I tried switching to a $100 phone

In the video “I tried switching to a $100 phone” by PhoneBuff, they partnered with Nokia Mobile and challenged themselves to use the Nokia G100 as their main phone for a day. With a price tag of less than $200, or even as low as $100, this budget-friendly smartphone offers some key specs such as a 6.5-inch screen, a 5,000mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner/power button, and essential features like a headphone jack and a Micro SD slot. While there are trade-offs in terms of specs and design to keep the price low, the Nokia G100 surprised PhoneBuff with its performance, especially in terms of the screen quality, gaming capabilities, and impressive battery life. The phone also delivered decent photo quality and a clean software experience, with minimal pre-loaded apps and no annoying ads or bloatware.

After setting up their Google accounts and work apps, they confidently made the switch from their iPhone and tested the Nokia G100 during a day at Disneyland, at restaurants, and for activities like using Android Auto and working out. Despite its affordable price, the phone exceeded their expectations, providing a solid user experience for everyday tasks like taking photos, texting, and browsing social media. With its impressive battery life and surprising gaming capabilities, the Nokia G100 proves to be a viable option for people looking for a brand new smartphone at a truly affordable price point.

Initial Impressions

Switching to a $100 phone may seem daunting, especially if you’re used to high-priced smartphones like the iPhone 14 or Galaxy Fold. However, Nokia’s g100 offers surprising features and specs considering its low price. With a large 6.5-inch screen, a 5,000mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner, headphone jack, and a microSD slot, it covers the basics that users expect. Some trade-offs were made to keep the price down, such as the lower resolution screen and the simplified camera system. The polycarbonate body provides durability while remaining lightweight. Overall, the initial impression of the Nokia g100 is promising.

Transitioning to the $100 Phone

Setting up the Nokia g100 was a breeze. After loading up Google accounts and necessary work apps, it was time to leave the previous phone behind. Saying goodbye to your familiar device may be a little difficult, but the g100 offers a surprisingly smooth transition. Using it for an entire day, including activities like visiting Disneyland, going to restaurants, and even using Android Auto, the phone performed better than expected. The 6.5-inch screen made a significant difference, providing a spacious feel compared to other budget phones. Gaming on the device, like playing Subway Surfers or even Call of Duty, was surprisingly smooth. While the Snapdragon 662 processor and 3-4GB RAM may not be the most powerful, they were sufficient for everyday tasks like taking photos, texting, and scrolling through social media.

Performance of the Nokia g100

The screen of the Nokia g100, despite its 720p resolution, offers a pleasant viewing experience. It doesn’t feel cramped like some other budget phones and looks good, especially when playing games or watching videos. Gaming performance was surprisingly decent, with casual games running smoothly and even more demanding games like Call of Duty playable. Multitasking and everyday use were handled well, with the phone delivering satisfactory performance for tasks like taking photos, sending messages, and browsing social media.

Battery Life

One of the best features of the Nokia g100 is its battery life. Even with heavy usage, including taking photos and videos throughout the day, the 4G connection, and constant usage, the phone still had over 50% battery remaining at the end of the day. This impressive longevity makes the g100 ideal for those who rely heavily on their phones and don’t want to constantly worry about charging. In terms of battery life, the Nokia g100 earns an A+.

Camera Quality

Considering its price point, the Nokia g100 performs surprisingly well in the camera department. The 13-megapixel main sensor captures good-looking shots, especially in ideal lighting conditions. The addition of a 5-megapixel ultrawide lens is impressive, as not many phones in this price range offer such a feature. It provides a wide 115-degree field of view for those occasions when you need a wider perspective. The 8-megapixel front-facing selfie camera also delivers decent results, especially in good lighting conditions. Overall, the Nokia g100’s camera system is more than capable of capturing memorable moments for social media sharing.

Software and Applications

Unlike many budget phones that come pre-loaded with unwanted ads and bloatware, the Nokia g100 keeps it clean. It only has the “My Device” app pre-installed, which allows easy access to customer service and device status. This minimalistic approach to software is refreshing and ensures a clean Android 12 experience. Carrier-locked versions of the phone may come with additional apps, but since they are not pre-loaded, they can be completely uninstalled, giving you the freedom to customize your device to your liking.

Features and Extras

The Nokia g100 offers some useful features and extras that enhance the user experience. The fingerprint scanner, integrated into the power button, provides a fast and accurate way of unlocking the device. It offers better security than alternatives like face unlock. Additionally, the phone provides various unlocking options, including face unlock, for those who prefer alternative methods. The inclusion of the “My Device” app makes it easy to contact customer service and monitor device status, providing peace of mind.

Design and Feel

The Nokia g100 impresses with its polycarbonate body, which offers both lighter weight and improved durability. While some may prefer premium materials, the polycarbonate construction ensures that the phone can withstand accidental drops without added bulk. The screen design and bezels of the g100 are relatively thin, allowing for a more immersive viewing experience without making the phone feel excessively large or bulky. Overall, the design and feel of the Nokia g100 strike a balance between practicality and aesthetics.

Comparing to High Priced Phones

When comparing the Nokia g100 to high-priced flagship phones like the iPhone 14 and Galaxy Fold, there are undoubtedly pros and cons. The g100’s low price makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers who still want a new phone with decent features. While it may not compete in terms of raw performance or the most advanced camera system, it offers a compelling value proposition. The choice between a lower price point and top-of-the-line specifications ultimately comes down to personal preferences and priorities. The Nokia g100 delivers a solid performance at a fraction of the cost of high-priced phones.


The Nokia g100 is suitable for an audience looking for a new phone at an affordable price point. With its impressive battery life, decent camera system, clean software experience, and useful features like the fingerprint scanner, it provides more value than expected from a sub-$200 smartphone. While it may not be able to match the performance and features of high-priced flagships, it offers a compelling option for those seeking a reliable device at a budget-friendly price. The overall experience with the Nokia g100 is positive, making it a worthy consideration for anyone on a tight budget.