Nokia 3.1 C Review – ‘C’ for Just Capable? [2020 Update]

If you’re looking for a budget phone that looks good, Nokia 3.1 C has you covered. But is it any good? Let’s talk about this.

Nokia 3.1 C Specs

Device Specifications:


 Launch date

 2019

 Weight

 5.50 ounces (156 grams)

 Measurements

 6.01 x 2.83 x 0.37 inches (152.7 x 71.9 x 9.4 mm)

 Graphics Card

 Qualcomm Adreno 504

 Display Screen

 5.45” (138.4 mm) IPS LCD 720 x 1440 p

 Operating System

 Android Pie

 Chipset

 SDM429 Snapdragon 429 (12 nm)

 CPU

 Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53

 RAM

 2 GB

 Internal Space

 32 GB

 Front Camera

 8 MP

 Rear Camera

 5 MP

 Supported Sim types

 Single (Nano)

 Network Coverage

 2G/3G/4G

Battery Coverage

 2990 mAh

Features

The phone isn’t very big. It only stretches 5.45 inches (138.4 mm) across. Considering that most phones these days are huge, you might be disappointed. It’s small and chunky. Its dimensions are 6.01 x 2.83 x 0.37 inches (152.7 x 71.9 x 9.4 mm). It isn’t that heavy, thankfully. This would’ve made it feel like a brick. It comes in at 5.50 ounces (156 grams).

If you’re wondering what colours it rocks, you only get white.

Holding it in your hand for long won’t be very fun. Its edges are not curved well.

Being such an affordable device, it isn’t surprising that it’s made from plastic. It’s the good kind at least. It’s polycarbonate. It’s also kind of matte, making it look and feel rich.

Using the 3.1 C, you’ll realize that its buttons are easy to reach. Its power button and volume rockers are on the right side. They’re pretty tactile. Its speaker grill is not on the bottom. It’s on its rear, which means sounds don’t travel well.

Of course, there is a microSD slot. It also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack and USB-C port.

You’ll love that its back is removable. However, you can’t take its battery out.

As you know, its screen is only 5.45 inches. This doesn’t result in the most immersive viewing experience. The fact that it has an IPS LCD panel doesn’t help. They’re not known to produce the best colours, but they’re relatively sharp.

Speaking of sharpness, its screen-resolution is 720 x 1440 pixels. Is it pin-sharp? Not really, but you won’t be seeing pixels visibly.

3.1 C Nokia smartphone

Let’s talk about its screen-to-body ratio:

You get some serious bezel action. It’s 69.8%. Considering that it has large top and bottom bezels, its ratio sounds about right. Meanwhile, the Nokia 2.3, which was also released in 2019, has an 80.7% ratio.

You should be careful with its screen. It isn’t Gorilla Glass. It’s a regular strengthened unit.

The battery inside it is 2990 mAh. As mentioned, you can’t remove it. With extensive, non-stop use, you can expect the handset to last around 6 hours. You should probably make note of how long it takes to charge. It uses a 10 W regular charger, which means it’ll be well over 2-hours when it goes from 0-100%.

We’re happy that a dated micro USB port isn’t present. If it was, the 3.1 C would take even longer to charge.

Inside it is the Snapdragon 429 chip. It’s basic. You can handle everyday tasks, just don’t exert the phone. It would be able to handle tasks better if it had more RAM. It only has 2 GB. If you run many apps in the background, they’ll force-close.

Speaking of memory, you’re met with 32 GB of space. Thankfully, you can expand its storage. Remember how we said it comes with a MicroSD slot?

What about its Operating system?

If you’re an Android fan, it’s your lucky day. The 3.1 C utilizes Stock Android. What’s great about it is that it’s super customizable and comes with limited bloatware. In terms of what version of Android you’re getting, it’s 9.0 out of the box.

The phone is available from Cricket Wireless. As you’re wondering about Android 10, know that the carrier hasn’t updated it. Nokia hasn’t rolled the update out yet either – they’re probably not going to. This is a bummer as the Android 11 beta is in the works.

It comes with quite a bit of connectivity. You can connect to 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. It also makes use of Bluetooth 5.0.

Camera-wise, there is a single shooter on its rear. It is an 8 MP lens. The sensor on its front is 5 MP.

What’s cool is that you can use its front camera to face-unlock. The feature is traditionally seen in more expensive phones.

Alternatives

Now that you know everything about it, know that Cricket offers the Nokia 3.1 Plus too. It was released a year earlier, but it’s worth your attention.

Nokia 3.1 Plus

It is not made from plastic. It’s an aluminum device. This means it feels more premium. It’s also heavier, being 6.34 ounces (180 grams).

The handset is much sleeker than its counterpart – it’s bigger and thinner. It stretches 6 inches (152. 4 mm) across and comes in at 6.18 x 3.01 x 0.32 in (156.9 x 76.4 x 8.2 mm).

Like its alternative, it rocks an IPS LCD screen. Its screen-to-body ratio is not good, but it’s better than the C’s – it is 77.5%. It is as sharp as its brother. They both have 720 x 1440-pixel resolutions.

You’re met with the Snapdragon 439. It’s superior to 429. However, it’s still very entry-level.

Not only does it come with a better chipset, but you’re also getting superior storage options. You can pick it up in 16 and 32 GB of space, along with 2 and 3 GB of RAM. Yes, it offers expandable storage.

Out of the box, Android 8.1 is available. Something that gives it an edge is that it can be upgraded to Android 10.

Similar to the 3.1 C, it utilizes Stock Android.

The battery inside it is 3500 mAh. This lets it last over a day. Unfortunately, its charging capabilities aren’t very good. You’ll be using a 10 W charger.

What about its cameras?

There is a 13 MP lens along with a 5 MP depth sensor on its rear. Its front camera is a single shooter. It is an 8 MP lens.

Final Thoughts

So, what do you think of our Nokia 3.1 C review? It’s definitely ‘C’ for capable. It’ll get the job done, but once you get heavy-handed with it, it’ll slow down. We’re fond of the fact that you get face-unlock on such an affordable device, though. Overall, it looks good, just make note that it performs exactly for how much you’re paying.

If you’d like a run-through of more great cheap handsets, check our Pinterest out! We regularly update it with all kinds of reviews and lists.


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