Not unhealthy trying however sluggish to run, the Nokia C32 is an inexpensive telephone and performs like one. It’s an affordable selection in case you’re strapped for money and solely have fundamental wants.
Nokia’s new funds telephone positively lives as much as the title, although the Scandinavian handset pioneer with the immediately recognisable ringtone does have cheaper fashions on the market. The C32 is a 6.5in handset with an IPS show, an octa-core chipset, and a 50Mp important digicam that appears prefer it might be a bit dearer than it truly is.
Issues change while you swap it on, nonetheless. Startup occasions may be lengthy, and the telephone itself feels sluggish. It’s usually high quality, and I’m ready to forgive so much for one thing at this cut price value, however it is a telephone for many who don’t need to do far more than make calls and verify emails.
Design & Construct
Good fingerprint reader
A number of plastic
Nokia hasn’t deviated from the fundamental Android telephone plan, a black rectangle with rounded corners and a few switches on one aspect. And why ought to it? There’s little or no to say in regards to the design of the C32 as a result of it’s so generic, although I admire the best way the fingerprint reader is constructed into the facility button – this at all times looks as if a greater answer than placing it beneath the display – and it activated each time I touched it.
Ian Evenden / Foundry
My assessment mannequin has a inexperienced again (pink and gray are additionally accessible) with a compact gray digicam bulge, and Nokia has chosen to retain the much-missed headphone socket on the prime of the telephone.
The again is toughened glass (as is the entrance, no Gorilla glass right here) and the perimeters are plastic, which not less than means it’s rather less slippery than some fashions, and on account of its building is gentle within the hand and simple to carry.
Display & Audio system
720p IPS show
Mono speaker and headphone jack
We’ve been used to telephones with 1080p resolutions or higher for a very long time now, so the 720×1600 decision of the C32’s display looks like a step again. The equally named Realme C35 isn’t far more costly and will get you Ful HD.
It’s according to the funds nature of the system, though yow will discover increased resolutions if you’d like. You’re not going to be complaining about low-resolution icons on the house display prefer it was a first-generation iPhone, however neither are you going to get the very best out of any 1080p video you stream.
Ian Evenden / Foundry
The IPS tech behind the show is old school too. Although it’s nonetheless frequent sufficient in desktop laptop displays, IPS has been overtaken by OLED or AMOLED in one of the best telephones, which might present a brighter, extra vibrant image.
Once more, the C32’s display is usually high quality – it’s solely within the brightest sunshine that you just’re going to have any problem making out what’s on the display, although I additionally discovered that it was its reflectivity somewhat than lack of brightness that gave the best hassle.
There’s a single speaker grille on the backside of the telephone, and it continues the high quality custom of telephone audio system by being satisfactory for telephone calls however actually not sounding nice for anything. A pair of one of the best wi-fi headphones (or perhaps a wired pair, because of the headphone port) are a should in case you intend to make use of this as a music participant.
Specs & Efficiency
Unisoc octa-core processor
4/64GB reminiscence and storage
microSD card slot
No 5G or NFC
The octa-core chipset on the coronary heart of the C32 is the Unisoc SC9863A1 with 4GB of RAM, and a digital RAM function that lets it squeeze three extra GB bt stealing a little bit of the telephone’s 65GB storage.
The CPU consists of eight Arm Cortex A55 cores, 4 of them clocked at 1.6GHz, and 4 at 1.2GHz. The A55 is the type of core used as an ‘effectivity’ core in flagship telephones, permitting quicker, extra highly effective cores to tackle the heavy lifting. As such, whereas it’s completely able to working the Android 13 working system the telephone ships with in fundamental phrases, efficiency is just not precisely up there with one of the best.
Ian Evenden / Foundry
In the event you’re used to a contemporary top-end telephone equivalent to a Samsung Galaxy S23 or Google Pixel 7 launched within the final couple of years, you’ll admire the best way they spring into motion and don’t go away you ready about. Apps on the C32 are noticeably sluggish to open. The keyboard doesn’t seem when you choose a textual content enter or search field such because the one within the Play Retailer till your thumb has been hovering over the place you anticipate it to be for a second.
It additionally took ages to arrange the Google Pictures library, and even made me wait whereas the telephone began up. Urgent the Edit button on a picture in Pictures noticed the C32 do nothing for a second earlier than the swirling ‘busy’ circle appeared and the edit interface loaded. Truly enhancing the picture appeared responsive, nonetheless, with adjustments to brightness and white level being mirrored right away within the preview.
Efficiency in GFXbench is worse than the Samsung Galaxy S7 from 2016, and it’s inconceivable to advocate the telephone for gaming on, until you need to play probably the most fundamental of 2D video games.
Elsewhere, there’s a microSD card slot to enhance the interior storage, which is good to see and one thing I miss from telephones of the previous, although it solely helps playing cards of as much as 256GB. The FM radio can also be a pleasant shock, although streaming companies have taken over from such options, which was frequent, it offers the telephone an additional layer of performance that I admire. A station scan with the telephone sitting on a desk by a window discovered solely two accessible programmes, nonetheless.
The shortage of a 5G wi-fi information connection goes to be an issue for some potential consumers too. One factor the telephone is nice at is streaming, and having the additional pace of 5G to iron out blips and buffering, even with a 720p stream, would have been good.
The Wi-Fi is caught on the older 802.11n, or Wi-Fi 4, that means that whereas your connectivity will most likely be okay, you received’t be hitting the very best switch speeds or connecting to 5GHz networks. There’s additionally no NFC onboard, so that you received’t be utilizing it for funds both.
It’s protected to say the Nokia C32 is restricted.
50Mp important digicam
8Mp entrance digicam
2Mp macro digicam
What the Nokia C32 lacks in connectivity, it makes up considerably within the digicam division.
The principle 50Mp digicam on the again is joined by a 2Mp macro digicam as a substitute of one thing helpful like an ultrawide lens, however the 12.5Mp information produced by the wide-angle snapper are literally fairly good.
Ian Evenden / Foundry
There’s a pleasant degree of element in its pictures, capturing the hairs on the stems of the poppy crops I examined it on, although there’s some clipping within the white petals of daisies attributable to the intense daylight. Even capturing instantly into the solar gave an honest picture. This exhibits the digicam at its greatest, however there’s worse to come back.
Nokia is happy with its low-light capabilities, however I discovered the night time mode to be so sluggish it produced blurred photos from both digicam or topic motion, and pictures in regular mode had been washed out in low gentle. It additionally calls it an ‘AI digicam’, going as far as to put in writing this on the telephone’s rear bulge, however I noticed no proof of intelligence past face recognition and auto HDR mode.
There’s a 2x digital zoom on the rear digicam, and the flexibility to change between 720p and 1080p video recording. That’s the extent of the video choices, there aren’t any alternate framerates.
Across the entrance you’ll discover an 8Mp selfie digicam, and the app has the neat trick of switching the in any other case darkish digicam interface to white on this mode if it detects a darkish topic, so it could actually inject a little bit bit extra gentle into the picture.
Photographs from the entrance digicam are high quality for a video name, however the full-res stills it produces, regardless of being effectively detailed in good gentle, are by no means going to match the vibrancy of these from the primary unit on the again. Video from the entrance digicam is 720p solely, and it’s equally poor when the sunshine begins to fade.
Battery Life & Charging
All-day battery and extra
Solely 10W charging
No wi-fi charging
The Nokia C32 packs a 5000mAh battery, and the corporate claims a battery lifetime of three entire days. That is likely to be attainable in case you simply go away it on standby, however truly utilizing the telephone goes to deliver it down.
It doesn’t drop too quick, nonetheless. The CPU and GPU benchmarking exams I ran on the telephone solely brought about the battery degree to drop by about 25%, and you may get a day and a half of life out of it in case you’re utilizing it for streaming, social media, photographs and texting. Our battery take a look at retains the display on and simulates fixed utilization, and the telephone managed ten hours, that means it would final for much longer when used intermittently.
Filling it up isn’t as quick as on different telephones, because the C32 solely helps 10W wired charging which will get you a paltry 16% in half an hour. There’s no wi-fi charging functionality both, so that you’ll be wedded to connecting the USB-C port to a wall socket.
Software program & Apps
Not a lot bloatware
Efficiency is sluggish
Fortunately, because the telephone solely has 64GB of inner storage, Nokia has chosen to not overload it with bloatware apps you’ll by no means use. There’s Netflix, LinkedIn and a few others which are simply eliminated, however in any other case the OS is left largely alone.
This was most likely a good suggestion, as a heavyweight pores and skin excessive of Android would have slowed the telephone even additional. As it’s, the interface is simply responsive sufficient, with a number of noticeable waits while you open apps, however leaving issues like opening the app drawer or citing the switcher working at an honest pace.
Worth & Availability
The Nokia C32 is absolutely low cost and I’ve already seen it going for as little as £109 on some websites. That’s a pleasant chunk decrease than the £129 RRP.
You get a stunning quantity in your cash, although with solely two years of safety updates on provide, its longevity is unsure.
On the time of writing the telephone is broadly accessible, with large retailers equivalent to Amazon, Argos and Very stocking it alongside the official retailer – the facility of the Nokia identify displaying itself. It’s not accessible within the US on the time of writing.
Check out our chart of one of the best funds telephones to see extra choices.
Ian Evenden / Foundry
I can forgive loads of the Nokia C32’s shortcomings due to its value.
Whenever you consider who this telephone is geared toward – a primary telephone, maybe, or one for individuals who aren’t glued to their handset all day (they’re on the market) and need one which’s going to be accessible for calls, photographs and messaging – it begins to make loads of sense. No level shopping for an iPhone 14 Professional Max or Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely if that’s all it’s going for use for.
So whereas the C32 is likely to be sluggish, underpowered, don’t have any NFC, 5G or the newest Wi-Fi functionality, and has a low display decision, this stuff most likely don’t matter to the people who find themselves going to purchase it.
I wouldn’t be shocked if, at £129, it shifts a number of items. In spite of everything, it’s properly made, and fulfills a lot of the capabilities of a contemporary smartphone.
OS: Android 13
Display: 6.52in IPS, 720×1600 pixels
Chipset: Unisoc SC9863A1
Storage: 64GB (plus microSD)
Connectivity: 4G, USB-C (USB 2.0), Wi-Fi 4, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, FM radio