New Nokia G21 and G11 might have the best battery life of any smartphones

A Nokia G21 from the back in someone's hand
A Nokia G21 (Image credit: HMD Global)

HMD Global has just unveiled two new budget Nokia-branded phones, dubbed the Nokia G21 and the Nokia G11, and while some budget phones struggle to stand out, these two have at least one obvious selling point – they both promise up to three days of battery life.

In a world where even many flagship phones struggle to get beyond one day, that’s an impressive stat – though we haven’t yet put these phones to the test, so we can’t verify it.

Still, they have decently large batteries, with both phones including a 5,050mAh battery. They also support charging at up to 18W, though only a 10W charger comes in the box.

The company is also keen to point out that these phones will get twice as many security updates as the competition does on average, with 36 updates promised – presumably meaning three years of updates. Actual Android updates will be limited to two years though.

Beyond that, the Nokia G21 has a 6.5-inch 720 x 1600 screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, a Unisoc T606 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a 3.5mm headphone port, and Android 11.

There’s a triple-lens camera on the back, with a 50MP main sensor, a 2MP macro one, and a 2MP depth sensor. There’s also an 8MP camera on the front. So this is a basic phone in many ways, with its plastic build and lack of 5G further highlighting that fact.

The Nokia G11 is even more low-end, if only slightly. It too has a 6.5-inch 720 x 1600 90Hz screen, a Unisoc T606 chipset, Android 11, a microSD card slot, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a 3.5mm headphone port, and it’s also made of plastic and limited to 4G connectivity.

Where it differs is in the camera, with the Nokia G21’s 50MP main one replaced with an 8MP one, though the other lenses have the same megapixel counts. It also has lower RAM and storage, at 3GB and 32GB respectively.

If you want to buy the Nokia G21 and you’re in the UK, then you can grab it now for £149.99 (around $200 / AU$285) in Nordic Blue or Dusk shades. The Nokia G11 meanwhile is landing in the UK in March, for £119.99 (roughly $160 / AU$230). There’s no word yet on US or Australian availability.

Nokia G20

A Nokia G20 (Image credit: HMD Global)

Analysis: a small upgrade from the Nokia G20

While the battery life of the Nokia G21 sounds impressive, it’s worth noting that the company made the same claims about its predecessor, the Nokia G20, so this isn’t a new feature for the range.

That said, HMD Global has experience of delivering strong battery life, so we’d expect it to be good here, anyway.

The Nokia G20 is also a similar phone in a lot of other ways, with the same screen size and resolution, the same price, and the same storage, RAM, and battery capacity.

The main actual upgrades for the Nokia G21 appear to be the charging speed (though only if you use a different charger to the one that comes in the box), the refresh rate, and the chipset, which is a MediaTek Helio G35 in the Nokia 20.

The main camera also has slightly more megapixels on the new phone, but on the other hand, there’s no ultra-wide lens, which there is on the Nokia G20, so it’s not all upgrades.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.