HomeBlogREVIEWNokia XR20 evaluate: A rugged handset however too many compromises

Nokia XR20 evaluate: A rugged handset however too many compromises

Previously the undisputed king of rugged/seemingly indestructible telephones, Nokia has determined to make a little bit of a comeback in 2021, launching its first correct rugged smartphone in years: the Nokia XR20.

With 5G connectivity, a well-sized display and a design that ought to be capable of stand up to some pretty powerful knocks, the Nokia XR20 may be simply the ticket for people who want a troublesome but competent smartphone that may sustain with their on a regular basis adventures.

Nokia XR20 evaluate: What you have to know

It’s instantly apparent that the Nokia XR20’s largest promoting level is its rugged construct. Whereas most trendy handsets are comparatively dainty and delicate by comparability, the Nokia XR20 packs in strong options corresponding to an MIL-STD-810H ranking, IP68 waterproofing and a thick protecting bumper surrounding its aluminium body. The display can be protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus, which is more durable than something we’ve seen beforehand on a Nokia handset.

Inside, the Nokia XR20 is powered by a comparatively weak Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 processor and 4GB or 6GB of RAM. The FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080) IPS display is little question powerful, nevertheless it solely has a 60Hz refresh price and the cameras are additionally moderately restrained, with simply two lenses on the again – these include only a 48MP (f/1.8) and 13MP (f/2.4) ultrawide cameras.

Nokia is eager to level out that the XR20 is nicely supported for years to come back, with a promise of three years’ price of core Android updates (as much as Android 14) and 4 years of month-to-month safety updates. You additionally get an prolonged three-year guarantee for those who purchase one within the UK.

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Nokia XR20 evaluate: Worth and competitors

Coming in at both £399 or £450, the Nokia XR20 is an costly smartphone for what it provides when it comes to inside {hardware}, nevertheless it’s really a fairly priced selection for those who evaluate it towards different rugged handsets.

Admittedly, the powerful smartphone market isn’t significantly in depth, however the primary competitors comes from the likes of the Ulefone Armor 9 FLIR, which prices £440 however has a smaller display and lacks 5G. It does, nonetheless, include an endoscope digicam and FLIR thermal imaging, so it’s maybe higher suited to use on a constructing web site or as an engineer’s companion.

Alternatively, there’s the Blackview BV9900 Professional, which has an excellent smaller 5.84in show but additionally incorporates an FLIR imaging digicam. It’s one more handset that’s just a little behind hardware-wise, nonetheless, and it may be difficult to trace down within the UK. If you could find one, you may anticipate to pay roughly £520 or so.

Lastly, we just lately reviewed the Motorola Defy, which has comparable rugged properties because the Nokia, however prices simply £279. It’s a lot weaker than the Nokia XR20 in relation to efficiency, nonetheless, with a smaller 720p show and help for less than 4G connectivity.

Nokia XR20 evaluate: Design and key options

Ruggedness is the plain focus in relation to the Nokia XR20’s appears. It’s a chunky handset that doesn’t precisely encourage at first look, however the thick rubber bumpers that encompass its exterior are a pleasant contact, and it feels as if it is best to be capable of drop it onto any floor and it’ll bounce proper again.

That being mentioned, it’s moderately glossy the place it counts. It suits properly within the hand, regardless of its plus-sized dimensions, and the textured rear is good and grippy as nicely. To my eyes, it’s a better-looking cellphone than the Moto Defy, largely because it doesn’t appear like the form of handset that’s solely ever noticed on a constructing web site. In actual fact, you may (virtually) mistake it for a “regular” smartphone for those who do spot one within the wild.

The entrance of the cellphone is roofed by a protecting layer of Gorilla Glass Victus which, based on Nokia, is its hardest display but. The XR20 can be IP68-rated for mud and water ingress safety, which implies you may submerge the cellphone as much as a depth of 1.5m for not less than half an hour. And, just like the Moto Defy, the MIL-SPEC-810H certification additionally signifies that it’s able to withstanding temperatures between -25°C and 55°C, and it’s drop-tested as much as a peak of 1.8m.

A small pinhole notch sits on the high of the display, hardly stealing focus, which is the place you’ll discover the 8MP (f/2.0) selfie digicam. I significantly just like the pink emergency button, which is positioned on the highest edge, subsequent to the shared twin SIM and microSD card tray. When pressed, this can be utilized to rapidly name any pre-selected emergency contacts.

On the right-hand aspect of the cellphone is the place you’ll discover the quantity rocker and energy button, which additionally homes the fingerprint sensor for safe unlocks. On the left is Nokia’s pesky Google Assistant button, which I typically pressed by chance. Similar to Nokia’s different smartphones, you sadly can’t remap or disable it, both.

Lastly, the USB-C charging port is sensibly located on the underside of the handset, sitting subsequent to the three.5mm audio jack.

Nokia XR20 evaluate: Show

The Nokia XR20’s FHD+ IPS display is an enormous one, measuring 6.67in throughout the diagonal. In case you’ve bought small arms, you most likely received’t be capable of use it one-handed, and it’s fairly unremarkable within the high quality stakes as nicely.

To begin with, it solely helps a most refresh price of 60Hz, which is a disgrace since cheaper handsets now help boosted refresh charges for lots much less cash. Color accuracy is on the weak aspect as nicely, with a mean Delta E of three.82 (decrease is best) and protection of simply 85.9% of the sRGB color gamut, with a complete quantity of 102%.

Nonetheless, not less than the Nokia XR20’s pixel density of 395ppi isn’t too shabby, and brightness peaked at 556cd/m² in testing, which is completely readable if you end up outdoor and in vivid daylight.

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Nokia XR20 evaluate: Efficiency and battery life

At its coronary heart, the Nokia XR20 is just a variant of the Nokia X20, which sadly means it makes use of pretty unremarkable {hardware}. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset for processing duties, which we final noticed contained in the £180 Moto G50, though it does have a wholesome 6GB of RAM. Software program-wise, the Nokia XR20 launches with Android One, which is a bloat-free model of Android 11, and is as near a inventory expertise because it will get.

Nippy to unlock, there’s nonetheless a second’s hesitation when opening apps, and the Nokia XR20’s Geekbench 5 multi-core rating of 1,637 isn’t precisely sitting fairly on the high of the charts, both. With speeds roughly on a par with the Moto G50 and barely forward of the rugged Moto Defy, it’s all usually common stuff for the Nokia XR20.

Gaming efficiency paints an identical image, with the XR20 pushing out a mean body price of 37fps within the GFXBench Manhattan 3 onscreen benchmark. Most video games ought to run simply fantastic, however high-fidelity titles corresponding to Name of Obligation: Cellular may must have a few of their visible settings tweaked so as to get constant body charges.

With a 4,630mAh battery, the Nokia XR20 nearly stretches to a few days’ use on a single cost. Lasting for little over 17 hours in our video playback check, the Nokia XR20 lags behind every thing else, though the 15W wi-fi charging is a slight bonus.

It’s additionally price mentioning that the Nokia XR20 doesn’t include a wall charger within the field. In its absence, Nokia says that it’s going to plant 50 timber for each gadget offered and can make a donation to the ClearRivers charity everytime you purchase a separate wall charger in a bid to ascertain a plastic-free sea.

Nokia XR20 evaluate: Cameras

The Nokia XR20 comes with a pair of bog-standard rear cameras and an equally unremarkable 8MP entrance digicam for selfies. There is a 48MP (f/1.8) major lens, which sits alongside a 13MP (f/2.4) lens for 123-degree ultra-wide pictures. It’s a reasonably easy setup, that’s for sure, and the outcomes are suitably quite humdrum as nicely.

By way of color replica, the Nokia XR20 does a great job of capturing the sentiment of what you’re snapping, however there’s little to no vibrancy or common pleasure to the photographs. Zoom in on stuff additional into the body – corresponding to grass verges and tree foliage – and it largely merges right into a little bit of a messy mush.

Low-light efficiency is extra of a stand-out, and whereas colors aren’t splendidly produced, the Nokia XR20 does a good sufficient job of capturing element. Night time Mode isn’t the most effective, nonetheless, since this setting fails to chop by the darkness and usually softens the picture a bit an excessive amount of.

Software program-wise, there may be not less than some help within the type of auto HDR, and it additionally recommends numerous capturing modes relying on what you’re pointing the cameras at. It is a good mild nudge in the fitting route for those who’re not often snap-happy otherwise you’re nonetheless attending to grips with what Android has to supply.

For movies, the Nokia XR20 is equally restricted however useful. There’s no 4K seize, with a most recording decision of 1080p at simply 30fps. Easy digital picture stabilisation provides a tiny quantity to this very fundamental video seize setup.

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Nokia XR20 evaluate: Verdict

A run-of-the-mill handset in virtually each means, the Nokia XR20 received’t attraction for those who aren’t already available in the market for a tough-as-nails smartphone. For a similar amount of cash, you are able to do significantly better so far as specs are involved, however in fact you’ll miss out on the Nokia XR20’s near-indestructible qualities.

Paying additional for the strengthened display, hardy design and rubber bumpers is the form of determination that comes all the way down to how you employ your smartphone. When you have an energetic way of life or a bodily career, you then’ll know greater than most simply how simple it’s to break your cellphone, and that’s the place the Nokia XR20 actually comes into its personal.

As a compromise, although, you’ll miss out on quick efficiency, a robust digicam and a long-lasting battery, however that’s to not say any of those elements aren’t competent sufficient. Over the subsequent few years, chances are you’ll end up extra annoyed by the Nokia XR20’s speeds, however not less than you will not have to fret about it getting broken simply, and the 5G connectivity will assist the Nokia XR20 stay related for years to come back, too.

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