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

Nokia recently launched a variety of new handsets, which includes the mid-variety 5G-capable Nokia X20. This 6.sixty seven-inch handset, which expenses from £319.ninety nine (with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage), heads up Nokia’s current bulletins, and sits in a pretty crowded section of the sector. Competition involves able phones like the £349 Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, the £329 OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the £270 Realme 7 Pro and the £299 Motorola Moto G 5G Furthermore. All are deserving opponents, and there are loads of other people in the identical rate bracket. 


Nokia X20: A 220g handset with a 6.sixty seven-inch IPS screen, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G chipset with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

When Nokia launched the X20, mother or father company HMD International also introduced it was getting an MVNO (Cell Digital Network Operator). The HMD Mobile service will provide 5G at some point, but for now anybody obtaining the X20 by means of Nokia will get a ninety-working day bundle of 15GB a month of information. But they will not get 5G – which is coming, but the link is at the moment 4G. That is a disgrace, offered that the X20 is a 5G handset. 


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

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

Get by means of Nokia and your X20 will have 8GB of RAM as effectively as that cell bundle. Even though you pay back £20 additional above the entry-stage 6GB, bundle-totally free handset, the rate big difference is negligible, and even if you never want the ninety-working day cell community offer, the RAM boost should give a raise to efficiency. I was sent the higher-spec device for evaluate.  


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

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The phone ships without the need of a wall charger (just a USB-C cable), which shouldn’t be a significant offer to most of us as we will already have wall chargers and there is certainly no speedy-charging functionality that calls for a expert wall plug. There is a biodegradable bumper situation in the box. These capabilities are aspect of the environmental provide, now currently being espoused by HMD, which also involves — if you purchase your handset direct — a tree-planting offer. Diverse phones are ‘worth’ a unique quantity of trees: the X20 is worthy of twenty trees though the new G10 and G20 are the two worthy of 10 trees. The trees are planted on your behalf if you sign up your handset. 

The Nokia X20 is properly developed, with a good truly feel in the hand and an interesting backplate. There are two colour choices. Midnight Solar is a bronze/gold finish, though my evaluate handset was Nordic Blue, a darkish shade of blue. Both choices have a matte finish to the backplate which is considerably less slippery than a lot of, and the phone did rather effectively on my ‘sofa test’, clinging to the arm reasonably effectively, despite the fact that it did slide about when vibrating alerts have been turned on. 

There is a three.5mm headset jack on the bottom edge of the phone and a fingerprint sensor is embedded in the on/off button on the proper edge. I observed the latter productive, despite the fact that deal with unlock is also an choice. There is a button committed to contacting up Google Assistant on the still left edge, exactly where you are going to also find the SIM caddy. The X20 accommodates two SIMs or a single SIM and a MicroSD card. 

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The camera array sits in a round housing in the upper centre of the backplate. With the phone on a desk, urgent down on the screen on possibly facet wherever previously mentioned halfway will cause it to roll still left or proper, but the phone won’t budge less than light-weight-touch tapping. 

When the Nokia X20 appears to be like excellent and handles rather effectively, it can be reasonably weighty at 220g. It is really rather chunky far too, at 9.1mm thick. The desktop footprint of seventy nine.7mm huge by 168.94mm deep properties a 6.sixty seven-inch IPS screen with pretty obvious bezels all close to and a compact reduce-out major centre for the front camera. The screen-to-physique ratio is just seventy nine.7%. 

The X20’s screen falls behind some of the in the same way priced level of competition. For example, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G (seventy five.1mm x 159.9mm x 8.4mm, 189g) has a 6.5-inch Tremendous AMOLED 1080 x 2400, 405ppi) screen. The Nokia X20 has a larger 6.sixty seven-inch screen with the identical resolution (and, hence, slightly reduce 395ppi pixel density), but the IPS technological know-how isn’t as bright and punchy, and the refresh charge is mounted at 60Hz though the Galaxy A52 5G’s panel can be established to 120Hz. 

The X20 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G Cell Platform with, in my evaluate unit, 8GB of RAM. It delivered ordinary Geekbench 5 CPU scores of 510 (single core) and 1689 (multi core), which is realistic for a mid-variety handset. There is 128GB of storage developed in, with 18GB utilized out of the box, leaving 110GB for person storage. If this proves inadequate, you can a single boost the storage ability with a MicroSD card in a single of the SIM slots.

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

Android 11 is provided without the need of any UI overlay, which signifies there are no third-bash applications duplicating the stock Android features. It also signifies there are no extravagant tweaks to settings, so if you happen to be seeking for a uncomplicated out-of-box working experience, you get that below. You also get three a long time of guaranteed safety updates. 

The front camera is a 32MP huge-angle unit that took realistic, but not remarkable, selfies. There are 4 cameras at the back: 64MP huge angle 5MP ultra-huge angle 2MP depth-sensing and 2MP macro. The macro camera calls for a 4cm distance from the issue, so it can be pretty rigid and won’t truly do justice to what can be reached with macro on a cell.  

The highlight attribute is almost certainly the Twin Sight method, which lets you capture movies from two unique views, these as a common distance and a close-up picture, each sharing a portion of the screen which you can established among 50 percent-and-50 percent and about two-thirds/a single-third. Overall, although, the X20 has a distinctly ordinary point-and-shoot camera setup. 

Battery lifetime, by distinction, is spectacular. Underneath the PCMark for Android Work 2. battery examination, the 4470mAh battery saved heading for sixteen several hours and 40 minutes, and a lot of end users should be ready to go for a working day among costs. Neither speedy charging nor wi-fi charging are supported. 


Graphic: Nokia


The Nokia X20 is a moderately effectively developed handset with excellent battery lifetime, dual SIM aid, 5G and a no-frills Android 11 set up, with three a long time of safety updates guaranteed. For all that, it won’t truly do enough to earn a major spot in the competitive mid-variety 5G section. The screen is an IPS panel with 60Hz refresh, the cameras are ordinary, and there is certainly no speedy or wi-fi charging. Regrettably, the Nokia’s eco-credentials aren’t, on their have, enough to acquire the X20 a recommendation. 

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