Nokia launches the XR20, ruggedised, fully-featured

Published by at

HMD Global's 'new Nokia' has been up and down in terms of models, specs, and success over the last few years, but their new launch, the XR20, looks genuinely different in terms of ambitions. No, not a high end imaging flagship, but a mass market ruggedised, feature-packed 5G Android handset that patently doesn't need a case. As usual with HMD though, their small size means that components cost more and thus the XR20 is perhaps priced higher than you might think. See below - I'd argue that the long software life makes it better value than the average Chinese effort.


The official press release is here, but GSM Arena has more info, so we'll quote them:

The Nokia XR20 is here and it's what Nokia believes a no-compromises mobile should be - calling it life-proof. It's built to last both in hardware and in software.

Starting with the former - the Nokia XR20 has a ruggedized casing, which is MIL-STD810H-certified to withstand drops from 1.8 meters. Coupled with standard IP68 water and dust resistance and Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and the XR20 looks like a phone that won't require cases or screen protectors.

Under that heavy-duty exterior is a capable smartphone with very few things missing. The 6.67-inch FHD+ IPS LCD that can light up to 550 nits and works even with wet fingers or gloves. There's a Snapdragon 480 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 5G connectivity. There's a single configuration with 128GB of storage, which can be expanded through the microSD card slot.

On the back, the XR20 has only two cameras - a 48MP 1/2.25-inch f/1.8 main camera and a 13MP 1/3-inch f/2.4 ultrawide unit, each with its own LED flash. The selfie camera is an 8MP f/2.0 fixed-focus unit.

The Nokia XR20 runs Android 11 and Nokia has committed to four years of monthly security updates and three years of major OS updates

Moving back to hardware, the Nokia XR20 has stereo speakers rated at up to 96dB with OZO playback technology for improved detail. A side-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner covers biometrics. The XR20 has a top-placed custom button which you can set to any action or app you choose. Finally the battery is an ample 4,630mAh unit that promises two days of endurance. It can be topped up by 18W of wired or 15W of wireless charging.

The full specs are listed here.

The Nokia XR20 is coming in Ultra Blue or Granite Grey with a single 6/128GB configuration for $550. Sales start on August 24, though we've asked for review hardware from HMD PR.

There's VERY little to complain about here, other than quibbling about the lower end chipset and LCD display. But to get Qi charging, stereo speakers, the ruggedisation, and four years of updates, for just under £400 in UK money is a proposition that's well worth thinking about.