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Meet Nokia C31 - Built for the loyal budget-minded fans

We share our thoughts on the Nokia C31 that was released in the Philippines late last year.
Nokia C31 review
Nokia C31 back design with a fingerprint scanner

Meet Nokia C31!

To recap, it comes with a 6.77-inch HD+ LCD screen, a UNISOC 9863A1 SoC, a PowerVR GE8322 GPU, LPPDR4X RAM, 128GB storage, and a 5,000mAh battery with 10W charging.

At the back is a 13MP + 2MP + 2MP camera set while in front is a 5MP selfie shooter.
The box
The box

Let's unbox it first.

It comes in a white box with a render of the phone. Around the box are Nokia branding, key specs, features, and regulatory information.

Inside the box are the phone, SIM ejector tool, earphones, USB to micro USB cable, 10W charger, silicone case, and documentation.
Nokia C31 rear design
Rear design

At first glance, the phone looks similar to phones south of its price range. It is mostly made of premium polycarbonate and glass.

The rear panel has a raised circular pattern that adds friction or grippiness to the phone while reducing fingerprint smudges. This combined with the curving back panel makes it easy to hold.
Nokia C31 front display with notch
Front display with a notch

As mentioned above, the 6.77-inch IPS screen with a 1600 x 720 resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate.

Around the panel are thick top and side bezels with an even thicker bottom bezel. On top of the panel are the notch and the slim earpiece.

Images produced by the panel are what we expect from an IPS LCD with 720p resolution. Color and contrast are somewhat decent but because of the larger 6.77-inch size, the sharpness and detail can be lacking. But for this price, it is somewhat acceptable.
Nokia C31 audio jack, usb
Top and bottom

On top is the 3.5mm audio jack while at the bottom are the microphone port and micro USB port.
Nokia C31 sim tray
Left and right sides

On the left side of the phone is the SIM tray while on the right are the volume rocker and the power button. The power button and volume rocker have surprisingly satisfying and tactile feedback when pressed. It feels like a more premium phone when pressed.
Nokia C31 Rear cameras
Rear cameras

At the back are the 13MP primary camera, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor with an LED flash. While the front-facing camera is a 5MP selfie shooter.

The stock camera app includes the following modes: Photo, Video, Portrait and Translate.

Camera Samples

Rear camera daylight
Rear camera daylight
Rear camera indoors
Rear camera indoors

In daylight and indoors, the images have minimal noise with decent sharpness, detail, color and dynamic range.
Rear camera low light
Rear camera low light

While in low light, the noise affected the sharpness, detail and color. 

Overall, the rear cameras captured images with decent performance in good lighting but struggles in low lights and in controlling light sources overexposing.

The 32MP f/2.4 front-facing camera with Sony IMX709 RGBW sensor features 0.8x, 1x, and 2x modes which make it unique. The camera app crops into the 32MP to achieve the 2x while the 0.8x uses the full width of the sensor.

Selfie camera modes include Photo, Video, Night, and Portrait.
Selfie camera daylight
Selfie camera daylight

Like the rear cameras, the daylight selfie has das decent sharpness, detail, color and dynamic range.
Selfie camera indoors
Selfie camera indoors
Selfie camera low light
Selfie camera low light

However, the indoor and low light selfies suffered from the noise build-up. These images lost sharpness, detail and color accuracy.

Overall, the camera's performance is a hit or miss and the camera app is bare bones.


Nokia C31 AnTuTu and GeekBench results
AnTuTu and GeekBench results

We ran some benchmarks like the Antutu where we got a score of 121,189. While on Geekbench we got 147 points on the single core and 818 on the multi-core tests.
Nokia C31 CPDT and 3DMark benchmark results
CPDT and 3DMark benchmark results

In 3DMark Wild Life Extreme the phone managed to score 438 overall. While si CPDT scored 128.89 MB/s in sequential write speeds it scored 178 MB/s in sequential read speeds.

It lags behind the competition

In real-life use, the phone runs slightly slower than we would be comfortable with. Animations visually stutter sometimes. This is apparent when navigating thru the UI.
PCMark battery test
PCMark battery test

The 5,000mAh battery managed to last for 7 hours and 12 minutes in our usual PCMark Battery benchmark. This is inconsistent with our usual YouTube Video loop test which lasted for around 6 hours. The included charger charges the phone from 0 to 100 percent in under 150 minutes.

The single rear-firing speakers produce sound with a volume that can fill a small room. It will struggle in a noisy environment. The sound quality isn't its best quality.

The fingerprint reader and Face Unlock are easy and quick to set up. Once set up, both our face and our fingerprint immediately unlock the phone. The camera struggles when the environment is dark or when we are wearing a mask. The screen brightens up to compensate for dark situations

For connectivity,nVoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC work consistently and as expected.

It is using a near vanilla version of Android 12 so it is near stock. However, even though it is stock, we noticed stuttering in animations and normal usage.
Nokia C31 Web surfing
Web surfing

Nokia C31 Specs

Display: 6.77-inch LCD (IPS) screen w/ 60Hz refresh rate, HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 260 ppi
CPU: 1.6GHz 28nm UNISOC 9863A1 octa-core processor
GPU: PowerVR GE8322
ROM: 128GB
Back Camera: 13MP wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 10W fast charging
OS: Android 12
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11ac, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2, OTG, GPS, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, USB-C, Colors: Charcoal, Mint
Dimensions: 169.2x 77.98 x 8.55 mm
Weight: 200 g
Price: PHP 8,490

Quick thoughts

The Nokia C31 offers a near-stock experience at this price point.

In terms of the performance of the processor, cameras, and audio, it tails behind similarly priced smartphones. 

Its strength is its 5,000mAh battery that lasted 6 hours in our YouTube video loop test.

The display has a decent resolution while offering a vibrant and contrasty image.

Overall, it is a decent phone and will be the pick for Nokia fans who only have a budget of under PHP 9K. However, for most people, it may struggle when compared to similarly priced smartphones.

Thankfully, Nokia recently dropped its price online to just PHP 6.5K.

What do you guys think?

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