The Nokia XR20 is nothing like the traditional rugged phones. It's sleek, easy to use, and tough to damage. It’s a phone for hardworking people, one designed to withstand drops, dust, heat, and water. In most cases, rugged phones compromise on performance to reduce the initial manufacturing costs. However, the Nokia XR20 hits the right balance between functionality and performance.
Nokia XR20 Review: Price and Availability
The Nokia XR20 is expected to be launched in the United States on August 24, and it arrives in two color options; Ultra Blue and Granite (dark gray). It will cost you $550 for the model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space.
In the United Kingdom, the phone was released on July 27th with the 4GB RAM/64GB storage selling for £399. The 6GB/128GB version is selling at £499. The phone is covered by a three-year warranty if purchased in the U.K. or Europe, with a free one-year screen replacement guarantee. The company also promises three years of version updates and four years of security updates.
Nokia XR20 Review: Key Specifications
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G
Security: MIL-STD 810H certified 1.8m drop protection, IP68 certified
RAM: 4GB or 6GB
Storage: 64GB or 128GB, microSD support up to 512GB
Battery: 4,630mAh non-removable battery
Cameras: 48MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, 8MP selfie
Nokia XR20 Review: Design and Build
Durability is a factor HMD Global is taking very seriously. Most smartphones today feature a prominent “glass sandwich” design, and the risks of your phone cracking or shattering with just one drop are immensely high. The Nokia XR20 is a rugged device with one of the strongest smartphone display coverings in the market.
The phone’s toughness is courtesy of several features, including the military-grade MIL-STD 810H certification and an IP68 rating. In other words, the phone can survive drops from 1.8 meters and stay submerged underwater to a depth of 1.5 meters for up to an hour. The Nokia XR20 is also heat resistant and can withstand temperatures from 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius) down to -7.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-22 degrees Celsius).
Its chassis is made from aluminum, the back panel from textured polymer, and the screen is covered by Gorilla Glass Victus. With a 6.67-inch LCD display, the XR20 is a huge phone. It has a 2400 x 1080p resolution and 550 nits of brightness, making it easy to use outside on a sunny day.
And get this. You can use the Nokia XR20 with wet hands or when wearing gloves. Most smartphones just go erratic when water drops on the screen, and this makes the XR20 a great phone for any working environment.
The bezels are noticeably large, making the screen appear to sit under them. This gives the phone a cheap look. At the front, there’s a tiny pinhole camera near the top edge, where the SIM slot and a red emergency button are located. On the bottom, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Type-C connector, a microphone, and a downward-firing speaker behind a grill.
On the left edge, you get a non-customizable Google Assistant button, which many people may find themselves pressing accidentally. The right side hosts the volume button and the power button that also doubles as a fingerprint scanner.
Nokia XR20 Review: Performance and Software
The Nokia XR20 ships with Android One software, which can be described as an unmodified core interface with room for additional hardware extras. In other words, the XR20 has an untouched version of Android 11, and the company promises to supply standard software updates for up to three years and security updates for up to four years.
Android One also means no software gunk on the XR20, leaving you with a full 128GB of storage for your apps and photos. However, its performance is below par for the price. The Snapdragon 480 5G, is the same chipset used in the half-priced Motorola Moto G50. But that doesn't mean it doesn’t deliver.
There’s rarely lagging when using the phone, and Android 11 keeps games like Fortnite playing smoothly at lower graphic settings. Most average users won't even recognize the performance deficits of this phone.
Nokia XR20 Review: Camera
Nokia has a different approach to camera placements on its phones. You only get two lenses on the back, unlike the “filler” cameras you get in the best mid-range smartphones. There’s a 40MP primary camera that uses a Samsung GM1 sensor and a 13MP ultra-wide lens with a Samsung S5K3L6 sensor. You also get a dual-LED flash and a second single LED flash. At the front, you have an 8MP selfie camera.
The cameras are not the Nokia XR20’s strong selling point. But for a rugged smartphone, they do a pretty impressive job.
Nokia XR20 Review: Battery Life
The Nokia XR20 ships with a 4630mAh non-removable battery that offers impressive endurance. On normal usage, you can get two days on a single charge. On intensive use, you can expect a 30 percent charge remaining at the end of the day.
It supports 18W charging, which can take it from zero to 50 percent in 46 minutes. The XR20 also supports wireless charging, a nice additional feature on a rugged phone.
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