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The Nokia C32 has almost everything you really need. As a spare work phone, cloud gaming device, or the first smartphone for a kid or elderly family member, it’s more than enough, and a real sign of how quickly yesterday’s flagship features can trickle down in cost. It may be slow at times, but its only real point of contention is its choice of brittle materials.


  • 50mp AI camera
  • Large screen
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack


  • Single speaker
  • Slow to charge
  • Occasional hitching

Key Features

  • 50MP AI cameraAllows for decent casual photography for the price.
  • Biometric securityFeatured both face and fingerprint unlock methods.
  • 72-hour battery lifeA 5000mAh cell and smart battery-saving measures can prolong the time between charges


At just £129, there isn’t a whole lot the Nokia C32 needs to do to stand out. It’s more a question of whose attention it needs to catch in a store.

Out of the box, it’s everything you’d expect from just about any smartphone. There aren’t quite as many lenses as a mid-range or flagship, but it’s got a high double-digit megapixel count to confound, confuse, and ultimately entice.

Featuring a droplet-style selfie camera notch, a glass back, fingerprint reader, and even face unlock, Nokia’s latest budget effort includes essential modern additions that have trickled down to the bargain bin offerings at lightning speed. Or perhaps we really are just losing track of time.

The market for these sorts of devices was once very clear — big-button bargain handsets designed to get the older generation connected. Nowadays, however, stagnating innovation, diminishing returns, and even feature exhaustion could pair well with modern technologies and the increased cost of living to give the Nokia C32 another reason to exist.

It’s a viable way to connect the whole family, or even simply a spare or work device that doesn’t feel too far off what you’re used to.


  • Glass back
  • Single speaker
  • Waterdrop notch

The Nokia C32 is quite the looker for the price. Its glass back is a pleasant surprise out of the box and can show Charcoal, Autumn Green, and Beach Pink colour options through it. Given it’s generally the first thing to break when a phone is dropped, however, it appears to be a form-over-function choice that might not suit the likely audience of this one. It’s quite slippery.

Rear of the Nokia C32Nokia C32 smartphone lying on wooden surface.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Elsewhere, it’s a very comfortable phone to hold thanks to its generously rounded edges. The screen dips straight into its outer frame, which then rounds off again on a virtually identical angle to wrap around the rear glass.

With the glass technically then set into the remaining space, it means a corner bump is less likely to result in something more than a dent. That’s assuming the frame is metal. It certainly looks, feels, and sounds like metal, but I doubt it has a genuine metal construction.

Making use of that frame is a USB-C port with a microphone on one side and a small, low-quality speaker on the other. On the top side, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack. One side houses the SIM tray, leaving the other to include two volume buttons and a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader for biometric unlocking and identification.

Screen of the Nokia C32Nokia C32 smartphone displaying Pokémon Unite game screen.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)


  • IPS LCD panel
  • 60Hz
  • 6.5 inches

One of the first things to catch my eye when powering on the Nokia C32 for the first time was the shimmery look of its 6.5-inch display. It’s not necessarily a red flag, but it is the first thing that gives its budget pricing away. Presumably caused by the type of glass used on the front, it won’t cause major issues when viewed off-angle, but it will struggle to stave off bright lights.

Despite the downsides, you’re still looking at an HD-like screen here. There was the concern that a resolution of 720×1600 wouldn’t quite cut it for a screen of this size, but it’s fine. Text is easily legible and it’ll handle video well enough. But its larger chin will mean anything you stretch out to fill the space will look a little uneven, with the droplet-style selfie camera meaning you’ll fill one side of the visible space while staring at a black screen with the rest.

Being a 60Hz display, don’t expect the same sort of silky smooth experience a pricier alternative will get you these days. Though that shouldn’t really matter at this price point. It’s as basic as they come these days, with satisfactory everyday use and good enough performance under standard lighting.

A relatively low peak brightness means it probably won’t be ideal for extended use under direct sunlight, but taking the odd photo, looking up nearby restaurants, or referencing a map won’t be out of the question. Using it as an ebook reader by the beach, however, might not be the best idea, and would certainly start to eat into its supposed three-day battery.

Nokia C32 rear camera setupClose-up of Nokia C32 smartphone camera module and branding.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)


  • 50MP rear sensor
  • 8MP front sensor
  • 2MP macro lens

Sporting a massive 50MP sensor on the back, the Nokia C32 will catch the attention of anyone privy to the simplest aspect of camera specifications. That isn’t to say it’s a red herring, but a high megapixel count never tells the whole story.

In the case of the Nokia C32, the rear snapper performs better than you’d expect for the bargain price — if you can excuse the long time between shots. Smartphone photography is largely down to software processing these days. That means pushing this phone’s sluggish processor to the edge.

Images can come out quite crisp and colourful, but you’ll need to stay steady, lock in the focus, and give it time to process all that data. The viewfinder will lack most of that, so you’ll just have to trust that the post-processing will play its part. Direct sunlight will massively improve results, with average indoor lighting introducing notable noise to your images.

There’s a lot to be desired with the whole experience, but it’s not bad for the money. The front camera works in a similar fashion, and the rear macro lens will grab the detailed textures of close objects like flowers, bugs, and surfaces well enough. They’ll just be a little soft. For the sake of comparison, you’re getting a better overall experience than the 13MP snapper on the slightly less expensive Alcatel 1S.

Nokia C32 selfie samplePerson with medium-length hair and a beard looking at camera.
Selfie camera on the Nokia C32

Video, on the other hand, is largely unusable. From the rear camera, I got shaky and low-resolution results in motion while outdoors in good lighting conditions. On the upside, the single microphone is relatively clear. Video calls from a stationary position should be just fine.

Nokia C32 on a tableNokia C32 smartphone on wooden table next to candles.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)


  • Octa-core CPU
  • 4GB memory (software expandable)
  • Decent gaming chops

The 1.6Ghz Octa-core SoC sitting under the hood of the Nokia C32 is backed up by 4GB of physical memory. It’s not a huge number, but it’s not shockingly small, either, especially given it’s being used to run a slightly stripped-down version of Android 13 with very few third-party apps pre-installed.

Even still, the Nokia C32 is a slow phone. A jittery phone, anyway. Once it gets its digital gears turning, it’s perfectly able to offer a solid experience in light workloads; you’ll just notice it chug along when landing back on the home screen or opening an app that isn’t already running in the background.

Browsing the web is enjoyable, even with all of today’s pesky ads bogging things down. It’s even surprisingly capable when it comes to mid-range games, too. Putting it under just a little bit too much stress can cause it to crash and reboot, but you’re unlikely to reach that point in everyday use.

Pokemon Unite defaults to medium settings and performs well. Turning the visuals down to low means skirting that competitive 60fps experience. If anything, it means the Nokia C32 is able to entertain pre-teen users more reliably. They won’t be stuck with simpler games while their friends are attempting to go pro.

With cloud gaming services aplenty these days, you could also use a Bluetooth controller or something like the Razer Kishi to turn this into an inexpensive way to play big-budget games in bed. The lack of 5G support means you won’t be doing much of that on the go, however.

Starfield on the Nokia C32Gaming setup with a smartphone in a controller accessory.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

You can virtually increase this to 7GB by siphoning off some of its 64GB storage you’d otherwise use for photos, documents, and downloaded videos. Curiously, however, this feature is blocked permanently as soon as you fill 90% of the phone’s storage capacity. Thankfully, MicroSD support should help you avoid that.

Nokia’s paperwork suggests this typically takes four years of use, but I’m not convinced. Unless it means once it has cycled the feature through 90% of the phone’s usable memory to keep it from breaking down through overuse. It’s not clear. Then again, it’s not a feature I think is worth using, either. Storage memory is typically much slower than dedicated RAM and won’t ever act quite the same way as 7GB of dedicated memory truly would.


  • Android 13
  • Limited third-party app bloat
  • Security update support for 24 months

Running Android 13, the Nokia C32 promises two years of quarterly security updates, matching (or even beating) phones in might higher price categories. That’s reassuring. There’s even still the FM radio app: something I used religiously on my first self-funded Nokia phone 15 years back.

Other than and GoPro Quik, the pre-installed social, media, and music apps are mainstream enough to actually be appreciated inclusions. For some, there won’t be an immediate reason to start digging into the Google Play Store. This could be a great incentive for those not well-versed in smartphone technology.

Diving into the settings shows a plethora of possible accessibility tweaks as well. From enlarging text and colourblind support, all the way to automatic audio description in supported scenarios and the ability to set up physical switches for those who might struggle to interact with the touchscreen, there’s lots to dig into should the phone need setting up to suit a particular person’s unique needs.

What is a glaring omission, however, is the lack of NFC support, which nips the idea of contactless payment in the bud. You’re still able to pay for goods and services using a saved card on websites and in apps, but you’ll still have to take your physical card out with you to the store to grab groceries.


  • 4600mAh battery
  • 30w wired charging
  • Reverse wired and wireless charging

Packing an impressively large 5000mAh battery into its shell, the Nokia C32 pushes the idea of not an all-day battery life like flagship smartphones commonly do, but a three-day battery life instead.

It’s worth noting, however, that this is always dependent on a specific use case. Nokia states that it’s achieved through various battery-saving efforts on the software side of things, which means your mileage will absolutely vary when you start installing and using different apps.

In tests, I saw the battery perform about as well as any other smartphone, with the generally lower spec of its hardware not necessarily contributing much to battery spend or sustainability compared to the competition.

What that suggests is that Nokia is relying on the phone’s ability to spot patterns of usage behaviour to dynamically adapt its charging speed and put any apps you’re not actively using to sleep.

It’s a common tactic today and shouldn’t really be used to sweeten the honeypot, but if you’re a light user, you should start to see the claims hold up reasonably well after a week or two of ownership. Just don’t be too surprised if your phone doesn’t last a whole 72 hours. Always bring a backup power source if you’re going to be away from home.

One downside to this phone’s large battery is that its charging tech is from another era. Sporting only 10W wired charging capabilities, it’ll take a good few hours to juice a depleted battery back up to full. At least everything you need is in the box.

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Should you buy it?

You want an inexpensive smartphone that looks modern

Featuring a glass back, the Nokia C32 looks and feels more expensive than it is. It won’t match the speed of a mid-range option, but it’ll look good doing simple tasks.

You want something you don’t need to worry about

The glass front and rear of this device likely won’t hold up against drops, throws, or worksite pressure without protection.

Final Thoughts

The Nokia C32 is priced like a phone designed for the accident-prone elderly, absent-minded young children, or a construction worker on the job, but it isn’t built to suit. An included case would have sealed the deal.

Without it, this is a great first or spare phone that, thanks to cloud-based solutions and emulation, could find popularity within the gaming community as well. However, spending a little more on a budget phone could get you a whole lot more.

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We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Used as a main phone for over a week

Thorough camera testing in a variety of conditions

Tested and benchmarked using respected industry tests and real-world data


Does the Nokia C32 come with a charger in the box?

Yes, you’ll get a 10W charging brick in the box.

Trusted Reviews test data

Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
3D Mark – Wild Life
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

Full specs

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Refresh Rate

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