Nokia G21 – My 11th Handphone

Updated 15th November 2023.

Before officially retiring my Nokia 6 late last year, I quickly went on a search for my next handphone, my 11th that is. Curious to know what happened to the Nokia 6? This is what happened.

Frankly speaking, searching for my 11th handphone was a fairly easy task. I only had two brands in mind; Nokia and Samsung. That’s because I had good impressions of them, particularly Nokia (read my Nokia handphones stories). Then, it was to decide which model to buy. I narrowed it down to one model each from the two brands.

I managed to get a good discount on the Samsung phone model that I was eyeing during the 2022 Black Friday sale (25th Nov) but I hold off since I still have mixed feelings. When the 12.12 sale was approaching, I finally decided I want the Nokia instead because I don’t think I can go through another Samsung bloatware-mare (my Samsung trauma is still very fresh despite a few years had passed). Yes, technology has advanced so it probably shouldn’t be a problem. Still, I was hesitant.

Nokia G21
Hello, Nokia G21! πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹

I bought the Nokia G21 on 12.12.2022. Guess, how much I bought it for? I got a huge discount thanks to the credit card promotion and vouchers that I hardworkingly collected daily. Nokia G21 RRP is RM799. It costs RM719 from this particular online shop but I only paid RM595. That’s RM124 off!!! This was my first ever experience buying a handphone online and everything’s good despite not having to feel and touch the phone at all before buying.

Nokia G21
Nice looking backside. I love πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

The first thing I noticed after getting the Nokia G21 is that this new phone is slightly larger but so much heavier than the Nokia 6. Thankfully, the hand pain I experienced lasted for a few weeks only. I think its weight makes the holding and gripping of the phone more stable. Proof: I dropped the phone only twice so far. Whereas the Nokia 6 was dropped even on the first day I bought it and suffered many drops for many years!!!

Very quickly I realized I will never encounter the same problem I had with Nokia 6 which resulted in me retiring the phone. That’s because Nokia G21 no longer uses physical navigation keys! It’s all in the software. See this is what happened to my Nokia 6 if you have not.

Nokia G21
Romantic view. πŸŒƒ

There were several times when I accidentally dropped the phone on myself while lying down and it was really painful. I thought I was hit by a brick! Please note, this kind of drop is not classified as the more serious drop which is landing on the floor.

Something I found out only recently and was very thrilled to have this function again on my phone is that its alarm clock (alarm on) can come alive when the phone is powered off. When it happened the first few times, I thought there was a ghost in my phone. πŸ‘»πŸ«£πŸ˜œπŸ˜ Updated May 2023: Ohmygod! After the phone is updated to Android 12 (see below), this function is no longer there. How dare you Android!!!

What else is new and awesome about my Nokia G21?
– Storage capacity is so MUCH larger. Yay!
– No lag. Bloatware-mare? What’s that?
– Battery lasts 2-4 days. I’m a light user and use the phone for about 1-4 hours per day.
– This phone is powered by Android 11 and it’s upgradable up to Android 13. A MUST-HAVE. Woot woot!

What do I dislike about this phone? Camera quality especially during low light. This has been a recurrence for all my past and present phones. No worry. I have a DSLR. πŸ˜›

Nokia G21
What a sleek design! 😍πŸ₯°πŸ’ž

All in all, I’m super happy that I was able to upgrade to a new and better phone without forking out so much moolah.

Updated May 2023: Something happened to the phone! Last week, I kept getting a notification saying the system can’t update due to low battery when my phone’s battery is below a certain level. So, on Monday, 1st May I made sure to update it myself after charging my phone, from Android 11 to Android 12. All was well until I was asked to restart the phone. WHAM BAMP!!!

The phone is stuck in the boot mode where it shows the Android One logo followed by a blank screen every time the power on button is pressed. And, when it’s connected to a charger, it kept on repeating Android One, black screen, then Android One, then black screen, etc automatically.

Apparently, this is a common problem for Android just that I never encountered it before. Watched a couple of YouTube videos where they advised us to knock the phone on something hard, massage the phone and even freeze the phone. Yeah, I tried all that and nothing helps. By this time, I was ready to lose everything and most likely when the phone was stuck in the boot mode, I already lost everything. Thankfully, this phone is only 5 months old, so there’s not much stuff there yet.

Next, I tried on the more technical stuff. I installed the Android SDK Platform-Tools (SDK = Software Development Kit) which allows the PC to establish a connection to the phone. With this tool, I can perform developer-level tasks on Android devices by giving out a command-line. I also installed a Nokia USB driver so that it can establish a USB connection. But I couldn’t get them to work. After a brief tweaking in Windows Recovery mode, the PC is finally able to connect to the phone and I got into Fastboot. I used the Fastboot command to change the active slot (which someone claimed to have worked for his/her phone with a similar problem) but it didn’t work for mine.

I also tried going into recovery mode but I couldn’t go in. The very last troubleshooting step is to flash the phone aka wipe everything / reset. I was about to try that when I called Nokia Service Center and they told me they’ll do it for me for free since it’s under warranty. So, I didn’t dare to try flashing the phone myself in case they said the warranty is void. Update: They say it’s no problem to flash the phone ourselves even if the phone is under warranty. It’s the hardware parts that are void.

A couple of days later I brought the phone to the Nokia Service Center. An hour and 30 minutes later, I got a clean wiped phone and they even helped me to install Android 12. For non-warranty phones, they will charge RM70 to flash the phone.

Do you know what I did after getting my phone back? Made sure I have Whatsapp backup daily. Hahaha, I never back up my messages before. What I do when changing phone is to copy the database file.

Updated November 2023: My Nokia G21 is now powered by Android 13. System upgrade went smoothly. Yay!

Dear phone, your predecessor, also your close cousin lasted 5 years and 4 months. Despite the slight hiccup encountered (see May 2023), you know what to do ya. Last longer!!! Aja! πŸ’ͺ

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