Middling mid-ranger 3.5/5
The mid-range market is perhaps one of the most competitive in the smartphone industry today. With several vendors jockeying for position to take control of the £250+ market, Nokia adds its own device to the fray with the release of the Nokia X20.
The primary competition in the segment comes from Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi and Realme, who have both released high spec, low-cost devices in recent months.
The Nokia X20 sits at the top of the smartphone vendor’s latest range of devices. Nokia has emphasised being eco-friendly with the launch of its latest range, and Nokia owner HMD Global is offering customers the opportunity to plant trees with each purchase by going to the Nokia website. The trees are planted once the smartphone is registered.
The Nokia X20 is a unit of a smartphone. The screen is covered in Gorilla Glass 5 and the case is made of plastic. The smartphone has a 6.67-inch screen full HD+ screen and a screen-to-body ratio of 79.7 per cent which is less than impressive.
On first impression, the Nokia X20 is quite a heavy device, weighing in at 220g which is significantly heavier than other flagship devices including the OnePlus 9 Pro which feels light in comparison at 197g. Whether the weight of a device makes a difference is unique to each specific user, but it was worth noting that this is one of the heaviest devices I’ve used in recent months.
Like other mid-rangers, the device comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom of the device and also has a fingerprint sensor on its right. Face unlock is also an option.
Quite a few smartphone vendors have used the circular embossed camera design on the back of the phone and I love this design almost every time it is used. Nokia’s partnership with Zeiss is evident with both logos on the back of the device, and the back of the smartphone is a pleasure to behold.
The smartphone is available in both Nordic Blue and Midnight Sun with both variants looking equally attractive in my view.
- OS: Android 11
- Processor: Qualcomm SM4350 Snapdragon 480 5G
- Screen: 6.67-inches
- Resolution: 1080 x2400
- Memory: 6GB/8GB
- Internal storage: 128GB
- Rear camera: 64MP, 5MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth
- Front camera: 32MP
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Battery: 4470mAh
- Charging: Fast charging 18W
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
- Dimensions: 168.9 x 79.7 x 9.1 mm
- Weight: 220g
The smartphone boasts a 64MP quad-camera set-up and captures images in 16MP resolution. The camera also features a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor.
The camera is a major improvement on the Nokia 8.3. It captures images brimming with natural detail in good lighting. Daylight images are bright and impressive for this price range and this came as a welcome surprise.
The only major hindrance was the focusing of light which took some time to adjust. Focus largely remains on the well-lit environment as opposed to the darker object, there doesn’t seem to be any way to change this other than changing the camera angle.
While it doesn’t impress like the similarly priced Realme 8 Pro’s 108MP camera, it does a good enough job. Images taken by the camera can be seen below:
The Dual-Sight mode is a welcome addition here. It lets users capture videos from two different perspectives which you can view on a 50/50 screen. It’s a very innovative idea that I’d like to see explored further in future devices.
The Nokia X20 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G processor which is common for this price range and comes with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM.
Android 11 is offered here out of the box and three years of security updates which Nokia have promised for their last few devices.
Performance is generally good and gaming, in particular, ran smoother than I expected it to. It had no problem running games such as Call of Duty and PUBG on higher frame rates and I didn’t see any noticeable lag at any point during my time using the smartphone.
Away from gaming, the device works perfectly well too. At no point did I experience any glitches or freezes on major apps such as Instagram or Facebook and it seems as ever, Nokia has delivered once again in the performance department.
The X20 also offers 18W fast charging for its 4470mAh battery.
And battery life is a highlight of the device as it has been with Nokia devices in the past. The 4470mAh battery life survives comfortably for a day of frequent usage. The 18W charging is decent, but other smartphone vendors are offering much faster charging at this price. To put it simply, 18W fast-charging will not cut it at this price and this is an area where Nokia has to make significant improvements.
At a glance
· Speed – 4/5
· Camera – 3.5/5
· Battery – 3.75/5
· Design – 4/5
· Value – 3.5/5
With that said, the Nokia X20 is a device made for Nokia purists. Competition in this particular segment is far too strong for Nokia to be releasing a smartphone that lacks in quite a few departments.
I suspect that before the emergence of Chinese challenger brands, this device would certainly have been seen as a revolutionary one in the market. While it has impressive aspects, it doesn’t flourish as I hoped it would.
Despite that, the design is spot on, the three years worth of security updates is a welcome addition and 5G connectivity at this price is still impressive.
Although, HMD Global and Nokia will need to make improvements in a series of different departments to compete in the uber-competitive sector of the market.
The smartphone is available from the Nokia website for £299.99.