Nokia X20 review: A solid but unspectacular mid-range 5G phone with good battery life Review

Nokia recently launched a array of new handsets, including the mid-array 5G-capable Nokia X20. This six.67-inch handset,

Nokia recently launched a array of new handsets, including the mid-array 5G-capable Nokia X20. This six.67-inch handset, which expenditures from £319.ninety nine (with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage), heads up Nokia’s recent bulletins, and sits in a pretty crowded segment of the current market. Level of competition involves able phones like the £349 Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, the £329 OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the £270 Realme seven Pro and the £299 Motorola Moto G 5G Moreover. All are deserving opponents, and there are lots of other individuals in the identical price tag bracket. 


Nokia X20: A 220g handset with a six.67-inch IPS monitor, driven by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G chipset with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of inside storage.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

When Nokia launched the X20, mum or dad firm HMD International also announced it was starting to be an MVNO (Cellular Digital Community Operator). The HMD Mobile service will offer you 5G at some position, but for now anybody purchasing the X20 by means of Nokia will get a ninety-day bundle of 15GB a month of information. But they will never get 5G – that’s coming, but the connection is presently 4G. That is a disgrace, presented that the X20 is a 5G handset. 


There are 4 rear cameras: 64MP (large), 5MP (ultra-large), 2MP (depth), 2MP (macro).

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

Purchase by means of Nokia and your X20 will have 8GB of RAM as nicely as that cell bundle. Despite the fact that you pay out £20 more around the entry-amount 6GB, bundle-cost-free handset, the price tag distinction is negligible, and even if you you should not want the ninety-day cell community deal, the RAM raise should give a lift to functionality. I was despatched the increased-spec unit for assessment.  


The X20 is 9.1mm thick and has a three.5mm headset jack on the bottom edge.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The cellular phone ships with out a wall charger (just a USB-C cable), which should not be a massive deal to most of us as we’ll now have wall chargers and there’s no speedy-charging capability that requires a expert wall plug. There is a biodegradable bumper situation in the box. These capabilities are aspect of the environmental offer you, now remaining espoused by HMD, which also involves — if you obtain your handset direct — a tree-planting deal. Unique phones are ‘worth’ a various amount of trees: the X20 is really worth 20 trees whilst the new G10 and G20 are equally really worth 10 trees. The trees are planted on your behalf if you sign up your handset. 

The Nokia X20 is nicely created, with a stable experience in the hand and an interesting backplate. There are two colour alternatives. Midnight Sunshine is a bronze/gold finish, whilst my assessment handset was Nordic Blue, a darkish shade of blue. Equally alternatives have a matte finish to the backplate that’s much less slippery than lots of, and the cellular phone did rather nicely on my ‘sofa test’, clinging to the arm rather nicely, even though it did slide about when vibrating alerts ended up turned on. 

There is a three.5mm headset jack on the bottom edge of the cellular phone and a fingerprint sensor is embedded in the on/off button on the suitable edge. I observed the latter efficient, even though encounter unlock is also an possibility. There is a button devoted to calling up Google Assistant on the left edge, exactly where you’ll also come across the SIM caddy. The X20 accommodates two SIMs or one particular SIM and a MicroSD card. 

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The camera array sits in a circular housing in the upper centre of the backplate. With the cellular phone on a desk, urgent down on the monitor on possibly aspect anywhere above halfway brings about it to roll left or suitable, but the cellular phone would not budge less than light-touch tapping. 

Even though the Nokia X20 appears to be great and handles rather nicely, it can be rather hefty at 220g. It is rather chunky too, at 9.1mm thick. The desktop footprint of seventy nine.7mm large by 168.94mm deep residences a six.67-inch IPS monitor with pretty seen bezels all all-around and a tiny slice-out major centre for the front camera. The screen-to-physique ratio is just seventy{446c0583c78045abf10327776a038b2df71144067b85dd55dd4a3a861892e4fa}. 

The X20’s display screen falls behind some of the in the same way priced competitiveness. For example, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G (75.1mm x 159.9mm x eight.4mm, 189g) has a six.5-inch Super AMOLED 1080 x 2400, 405ppi) monitor. The Nokia X20 has a larger sized six.67-inch monitor with the identical resolution (and, consequently, somewhat decreased 395ppi pixel density), but the IPS technology just isn’t as vibrant and punchy, and the refresh fee is mounted at 60Hz whilst the Galaxy A52 5G’s panel can be established to 120Hz. 

The X20 operates on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G Cellular Platform with, in my assessment device, 8GB of RAM. It sent ordinary Geekbench 5 CPU scores of 510 (one core) and 1689 (multi core), which is acceptable for a mid-array handset. There is 128GB of storage designed in, with 18GB applied out of the box, leaving 110GB for consumer storage. If this proves inadequate, you can one particular raise the storage capability with a MicroSD card in one particular of the SIM slots.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (cost-free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Android 11 is offered with out any UI overlay, which implies there are no 3rd-occasion apps duplicating the inventory Android functions. It also implies there are no fancy tweaks to configurations, so if you happen to be hunting for a easy out-of-box practical experience, you get that in this article. You also get three many years of guaranteed protection updates. 

The front camera is a 32MP large-angle device that took acceptable, but not exceptional, selfies. There are 4 cameras at the back: 64MP large angle 5MP ultra-large angle 2MP depth-sensing and 2MP macro. The macro camera requires a 4cm length from the topic, so it can be very inflexible and would not actually do justice to what can be obtained with macro on a cell.  

The emphasize function is likely the Twin Sight manner, which lets you capture video clips from two various perspectives, these as a regular length and a shut-up image, every single sharing a part of the monitor which you can established between fifty percent-and-fifty percent and about two-thirds/one particular-3rd. General, even though, the X20 has a distinctly ordinary position-and-shoot camera set up. 

Battery life, by contrast, is amazing. Below the PCMark for Android Work 2. battery examination, the 4470mAh battery kept likely for sixteen hrs and 40 minutes, and lots of consumers should be equipped to go for a day between prices. Neither speedy charging nor wi-fi charging are supported. 


Graphic: Nokia


The Nokia X20 is a moderately nicely created handset with great battery life, twin SIM assistance, 5G and a no-frills Android eleven set up, with three many years of protection updates guaranteed. For all that, it would not actually do more than enough to generate a major location in the competitive mid-array 5G segment. The monitor is an IPS panel with 60Hz refresh, the cameras are ordinary, and there’s no speedy or wi-fi charging. Regretably, the Nokia’s eco-qualifications usually are not, on their own, more than enough to achieve the X20 a suggestion. 

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