The death of LG phones is an opportunity for the arena of not-quite-dead phone brands like Sony, HTC, and Nokia to slide in to mount some kind of comeback.
Nokia phones, which are sold under HMD Global, may not compete with the upper echelon of premium devices like the iPhone 12 Pro, Galaxy S21 Ultra, or OnePlus 9 Pro. But the brand’s six new phones, spread across three new series — the C, G, and X series — could fill the void left by LG.
The three new series can be categorized as good, better, best — for mid-range phones. The C-series being the entry-level, G-series being mid, and X-series being the top. Each series is launching with two phones: a 10 and 20 variant. Let’s start from the top, shall we?
X-Series — The Nokia X20 comes with a “100% compostable case,” a 6.67-inch Full HD+ resolution display with 32-megapixel hole-punch selfie camera, a quad rear camera (64-megapixel main + 5-megapixel ultra-wide + 2-megapixel depth + 2-megapixel macro), Snapdragon 480 chip, 6GB or 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 4,470 mAh battery, and a headphone jack. It’s got a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and face unlock. It’s promising up to two days of battery life.
The X10 has nearly the same features, but swaps out the 64-megapixel main camera for a 48-megapixel shooter and there are more RAM / storage configs (6GB of RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage, 4GB RAM + 128GB storage).
G-Series — Get the Nokia G10 or G20 if you want the longest battery life. The downside: no 5G. The G20 features a 5,050 mAh battery, 6.5-inch HD+ display with teardrop notch, MediaTek G35 chip, 4GB of RAM + 64GB or 128GB of storage, microSD card slot, quad rear camera (48-megapixel main + 5-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel depth, and 2-megapixel macro), and an 8-megapixel selfie camera, headphone jack. It has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The G10 has the same design with a less powerful G25 chip, 3GB or 4GB of RAM + 32GB or 64GB of storage, and a triple-lens camera (13-megapixel main + 2-megapixel depth + 2-megapixel macro).
C-Series — Lastly, there’s the C10 and C20 — the most basic of the phones. The C20 has a 6.5-inch display, SC0963a chip, a paltry 1GB or 2GB of RAM + 16GB or 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and 3,000 mAh battery. The cameras are barebones, too: 5-megapixels on the front and back. There’s a headphone jack, but no fingerprint reader (only face unlock), and it charges via micro USB and not USB-C. The C10 has an even slower processor.
Nokia is barely alive — The C, G, and X phones are not flagship. In fact, they’re arguably worse than the cheap 5G Galaxy A phones Samsung announced this week. Prices will vary by region, but these are aimed at the budget and mid-range so expect them to clock in sub-$500. If anything, they keep the Nokia brand alive for a little longer. How much longer, though? Who knows. If LG couldn’t make its mobile business work, how can the little guys like Nokia survive? Maybe cheap, boring phones are the way to go, but these designs and specs leave a lot to be desired. Then again, LG tried weird phones for years and they did nothing to save the company.