Nokia XR20 Review
It’s been a long time since the Indian smartphone market saw a totally rugged handset capable of withstanding nature’s wrath and rigorous use or at least being pretty immune to it. Nokia XR20, which is owned by HMD Global, was recently launched in the country, and it appears to offer enhanced durability. This smartphone has military-grade durability to high temperatures, is water and dust resistant, and has a protective casing around the body to protect it from falls. The phone is powered by a processor that, to put it frankly, isn’t particularly good for the price. Let’s take a closer look at the Nokia XR20 now, shall we?
Nokia XR20 Prices in India, Variants, Availability
Nokia XR20 costs Rs 46,999 in India for the single 6GB/128GB option. Granite and Ultra Blue will be the two colour options available.
The phone will be available for purchase on Nokia.com and other major e-commerce sites.
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Nokia XR20 Box Contents
Inside the box, you will find the Nokia XR 20 along with the following accessories:
- 18W Charger
- USB Type C cable
- Sim Ejector Tool
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety Booklet
Nokia XR20 Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the device, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.67 inches IPS LCD
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 480
- RAM & ROM: 6GB RAM 128GB Storage
- Software: Android 11
- Rear camera: 48MP + 13MP
- Selfie camera: 8MP
- Battery: 4630 mAh
- Weight: 248 g
- Dimensions: 171.6 x 81.5 x 10.6 mm
Nokia XR20 Design and Build
From the outside, Nokia XR20 doesn’t appear to be as well-made as other of the more rugged smartphones I have seen in recent months. It weighs only 248g and has a slim 10.6mm profile – the thinnest in its category – with a footprint of 171.6 x 81.5mm. The smartphone has a textured polymer composite backside that, like any quality case, gives it the sense of sticking to your hands. The device’s screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, which Nokia claims is the strongest screen it has seen on a Nokia smartphone. Near the top edge, there’s a tiny pinhole camera, as well as a red emergency button and a SIM slot. A lanyard attachment loop, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microphone, a Type-C connector, and a downward-firing speaker behind a grill occupies the opposite side.
A dedicated, non-customizable Google Assistant button is located on the left edge, while a rocker volume button and a slightly depressed power button that also works as a fingerprint scanner are located on the right side. A camera module with two lenses and a dual-LED flash is located in the centre of the rear. This module is once again surrounded by a raised border.
The XR20 is MIL-STD-810 approved, with a thick rubber protective bumper and a metal frame that should keep it usable in most situations, as one would expect from just about any rugged smartphone worth the name. Because it is an IP68 handset, you may even wash it, swim with it or do any other activity.
Nokia XR20 Display
The screen of the Nokia XR20 stands at 6.67-inches, which is big and great to read in either indoor or outdoor lighting, as it features a maximum brightness of 550 nits. When compared to AMOLED displays, which have superior contrast and deeper blacks, the screen’s colour reproduction suffers slightly as an IPS display, but it’s still a lovely, fairly high resolution 2400×1080 display. The display has the advantage of being able to be used with wet hands, which is useful in the kitchen or after a swim.
There is also a tiny lip around the edge of the display where the case elevates slightly over. This protects the screen from damage if it is dropped or placed face down. It’s not a fancy OLED display, and the refresh rate isn’t particularly fast, which is a little disappointing. Many smartphone makers are including 90Hz and 120Hz displays into their mid-range smartphones. It would have been great if Nokia had done likewise. Nonetheless, the display appears to be in good working condition in most scenarios.
If the phone is dropped, the Gorilla Glass Victus on the front, which Corning says is “the toughest Gorilla Glass yet,” will help protect the screen. It’s fantastic, and despite the fact that it hasn’t shown any symptoms of wear after a lot of use, HMD Global includes a free screen replacement for the first year as part of their 3-year warranty, because sometimes the toughest also have bad days.
Nokia XR20 Performance
So far, everything has been fairly decent. Nokia XR20 has a large display, plenty of protection in its rugged build, and then there’s the core hardware, which may prompt some to doubt the device’s positioning. Nokia equipped the XR20 with the Snapdragon 480 5G processor, which is targeted for budget 5G phones under 20000. For those unfamiliar, this hardware is the first step on the Snapdragon stairway, with the 600, 700, and 800 series hardware following after it. It’s normally found at the lower end of the market, but the Nokia XR20’s price stands out – it just looks pricey for this hardware, especially since non-rugged smartphones with more performance are available for less price. However, this is a new generation of Snapdragon 400 series hardware, and the performance is far superior to anything we’ve seen before at this level. It will, in fact, outperform a few of the older Snapdragon 600 series hardware found in some phones, so it’s not as bad as it may appear.
While there may be stutters when multiple apps or applications with high resource demands are running, the slower speed is rarely noticeable when browsing through menus and in ordinary use. It undoubtedly helps that it runs Android One, a lightweight stock Android version instead of a custom Android version.
It also performs well on more demanding applications, such as games. We’ll start with Call of Duty Mobile, which, while not as fantastic as it is on high-end phones, is still fun to play. When it comes to PUBG Mobile, it defaults to HD graphics and a High frame rate, in which it performs well. While playing PUBG Mobile, the smartphone maintains a steady 40 fps at lower quality and just under 30 fps at higher quality. The screen and proximity sensor work well together to control the smartphone. So, if you drop your expectations a little, you should be able to play games reasonably well.
Nokia XR20 Software
Aside from its looks, Nokia XR20 functions similarly to any other Nokia phone you’ve used. The company aimed for a device that individuals could use every day, therefore the stock options for internal components were kept minimal. Because the Nokia XR20 runs stock Android 11, the user interface is simple. You’ll know what to do, where to do it, and how to execute it all in a seamless manner. There’s no unnecessary glitz and glam here. There are no confusing extra web browsers, showy theme stores, or duplicate media apps. However, the phone comes with a few preinstalled apps, including Amazon and Spotify. You can easily remove these applications if you don’t need them.
It’s worth noting that the Nokia XR20 promises up to three years of OS upgrades and four years of monthly security updates. Nokia XR20 definitely appeals to us in terms of software. It’s simply a clean Android interface, like many of Nokia’s smartphones, and we’ve found it to work smoothly and without hiccups.
Nokia XR20 Camera
Considering its midrange price, Nokia XR20’s camera configuration is very basic. A 48MP primary lens and a 13MP ultrawide lens are located on the phone’s backside. The front-facing camera has an 8MP sensor. With the primary lens, the daytime output is good. Our test images were clear and had a nice depth of field. Many of our images, on the other hand, were overexposed and had low contrast. The images taken in low light were flat and soft. Many of our photos had significant blooming, and very aggressive noise suppression blurred objects in the foreground.
Throughout our testing, the ultrawide lens’ performance was disappointing. We saw many of the same flaws which were with the primary lens in good lighting, as well as a lesser depth of field and severe distortion. The ultrawide camera isn’t particularly sharp, but it can capture some nice images in the proper situations; nonetheless, blurring towards the edges is fairly common. Things start to fall apart in low light. Our test images were flat and grainy, with noise creeping in around the edges and more obvious distortion.
The best lens is the one on the front. Our test images in the daylight were sharp and had accurate exposure. Even though our low-light images had some noise, they were still decent enough to post it on social media. However, results in portrait mode were mixed, with unnatural-looking bokeh and poor object segmentation. Videos may be recorded at a maximum resolution of 1080p at 60fps, although the autofocus feature takes a bit long time to adjust, especially with close objects, causing it to pulsate.
Nokia XR20 Battery
Nokia XR20’s big 4630mAh battery claims ‘2-day battery life,’ and it comes close even under my regular heavy usage. However, more capacity doesn’t always equate to longer battery life, and Android One promises to squeeze every last mAh out of every mAh with smart battery optimization techniques. I used it for about 30 hours on average, with up to 10 hours of screen time, which is rather impressive. If you don’t overdo it with movies, games, and other activities, you’ll be able to get by for two days on a single charge. If you use your phone frequently, you may notice that you need to charge it every day.
Nokia XR20’s charging capabilities include 18W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. When compared to the competition, the 18W wired charging is on the slower side, but the added convenience of wireless charging is a good bonus.
Nokia XR20 Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
Nokia XR20 also has dual speakers that are quite loud. Nokia XR20’s media playback experience is surprisingly good. The XR20 offers global LTE and sub-6GHz 5G compatibility. For fast internet speeds, Wi-Fi 6 is offered, as is Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX Adaptive and aptX Voice for wearable connectivity. NFC, which is useful for mobile payments and boarding passes, is also present.
The fingerprint sensor is housed in the power button on the right side of the device, making it easy, accurate, and quick to register a touch.
Nokia XR20 Pros & Cons
- IP68 water resistance
- Gorilla Glass Victus screen
- 5G connectivity
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Clean software
- Durable and rugged design
- Impressive battery life
- Sub-par performance
- Too heavy and large for some people
- Can’t customize the Google Assistant button
- Bit overpriced
Given its specifications and price, the Nokia XR20 isn’t for everyone. The Nokia XR20 offers mid-range specs for a hefty price, from its Snapdragon 480 5G processor and 6.67-inch, 60Hz display to its mid-tier 48MP camera. However, as a rugged phone, it delivers a software experience that is light years ahead of most competitors, as well as a body that can withstand 5-foot drops or an hour underwater without a case. When you add in Gorilla Glass Victus and one free Nokia screen repair, you have a phone that can handle almost anything you throw at it.
This device isn’t perfect, but it offers decent performance, a solid set of cameras, and extended battery life. The extreme toughness of the Nokia XR20 should come in handy if you want a no-frills smartphone and love the great outdoors, go on hikes, enjoy adventure sports, or are involved in other activities that need rough handling.