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Nokia XR20 launches in India: A steep price to pay for durability?

The XR20 looks like one of the better rugged phones around, but it's still expensive compared to conventional devices.
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October 18, 2021
Nokia XR20 right rear profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • HMD has launched the Nokia XR20 in India.
  • The rugged smartphone costs Rs 47,000 (~$624).

Nokia’s older phones were traditionally known for their durable design, and brand licensee HMD Global is leaning into this reputation with the Nokia XR20 rugged smartphone. Now, the company has launched the durable device in India.

The Nokia XR20 starts at Rs 46,999 (~$624) in the region, according to Fone Arena, making it more expensive than the phone’s $550 recommended price in the US. So what do you get for the price, then?

The key selling point is indeed that durable design, featuring an IP68 water-resistant design, a tough rear cover, and Gorilla Glass Victus up-front. HMD subsequently claims that the phone is drop-resistant and temperature-resistant too.

For what it’s worth, our own Eric Zeman reviewed the device and noted that he dropped it on concrete, threw it around in his backyard, tossed it down several stairs, and dunked it in a river. The phone survived all of these incidents, which should give interested buyers some peace of mind.

What else are you getting?

Otherwise, the rest of the Nokia XR20 is pretty budget-tier. The phone features a Snapdragon 480 5G SoC, a 6.67-inch FHD+ LCD panel, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, 64GB of 128GB of expandable storage, and a 4,630mAh battery. You’re also getting 18W wired charging, 15W wireless top-ups, a dual rear camera system (48MP main, 13MP ultra-wide), and an 8MP selfie shooter.

HMD’s device packs a few welcome extras too, such as a 3.5mm port, a Google Assistant button, and a customizable button at the top. The firm is also promising three years of OS updates and four years of security patches, lining up well with the likes of Samsung and OnePlus.

The rugged segment is pretty small, so it’s not like consumers in general (let alone India) have a ton of choice in this regard. This is therefore a pretty good pick if you value durability above all else. But for everyone else, Rs 47,000 can get you a lot of phone from other brands.