I will admit it. I used to be able to rag on HMD International’s latest Nokia telephone earlier than I even took it out of the field. It prices $550, but it makes use of a processor you may discover in telephones as low cost as $240. And in contrast to on the equally priced Google Pixel 5A or Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, you do not get an OLED show for these splendidly inky blacks. What offers?
It seems that fixating on these particular person flaws takes away from what’s truly a reasonably nice Android smartphone. HMD has packed in different perks like a headphone jack, expandable storage, customizable buttons, and wi-fi charging at a decent value. It additionally channels that basic Nokia “brick” philosophy: It seems to be like a smartphone, however this factor is hard. Should you are likely to drop your telephone, however you hate utilizing instances that add bulk, then look no additional.
The XR20 is a rugged telephone, however it does not appear to be most rugged telephones. Do not get me fallacious; the XR20 continues to be heavy, thick, and large. I would not name it fairly. But it surely’s way more svelte than the same old rugged designs, which are sometimes thick and needlessly ugly.
It has a grippy polymer composite again welded to an aluminum core. (The perimeters are aluminum too.) It feels robust. The entrance display is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, the strongest glass you may discover on any Android telephone, and it is IP68 water- and dust-resistant, so it will survive being submerged in as much as 1 meter of water for half-hour.
On paper, that is some spectacular safety for the cash. However simply because the XR20 is utilizing Gorilla Glass Victus does not imply this display will not shatter. Pricier flagship telephones additionally use the identical materials and crack when dropped. Fortunately, the dearth of glass on the again of the telephone means there’s one much less space you should fear about.
It isn’t too typically a producer advertises dropping a telephone. However on the XR20’s product web page, HMD says you’ll be able to “drop it, get it moist, and even report your child’s soccer recreation within the roughest climate.” So I dropped it. Thrice, to be actual, on a sidewalk, from round 6 toes up. The display … drum roll … did not crack. There are just a few minor scuffs on the polymer casing, however the show is pristine. Clearly, that is no assure it will face up to your first drop, however the outcomes are promising.
Different unusual options embody a spot to connect a lanyard on the underside of the telephone, in case you wish to hold the XR20 out of your wrist or neck, and twin SIM assist (it is a hybrid SIM tray, so the MicroSD slot doubles as a secondary SIM slot). Together with the facility and quantity buttons, there are two further ones on the left and prime edges. The primary prompts Google Assistant, however the second is configurable.
I set it to activate the flashlight with a single press, and to launch an app with an extended press. I’ve seen that I take advantage of the flashlight extra at evening now that it is a lot sooner to entry, and I routinely use the Google Assistant button to activate my front room air conditioner earlier than I get dwelling.