GB 
Rear Cameras (Dual) 13 MP, (wide)

2 MP, (depth)

Selfie Camera (Single) 5 MP
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Battery Li-Po 6000 mAh, non-removable

Charging 10W

Features Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity
Price KSH.14,490
Availability Available
Colours Green and White

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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