Nokia XR20 Review: A Pretty Beast of a Cellphone

Nokia XR20 review: A lovely beast that’s constructed to closing

MSRP $550.00

“Don’t let the great appears fool you, the Nokia XR20 is a rugged cellphone through-and-through. It could not have the specs to match most totally different mainstream telephones, nonetheless its price comes with spectacular longevity.”


  • Partaking however highly effective physique
  • Software program program updates for 3 years
  • Extended assure (location dependent)
  • Wi-fi charging


  • Poor camera
  • Mediocre effectivity
  • 60Hz refresh payment show

Strong doesn’t have to suggest ugly anymore now that HMD World has launched the Nokia XR20 smartphone, which it says “can stand as much as one thing life throws at it and look good doing it.” That’s pretty a daring declare when, by necessity, rugged telephones usually appear as if they’re hidden inside a chunky, not typically very attractive case.

Nevertheless does this suggest the XR20 is a difficult cellphone for everyone, regardless of whether or not or not you spend time in circumstances the place a lesser cellphone may be pulverized in moments or not?


The Nokia XR20 efficiently straddles the world of highly effective telephones and chunkier mainstream fashions by avoiding protruding bumpers and slash cuts on the rear panel to symbolize ruggedness. It moreover sports activities actions a refined blue hue instead of a black or yellow coloration scheme that merely screams “hazard!” Whereas it’s clearly not a mainstream cellphone similar to the OnePlus Nord 2, it obtained’t solely check out dwelling coated in mud and thrown haphazardly inside the cab of a little bit of heavy gear each.

The Nokia XR20 in Ultra Blue color, seen from the back.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Merely take a look at among the many particulars. I similar to the uncovered aluminum metallic chassis down the facet of the cellphone and the easy X pattern on the camera module, as an example. Nevertheless Nokia hasn’t forgotten what the cellphone is admittedly all about, no matter these neat seen elements, by along with a cutout for a lanyard strap, a textured polymer rear panel for further grip, and a programmable emergency button, too.

One-handed use is just about unattainable when you could have small arms.

It’s a chunky beast at 10.64mm thick and 248 grams. A slender plastic shell covers the cellphone, efficiently wanting like an ergonomic highly effective case on a slimmer cellphone and providing it with “military specification” MIL-STD-810H certification and an IP68 rating. This means it has survived drops from 1.8 meters and being in water all the best way all the way down to a depth of 1.5 meters for as a lot as an hour, along with resisting publicity to mud and much further. It has Gorilla Glass Victus over the show.

It’s a extremely broad cellphone, and one-handed use is just about unattainable when you could have small arms, nonetheless it’s cozy and pure to hold as a result of it does not have any protrusions or guard sections on the physique. There’s a refined raised lip throughout the show to protect it when positioned facedown, nonetheless it’s not so extreme that you simply simply actually really feel it each time you swipe by the use of menus.

Unusually for a cellphone review, I’ve deliberately dropped the XR20 and put it in water, too. It’s nonetheless working as you’d rely on after assorted dunkings and drops from waist peak onto a variety of surfaces from grass to gravel. The laborious plastic shell has picked up a scuff already, though, suggesting that whereas it appears pretty now, it couldn’t for that prolonged if it’ll get really abused. That’s the price you pay for the XR20 wanting vaguely common. I do just like the vanity to have the power to offer it a quick, mildly soapy scrub down, though.

The Nokia XR20 isn’t a catwalk model, nonetheless it’s not made only for the developing web site each. It undoubtedly must cross into every worlds, nonetheless as quickly as we get into the rest of the cellphone, it turns into clear that whereas it’s all dressed up, the marvel is solely pores and pores and skin deep. It’s not a criticism, merely don’t mistake it for one factor it isn’t. If I was a surfer, weekend hiker, or someone who labored in environments that didn’t favor electronics normally, it really fits the bill. In all probability not as a predominant cellphone, nonetheless really as a second “lifestyle-friendly” cellphone.

Digital camera

The camera module might seem prefer it includes three or 4 camera lenses, nonetheless in truth, it has two, with the other two spots taken up by two flash gadgets — a dual-tone LED and a single LED. Inside a hole-punch cutout on the excessive coronary heart of the show is an 8-megapixel selfie camera.

Nokia XR20 camera module.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The rear twin 48MP major camera and 13MP wide-angle camera setup means the XR20 isn’t going to be a camera well-known particular person, and sure ample, it would most likely’t compete with telephones designed with camera effectivity in ideas. Coloration steadiness, white steadiness, and dynamic differ are everywhere, and sometimes do two images have the an identical tone. Inconsistency continues whilst you change to the wide-angle.

It might placed on the Zeiss title, nonetheless the Nokia XR20’s means doesn’t dwell as a lot because it. It’s not worth judging it too harshly because of Nokia really isn’t selling the cellphone as a excessive camera performer, and the pictures it does take are principally acceptable in first fee lighting, nonetheless for many who’re the least bit occupied with taking really good images and having some creative gratifying with a camera, this isn’t the cellphone for you.


There are a variety of buttons on the Nokia XR20. The Google Assistant button on the left of the chassis is massive and easy to seek out, which moreover means you will undoubtedly press it by likelihood. There’s a programmable button on the best of the cellphone which may be set to hold out a single movement like turning on the flashlight or dialing an emergency contact after an prolonged press. It’s almost flush with the physique, so it’s unlikely you’ll try this by likelihood.

Fingerprint sensor on the Nokia XR20.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The fingerprint sensor is inside the power key and is centered on the right-hand facet of the physique. Annoyingly, I uncover my finger naturally presses the quantity down key above it when selecting up the cellphone, one factor not helped by the small sensor being flush and by no means having any texture to help discover it. It’s reliable whilst you do uncover it, and a speedy face unlock system is there as a backup.

It has ample vitality for frequent duties.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 processor with each 4GB or 6GB of RAM makes the XR20 a midrange cellphone. It has ample vitality for frequent duties, and I’ve had no points looking, using social networks, swiping by the use of Google Uncover, and enhancing images. The excellence between it and further extremely efficient telephones is usually current usually tempo when performing duties like starting up the cellphone and apps or gaming. In these instances, the XR20 is a little bit of slower to react. It’s not annoying in most circumstances, nonetheless it could be whilst you want to multitask or just get points carried out shortly.

You’ll moreover uncover the power shortcomings when watching video and participating in video video games, the place there are sometimes plenty of stutters when watching 1080p movement photos. The 6.67-inch, 20:9 side ratio, 1080 x 2400 LCD show has sizable bezels spherical it, and it sadly solely has a 60Hz refresh payment. The show sits “beneath” the bezel, making the design look a little bit of antiquated. The 550 nits brightness doesn’t sound like lots, nonetheless it’s legible in daylight.

Nokia XR20 screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Watching Carfection’s Ferrari Portofino M review reveals good viewing angles and a pleasant coloration palette. It’s an excellent show for a midrange cellphone, nonetheless it’s not very trendy and loads of mainstream telephones have the additional fascinating elevated refresh payment. There are two audio system, nonetheless the stereo separation is minimal, with lots of the amount — of which there’s tons — coming from the speaker on the underside of the cellphone. The cellphone performs Asphalt 9: Legends comparatively simply and doesn’t get scorching. The overall weight of the Nokia XR20 means it’s not going the perfect video or gaming companion, and the Snapdragon 480 lacks the middle to impress.

Battery, software program program, and connectivity

Android One is neatly designed and specified by the an identical method as on a Google Pixel cellphone, so it’s quite simple to utilize and I haven’t expert any reliability factors.  HMD World ensures three years of mannequin updates with the cellphone, and 4 years of security updates, which is excellent. It has 5G equipped you have safety in your area and NFC for Google Pay, plus there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, nonetheless the Wi-Fi connection struggles to handle a weak signal as compared with totally different telephones.

Emergency button on the top of the Nokia XR20.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Google Assistant button on the Nokia XR20.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Nokia XR20 charge port.Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The 4,630mAh battery could possibly be very strong and returns two days of life even whilst you’re participating in video video games or watching motion pictures, along with making plenty of calls. It’s good to see 15-watt wi-fi charging included, plus there’s 18W Quick Price 4.0 wired charging, too. Nonetheless, there’s no charger included inside the subject, so the exact value speeds will rely upon the charger you end up using.

Worth and availability

The Nokia XR20 costs $550 is obtainable for pre-order at B&H Image now, and might seemingly be obtainable from totally different outlets. Throughout the U.Okay. the XR20 is obtainable now and costs 399 British kilos/$552, or 449 kilos/$621 for the 6GB/128GB model. It’s obtainable in each Extraordinarily Blue as seen in our images, and in Granite Gray.

Our take

An uninspiring camera, a 60Hz refresh payment show, and a Snapdragon 480 processor is a recipe for a cellphone that costs $250, nonetheless the Nokia XR20 costs $550. Whereas it might look increased than the overwhelming majority of highly effective telephones, it’s nonetheless a difficult cellphone — and an excellent one — at coronary coronary heart, and likewise you’re paying for the engineering and certification that goes into making it so, moderately than a camera- and processor-centric spec document.

The XR20 will almost really outlast telephones that worth half as lots, and nonetheless look first fee whilst you take it out on the town.

The story sometimes ends proper right here, which suggests the ruggedness is admittedly the one objective to buy, nonetheless that’s not pretty the case with the XR20. It’s not merely the physique that makes it constructed to closing — there’s precise longevity elsewhere, too. HMD World ensures three years of Android mannequin updates and 4 years of security updates. It’s moreover coated by a three-year assure if purchased inside the U.Okay. or Europe, full with a one-year free show substitute guarantee. Assure particulars for the U.S. differ, and HMD World signifies it may well embody a two-year extended assure.

Combine this with the highly effective physique, Gorilla Glass Victus, and IP68 water resistance, and likewise you’ve purchased a cellphone made to closing until 2024 and previous. The effectivity couldn’t ship lots price, nonetheless the updates and assure do a a lot better job. As a second cellphone to utilize when points get muddy or rocky, the XR20 will almost really outlast telephones that worth half as lots, and nonetheless look first fee whilst you take it out on the town.

Is there a better numerous?

The Nokia XR20’s rugged nature locations it up in the direction of the Cat S61 and Cat S62 Skilled, every of which worth further nonetheless attribute Flir’s thermal camera technology and a way more traditionally rugged design. The Cat S48c is older nonetheless could possibly be found for a far decrease value, as can the newest Motorola Defy.

When you want to spend spherical $500 on a cellphone with out the rugged design, we advocate the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. It does have water resistance and is created from plastic so it have to be moderately hardwearing, nonetheless the show and camera are superior to the Nokia XR20’s.

How prolonged will it closing?

As talked about above, the Nokia XR20’s Android software program program shall be updated for 3 years, and the security updates will proceed on for a further 12 months after that. The assure interval varies counting on the place you buy the cellphone, nonetheless it may well most likely be coated for as a lot as three years. That means it’s best to securely be succesful to non-public and use the cellphone until at least 2024, plus it has 5G so you’ll take advantage of the quickest connection speeds as correctly.

Do you need to buy it?

Positive, nonetheless supplied that “needs to withstand harsh remedy” is on the excessive of your need document.

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