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Nokia G20 First Impressions: The Good, The Bad & The X-Factor
Nokia recently announced a new budget smartphone series for the price-conscious buyers in India. The first smartphone from Nokia's G-series- the G20 promises to offer three days of battery life and three years of security updates. Notably, the handset will also receive two-year guaranteed Android updates, similar to what the brand offers with its number series handsets including the Nokia 5.4, Nokia 3.4, Nokia 2.4, etc.
Priced at Rs. 12,999, the Nokia G20 is powered by the entry-level MediaTek G35 SoC and is available in the lone 4GB RAM + 64GB variant. The first sale of the budget Nokia handset starts today on Amazon.in.
We spent some time with the budget device to test out its performance. The following 'Nokia G20 First Impressions' highlights the device's good, bad, and the X factor.
Best-In-Class Build Quality
Nokia never disappoints with the build quality of its products. Like most of its handsets, the G20 brings a sturdy and long-lasting design. The phone is made out of polycarbonate; however, the quality of material and fit & finish is a notch above its competition including the mid-range devices from Chinese and Korean brands. The frame firmly holds the two sides and houses all the buttons and ports including the power button that doubles up as a biometric scanner and a dedicated Google Assistant button. The buttons offer good tactile feedback and are built to last.
The phone feels slightly heavy at 197g but isn't quite uncomfortable to use with one hand. The curved back panel eases up the handing to some extent. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the build quality of the Nokia G20. If you are looking for a long-lasting handset, the G20 is your best bet in the sub-15K price segment.
Premium Looks & Practical Features
The G20 isn't just durable; it's also a great-looking handset. The back panel has a minimalist Nokia branding and the centrally aligned circular camera module looks aesthetically pleasing. The textured back panel remains smudge-free, which is another relief. The G20 also does well with basics. The phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a dedicated microSD card for storage expansion and comes equipped with a Type-C charging port.
Long-Lasting Battery Life
The G20 shines in the battery department. It can easily clock a two-day battery life even on heavy usage, which makes it a great buy for users who love streaming multimedia on their handsets. The phone's 5,050mAh battery has to supply power to a low-resolution 720p screen, which works in its favor. Despite streaming videos on a loop and playing audio at 100% volume for about four hours straight, the drop in the battery power was quite insignificant. This device can easily last for more than two days if you use your handset judiciously.
Decent Camera Hardware
The G20 sports a quad-lens camera hardware featuring a 48MP primary camera coupled with a 5MP wide-angle lens, 2MP macro sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. For selfies, the phone features an 8MP front-facing camera. The camera setup is pretty ordinary but we liked the picture/video output in our initial testing. The camera app offers a dedicated night mode and some cool modes for portrait photography. We will talk more about the camera performance in our comprehensive review.
Dated 720p IPS LCD Display
Once again Nokia has disappointed us by offering a low-resolution display. Similar to most budget handsets from HMD, the G20 also ships with a 720p resolution IPS LCD screen, which feels dated in 2021. Almost all budget handsets, some priced even lower, offer full HD panels that offer a far better display user experience than the G20. Streaming videos and playing games isn't quite a joyous experience on the Nokia G20. If your priority is a good display, the Nokia G20 isn't the right device.
Slow Charger & Poor Audio Performance
And while the battery life is impressive, the handset ships with a 10W charger in the box, which takes a good three-hour duration to refuel the massive battery cell from flat to 100%. You need to be patient with the Nokia G20 if you want to make the most out of the big battery cell. Moving on, the phone struggles with the audio performance. The mono speaker sounds shrill and you are better with a good pair of headphones to enjoy music on this budget handset. The 3.5mm audio jack comes in handy.
The G20 feels sluggish and is by no chance a device for power users. The entry-level MediaTek Helio G35 isn't quite a chipset for gaming or running heavy tasks. What surprises us is the sluggish response even with basic tasks such as UI navigation, scrolling your Facebook/Twitter timeline, camera usage, etc. Moreover, there's a noticeable lag even while opening apps, which isn't something anyone deserves in 2021 from a phone priced at Rs. 13,000. The smartphone is available in the lone 4GB + 64GB variant. We will talk more about the phone's performance in our comprehensive review.
The ad-free stock Android software experience along with guaranteed software updates is the key selling factor of the Nokia G20. The phone runs on stock Android 11 with no unwanted bloatware and notifications from apps like Zili (MIUI) that hampers the user experience and also compromises your privacy. The clean UI and no spam/ads/notifications make for an excellent user experience, something hard to find in the sub-15K price bracket.
HMD has also promised to offer three years of monthly security updates to the Nokia G20. That said, if you are in the market for a budget device that offers the stock Google user experience, the Nokia G20 is worth considering.
Should You Buy The Nokia G20?
The Nokia G20 is a typical HMD device that struggles to offer the best-in-segment hardware but impresses with the build quality, battery life, and software experience. It is for consumers who want a device with long-lasting battery life, robust software support, and reliable build quality. Can it also be a good overall budget handset? Find out in our comprehensive review in the coming week.