Test: Nokia X20 – Top-class mid-range model

When HMD Global now renames its Nokia phones, we get three different product series and six different phones. The X-Series is the most lavish and the X20 is the top model of the two launched so far.

The really clearest sign that HMD Global sees the X20 as a flagship is that they imitate the giants and remove the charger from the box for those who buy the phone. We have seen more expensive Nokia phones from HMD Global, but right now the X20 is at least their most performance-pumped phone. This means a price tag of SEK 4,000 and a system chip called Snapdragon 480 5G, which thus delivers just 5G as well as performance in what can be called a lower middle class. It manages to deliver acceptable performance to the phone, in terms of price tag and it keeps pace with other phones in roughly the same price range. Some delays may be noticed when you start and switch between different apps, but it does not affect normal use.

Peeled, dehydrated

The interface of Nokia X20 the usual that HMD Global uses, more specifically Android 11 based on Android One. The latter means that the phone is guaranteed updates for three years. The X-Series thus has an extended promise on that front and gets updates all the way to Android 14, while the cheaper Nokia phones can do with only two years of updates.

The fact that HMD Global relies on Android One also means that they do not have any great opportunities to offer unique features, or if you prefer to express yourself differently, that they have simply chosen not to offer anything of their own. As Android has become more and more mature and many of the coveted features come in the manufacturers’ own shells for Android, rather than in Android itself, this has become an increasingly clear weakness in Nokia’s current concept. Of course, it is still an advantage to get updates, but the advantage is not as clear as it once was and the disadvantages of missing unique functions then become clearer.

What HMD Global highlights as unique is, above all, longevity, something that is linked to the promised updates. However, it is not unique to Nokia and HMD Global, but on the contrary something that other manufacturers, most clearly Samsung, have become better at, even though they also offer a lot of unique features you do not get anywhere else.

The screen in the Nokia X20 is, as I said, large and in terms of quality it is okay without impressing. It is an IPS LCD type screen and it can possibly be perceived as being a little dim. It is not usually noticeable, but can be a problem especially on sunny days when you need more pressure on the screen to be able to see clearly. For sound, there is a standard 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, but the lone little speaker at the bottom does not impress. We find the fingerprint sensor in the side button on the phone and it works quickly and without problems. The button on the other side of the phone is a direct call to Google Voice Assistant, so you can speak instructions without first saying Ok Google. It is also worth noting that HMD Global has integrated the context menu into the start button, the one introduced in Android 11, but which far from all manufacturers have embraced. A quick press of the on and off button turns the screen on or off and a slightly longer press shows the quick menu where you can restart, switch off, but also get directly to Google Pay.

Guaranteed low quality

If we look at the cameras in the Nokia X20, they are the manufacturer’s usual faithful signed Zeiss, but it is clear that it does not guarantee high quality of the images. The X20 is equipped with four cameras on the back, a main camera with 64 megapixels combined with a wide angle of five megapixels and I am immediately struck by the quality difference. A view in the main camera that looks good, the main camera handles most subjects well, quickly gets completely washed out and gray as soon as I switch to wide angle mode. Portrait mode with blurry background in various shapes works helpful. Sometimes the whole picture can feel a little blurry and foggy. The macro camera, on the other hand, really adds nothing. Close-ups get better with the main camera and the close-up of 4 centimeters makes it impossible to take any spectacular pictures with the camera that HMD Global calls a macro camera. When I test the cameras in the dark, I also notice that they all underperform, even the main camera, which handles subjects in daylight well. As soon as the lighting conditions get a little worse, the cameras get into trouble and noise is added quickly while the colors become completely flaming. A different feature that the Nokia X20 offers in camera form is what HMD Global calls Dual Sight. There is a special video mode in the camera app where you can shoot with two cameras at the same time, so that the video in landscape mode shows two views at the same time, side by side, or then above and below each other if you film in portrait mode. It can be, for example, a selfie camera and a main camera, so that you can show both what you are looking at and your own reactions, or it can be one of the four cameras available in total. All except the portrait mode. In practice, the area of ​​use is limited. It is quite difficult to get the view you want in both cameras at the same time and the result is rarely really good. The special recording mode called Bio does not add much either, but there you still have the opportunity to make manual settings of focus, white balance and exposure, even if it is a bit cumbersome. In addition, the recording format is extra long and narrow in the 21: 9 format. Even there, however, the camera’s weaknesses are reminded. The Nokia X20 has too many weaknesses for the strengths to outweigh.

Questions and answers

What is unique?
HMD Global pushes for dual camera for video, so you can use multiple camera lenses at the same time, but it is not very well done.

How’s the sound?
The small mono speaker at the bottom is crisp, but with headphones it sounds better.

How is the feeling of quality?
The phone feels perfectly okay, somewhat plastic and yes, a little awkwardly large, but not of low quality.

An alternative:

Good value for money
The Motorola Moto G30 can be a good alternative even though it is a thousand bucks cheaper. There we have a better combination of functions versus the price tag.

Test image

The cameras do not impress and especially the wide angle and macro camera, as well as all cameras when it is worse light underperforms.


Source: Mobil by www.mobil.se.

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