Best Nokia G20: A very basic budget smartphone with Android One

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Nokia G20: Nokia G20 budget smartphone claims three-day battery life, a vanilla Android experience, and a Nokia G20 smartphone. But is that enough?

The Nokia G20 is a simple yet functional smartphone with a minimalist design. It claims it can last for three days on a single charge and runs Android 11 software that is as stock as possible.

It looks decent on paper and offers a good combination of build quality, performance, and ease of use every day. After using it for about a week, however, I realized that it didn’t meet my expectations. It was difficult to recommend.

Nokia G20 Price and Variants

The Nokia G20 comes in one configuration with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. It is priced at Rs. India’s price is Rs. 12,999.

Nokia G20
Nokia G20

It comes with a triple-slot tray and can accept two Nano-SIMs as well as a microSD card up to 512GB. The Nokia G20’s price tag is reasonable for a basic smartphone.

However, if you look at the features and specifications of the competition, it is easy to see that the Nokia G20 is too expensive.

Nokia G20 Design

This phone’s design is a combination of the Nokia 2.4 (Review), and Nokia 5.4(Review). It is 9.2mm thick and weighs in at 197g.

Although the Nokia G20’s back panel and frame are made from plastic, it does not feel or look cheap. It has a finely grooved texture on the back panel, making it easier to hold and giving it a premium feel.

The Night finish is a dark blue with a lustrous purple glow that can be seen at an angle.
The back of the Nokia 5.4 has a circular camera module.

However, the G20 has a fingerprint scanner located on the right side, instead of the lower cameras.

The volume rocker is located above the fingerprint reader, which is a little difficult to reach due to the phone’s height. On the left is the Google Assistant key, while the SIM tray can be found above it.

Voice commands are only able to be used when the phone has not been locked. The dedicated button is here to help.

The bottom has a single speaker, Type C USB port, and mic, while the headphone Jack and secondary mic are at the top.

The display measures 6.5 inches and has a notch at its top. This seems outdated considering that the majority of competitors at this price have moved to smaller hole-punch cameras.

The bottom has a prominent chin with the Nokia logo. The front panel of glass is not easy to pick up fingerprints or attract dust.

Software and Specifications for Nokia G20

The Nokia G20 is powered by a MediaTek G35 processor, eight Cortex A53 cores at a maximum frequency 2.3Ghz, and an integrated IMG PowerVR Ge8320 GPU.

Dual-band Wi-Fi is not supported (only 2.4GHz), but the Nokia G20 has Bluetooth 5 and supports GPS/AGPS, GLONASS, and Beidou navigation. An FM radio is also available, but you will need to connect a pair of wired headphones to use it.

Nokia also includes a 10W wireless charger and a 5,050mAh lithium battery to power this phone. The 6.5-inch LCD panel has HD+ resolution and a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

HMD Global will continue to support the Android One program and promises two years of software upgrades with the G20.

Although the software is close to stock, there are some customizations such as the ability to adjust color balance and many tweaks to the camera app.

It is one of the best budget smartphones in terms of bloatware, as it only comes with two preloaded apps: My Nokia or Netflix.

Nokia G20 battery life and performance

Even though I had made minor software customizations, I was expecting the Nokia G20 would work smoothly in daily tasks.

There were noticeable stutters when I used social media apps with videos in their feeds. Although multitasking was fine between apps, it wasn’t a problem.

However, they didn’t stay in memory for too long. The hardware is unable to keep up with modern apps and uses cases.

You will notice that the phone sometimes takes longer to open new apps (that are not in memory). These are the most common complaints you’ll hear when using an entry-level smartphone.

Particularly, the camera app was frustrating. There was a slight lag in switching between camera modes.
I also had to wait for a few seconds after pressing the shutter button before I could take another photo. To preview a photo that I just took, I had to tap on the thumbnail and wait for the phone’s processing to complete.

The HD+ display, measuring 6.5 inches, was bright enough indoors but it struggled in bright sunlight. My unit also had a noticeable blue tint. The viewing angles were good. It was easy to see jagged edges around icons or text at 226ppi.

Netflix, like most video streaming apps, only supports SD quality playback. This means that the video does not look sharp.

The user experience was not as good as expected. Benchmark tests showed a similar picture, with scores well below the average for this price range.

AnTuTu’s Nokia G20 score was 1,13,751 compared to Realme Narzo 30, which scored 3,56,846. Geekbench scores also reflect this:

The Nokia G20 scored 162 points in AnTuTu, 914 in multi-core and single tests, respectively, while the Narzo 30 scored 532 and 1,700.

The Nokia G20 was not a great gaming device. Even though most 3D games are run at the lowest settings, the phone can get warm.

When playing Call of Duty: Mobile, I experienced terrible touch input lag. This was despite the default setting of Low graphics and Medium frame rates (with all effects off).

There was also a lot of lag while playing Call of Duty: Mobile. Asphalt 9: Legends could be played at the default graphics preset. However, it did not look great, making for a disappointing experience. This phone is not suitable for casual gaming.

The Nokia G20 was able to last 16 hours and 44 minutes in our HD loop video battery testing, which is a good result for smartphones in this price range.

It was able to last for two days on one charge. This phone was not able to play many games so I limited my use to casual activities.

The included 10W charger charged the 5,050mAh battery to an impressive 18% in 30 minutes, and 37% in one hour. Fully charging the battery took three hours and five minutes.

Nokia G20 cameras

There are four cameras on the Nokia G20: a 48-megapixel primary camera and a 5-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. A 2-megapixel macro camera and a depth sensor. An 8-megapixel camera handles selfie duties.

This interface is similar to the Nokia camera app that we’ve seen over the years. It provides quick access to the most important controls in Photo mode.

I was unable to quickly change the video resolution in video mode. This setting is hidden about five taps deep within the camera’s settings.

The photos taken in daylight with the primary camera turned out somewhat dull but with good detail and a wide dynamic range. In brighter areas where objects were framed against bright backgrounds, I noticed ghosting.

Ultra-wide angle cameras captured blurry images in daylight, with lots of purple fringing in brighter areas.

Portrait mode selfies came out sharp, but with poor edge detection. The rear camera captured portraits with more detail and better saturation but they looked a little too sharp. The rear camera was better at detecting edges.

Image quality suffered after sunset. Textures were flattened, but the noise was under control as long as there was enough ambient light. Quality dropped dramatically in dim conditions.

Photos came out with lots of noise and murky details. Night mode didn’t help and made textures look worse. Photos taken at night with the ultra-wide-angle camera were not usable. Night mode is also unavailable.

The front camera’s night vision function also produced dull and colorless portraits and selfies.

Nokia G20
Nokia G20

Video recording speeds of 1080p 30fps are the best. Video taken in daylight had a decent dynamic range but the quality was very poor.

Selfie videos came out below average with overexposed backgrounds and subjects and a lot more oversharpening. Low light 1080p 30fps video produced average detail but was unstable when recorded while standing still.

The ultra-wide-angle camera’s footage was a little too dark for its intended purpose and could not be used with the ambient lighting. The video quality was not great, but the Ozo spatial audio recording capability delivered immersive audio.

Verdict

The Nokia G20 is a budget smartphone that offers entry-level performance. It was evident after using it for a week.

Nokia promises software updates but the UI is not up to the task. Even though the phone runs a stock version of Android 11, Nokia claims it can’t keep up with everyday tasks.

Although the two-day battery life is good, charging the 5,050mAh battery takes longer than three hours. The daytime performance of the camera is average, as well as video quality. The HD+ display’s quality is also not as good as the competition.

The competition is visible and the Nokia G20 fades to the background. Redmi Note 10 (Review) from Xiaomi offers a powerful processor, a full HD+ SuperAMOLED panel, stereo speakers, and 33W charging at the exact Rs.

Price: 12,999 For Rs. Realme’s Narzo 30 (Review), priced at Rs. 12,499, features a full HD+ 90Hz LCD screen, a MediaTek Helio G95 CPU, 16-megapixel camera, and 30W charging.

The Galaxy F22 (Review) by Samsung, priced at Rs. The Galaxy F22 (Review), priced at Rs. 12,499 offers better hardware, including a 90Hz Super AMOLED display, a powerful Helio G80 processor, and a 6,000mAh lithium battery.

KEY SPECS: Nokia G20

  • Display: 6.52-inch
  • Processor: MediaTek Helio G35
  • Front Camera: 8-megapixel
  • Rear Camera: 48-megapixel + 5-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixe
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Battery Capacity: 5050mAh
  • OS: Android 11
  • Resolution: 720×1600 pixels

Good

  • Premium looks
  • Guaranteed Android updates
  • Minimal bloatware
  • Battery life is excellent

Bad

  • Below-average display
  • UI is slow
  • Very slow charging
  • Weak cameras

Also Read: Motorola Moto G10 Power Review

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