Nokia X20 Evaluate: 2021’s Best ‘Common Smartphone’


HMD World’s newest launch, the Nokia X20, represents the ‘prime of the road’ with its new portfolio of telephones. With a listing value of £320, it’s clear that the Nokia model goes to be combating within the aggressive mid-range marketplace for the close to future.

If that’s the case, the Nokia X20 goes to wish a refresh sooner fairly than later. Is it good? Sure. Is it nice? I don’t suppose so.

For me, the Nokia X20 feels both underpowered or overpriced. I’ve been reviewing the mannequin with 8 GB of RAM (though a 6 GB variant is on the market), and the largest determination that has been is the processor; the handset is working Qualcomm’s SnapDragon 480 system on chip. This does assist 5G, though over the subsequent yr I feel 5G at this value level will transfer away from a marketable function to desk stakes when designing a cellphone.

While you take a look at the competitors on this value bracket, you discover the OnePlus Nord N10 5G sporting the Snapdragon 690, and the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G utilizing the Snapdragon 750G. The decrease spec processor little question contributes to the battery life, but it surely does imply that the handset goes to succeed in its restrict rather more readily than the competitors.

The identical is true of the display screen. This can be a massive handset, and the display screen does slot in comfortably with the stylings, albeit with noticeable bezels across the aspect. However once more the handset comes up quick if you examine it to the competitors. The X20 display screen is an IPS LCD display screen, fairly than an AMOLED display screen you’ll discover subsequent to it within the patrons information. Very like 5G transferring from ‘cute’ to ‘required’, quick refreshing screens have gotten the norm on the mid-range. As soon as extra the X20 falls quick, sporting only a 60 Hz refresh on the display screen.

The design language that HMD World has been engaged on is clearly on present with the X20, and it’s now straightforward to recognise ‘A Nokia Cellphone’ out within the wild. You’ll have a really clear entrance of the system, with some chamfered sides; you’ll have a barely textured rear that gives good friction within the hand with out wanting garish; and also you’ve have a spherical digicam island rising alongside the central axis.

On the X20 you’ll discover 4 digicam lenses, and I feel this can be a little bit of an overkill. Whereas this comfortably beats many different smartphones on this house when it comes to numbers – packing in a core 64 megapixel primary array supported by a 5 megapixel ultrawide, 2 megapixel macro, and a couple of megapixel depth – the ensuing photos really feel like the identical story as the remainder of the handset… the ensuing pictures are good, however they’re not nice. When the sunshine is nice, the photographs are on a par with comparable handsets, however with low gentle the X20 goes to struggler.

One function that the Nokia handsets have been sporting for some time is Twin Sight . This lets you select from any of the digicam lenses on the handset to show two viewpoints in your display screen. For livestreams and video chats this can be a fairly enjoyable possibility.

It’s additionally one of many few apps that transfer away from the ‘out of the Android field’ expertise because the X20, as do all the present Nokia handsets, run Android One. This guarantee well timed updates (they arrive direct from Google) and a scarcity of bloatware, but it surely additionally means there’s little or no that stands out when it comes to software program.

Even with Android One, producers have to work on their very own digicam app – primarily as a result of the digicam decisions are much less ‘off the shelf’ than different elements. Which implies the digicam is one space the place the Nokia software program can stand out, and which means Nokia’s Twin Sight mode kicks in as a differentiator. 

The opposite differentiator that HMD World is leaning into will not be he environmental aspect. HMD World is collaborating with Ecologi as a part of its “Let’s Plant Collectively”, a scheme that may see various timber planted for each registered Nokia product bought – within the case of the X20 that’s going to be twenty timber. 

HMD World has taken extra steps to scale back the environmental affect; a charger is not included within the field, only a USB-C cable, and the included case (which is all the time a pleasant contact in my view) is compostable. The Nokia X20 may also obtain three years of software program updates, up from the business norm of two years, in addition to three years of safety updates. That ought to permit the X20 to remain present and in-use for an extended interval, lowering waste.

The Nokia X20 is a curious entry from HMD World. It’s at present sitting on the prime of the brand new portfolio, but it surely seems like a cellphone which has arrived twelve months too late. If the X20 in its present type had arrived within the second quarter of 2020 it could have sat proudly close to the highest of the really useful lists at this value level.

That’s not the case in 2021. The Nokia X20 is grouped with a bunch of smartphones which might be providing specs which might be a step up from the X20. Don’t get me fallacious, the Nokia X20 is a stable providing on this value vary, and there’s loads of model loyalty to the Nokia identify. Look across the names with a watch on specs fairly than familiarity and any shopper goes to discover a cellphone that’s stronger in a single or two totally different areas.

The Nokia X20 is, sadly, the best ‘common smartphone’ on this market. And I don’t suppose that’s sufficient.

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Disclaimer: HMD World supplied a Nokia X20 for evaluate functions.


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